You know the story – you go out, all prepared and ready for a good time, then, out of nowhere, you lose your lippy!
Determined to embed life lessons into the very DNA of the Lippy Ladies MCC, we promised ourselves that when we go out as the great soaring travelling Sisterhood we shall
Lose No Lippy
No Lippy Shall Be Left Behind
No Reason for Meaningless Use of Capital Letters Shall Be Missed.
Each Lippy Ride Out, as well as offering the benefits of sisterhood, miles’n’smiles and usually a dollop of cake, also offers a safe, respectful way of gadding about so we can involve Lippies of all stages of motorcycling skill.
The Drop Off System
Here’s an explanation of the Drop-Off system of group riding. This is popular with groups going on long rides and we have used it to great effect. Understanding the system is important, as every rider needs to do their part to avoid anyone getting lost.
One rider, the leader, will stay at the front and is responsible for navigating the route. Another rider, tail end charlie (TEC), will stay at the back in last position. These are the only two riders who maintain their position in the group.
At any junction where the route does not obviously go straight ahead, the rider immediately behind the leader should stop and mark the junction and indicate the route which the other members of the group should follow. The Leader will point when he requires a junction to be marked. All other riders pass the marker except the ‘tail end charlie’ (TEC). The marker then re-joins the group in front of TEC. You do not need to wait for the gap directly in front of the TEC, as long as you have seen all riders behind you indicating their intended direction you can rejoin the group at any safe opportunity. This approach involves the entire group and the marker gets rotated from front to back and naturally moves up to the front again. The method works provided everyone makes clear, safe markings and doesn’t forget they are in the No.2 position, when it is their turn to mark.
Nobody other than the TEC is allowed to ride last for any reason whatever. If you want to leave the group you should pull in to the side of the road in a safe, visible position and wave other riders past. The rider immediately behind you will also stop. When the TEC arrives he will stop and you can then inform her that you are leaving the group and why or explain your reason for stopping (breakdown etc). The TEC will stay with you, the rider who stopped with you will then go ahead and inform all junction markers of the plan unless it is clear that you will be waiting for some time eg. RAC pick up in which case the TEC will leave and gather up all junction markers and the other waiting rider will remain with you. In this circumstance we would hope that both problem and accompanying rider would make their way together to a future meeting point but this should be communicated by phone to the lead rider/other responsible member of the group. A couple of others may come back to meet the accompanying rider if it is clear that the rider with a problem will not be rejoining the group. With this in mind it is essential that each rider has a map with them on any ride out and has taken telephone numbers for the ride leader and some/all other riders within the group.
Some important points:
Please ensure you have a full tank of petrol and an empty bladder at the beginning of each day. Petrol stops will be determined on the lowest tank range of participants. You are advised to fill up at these stops. It is essential that if you have a tank range of <100 miles you inform the ride leader BEFORE setting off.
A roundabout should be marked by parking in a safe visible position on the exit. When going straight through at a crossroads where you don’t have right of way you may mark it if you wish. The default action in such a case is to continue straight through. Therefore if there is no marker when you arrive at any junction you should proceed straight on. If you do decide to mark such a junction or on a roundabout entry you should do so by parking in a safe visible position without hampering other road users.
When you are marking a junction make sure you park in a position not to obstruct any other road users. If necessary point in the direction that riders arriving at the junction should proceed in. There is no need when using the drop off system to keep the rider behind in your mirrors. There is no need to play catch-up. With the drop off system there will be a marker waiting for you at the next junction.
Everyone should keep a safe distance behind the rider in front.
When you are the marker, wait for the sweeper to arrive, even if this takes a long time. There may be a breakdown further back which you are unaware of. If necessary switch off your engine. If you leave your position everyone behind will suffer and the run will fall apart. If you are unsure as to whether you should mark a junction, then mark it anyway. It is better to mark a junction that doesn’t need marking than not to mark one that does. If you are a very long time waiting you can always call the leader or TEC (phone numbers should have been provided) to find out what the delay is.
Ride your own ride, don’t allow yourself to be pulled or pushed along. Enjoy your ride at your own pace.
If you wish to overtake someone, please ensure that you do so in a safe and courteous manner, allowing plenty of room to pass. We don’t mind if you want to overtake to get back to the front but please don’t sit too close to the back-end of someone while waiting to do so. Many riders get nervous if they feel they’re being ‘hurried’ and this affects their riding. Hang back and pick a good safe time to pass. It is essential, as with any riding situation, that you are aware of traffic around you. Ensure that before pulling out for ANY overtake you have checked that the road behind you is clear, that neither another member of the group, nor another road user is already taking the overtake opportunity and that you have sufficient space to make a complete manoevre.
Our experiences using the Drop Off system have usually all been favourable, and everyone has been able to enjoy the riding at their own pace. We do however recognize that it may not suit everyone. We’d like to get everyone’s opinion after the first days travel and discuss what suits you best at the first night’s stop. That way we can be sure that you get the maximum enjoyment for the whole of the trip – the ride to and from the destination is as important as the trip itself and should be an enjoyable part of it not a chore just to get you there. With this in mind those who have been leading, and especially, tailing may have feedback to offer. This is not an opportunity to attack but will be feedback to ensure the safety of the individual and all members of the group. It is essential that this feedback is taken on board. If it becomes clear that this feedback is not being acted on, the individual in question will not be accepted on to future trips without further training.
We set a pace that we think is appropriate to the roads and riding conditions at the time. Under favourable conditions the leader will ride at or near the speed limits. We recognise that each member is an individual and will make their own decisions on appropriate use of speed.
This does not mean that you have to exceed the speed limit. RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE! You can ride at your own pace and the TEC will always follow to the slowest riders pace without pushing them to go any faster. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to keep the bike in front or behind in view. The Drop Off system allows for you to be travelling many miles, seemingly on your own until you come to a junction where you’ll find a marker waiting for you to show you the way.
Please avoid stopping for ‘fag/coffee breaks’ unless the leader has done so. We will stop after approximately every 2 hours for a break or where there is perhaps a good photo opportunity, and most definitely for lunch (cake!). We like to enjoy a relaxed ride although it must be recognized that a reasonable distance must be covered during the course of the day.
If you have any queries about anything above, or any questions please ensure you ask them well in advance of any trip so as to ensure no mistakes can be made.