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PostPosted: April 28, 2016, 8:33 pm 
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Location: Shawnee, Ks
Here are some pointers for organizing a “Gathering”:

Most of the cars burn Premium non-ethanol gas. So be sure to know where the gas stations are that carry it are. Also gas stops can be a good opportunity for the locals to see our cars.
Gas tanks on our cars are not very large and the cars vary in their MPG so plan on gas and rest stops every 100-150 miles MAX!!

Breakdowns are common so have the phone number of a tow service that has “flat –tow” trucks.

On the subject of breakdowns, be sure to allow extra time in your schedule to allow for these. Don’t have your schedule so tight that you can’t make a reservation if someone breaks down.

Don’t leave too early in the morning. Some of the drivers are old, retired, and not “Morning People”. 9-10:00am are good start times.

Try to have most of the drives end about 4:00pm. This will allow time to get back to the hotel to clean up before dinner.

Have emergency routes on your maps just in case someone has to leave the group and find a quick way back to the hotel.

Know how to get to the closest hospital from anywhere along the route.

Remember some cars are not as fast as the others or the driver does not like to drive fast. You are only as fast as your slowest driver. So plan on stopping and waiting for the string to catch-up. It is best to keep the slower drivers toward the front of the pack. That keeps the fast drivers from pushing the lead car too much. Don’t turn off the road that you are driving on until everyone catches up. Have a set vehicle be the” tail end Charlie”. It is always best to have it be a brightly colored one so it is easier to spot.

If it takes you 2 hours to do a specific part of your route while you are scouting, figure it will take at least 2 ¾ hours for the actual event. Traveling with a group takes a lot longer.

Everyone should have everyone’s cell phone number. This is good just in case someone gets lost. Two way radios never seem to work and sometimes even cell coverage is questionable. I always have my phone around my neck so when I get a call I can feel it vibrate. You can’t hear the phone ring in one of our cars at speed.

Have some free time for people to do what they want to do.

Try to have several picturesque spots picked out to have a group photo.

Some people can’t afford expensive hotels so know where to find cheaper ones or where to camp nearby.

Plan on visiting a few local points of interest but try to not spend a lot of time there. Everyone came there to drive.

Always warn local restaurants several days ahead of us arriving so they can have extra staff on hand to handle the crowd. It is always a good idea to call them the day that we are going to be there to give them a more accurate count and to remind them we are coming that day.

Long boring trips on a high speed, straight freeway, should be avoided if possible.

It is nice if everyone has a route sheet with them for that day’s drive. It allows them to know where they are on the route. Also a good state map should be given to each driver. Chamber of Commerce is a good place to find maps and things to do and see. Most CoC’s will put together packets for your group if you give them enough time ahead of the event.

I guarantee it will rain on at least one of your drives. So live with it!!!!! Most of the guys do not like driving in the rain. Think about modifying the route.

An evening that we can “sit around the campfire” to BS and tell stories, drink, relax, and pass out awards and prizes is always a nice touch.

Tell everyone when driving in a convoy to have their lights on. It makes them easier to see the string of cars. Remind everyone to turn them off at stops.

When driving through cities with stop signs and traffic lights it is very easy to lose people. So try to avoid them if possible or have a rallying point on the leaving side of the town.

Be welcoming of all types of cars to join the drives. Don’t PooPoo non-Se7en cars.

Wineries and distilleries are always a good idea.

Name tags for each participant are nice but the peel off kind NEVER stay on and are a waste of money.

Participation awards are nice but they are expensive. So if you are doing that be sure you can afford them.

Be sure to plan ahead. People are coming from all over the country for your event. Be organized but flexible.

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PostPosted: April 28, 2016, 9:22 pm 
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Joined: December 17, 2010, 1:24 pm
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
Russ, I just read this today over at USA7s while this forum was down. I kinda figgered it was you. Good read! I will keep this handy as I would really like to get another "Gathering" here in my neck of the Ozarks someday. Thank you for the words of wisdom. :thmbsup:

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PostPosted: January 16, 2017, 1:36 am 
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BUMP! Thought someone might like to see this again. :D

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PostPosted: June 8, 2020, 8:25 pm 
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Joined: March 3, 2006, 10:48 pm
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Location: Shawnee, Ks
Bump again. Good info for anyone planning a get together, Russ

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PostPosted: August 18, 2020, 4:30 pm 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
> Have a set vehicle be the” tail end Charlie”.

The slower drivers can get *really* stressed if they feel they're being left behind. Some of them aren't comfortable on secondary roads, or they want to take in the scenery, or they're not interested in courting a ticket from sporty driving.

Back when I used to ride with the sportbikes.net guys I'd drop back to the rear every now and then, taking my turn to make sure those guys didn't feel like they'd been abandoned. If they couldn't see the rest of the pack, they might as well be by themselves... some groups have at least one person assigned to ride in back, just so the slower riders aren't the tail end Charlies.

The ride leaders mapped out rest stops, usually about an hour apart. It depended on the terrain more than distance. Stops were generally fifteen minutes, and they officially started when the last guy rolled up, which chapped some of the faster riders a bit. Ride time was figured by the posted speed limit; even the slow riders got their full rest stop. If anyone was missing after the "official" arrival time, guys would double back to look for them; cellular service was rare in most of the places we rode.

I've only been to one Gathering, and the participants were much older than the pack of psychotic hoons on sportbikes. Plus most had their wives along. Age, bladder size, and medications can dictate a pit stop *now* before an official stop, so you'd have to figure at least one car will have to make an unscheduled pit stop on the segment, and will therefore arrive late.

100-150 miles would definitely be the max. Some sportbikes had a hard time making 100 miles at full wail; a rorty Locost with a 7 gallon tank might not do much better. Worrying about fuel is stressful, and some Locosters might not have a good idea of what their range actually is. And some use a dipstick instead of a fuel gauge... 75 miles might be a better number to shoot for, assuming fuel is available. And idea is to have fun, not sweating whether you're going to make it to the next gas pump.

The Prime Directive on the sportbike rides was "if you drop out, let someone know first." Because otherwise the authorities would be involved in the search for the crash site. If Jim and Sandra decide to stop to check out the Big Ball of String or one of them suddenly doesn't feel well, it will hose everyone else's enjoyment if they turn back to look for them. Even if there's no cellular service, they can stop at the first land line and call back to the gathering hotel; if nobody chose to stay behind, the hotel will usually be glad to take a message, though it's polite to ask if it's OK first.

Some drivers will treat the route as a race. You need to have a policy for that, even if it's "go ahead and we'll catch up later" or "pack your stuff and find a different hotel."

Support vehicles are nice; a minivan or SUV with some fuel and tools can be a lifesaver, and if it starts to rain some of the wives might appreciate a dry ride back to the hotel, or someone's car breaks down unfixably, they don't have to find their own way back. It's not wimpy, the Bandidos and Hell's Angels ride with support vehicles.

I did a few street rod tours long ago; I had no idea of what kind of planning was involved to make it happen, but the street rods are closer to Locosts than sportbikes, particularly "built from scratch, not fully debugged, and a long way from home." It might be worth checking out some of their forums to see what they've come up with.


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PostPosted: August 18, 2020, 4:40 pm 
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Location: central Arkansas
> Always warn local restaurants several days ahead of us arriving so they can have extra staff on hand to handle the crowd.
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For "scenic, picturesque" places, a dozen people is a lot. That's maybe seven cars and a chase car. It would be a good idea to ask how much seating they're likely to have, or if they have outdoor tables, or even folding tables and chairs. (some places will cater, and might have them)

I was at a little place near Hot Springs, Arkansas some years ago when a string of muscle cars started arriving. Someone shouted "They're HERE!" and most of the staff charged outside to greet the arrivals. Obviously they were expected and welcomed...

Remember, small places are only set up to cook so much food at once, so it might take more time than you expect for everyone to get their meal. Worst case scenario, you could split the group between two restaurants, but you'd need to decide who stops where before you leave.


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PostPosted: August 18, 2020, 4:47 pm 
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Location: central Arkansas
> Wineries and distilleries are always a good idea.

Mountainous areas often have cave tours, which can be really nice on a hot day. Most of them have attached or nearby activities for people who aren't going to go down into a hole in the ground, are you nuts?

There are many really nice cave tours in the Ozarks; some of them fancy enough to have elevators, fancy lighting, and wheelchair access. (after far enough in a Locost, it might sound like a great idea...) Tours usually take 30 to 60 minutes, but you'd want to reserve a slot for the group, otherwise there might not be enough slots for everyone to be on the same tour, which would be "down time" for the ones who got left out.


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