How to keep in touch with the bike group when in a car

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    • #17763
      LilDragonLilDragon
      Participant

      I need advice, please.
      My friend and I will be going together to The Run, starting in Grand Prairie, Texas (Southern Route). This will be the first time ever for both of us and we are very excited.

      Problem is, he will be on a bike. I will be in a car.
      I assumed that I can drive behind the bike group where he will be riding in since bikes and cars don’t mix, but I just read that I (in a car) should stay a few miles away from the bikes and not even use the same fill up stations. Miles??
      I was hoping to be at least close enough to the group (of bikes) so I can still see them, and also able to follow when we go visit places, for instance the school. Or are cars not allowed to go there?

      Any advice (or your experience) what i can do to not be totally by myself and at least able to stay in sight of the group my friend is riding in? Who to talk to and let them know that we are together on that run?
      Anyone had that same “problem” before?

      Thank you very much!
      Ingrid / LilDragon

    • #17785
      Doug WalkerDoug Walker
      Participant

      I run a chase truck on Central Route and am usually at the back of the pack. That is where many other non-bikes hang out. The pack is usually in sight but not always. But we do catch up most of the time. It’s all done for safety and it works really well. Just don’t get frustrated with the traffic that sometimes gets piled up back there. Stay calm and all will be well. Oh,  and WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!

      CR Chase 4 '14, '15, '18, '19, ('20*)
      Sgt USMC 62-66
      Chu Lai 65-66

      • #17824
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Thank you, Doug Walker. I know about safety (I am a Patriot Guard Rider and riding escort is something I have done many times, both on a bike and also in a car), and thanks for the advice and for your Welcome! 🙂

         

    • #17802
      Nick HentgesNick Hentges
      Keymaster

      The best thing to do in a car is to drive ahead of the pack. That way you don’t get hung up in the traffic behind the bikes and you can be at the next stop waiting when the bikes roll in. Just be sure to park out of the way of where the pack is going to be staging so you aren’t  in the way. As for fuel, best bet is to fuel on your own at a different station (Usually a car will only need to fuel 1 or 2 times a day (End of day and maybe one other time). When the pack comes in to a gas station, we usually take over all of the pumps. There will be a 4 wheeler meeting in Ontario to give you a much better understanding of how things will work for you. That meeting is at 11 AM on Tuesday.

       

      Richboy
      Honolulu Hawaii
      ATW Central Route 2009-2019
      Tailgunner 2010
      Asst Platoon Leader 2011-2016
      Platoon Leader 2017-2019
      Wall to Wall Recon 2019
      RFTW BOD Director of Public Relations and Communications

      • #17826
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Thank you, Nick, for your idea to be ahead of the pack 🙂 , and yes, I am planning not to be in the way and fill up whenever I need to at other fill up stations.  However, this is my very first RFTW and I have no experience, how do I know where the stops will be? I haven’t seen any info on this. Or will this be available at the registration point? Mine will be in Grand Prairie, Texas. Thanks for your advice and patience. 🙂
        Also, the meeting in Ontario on Tuesday for the 4-wheelers. This sounds great, but I assume that’s Ontario, California? If yes, that’s a bit too far from Central Texas for me to get there. 🙁
        Thanks again.

    • #17814
      KillswitchKillswitch
      Participant

      The solution is: ride instead of drive! : )

      OK, seriously I have used a Bluetooth and CB in my helmet for communication on the Run.

      Traffic behind the pack is truly terrible – don’t do that.

      Have you considered volunteering for something?  That would surely keep you in the loop on every stop and you could probably see your friend at the stops.

      Just a suggestion. Welcome!

      Todd "Killswitch" Miller
      RFTW 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017.
      Special Operations Command Europe, Stuttgart, Germany
      Colorado Patriot Guard Riders
      Life Member VFW Post 10233, Anjung-ri, Korea
      Life Member AMVETS

    • #17827
      LilDragonLilDragon
      Participant

      Lol, Thank you Killswitch for making me chuckle and your great idea. Yes, riding would indeed be great…if I only could. I miss riding.

      Someone else also mentioned riding ahead of the pack instead of behind, I think I’ll keep that in mind….as soon as I can figure out where the stops will be, it wouldn’t do me any good to just wait somewhere and wait and wait..LOL .

      Yes, I thought of volunteering, but I never was on the Run, this is my first, and don’t really know who I could contact. But I will search the website, maybe there is something. Thanks! And also for the welcome. 🙂

    • #17836
      Doug WalkerDoug Walker
      Participant

      The itineries should be posted in the next few weeks. You will be given a booklet that includes the itinery at registration for your first day. The booklet has all the details you need. You can look at the RFTW website Midway Route under Run Details for an example. The Midway booklet has been posted already. Going ahead or behind the pack is a personal choice. As a chase truck I am always behind the pack. And really, it’s not so bad back there for a car. Just a little ‘rubber-banding’ from time to time that can be annoying.

      I’d like to see some Southern Route Leadership chime in here with their recommendations.

      CR Chase 4 '14, '15, '18, '19, ('20*)
      Sgt USMC 62-66
      Chu Lai 65-66

      • #17921
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Thank you , Doug, and sorry for being so late to reply. I am glad that there will be an itinerary and even a booklet with details. Being new to the RFTW I had no idea about all this and felt kinda lost. The more I read, your posts and from others, the better I feel and I thank you so much for taking the time to explain and give advice. It is very much appreciated! 🙂

         

    • #17862
      PelicanPelican
      Participant

      Doug is right on the money as to your concerns as to where the pack will be stopping each day , for fuel, lunch dinner, schools, V.A.’s & memorials.

      Your routes daily itinerary will be posted on the forum soon. ( Midway is already posted.) When your route is posted, print it out, so you have a hard copy & can jot down any notes you want, plus you can study it and get an idea of what your plans are for that day. ( Drive in front or back of the pack) I have had heard feedback from others were in the same situation as you. They preferred to be ahead of the pack. That way they could watch them come into the stops, plus they could get up on an overpass with the other patriots that stand up there and watch the pack come thru, then they get back in their car, pass the pack and greet them coming into the next stop.

      A word of caution though, as things change, ( weather, road conditions, venue, etc.) Leadership may have to “tweek” that days itinerary, so it is important to be at the daily briefings for all riders that takes place every morning. Being in a cage you will have plenty of time to leave the area before the pack does. I know all this sounds like a lot to process at this time, but believe me, just like an FNG bike rider, after a couple of days, your confidence will be increased tremendously.

      WELCOME TO THE RUN, & the greatest family you never knew you had. Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster, ( it happens to ALL of us, unannounced, unexpected and a lot of the time unexplained) & lots & lots of hugs …… from complete strangers . ( But they are only friends you had not met yet.)

      "I never met a man I didn't like"...will rogers

      • #17922
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Thank you so much, Pelican, as I just said in a reply to Doug, the more I read the replies here, the better I feel. I felt kinda lost as a newbie and no idea what’s going on and I couldn’t find answer for the questions I had, and I am extremely happy and grateful for all the advice and ideas I am getting here in this forum, and also from you. Things definitely are looking up, and I will certainly follow your advice to print the route and also make sure I’ll be at the briefings. Thanks for mentioning it.
        Hugs from complete strangers sounds good to me, I’m known for giving hugs. And I’m sure it will be an emotional roller coaster as well. I am a Patriot Guard Rider (just can’t ride my bike for a while) and emotional roller coasters are not new to me. But that’s where the hugs come in. 🙂
        And Thanks for the welcome!! 🙂

    • #17870
      CaptainCaptain
      Participant

      First, Welcome home to the Southern Route!

       

      You will need to register, pre-register is best, if you have not done that already.  That way, you have access to all of the events including the meals and meetings.  At registration in Grand Prairie, you will receive several items most importantly your wrist band, Itinerary and your hug from Top Sarge.  You can view the 2019 Itinerary for Southern Route now on the web site although the 2020 Itinerary should be posted in the next couple of weeks.  The only major changes from 2019 involve days 1 and 2 and you will not have joined us yet.

       

      You cannot drive your cage inside the pack envelope. It really is a matter of safety.  As had been mentioned, if you drive behind the pack, you can get hung up in some pretty ugly traffic.  Most folks I know that have driven with us, tend to run a few miles ahead of the pack.  They will often jump off at one of the many overpasses where you will see people already gathered to welcome the run.  Then after the pack passes, get in behind the pack and proceed to pass with the other traffic.  But be patient – don’t be in a hurry.

       

      When you are in front of the pack, you can get to the next stop, fuel or lunch or a memorial or the end of day stop ahead of the pack and greet them when they arrive.  Just be careful where you park and stay out of the staging area. Also, fuel separately.  Since you will be registered as a Ride Participant, you can get together with your friends after they have parked in their staging area and get some hydration, etc.  Please do not walk into the traffic pattern. Wait until they are all parked. The Fuelers and Stagers and a few Road Guards will be there before the Main Pack arrives so feel free to ask them where you should park

       

      Joining in Grand Prairie will let you really experience some of the truely great moments of RFTW, SR.  We will arrive at the Dubiski Career High School on Satruday. Sunday is an early day so be sure to be at the WalMart Super Center Parking Lot early because we will have an early muster with breakfast, a non-denominational Church Service and then it is off to Terrell, then to Long View and on to Monroe.  You will see the wonders of Wytheville and the Spillar Elementary School Children and then experience the unbelievable kids at Montvale Elementary School.  And you will see Overlord, the D-Day Memorial.

       

      I am the SR Road Guard Captain and you can feel free to find me and ask me any questions.

       

      Again Welcome to the family!  See you in Grand Prairie.

       

      Captain

       

       

      Capt, USN (Ret)
      SR RGC 2020
      SR RGC 2019
      SR RGC 2018
      SR RG Scout 2017
      SR RG 2015, 2016
      FNG SR ATW 2014

      • #17925
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Captain, thanks so much for all the details, especially what is going to happen at the registration in Grand Prairie (and yes, I’m already registered for the RFTW), and for mentioning to look at the 2019 itinerary to get some ideas. Also that there will be Fuelers and Stagers and Road Guards I can ask. In general I know how to behave among bikes, I ride myself (just currently I can’t even though I would love to) and I am also a Patriot Guard Rider, but thanks for mentioning all the safety issues, safety is very important.
        And I can’t wait to start this amazing journey (even though in a cage *sigh*) and I’m looking forward to see all the places you already mentioned.
        I will certainly try to find you to say hello. Thanks again, I feel very much welcome already! 🙂
        Ingrid / LilDragon

    • #17871
      CaptainCaptain
      Participant

      One more comment. Since you will be an FNG, you will not be able to Volunteer to be on one of the Teams on SR. We really believe that as an FNG, it is more important for you to experience the wonders of the Run.  After your FNG year, you can and in fact are encouraged to be a Volunteer. For example, we always need someone in a vehicle that can help out the Advanced Team carrying signs, extra hydration, etc and then assist with fueling and staging.  Then there is Registration, Hydration, Chase and many others.

       

      Again, see you in Grand Prairie and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

       

      Captain

      Capt, USN (Ret)
      SR RGC 2020
      SR RGC 2019
      SR RGC 2018
      SR RG Scout 2017
      SR RG 2015, 2016
      FNG SR ATW 2014

      • #17927
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        I was hoping that to be a volunteer will be possible, but it makes sense that you gotta learn first before you can. If I can go next year as well I do hope that I’ll be able to ride again and no more cage… but if not, I’ll make sure to find out how to volunteer. 🙂

    • #17913
      Doug WalkerDoug Walker
      Participant

      Ingrid,  I will say one more thing about the choice to go ahead or to follow the pack. Since 2020 will be your first year, following the pack has a couple of advantages. First, as long as you keep the pack in sight you won’t get lost. The actual route the pack takes may not be the shortest. May not be what your GPS tells you. Second, following the pack and the exact route they take you will get to be at the tail of the parade as the pack exits the highway and you’ll not miss all the wonderful folks who turn out to support the run. I have not ridden a motorcycle on the run. My (4) All The Way runs have always been as a Chase Truck. So I ALWAYS have been behind the pack. I’m not necessarily disagreeing with the other posts here. But I do have a different perspective than a rider IN the pack. That said, on my first run I did take 1 or 2 legs ahead of the pack just so I could get some photos of the whole group and to stop on an overpass to thank the patriots who come out for us. This will be an experience like none other you have ever had, Whatever you do I know that you will enjoy the run, the emotions and yes, the tears. Be sure to keep a box of tissues on the seat next to you. I promise, sooner or later, you will need them.

      CR Chase 4 '14, '15, '18, '19, ('20*)
      Sgt USMC 62-66
      Chu Lai 65-66

    • #17928
      LilDragonLilDragon
      Participant

      Doug, your comment about the GPS made me chuckle. A friend from out of state wanted to come for a visit  (his first) and he had the address, of course. I got a frantic phone call that he is “here”, at least according to his GPS, but he doesn’t think this is the right place. It was not, he was several miles from my house. LOL
      So yes, I do agree that keeping the pack in sight might be the better idea, but being ahead a couple miles has advantages as well. I still have a couple of weeks to make up my mind where I will be…. but in any case I learned that regardless of where I will be (front or back), that I will not be alone, which was one of the worries I had, and that other cages will be there as well.
      As for the box of tissues, I’ll have some with me, I promise.
      And THANK YOU again for all your help and input.

    • #17947
      LaneLane
      Participant

      Welcome to the family…. Last year was our FNG year…this year I will be driving in a cage (Midway route) because my husband is riding as a road guard.  I can assure you that no matter what or how you go you will find the itinerary very detailed and easy to follow.  The upside of riding in front is that you can get in and check into the hotel and get your laundry going before all the gang arrives.  Don’t sweat it… there will be others with you.

      Lane Flynn
      2019 ATW - MR

      • #18197
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Lane, thank you so much for your reply. The more I learn the more I realize that there will be many cages and I’m not the only one.  When I posted my msg I had no clue what to look forward to and felt a bit lost, but you (and others) made it easy with all the information and input. THANKS, and safe driving! 🙂

    • #17984

      Let me join others in welcoming you to the family.

      Keep in mind that you will have options and the route itinerary will be invaluable.   There may be legs of the Run where it will make sense for you to travel ahead of the pack and others where you’ll want to travel behind.  Feel free to ask questions from Run leadership.

      FNG MR 2017
      MR 2017 Tailgunner
      CR 2018 Participant

      • #18198
        LilDragonLilDragon
        Participant

        Thanks for your reply, Michael, and for your input what’s the best place to be and for your Welcome 🙂 . And so sorry that I missed your reply before…I just saw it.  🙂

    • #18130
      AvatarZiptie
      Participant

      LilDragon, first off Welcome to the Run! When you receive your registration packet, there will be a booklet enclosed with day by day details of the days events including the address of each stop with directions to get there (roads, exits, etc). Have a good GPS with you and plug in the destination of each stop. It is important that you are there to experience each stop. I am the Rear Road Guard on Midway and my responsibility to give the 10 and 5 minute warnings to prepare the riders for departure. I would suggest to you to leave ahead of the pack with the 10 minute warning and follow your GPS and written directions.

      Tom Wistrand “Ziptie”

      Midway Route Rear Road Guard

    • #18199
      LilDragonLilDragon
      Participant

      Thank you, Ziptie, also for the Welcome. 🙂 . I usually use Google Maps that only led me astray one time and that was long ago… so I hope Maps will “behave” in an area where I’m a stranger and not lead me to a road sign that says “Welcome to Alaska!”, LOL
      Seriously now, I’m glad you mention details like the pre-warnings that will be given, and I will certainly pay attention to the details. Can’t wait! 🙂

    • #18239
      Ghost RiderGhost Rider
      Participant

      A huge reason to be ahead of the pack and not behind is one the Rear Road Guards roll through an intersection the traffic that has been held for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes will be released by the law enforcement officer and or Road Guards. It is an absolute mess behind the rear Road Guards and any possible rear LEO Escort. It can take 30 minutes to an hour to work your way past the pack on the highway. Many times cages will either decide to take pictures of the bikes or they are intimidated by the bikes and are afraid to pass. The pack will be 3.5 to 4.5 miles long depending on the day.

      Ray Wyatt
      2017 Southern Route Coordinator
      2016 Southern Route Assistant Route Coordinator
      2014-15 Road Guard Captain
      2011-2013, 2018 -2019 Road Guard
      Mission > Self

    • #18377
      PopeyePopeye
      Participant

      Lil Dragon, if your friend has a CB on his bike, you can put one in your vehicle and then communicate (as long as your not on the same channel as  the group). Another is Bluetooth, but that would be cell phone calls instead. Your friend would have to have a Sena (or similar) Bluetooth headset on his helmet.

       

      JR May (AKA Popeye)
      Member of American Legion Post 38, Somerset KY
      Member of AMVETS Post 125 Somerset KY
      Member AMVETS Riders Post 125 Somerset, KY
      Member of Patriot Guard Riders
      Member Man O'War HOG Chapter Lexington, KY
      Army Vet

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