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Corner Marking Revisited

Submitted by John_Cook on Fri, 15/04/2022 - 5:32pm

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When I joined the club some 30 years ago there were a whole lot of guidelines, procedures or “rules” related to the conduct of branch or club related rides. 
The Ulysses Club Members’ Handbook now details that The National Committee has advised and directed that branches are to abolish any Branch Ride Rules, either written or otherwise.
The Club does not carry insurance for members on rides, as members are required to comply with State laws in relation to registration and insurance of their vehicles, and to comply with the requirements of the various laws and also the conditions of their insurance policies.
The Club policy is that “the Club does not endorse any ride procedure, rather a meeting place for rides to leave from, and individual’s choice as to where and how they ride, subject to road and traffic conditions and regulations.”

That makes sense to me, as we cannot override road laws and our primary consideration should always be the safety of both ourselves and other road users.  We also need to display due courtesy to other ride participants and other road users.

Some advice or comments on Corner Marking safely and effectively.

We have been using a corner marking system for almost 40 years now and it has generally worked well even when most of us didn’t have mobile phones or communication systems.
During the vast majority of rides Melbourne Branch has generally used a two corner marker system and it has generally worked well.
Now I would like to say something about placing corner markers safely and effectively
That means making them visible before the corner and in a place where they’re safe.  It is up to the ride leader to suggest a position and the actual corner marker to be comfortable that the suggested position is actually safe.   

Stopping right opposite a right turn on a through road is out and out dangerous.  Please don’t do it.   
If, for example several people stop to give way to oncoming traffic it is likely a following vehicle could veer left to avoid the turners and inadvertently run over and potentially kill a corner marker.  A distracted driver could easily do that to you. 
Stop a good distance before a corner in a safe position off the road and secondly give a very clear signal of where the ride is going.  Keep an eye on the mirrors while doing this.

The second corner marker should be placed in a visible (but safe) location to confirm the direction of the ride. 
In the event that a rider “overshoots” or continues on, that second marker could go after that person while the original corner marker keeps pointing people in the correct direction. 
When the Tail End Charlie arrives, both could wait for the others to return so the ride does not become disjointed.  I am aware of several incidents where this did not happen, and the lost person was left to that person’s own devices. 
While these are not prescriptive rules, we should do our best to make sure we all enjoy rides and do our best to look after each other and make things as enjoyable as possible.  Please point clearly, sitting by the road with a left blinker going when we are meant to turn right simply isn’t helpful.
John Cook                         


Well that certainly started a discussion on that other platform!
Can we all please remember we plan these things for enjoyment. 
Getting home with ourselves, our bikes and our licences intact greatly enhances our enjoyment I contend. 
Simply riding safely with courtesy and consideration to others including the way we overtake also goes a long way.    

Hiccups occur at times of stress (breakdowns or breakdown of group are examples) so I will repeat what was written well over 20 years ago with regard to the people actually corner marking
This is an interesting lift from corner marking guidelines written many many years ago:
"Both of these riders (corner markers) should remain where they are, indicating the required change of direction until signalled to ride on by the Tail End Charlie.  The reason for this is simple, if someone breaks down one member can stay at the corner, the other can go back, after a reasonable time, and find out what the problem is. However, please don't under any circumstances leave a designated corner 'UNMARKED' until instructed to move on by the Rear Rider."
Mobile phones have certainly improved communication since those guidelines were written, so it is always a great idea if everyone is aware of the ride leader's contact number (it is always publicised) and if all else fails checking the website on your smart phone should reveal the ride leader's details anyway.   Also a great idea if the ride leader and Tail End Charlie (Rear Rider) have each other's details.

We all participate to enjoy and hopefully assist each other when required.  People are stressed and not thinking all that well after a breakdown or an "off" occurs, so please remain and ensure everything is actually OK before continuing.  If you stop when a problem occurs, think of the others - does the ride leader know? etc.   We have the technology to communicate better these days.