This is a commonly used system in group ride out’s, everybody within the group needs to understand the system in order to avoid anyone getting lost.
There is 3 types of rider within this system:
The system requires you have one person at the front of the group (the tour leader) who will be familiar with the route and will always stay at the front of the group and will navigate the way.
The system also requires you have one person at the back of the group (the backmarker), who will stay at the back of the group throughout the entire ride. These are the only two riders who remain in their position within the group.
At a junction, a roundabout, fork in the road, or any change of direction that may not be obvious to rest of the group, the rider behind the tour leader (the marker) will stop in a safe place and indicate the route direction to the rest of the group. I will emphasise again that you must stop in a safe place, if it’s your turn to mark a junction think of your own safety first and only mark the junction where it’s safe to do so.
The whole group must pass ‘the marker’ except the backmarker. The marker then re-joins the group in front of ‘the backmarker’. This approach involves the entire group and the markers get rotated from front to back and gradually move up to the front again.
This system works extremely well, however it does rely on everybody understanding the methods and doing their part in looking after their fellow riders within the group. Although we appreciate this system is not fool proof, we believe this to be the best one and it allows everybody to ride at their own pace within the group, (as long as the ‘tour leader’ is always at the front and ‘the backmarker’ is always the last bike). Everybody else (the markers) can ride at their own pace and overtake each other (safely) or stop for quick photos etc.
Hopefully you will find this information helpful, it’s a great system when riding with a group of mates on a Sunday blast too.