Overall, I think our Great Allegheny Passage / C & O tour was very successful but I think it could have been a lot less tension if everyone agreed on some established rules of group touring.
This thread is intended to discuss the golden rules of unsupported group touring. This thread is NOT intended to debate the pros and cons of group or solo touring. Please debate that in another thread.
A group will be defined as a number of people any greater than one. Some of the rules may only apply for groups of three or more people. A tour is a ride from one to many days.
Please add your own rules or make suggestions of changing some of the existing ones. If someone want to "wordsmith" some of the rules feel free.
These are not hard and fast rules. Merely guidelines. Unforeseen things occur and rules were meant to be broken but if you try to follow some of these rules, I think it will make for a more enjoyable groups tour.
I will start.
1. The group organizer is not the group leader. If you are looking for someone to attend to your every need then seek out a paid supported tour.
2. You are responsible for getting yourself to the next destination, in the event of illness fatigue or injury. While some kind person may act as SAG, please don't expect it.
3. You are responsible for bringing the proper gear. Don't expect to borrow anything. There are plenty of lists on the internet. If you are still not sure what to bring then ask. Most of these lists have been trimmed pretty closely to save weight. There is a reason for almost every item on the list. Don't assume you won't need the item. If you aren't sure then ask.
4. You are responsible for your own lodging each night. If you intent is to camp then don't expect to pile into someone's room, that had the foresight to make reservations. You can always make your own reservations in case of foul weather and cancel them and camp if the weather is nice. Don't ask to share a room if you are not prepared to share in the cost.
5. You are responsible for feeding yourself. Do not ask others to share their food or even make hints for sharing. If you go out to dinner then do not expect others to come looking for you. It is your responsibility to arrange dinner out, with others.
6. You are expected to pay your own way. This means bringing bank cards, credit cards and plenty of cash. If you get stuck and do need to borrow then every attempt should be made to pay back the lender at the next town, even if it is a dollar or two.
7. You are responsible for arranging for riding companions. You will be expected to make every effort to be on time for your departure. If you like a big breakfast or are slow mover in the morning then get up early to prepare for the days ride.
8. If you are a slow rider then do not expect others to wait on you for dinner or post ride activities. If you are a slow rider and would like to participate in post ride activities then get an early start.
9. If you start riding with a group and want to drop back or go ahead then get the agreement of others in your group. Everyone in the group should do a cell phone check so that you can keep tabs on one another.
10. For one way tours, it is your responsibility to get yourself back home. If someone makes arrangements for the group, then it is your responsibility to understand the agreement of the arrangements. The day of departure is no time to be making changes to the agreement. It is your responsibility to be at the departure location when the group is leaving. Do not expect others to wait on you.