Java's Just Drivin' A place to talk about the joys of driving the S2000

So you want to lead a drive?

Old 10-23-2012, 03:30 PM
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So you want to lead a drive?

So you want to organize and lead a drive?

You’ve had your car for a while, you feel you know pretty much what you’re doing, there isn’t much new to learn…so, let’s organize and lead a drive.

Hold up there, Skippy. There are a few things you might want to do before you head out to the mountains or the seashore or the local fast food joint with twenty of your closest forum friends following you.

Before the drive:

1. Plan a route (duh!). You know all those neat roads you’ve been driving, why not share them with a few good friends? Have you ever counted how many stoplights are on that road? How about cross streets? Potholes deep enough to swallow a car? It’s hard to find a route that doesn’t involve towns, stoplights, pedestrians and other bothersome impediments to open-road fun.

2. Drive your newly designed route a couple of times. Sure, you have driven that route a hundred times. Never seen another car, never seen a squirrel even. Now, think about having fifteen or twenty other cars behind you. Still feel comfortable? Welcome to the wonderful world of responsibility. It’s easy to drive by yourself, you do it almost every day, but now you have to make sure that a bunch of other people who may have never been on that road are going to feel the same comfort you do. Nothing ruins a great day like somebody breaking something.

3. See any hazards? Just lots of pretty trees and mountains? Ever think about all those leaves and how slippery they are when they get wet? How about those rocks that seem to fall down hillsides at the most inopportune moment? How about that nice, nifty, new road construction that wasn’t there last week? If you can drive the route the day before your scheduled group drive, you can spot new problem areas that may not have been there before.

4. Create a map. Never done that? Try maps.google.com, they’re really good about providing detailed maps. You’ll have to do some work, like figure out how to find your starting point and finishing point, but that should be fairly easy now that you’ve driven the planned route a couple of times, right?

5. Pick a couple of good friends (preferably ones who would volunteer to follow you when you drive). Give them the map and let one of them lead. How many times did you get lost? Sure, you know where you’re going but can anyone else figure that out? Planning is your friend and invariably, someone will get separated enough that they have no idea where they’re going. A good map is your friend.

6. Select a place to meet. Unless you happen to live somewhere that has a spare 30 or 40 parking spaces that aren’t being used, check out local malls and shopping centers. You might want to ask the management of that mall or shopping center if they’d have any objection to you having 30 or 40 close friends hang out in their parking lot for a couple of hours one Saturday or Sunday. If they say they’d rather be attacked by rabid dogs, you might want to look somewhere else. Keep looking until you find a place that has no objections. True, you want lots of people to come along on your drive but, that generally doesn’t mean the local LEO’s and it’s really embarrassing to be run out of your chosen parking area.

7. Start a drive forum on all the local S2000 boards and invite people to come along once you’ve picked a date and time. Make sure you post a link to the drive map (See number four, above) so that people who are interested can see where you might be leading them. Surprisingly, not everyone wants to drive that half-of-a-lane, gravel, country road that you think is the ultimate in driving fun. Initially, many people will say they want to come, ask what they can bring, what you’re going to do when you get to the end of the drive and all those other trifling things that people always bug you about. Why isn’t this information in the first message? Check the edit button at the bottom of your first message and add all those details. It makes it easier for people to decide whether they’d like to drive along.

So now, it’s the day of the drive:

1. Pick a reasonable time for everyone to meet. That sounds simple, right? So, how long is the drive? Is it going to be long enough that people are going to start complaining that they want to eat and they want to eat NOW! How about potty stops? You did find some not too sleazy place for a potty stop, didn’t you? If you meet at 8:00am, around 10:00, people are going to start getting uncomfortable. Time for a rest stop. If you meet at 10:00, around noon…same problem. Pick a time that you can have a stop about two hours into the drive. You fellow drivers (and their passengers especially) will thank you for it.

2. So all thirty of your closest friends managed to crawl out of bed on Saturday morning and manage to find their way to the meeting place. Now what? Well, the first thing you might want to do is have a drivers meeting and tell them the rules. You know, like not being stupid and passing on solid lines and obeying speed limits in small towns and staying away from the yellow line, and not vtec’ing through small towns and keeping the noise below nose-bleeding level.

3. Have a FRS radio? Why not? They’re cheap and they let everyone know road conditions, where the problems might be, that patch of gravel across the road and the guy with the hammer who seems to not like bunches of cars driving through his yard. Pick a channel and let everyone know what channel it is. Next, tell everyone to turn their radios on and have a radio check. You talk and let everyone else listen. Did they hear you? Good! They don’t need to talk unless there’s a problem. Let them do a radio check. Did you hear one or two familiar voices? Great!

4. It’s almost impossible to manage leading more than 10 or 12 cars in a group. For one thing, you will lose three or four cars in the first 10 minutes. Break up large groups into two or three groups of 10 to 12 cars. Now you have some control. Find someone who likes to be at the back of the group. Make sure that person has a radio. He/she does? Great, you just got yourself a tailgunner. This is the person who is going to tell you when the last car (which just happens to be his) passes through that stoplight. This is the car that’s going to keep an eye on the slow guy in the middle (probably driving a Suzuka) and make sure he doesn’t get so far back from the front that he gets everyone lost. The tailgunner is your best friend, so treat him nicely. If he sees trouble coming from behind the group, he’s the person who’s going to notify you. Again, be really nice to him/her. Your tailgunner can save you money, time, and court appearances.

5. Try to put groups together by skill levels or colors or something that they all have in common. Try not to put the newbies in a group of people who’ve had their car for 8 years and spend weekends at track events. The purpose is to have people enjoy the drive and not spend the entire time worrying about their driving skills. Give every drive leader a map! Let me repeat that, GIVE EVERY DRIVE LEADER A MAP! You’ll get split up, I can guarantee it. There will be some guy who just has to show you that his ’67 Buick is as fast and handles as well as your S2000. Don’t believe it. At the first convenient, safe place, pull over and let Fireball go. It’s not worth the hassle of trying to keep your group together and deal with a moron at the same time.

6. Okay, time to line up the groups. Put the more skilled drivers in the first group. Try to fit people into the correct group for them. There’s always a newbie who just knows that he should be in the first group because he’s scored 10,000,000 points in “Fast and Furious” driving that trick Ferrari. You want to discourage this person gently but persuasively (If necessary, lie).

7. Before you hit the road, make sure you know how many cars are in your group, who your tailgunner is and that you have a drive map. Do one last radio check, count the cars in the group once again (that newbie is still trying to sneak into the middle of the group), make sure everyone has their headlights on and then head out. Have the groups leave individually with a time buffer between each group. Do you really want all that attention first thing in the morning? I thought not. Amazing how much attention large groups of cars attract, especially S2000’s with loud exhausts.

You are on the road. Now what?

Congratulations, you’re leading a group of S2000’s on your first big event. Feels good, doesn’t it? You’re the group master, the head honcho, el gran jefe. Well, not really but it’s nice to think you are. You are now going to spend time counting the cars behind you because even though you have a tailgunner, you really don’t want to get split up into two groups. At the same time, you’re watching the road, having your honey in the passenger seat trying to tell you where the first turn is, trying to listen to eight people talk on the radio at the same time and, oh yeah, enjoy yourself. If this sounds like work, well, yeah, it is. It also happens to be a lot of fun. When you look in the rearview mirror and see a line of S2000’s behind you, all of those headlights on and shining brightly, your honey telling you that they're having a wonderful time, you know this is what feeling great is all about.

Last edited by kgf3076; 10-24-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:20 PM
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Lead, follow or get out of the way.

I usually get run over
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:31 PM
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:36 PM
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Its a dark and lonely job,.....but somebody's got to do it!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:03 PM
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With you on that JJ!
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Switchblade View Post
With you on that JJ!
+1!
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:43 PM
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OMG, kgf! What an incredibly well-written and informative post. And oh-so accurate too! Thanks for writing this. People who have never organized a drive have no idea what it's like and what goes into it. It is a lot of work if you want it to go well. And when it does go well, everyone thinks it's so easy because everything went without a hitch. It's also enjoyable, but it takes an entirely different driving style which includes considering what your twenty car long "tail" is doing behind you. You can't just bust a U-ie in the middle of the road and grab that left turn you missed. LOL! Adjusting to accommodate that tail while still getting to enjoy your favorite twisties at a spirited rate takes a bit of doing, but when you get it down pat, it sure is a hoot.

If I had one thing in your article that I would change, it would be this part:
Originally Posted by kgf3076 View Post
...your honey telling you that she’s having a wonderful time...
In the event that I happen to have a bit of passenger seat ballast, my honey isn't typically a she.

Thanks for writing this. It really is great!

Originally Posted by Glenn1 View Post
Lead, follow or get out of the way.

I usually get run over
Nah, you do just fine when you aren't trying to keep from hurling up your lunch. Come to think of it, it's been awhile since you've been down our way for a drive!


Actually, now that I consider it, there is one thing in your "how-to" that I do differently. I don't post the route in advance when it is a spirited drive. I've done so in the past, and then I've had people complain they don't want to go because they think it draws too much attention from local LE. I admit I think that's kind of a ridiculous concern since LE will be out there regardless of what I post in a forum, but if it makes those few people feel less vulnerable, fine. I always bring route sheets to hand out anyway. Even when you post the route, half the people don't print it out. Getting lost never crosses their minds. It crosses mine though, because I'm the one has to go back and find their lost a$$es when they no longer show up in the rearview mirror. LOL!

Anyway, thanks again for writing this. It really is a nice piece of work.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:00 PM
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RMurphy View Post
OMG, kgf! What an incredibly well-written and informative post. And oh-so accurate too! Thanks for writing this. People who have never organized a drive have no idea what it's like and what goes into it. It is a lot of work if you want it to go well. And when it does go well, everyone thinks it's so easy because everything went without a hitch. It's also enjoyable, but it takes an entirely different driving style which includes considering what your twenty car long "tail" is doing behind you. You can't just bust a U-ie in the middle of the road and grab that left turn you missed. LOL! Adjusting to accommodate that tail while still getting to enjoy your favorite twisties at a spirited rate takes a bit of doing, but when you get it down pat, it sure is a hoot.
It is definitely a lot of work, but you're right, when it comes off smoothly, it's a blast. Half the fun of doing it is watching what's going on behind you.

Originally Posted by RMurphy View Post
If I had one thing in your article that I would change, it would be this part:

In the event that I happen to have a bit of passenger seat ballast, my honey isn't typically a she.
Yeah, I know. I thought about that after I'd written it. I'll change it just to keep it gender non-specific.

Originally Posted by RMurphy View Post
Thanks for writing this. It really is great!
Thanks, that's much appreciated. It was written in response to a drive I attended a while ago that had 40 cars and the organizer decided that it could all be one group and not have any leaders. My definition of organized anarchy. One person had an idea of the route and how to get there. I lost track of the number of times we had to stop so the back half could catch up or let some local pass or wait for a group of cars that got lost. I bailed about half way to the first rest stop.

Originally Posted by RMurphy View Post
Actually, now that I consider it, there is one thing in your "how-to" that I do differently. I don't post the route in advance when it is a spirited drive. I've done so in the past, and then I've had people complain they don't want to go because they think it draws too much attention from local LE. I admit I think that's kind of a ridiculous concern since LE will be out there regardless of what I post in a forum, but if it makes those few people feel less vulnerable, fine. I always bring route sheets to hand out anyway. Even when you post the route, half the people don't print it out. Getting lost never crosses their minds. It crosses mine though, because I'm the one has to go back and find their lost a$$es when they no longer show up in the rearview mirror. LOL!

Anyway, thanks again for writing this. It really is a nice piece of work.
Thanks. I hope it will encourage people who organize drives to be bit more prepared and give newbie organizers a bit of a road map to follow.

I'll usually post a link to the drive map so people can see what the route looks like. On the day of the drive, I'll have maps for the leaders and tailgunners (and always a few extras). I never use "spirited" in any description because it attracts two kinds of people; LEO's and (at times) the foolish few who think group drives are for displaying their track skills. Twice a year, I have that type of person at the Dragon, twice a year, one or two of them does something stupid and ends up paying for it.

Last edited by kgf3076; 10-24-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ufbu812 View Post
Its a dark and lonely job,.....but somebody's got to do it!!
Have you ever?
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kgf3076 View Post
It was written in response to a drive I attended a while ago that had 40 cars and the organizer decided that it could all be one group and not have any leaders. My definition of organized anarchy. One person had an idea of the route and how to get there. I lost track of the number of times we had to stop so the back half could catch up or let some local pass or wait for a group of cars that got lost. I bailed about half way to the first rest stop.
Holy cow. Yeah, that's not a good plan... 40 cars in one long train. If we get more than 12 cars at the EOM we split into 2 groups. It just gets too crazy if you don't. And while it sounds all cool to have 40 cars show up, the truth is that a drive with that many cars is not all that cool at all. It's actually a PITA that just frustrates everybody involved. A *cruise* with 40 cars can work, but you *still* have to have route sheets and designated people who know the route and watch out for strays and whatnot.

I enjoy the group drives, but I also enjoy the solitary runs too. I'll quietly sneak off and not bother to tell anyone when I really just want it to be me, the S, and the road.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kgf3076 View Post
I never use "spirited" in any description because it attracts two kinds of people; LEO's and (at times) the foolish few who think group drives are for displaying their track skills.
Yeah. In most cases, the latter group you mentioned are readily recognized. They are usually just a little TOO eager and give you that, "Oh no..." feeling.

The safety **** speech usually sets the tone for the drive and reminds those types how to behave, but not always. No matter how hard you try, sometimes people are just hell-bent on being stupid.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:33 PM
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Hey Murphy can I video tape your **** speech and post it? That says it all!
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:14 PM
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Well written KGF, glad to see you posting regularly too. I "stuck" your post at the top of the Jus Drivin section. I figure the more useful threads like this deserve a little more time at the top of the forum.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Marioshi View Post
I "stuck" your post at the top of the Jus Drivin section.
Excellent!
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Marioshi View Post
Well written KGF, glad to see you posting regularly too. I "stuck" your post at the top of the Jus Drivin section. I figure the more useful threads like this deserve a little more time at the top of the forum.
Thank you sir...
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:14 AM
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Ain't never no arguement about kg's writin'r'izz qualificationz'z'n organizer.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Java Junky View Post
('Sidez . . las'time I went kg dumped me upside-down ind'a'a trash-can. Yeah. 'Recognized'yer Keddz kg.)
Well, if you'd been going 65mph (Yeah, I know it was on the sidewalk, but there were only a couple of people walking there anyway) like the rest of us (so there were 300 other cars), we'd have stopped to help you talk your way through the roadblock the MP's set up.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Java Junky View Post
Budd'I still ain't turnin' Stewie inda'a float.
Then it's a good thing no one is asking you to.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:22 AM
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Nyah, nyah, nyah.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:23 AM
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yeah definitely I'm as to lead is to win .. not all the time but at least an power source for you and your team team members to do well and get on the top ...

Last edited by ElizabethPhillips; 05-31-2013 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ElizabethPhillips View Post
yeah definitely I'm as to lead is to win .. not all the time but at least an power source for you and your team team members to do well and get on the top ...
As I was recently saying...
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:38 AM
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Have any of you ever considered a TSD rally instead of a "drive"?

http://mgcc.org/Documents/Rallying%2...ull%202012.pdf

Jon
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by joncallihan View Post
Have any of you ever considered a TSD rally instead of a "drive"?

http://mgcc.org/Documents/Rallying%2...ull%202012.pdf

Jon
I rallied in the '60s and then moved on to other competitive events.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:58 AM
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Good post Ken.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by NNY S2k View Post
Good post Ken.
Levi
Levi,
Where have you been? Haven't seen you around for a while.
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