The Shearwaters Corner Marking System has been designed to ensure a ride flows smoothly and all riders reach their destination.
Ride Leader The rider who organises the ride, leads the group to it's destination and sets the pace of the ride. No rider can pass the ride leader.
Tail End Charlie The rider who travels at the end of the group, ensuring no rider gets lost and all riders reach the destination. Tail End Charlie cannot pass any other rider and will always be the last rider.
Corner Marking System * When approaching a corner, junction or any other change in direction, the Ride Leader will indicate with his/her left arm for the rider immediately behind, (the second rider) to MARK the corner.
* To do this, the rider behind the ride leader should pull over at a safe distance before the turn and indicate to the following riders with his arm and bike indicators, which direction to take.
* On exiting the corner, the Ride Leader will again indicate with his/her left arm for the new rider immediately behind to MARK the exit to the corner or junction. That rider, should pull over just around the corner, preferably within view of the first corner marker. * At a roundabout and where there is no left or right turn, the Ride Leader, as he/she exits the roundabout, will indicate with his/her left arm to the rider immediately behind on the opposite side of the roundabout to mark the direction of travel
* Both of corner markers MUST remain where they are, until signalled to ride on by the Tail End Charlie or instructed to by the Ride Leader. In the event of an accident or breakdown, the Ride Leader may send word back down the line for some riders to retrace their steps, however, please don't under any circumstances leave a designated corner 'UNMARKED' until instructed to.
Safety * Be safe when corner marking. Parking on the road itself is dangerous. Park as far to the left as possible, or better still, mount the curb side, traffic island, median strip etc where appropriate. Otherwise you are likely to get run into, not by the bike approaching but by the one behind who does not have a fair view - or worse still, the car behind the car who cannot see you.
Common Problems * The most common fault that we get with the corner marking system is when members fail to watch for oncoming riders, or they anticipate a greater time prior to the arrival of the Tail End Charlie and get distracted, with for example having a smoke or chat with their pillion. * This both slows the ride, leaves on-coming riders uncertain as to which direction to go, and inconveniences Tail End Charlie who 'due to club policy' must stop and wait for the corner markers to get moving. * Another potentially dangerous problem is where the corner marker fails to clearly indicate (for whatever reason) the direction of travel. This put a great deal of uncertainty in the mind of the oncoming rider who, at the last possible minute, may have to choose which direction to take.
Advantages * The advantage of using a corner marking system is that it makes for a smooth ride where riders at all levels from learners to the experienced can freely travel at their own pace. * If riders wish to travel faster, they will end up corner marking more often. If riders choose a more leisurely pace then only occasionally will they be required to corner mark. * No-one ever gets lost and there is no need to be constantly looking at a map - in fact, you don't even have to know where you are going.