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:
1) The Tour Leader – The tour leader is always the lead bike.
2) The Backmarker – The Backmarker is always the last bike.
3) The Marker – Markers are anybody else within the group.
The system requires you have one person at the front of the group (the tour leader) who will be your leader 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 be instructed to 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 to work as a team and the markers get rotated from front to back and gradually move up to the front again.
This method works extremely well and we have ridden in large groups all over Europe without anybody getting lost. However, it does rely on everybody understanding the system and doing their part and looking after their fellow riders within the group.
This method 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 then everybody else (the markers) can ride at their own pace and overtake each other (safely) or stop for quick photo’s etc.
If you chose to stop for any reason wave your fellow riders past and keep yourself visible until the back marker is with you.
Hopefully you will find this information helpful, it’s a great system when riding with a group.