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PARTICIPANT GUIDE


REQUIRED - IN GENERAL


  1. Wear your seat belt at all times when you are in your car.

  2. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in and around any participating car during the event. Each participating car may be inspected for compliance at any time during the event.

  3. Attend drivers meeting at the beginning of each day's drive. DO pay attention to information, advice, and suggestions at this meeting. Almost always there is a change or some information you wish you had.


    REQUIRED - PREPARATION FOR YOU AND YOUR CAR


  4. Make sure your seat position is best for you and your car. Please click on the image below to watch a video which will guide you in positioning your seat and steering wheel in the best position.


  5. Given the nature of this event, the timely communication of road hazard information between drivers contributes greatly to the safety of the drivers. Therefore, each participating car will be required to have one functioning FRS/GMRS radio (walkie-talkie) which is compatible with FRS/GMRS Motorola radios. This radio must prove to be functioning properly and adequately by passing the Radio Test conducted at the start of the event. Cars without a properly functioning radio will not be allowed to participate in the event. Most radios are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased from Walmart or Best Buy. In addition to the safety aspect, radios also contribute greatly to your driving enjoyment by allowing you to participate in entertaining conversations that go on throughout the day. In past drives, many people who didn't have them felt left out of many conversations and in the dark regarding what was going on.

  6. On your radio: Please make sure to TURN OFF the VOX feature which is the voice activated hands-free communication mechanism on your radio (if available). Keeping VOX off will prevent unnecessary interference with communications.

  7. Have a technical inspection form completed for your car at your shop of choice. See the forms page to download this form. Bring completed form to check-in on event day. You will not be allowed to drive with the group without a properly completed technical inspection form.

  8. The tires of your car are required to have a minimum of 4/32 of an inch of tire tread. All cars will be inspected to verify the tires meet this requirement. Tread will be checked in three spots -- left and right edges and center. Any tread depth less than 4/32 of an inch will disqualify your car from participating in the Stampede. NO EXCEPTIONS!

    Note: Monitor your tread depth especially if you will be participating in any track day prior to the Stampede which can eat up a lot of tread.

  9. Check air pressure in each tire to ensure it meets minimum requirements for your car. Inflate to higher pressure depending on your driving style.

  10. Make sure your spare tire is inflated to proper pressure. Most people forget to do this.

  11. Ensure your car's brakes are working perfectly (rotors, piston seals, brake pads, brake fluid etc. all okay).

  12. Arrive at the starting point each morning with a full tank of gas. It's not nice to hold up 30 or more people who want to be on the road while you're filling up. If it's a long drive to the starting point, leave early enough to fill up your car's tank near the starting point.

  13. All drivers and passengers should be prepared to show their actual valid drivers license (no copies will be accepted) and proof of automobile liability insurance coverage to the Tourmaster, staff, or volunteer during check-in at the starting point. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to drive or ride with the group.

  14. Your vehicle should be in good mechanical condition. You don't want to have a breakdown miles from the nearest service station or tow truck - but if you do have a breakdown we will assist you in any way possible.

  15. Torque lug nuts at recommended rate.

  16. Bring cash for eating out. Restaurants in rural areas usually do not accept credit cards or personal checks.

  17. Get a good night of rest the night before. With a challenging road course, your attention level needs to be at the highest level possible.


    REQUIRED - WHILE DRIVING


  18. PLEASE HELP THE TOURMASTER KEEP THE RAGING BULL TEXAS STAMPEDE A SAFE DRIVING EVENT FOR EVERYONE.

  19. IF YOU OBSERVE ANYONE PUT YOU, THEMSELVES, OR SOMEONE ELSE IN DANGER DURING THE DRIVE, PLEASE REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.

    THE TOURMASTER WILL HAVE A DISCREET AND APPROPRIATE CONVERSATION WITH THE REPORTED DRIVER(S).

  20. We want to have a great time driving country roads and doing it safely by following two overarching principles:

    1. We must conduct ourselves with the highest level of maturity and consideration for our fellow Bull Riders and the local people whose roads we are enjoying.

    2. We must strive to maintain a low-key presence everywhere we go. We must basically try to be invisible. But when we are visible and noticed, to leave local residents and drivers (and your fellow Bull Riders) with a positive impression.

  21. Following the two overarching principles above will be most critical in how we behave in the presence of local drivers. With all the curves and double-yellow lines, your greatest challenge will be when you are tempted to get impatient and pass local drivers when you shouldn't.

    Never forget that when driving near local drivers and residents as part of the Raging Bull Texas Stampede, you are not an anonymous lone driver passing through without being noticed and never to be remembered again, but a representative of the Raging Bull Texas Stampede. Your behavior directly reflects upon the reputation of the Tourmaster and the Raging Bull Texas Stampede group as a whole.

    Treat local residents and drivers with the greatest of respect. We are on their turf, in their neighborhood. They are protective of it. Never forget that their general impression of "outsiders" in fancy sports cars has already been determined by the worst experiences they have had -- which you have no control over because it was caused by other drivers.

    If you get stuck behind a slow-moving local driver, don't tailgate or intimidate them in any way. Don't display any impatience. Fall back and give them plenty of room. If you do this, most times, they will appreciate your patience and respect and make an effort to pull off the road and let you and our group pass.

    Don't pass local drivers at the risk of putting them in danger. Wait patiently until there is a long straight-a-way when it is safe to pass. After passing them, do not return to your own lane until you are at least 2 seconds ahead of them. Give a friendly wave after you pass them. They will appreciate that. Follow the applicable rules listed in this section, especially the rules and practices regarding safe passing (#28 through #33).

    REMEMBER:
    1. If we upset the locals, they will likely complain to LEOs, which can only result in stricter speed enforcement or perhaps a stop by a LEO later down the road when we least expect it
    2. Many of them resent your freely taking advantage of the beautiful countryside they live - where they moved to get away from city people like you
    3. Many of them see you as invading their privacy
    4. Many of them resent you for driving on their roads
    5. Many of them resent you for driving an expensive sports car
    6. Many of them resent you for having the free time to come out and invade their beautiful countryside for your own selfish pleasures
    7. Many of them resent you for having the money to come indulge in such pleasures at their expense

    Therefore, if any local is bothered by your behavior, they will surely embellish what actually happened to make you look as bad as possible and compel LEOs to do something about it. We do not need any more attention than we already attract as a large group.

  22. In accordance with our overarching principle to maintain a low-key presence, while driving through or dining at small towns along our route, PLEASE do NOT rev your engines, do burn-outs or make any other unnecessary noises which that will be perceived as disturbing the peace. Doing so will only attract unwanted attention from LEOs.

  23. Keep your vehicle's headlights OFF. Having them on defeats the goal of maintaining a low-key presence.

  24. NEVER overtake the Tourmaster's car unless you have been given verbal permission.

    THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT DRIVING RULES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
    #25                         Lane discipline: Stay in the center of your lane
    #26                         Maintain a safe following distance
    #27                         Ride the Bull at your own safe pace
    #28 through #33     Always follow safe passing/overtaking practices

  25. LANE DISCIPLINE: STAY IN THE CENTER OF YOUR LANE
    Don't EVER cross the yellow (center) line (except when passing another car).
    Don't EVER cross the white line (if there is one) on the right edge of the road.
    Stay in the center of your lane especially driving through curves and tight corners.

    1. IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.
    2. Even when you have a clear line of sight through a turn, stay to the right of the centerline and to the left of the white line.
    3. When you cross the centerline or white line, you are putting yourself, your fellow drivers, and the traveling public in grave danger. By crossing the yellow centerline, you and your vehicle are at risk of colliding with oncoming traffic. By crossing the white line on the right edge of the road (or by driving on the non-asphalt surface), you risk losing control of your car (due to lack of adequate traction and/or inferior surface quality)
    4. When you cross the centerline or white line in curves, it is a sign that you are driving too fast.
    5. Public roads are not a track and no place to be apexing in the corners.
    6. Staying on the right side of the centerline is much more challenging than simply straightening out every corner.
    7. When the whole group is committed to this intelligent practice, the temptation to cheat is eliminated through peer pressure and logic.
    8. Always stay in the center of your lane, except to avoid specific visible obstacles on the road. Do NOT apex even within your own lane (see next bullet).
    9. Staying in the center of your lane will give you equal space (i.e. protection) against gravel and other road debris to your right and oncoming traffic crossing the centerline to your left.
    10. Road debris and dust usually accumulate on or near the centerline (because it is the least traveled area of the road). Driving on or near the centerline will pick up and throw debris to the car(s) behind you.
    11. Staying in the center of your lane will also help you avoid hitting roadkill which is more likely to be on or near the centerline.
    12. Road debris and dust also accumulate on or near the right edge of the road. Driving on or near the right edge of the road will pick up and throw debris to the car(s) behind you.

  26. MAINTAIN A SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE between your car and the car in front of you. Follow the 2-second rule: Identify a marker along the road you are driving on. Your car should pass that marker no sooner than 2 seconds after the car in front of you passes that marker. If it is less than 2 seconds, you are driving too close to the car in front of you. Adequate distance between your car and the one in front of you will give you time to safely and properly respond to road hazards ahead. It will also help avoid damaging your car's paint finish by road debris thrown by the car in front of you. Be particularly careful to leave adequate space as you approach cattleguards where the car in front of you may slow down unexpectedly.

    Maintaining a safe and reasonable distance also applies to approach/closing speeds. When approaching/closing in on another vehicle from behind at significantly higher speeds than the vehicle in front of you, please slow your car's speed to the speed of the car in front of you within a following distance in accordance with the 2-second rule. Approaching cars at much higher speeds might cause the driver of the car in front of you to become intimidated and/or worried you won't be able to stop without hitting his car or might suddenly startle an unsuspecting driver causing him to go off the road.

  27. RIDE THE RAGING BULL AT YOUR OWN SAFE PACE
    Don't ever pressure or push yourself to keep up with faster drivers. There will ALWAYS be faster drivers than you. Don't try to be King of the Hill. It's not worth taking the risks.

    You should drive at your own safe, not some else's pace.

    We're driving on public roads, so expect the unexpected at ANY time.
    Expect the unexpected beyond every blind hill, behind every blind turn.

    At any moment, you can come upon the following ALONG YOUR ROAD:

    1. roadkill, buzzards feeding on roadkill
    2. cattle, deer, dogs crossing the road
    3. stopped vehicles
    4. slow-moving convoys
    5. pick-up trucks or trailers backing into the road or your lane
    6. people riding horseback
    7. bikers, cyclists
    8. large tree limbs
    9. tractors, ranching equipment
    10. dirt, sand, gravel, rocks, loose asphalt pieces, and other road debris.

    Therefore, leave yourself plenty of room for errors, misjudgments, and unexpected road hazards (some of which are listed above.)

    ALWAYS REMEMBER:
    It only takes ONE error,
    ONE misjudgment of the road, your speed, the handling of your car, anything,
    ONE moment of distraction to:
    • ruin your car,
    • seriously hurt yourself
    • seriously hurt your navigator,
    • and possibly kill both of you.

    Nobody's going to congratulate you at your bedside in the hospital for that one last risk you took for whatever reason. At your gravesite, no one's going to praise your courage for taking that one last risk which ended your life and the life of your passenger.

    So leave yourself plenty of room for errors, misjudgments, and unexpected road hazards.

    Be a responsible driver: Know your limits. Know the limits of your car. And stay well within them.

    Your mindset should be of enjoying driving your car at a safe pace with plenty of room for errors, misjudgments, and unexpected road hazards.

    The Raging Bull Texas Stampede IS NOT A RACE.
    Racing is to be done on closed tracks. The Stampede is held on public roads. Therefore, racing and trying to keep up with or pass faster drivers has no place on public roads. A former Bull Rider once summed it up accurately when he said that the spirit of the Stampede was "...the overall feeling of camaraderie through the group... the bonding of everyone there to work together and complete the Stampede... No one goes to show who's the best driver, who has the fastest car, who has the most mods. We all go to enjoy our cars for their purpose: to be driven."

    You will not get left behind.
    You do not need to drive faster than you should because you are worried you may get left behind in the middle of nowhere. The group will stop to regroup at virtually every turn (with special consideration given to turns that are easy to miss). It is rare for the group to wait more than a minute or two for everyone to regroup. The Tourmaster will not continue until he gets confirmation that the last car has caught up or made the turn.

    Position yourself in the right place in the Stampede
    Each driver feels comfortable driving at a different pace. It's simple: If you are comfortable with the pace of the Tourmaster, stay in the front part of the group. If you like driving near the speed limit to enjoy the scenery, stay at the back end of the group. The rest should position themselves between the leading group and the tail group.

  28. ALWAYS FOLLOW SAFE PASSING/OVERTAKING PRACTICES
    Following safe passing/overtaking practices is the most important of the four most impotant driving rules because failure to execute this properly carries the greatest safety risk to you and others.

    You may pass other Bull Riders as you wish, but only if it is safe to do so. Passing other cars can be lots of fun, but do not take any unnecessary risks to do so.

    Please click on the image below to watch a video which will teach you the passing rules and method expected to be followed by all participants as well as watch a demonstration of the Stampede Passing Method.


    If you would rather read than watch the video, the rest of #28 through #33 will cover the passing rules and Stampede Passing Method expected to be followed by all participants of the Raging Bull Texas Stampede (i.e. whatever is taught in the video.)

    You may skip to #34 if you've watched the video in its entirety.

    1. NEVER, EVER attempt to pass another Bull Rider approaching a hilltop or curve (which is virtually always a double yellow center line i.e. a no-passing zone).
      IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.
    2. Try to pass on long straights when there is maximum visibility of potential traffic ahead. Do not attempt to pass unless you have visual confirmation that there is no oncoming traffic.
    3. ALWAYS look in your mirrors to make sure someone else is not trying to pass you already (otherwise you may run into them or run them off of the road!)
    4. ALWAYS use your car's turn signals (more on this below)
    5. ALWAYS make sure you are 2 seconds ahead of the car you just passed BEFORE merging back into the lane so that your car doesn't spew the car you just passed with rocks and debris from your car's tires.
      IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER.
    6. PLAN to have adequate space in front of the other car AFTER you pass it.
      1. DO NOT assume the car you plan to pass will or can make room for your car after you pass it.
      2. DO NOT plan to force the car you will pass to brake to let you in front of it. You will be placing everyone nearby in needless danger.
      IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.
    7. NEVER attempt to pass another car when someone else is already in the process of passing other cars behind you (it compounds the risks to everyone nearby). The car already in the process of passing cars behind you has planned its move. Wait until he/she is done with his/her pass before you begin yours.
      IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.
    8. NEVER pass another car on a curve.
      IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.

  29. RADIO-ASSISTED PASSING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED
    With all the curves and double-yellow lines, some drivers will be tempted to pass locals using their radios. As mentioned above, passing/overtaking is the most important of the four most important driving rules. Passing -- blindly -- by relying on information passed on through the radio is recklessly dangerous and strictly prohibited.

    1. DO NOT rely on road and trafffic information provided via radios to pass cars in front of you
    2. DO NOT attempt to pass unless you have visual confirmation that there is no oncoming traffic.
    3. DO NOT provide road and traffic information via radios with the intent of facilitating this practice
    4. DO NOT encourage anyone to pass cars using information provided via radio messages
    IF ANYONE COMMITS THIS OFFENSE, REPORT THEM TO THE TOURMASTER. YOUR ACTION MAY SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE.

  30. If you want to pass a Stampede car in front of you BUT the road does not allow for a quick and easy passing:
    1. DO NOT tailgate or intimidate the car in any way,
    2. Turn on your left-turn signal to indicate to the driver in front of you of your desire to pass him/her
    3. Wait PATIENTLY for the driver to:
      1. move towards the right edge of the road (1 feet) to give you more forward visibility of the road ahead
      2. give his/her right turn signal, and
      3. slow down 5 mph.

      DO NOT PASS UNLESS THE DRIVER IN FRONT OF YOU HAS GIVEN YOU EXPLICIT PERMISSION BY TURNING ON HIS/HER RIGHT-TURN SIGNAL.

    4. If the driver in front of you is unresponsive for a long time, signal the driver with two short and quick high beams (or communicate your intention to pass via your radio)
    5. Once the driver in front of you has executed the three steps listed above, proceed to pass the car quickly by following the passing/overtaking rules listed under #28.

  31. Check your mirrors for cars approaching you from behind. If a car has caught up with you, it is probably faster than you and might want to pass.

  32. If a car behind you has its left-turn signal on, it is signalling its desire to pass your car. In this case, do the following:

    1. Check your mirrors to confirm that no other car(s) is (are) in the process of passing your car.
    2. During the next straight (or safe) section of road move your car towards the right edge of the road (by 1 feet) to give the passing car more forward visibility of the road ahead.
    3. Communicate your permission to let the car pass you by turning on your car's right-turn signal.
    4. To allow the car behind you to pass you more quickly AND have more room in front of you, reduce your car's speed a little (no more than 5 mph). This can usually be done by lifting gently and slightly off the gas pedal.
    5. After the car(s) has passed your car, cancel your car's turn signal, move your car back to the center of the lane, and resume driving at the speed you feel comfortable with.

    Steps ii, iii, and iv should be executed rapidly and smoothly within 1-2 seconds.

  33. PASSING OF MULTIPLE CARS AT THE SAME TIME IS PROHIBITED UNLESS
    1. the road is straight and long enough to complete passing of all cars intended,
    2. there is clear visibility of the entire stretch of the road needed for passing,
    3. the cars you intend to pass are not traveling at high speeds, and
    4. all passing/overtaking rules under #28 are followed.

    In all other situations, passing should be done one car at a time.

    Just because you have received permission to pass one car does NOT mean you have received permission to pass other cars which may not be aware you are coming and which have not explicitly given you permission to pass them. You need to explicitly get permission from each driver you want to pass.

  34. Use of cell phones by driver while driving is strictly prohibited.

  35. It is recommended that you drive with your windows up so that you can hear all radio communications. Likewise, please keep your radio/CD/iPOD off or at a very low volume to hear all radio communications and ensure 100% concentration on driving. The route has several technical sections and many road hazards are likely, so you need to be 100% focused on driving.

  36. Drag racing during the Stampede is strictly prohibited.

  37. No drifting, drafting, close-following, tailgating, and sliding will be tolerated by the Tourmaster.

  38. Reset your trip meter to zero at every marked turn, then monitor your trip meter to prepare for your next turn as well as road hazards marked on the maps.

  39. As we go through traffic lights, spread across all through lanes so that we get through the intersection as quickly as possible and no one gets stuck at a red light .

  40. Fill up your car with gas well in advance of running out during one of the planned breaks. There will be sufficient number of breaks to get gas throughout the day. Don't wait until you're close to running out of gas before you decide to get gas; you may not make it to the next break location.


    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


  41. Find a good co-pilot. It is highly recommended that you have a co-pilot or navigator during the Stampede. He (or she) will help you with using your maps, directions, etc. and let you focus entirely on enjoying driving your car. A good co-pilot is: A person you can tolerate for 12 hours a day, can read a map, someone you can trust behind the wheel, has reasonable judgment, does not get car sick, does not snore.

  42. Prepare your car's engine for a long and hard run:

    • Lubrication: Change your oil and filter (if your car is close to needing service)
    • Air Flow: Clean your air filter(s)
    • Cooling System: Top off your system; after warm-up, inspect your coolant reservoir and fill if necessary

  43. Slow down to open up a gap with the car in front of you. If:

    • the front part of the group (starting with the Tourmaster) is stuck behind a slow-moving local driver or
    • you are following a fellow Bull Rider who is currently driving slower than you but you do not want to pass him or
    • the roads are too curvy or do not allow a good place to pass the car in front of you,

    then it might be a good time for you to open up a decent gap with the car in front of you so you can subsequently drive as fast as you want without being slowed down or blocked. To do this, turn on your four-way emergency flashers and slow your car down gently so as not to catch following drivers by surprise.

    Some words of caution, though, for when this practice is not appropriate to do. If done without heeding this advice, this practice can have dangerous consequences. Do not do this if:

    1. you know there are local drivers within the train of cars behind you

    2. your car is not visible from behind for at least a quarter of a mile (e.g. just behind a blind turn, just beyond a blind hill), otherwise, traffic approaching you from behind may not have enough time to slow down or stop to avoid hitting you from behind (if your car is the only car which has slowed down)

    3. the last car (in the group of cars which has slowed down) is not visible from behind for at least a quarter of a mile (e.g. just behind a blind turn, just beyond a blind hill), otherwise, traffic approaching him from behind may not have enough time to slow down or stop to avoid hitting him from behind.

      In this case, it is critical that the leading driver of the group or you speed up to regular speeds until the last car of this group is visible for at least a quarter of a mile to traffic approaching from behind.

    4. if a local car or biker approaches the group from behind. They could get impatient and be tempted to start passing the entire group which will only worsen the traffic situation for the Stampede group.

  44. For an extra degree of protection install a bra on the front nose of your car. Most of the cars running in the Stampede have sticky tires which lift and shoot back small rocks and pebbles on the road surface to the cars running behind them. A car bra is particularly advised to those drivers with new cars and those who can't or don't want to leave large gaps between their car and the car in front of them. Otherwise, leave adequate distance with the car in front of you.

  45. If you have intention to record video during the drive, it is recommended that you use a firm windshield mount. It is the Tourmaster's opinion that the single greatest factor in the usability of video recordings is how firmly the video camera is mounted to your car. The FAQ has additional information about this subject and the best company to get windshield mounts from.

  46. Bring a cell phone.

  47. Give your cell phone number to the Tourmaster to assist in locating you if necessary.

  48. Secure (or remove) all loose material from your car that can become airborne, fly, or slide around during sharp turning or heavy braking. This will minimize chances of driver distraction.

  49. Have a fire extinguisher in your car.

  50. Have a First Aid kit in your car.

  51. Bring with you some bottled water, sunscreen, cold-weather clothing, and wet-weather clothing.


    SUGGESTED/REQUESTED COURTESIES


  52. Plan to be at the starting point a little early so that we can leave on time.

  53. Radio communications: If you are in the middle of the train, pass on messages to the back of the group by repeating the message.

  54. PLEASE try to be very friendly when driving through small towns. A simple wave to locals you come in eye contact with will make a big difference in their perception of us.

  55. Alert your fellow tourists to road hazards using your radio. Road hazards include but are not limited to deer or cattle on or on the side of the road, roadkill, debris on the road, potholes, etc. Make sure to state mile number of the road hazard.


    THINGS TO BE CAUTIOUS OF


  56. Staying on the route: Do not assume the driver(s) in front of you knows where he is going. Do not blindly follow the car(s) ahead of you. Follow your own route instructions. Pay attention to radio announcements for every turn. Radio to drivers who miss turns. If you don't have a navigator, follow a car which does since it is more likely that they will be on the correct route.

  57. A follow-up to the point made above about staying in your lane: You need to do it, but even that may not be enough to keep you safe. Out in the country, the folks who drive pick-up trucks often don't stay in their OWN lane. The lane is barely wide enough to fit their oversized pick-ups to start with. It is not uncommon for these trucks to cut corners and come around a blind corner while being several feet in YOUR lane, with a loaded trailer in tow (which is even wider than the truck). Driver beware!

  58. Many portions of the routes are technical and require proficient skill at handling tight curves, blind curves, and elevation changes.

  59. Watch for cattle on or on the side of the road. We will be going through some running ranches. Cows are very stupid animals, especially the young ones. They like standing on the road because it is usually the high point of the area. Must make them feel like they are King of the Hill. Don't assume they will move away when you approach them in a speeding car. They won't. Slow down to nearly a stop and go around them very cautiously. Alert your fellow tourists using your radio.

  60. Watch for deer crossing the road. Slow down immediately. They tend to run into cars, not around them. Alert your fellow tourists using your radio.

  61. Watch for dead animals (road kill) in the middle of the road. Drive around them, not over them. Alert your fellow tourists using your radio.

  62. Watch for buzzards (they look like vultures) feeding on dead animals in the middle of the road. Don't assume they will just fly away as you approach. Buzzards are very large birds and have a surprisingly slow rate of ascent. They also tend to fly toward the car as they try to fly away. Slow down quickly and give the bird a chance to fly away. Otherwise they WILL hit your car and cause SIGNIFICANT body and window damage.

  63. Be cautious, especially if your car has lowered suspension, driving over dips in the road which usually exist over creeks and low-water crossings. If you are concerned your car may bottom out, slow down well in advance. Moreover, the surface on many low-water crossings is rough so slowing down to a crawl may be the best thing to do to save your wheels, tires, and car's bottom from damage.

  64. Be careful driving over dips which are not over low-water crossings. At high speeds, the G forces subjected to your car may cause it to bottom out, especially if your car's suspension has been lowered and/or your suspension is soft/stock. Slowing down in advance of these dips can help prevent your car from bottoming out and damaging it. Listen for warnings from the Tourmaster about approaching dips.

    A special method to driving over dips reduces chances of bottoming out while making it a little more enjoyable. This method involves two steps:

    1. Drive on the first half of the dip -- the downhill portion -- without braking but coasting (speed reduction, if any, should be done well before reaching the bottom of the dip.)
    2. Accelerate at the bottom of the dip to raise the front end of your car

    This method will provide for a smoother transition through the dip while enhancing the excitement through higher g forces.

    This method also applies to driving over cattleguards

  65. Be careful driving over bridges on rural roads. The beginning and end of bridges may have strong bumps. Slow down well in advance and release compression on your suspension to minimize the effects on your car.

  66. Watch for steep drop-offs (areas of broken off or missing asphalt) on the edge of the road, especially on curves. They can cause wheel damage and even cause you to drive off the road.


    SAFE DRIVING TIPS


  67. Keep your hands at the 9 and 3 positions on the steering wheel (this is also the safest position with an air bag)

  68. Hold the steering wheel firmly but no death grip

  69. Hands: Your thumbs should not reach inside the spokes of the steering wheel - you could break your fingers or your wrist in the event of an accident

  70. Seating Position: Position your seat and steering wheel so that the bottom of your wrists sit on top of the steering wheel

  71. Keep your ego in check
    • we are driving on public roads
    • this is not a race; you should have nothing to prove to anyone
    • your mindset should be of enjoying driving your car at a safe pace with plenty of room for errors, misjudgments, and unexpected road hazards.

  72. Always look well ahead of your corner and the road
    • your inputs will drive the car where you are looking
    • do not be fixated on the section of road 20-30 feet ahead of you

  73. Tire Dynamics: Always remember that a tire can use 100% of its grip/traction to accelerate, brake, or turn (this will be discussed more at the Driver's Meeting)

  74. Use the brake and gas pedals as a means of weight transfer (more on this below)

  75. Brake before entering a corner; use 100% of grip for braking. Be done with braking before you do any turning.

  76. Brake well before the corner so:
    • you don't misjudge the distance (at high speeds) or
    • you don't run out of road to brake or
    • you don't run out of road if you experience brake fade

  77. Learn threshold braking through practice; gradually test the limits of your braking to find out when your tires begin to lose grip i.e. tires begins to lock up (on non-ABS-equipped cars) or ABS starts to engage. (On a related note, if your car is equipped with ABS, you should be familiar with what it feels like when ABS has engaged and have experience with steering your car to drive around road hazards while ABS is engaged. If not, find an empty road and practice this.)

  78. Stay neutral while turning in corners (constant speed)
    • Do not brake while in a corner (remember the Tourmaster's chair demonstration)
    • Do not lift (your foot from the gas pedal) while in a corner. This has the same effect as braking and will only serve to destabilize your car.
    • Do not hit the gas pedal hard in the corner (imagine there is an uncooked egg under the gas pedal)
    • Use 100% of the tire's grip for turning
    • If you've slowed down more than necessary, you may slowly accelerate with caution
    • Virtually all corners (on public roads) are constant radius; if you've made it through initial turn in, no need to do anything but keep the throttle and wheel constant.

  79. Get back on the gas only after you're done turning the corner and your car is pointed straight

  80. Execute all of your steering inputs smoothly and slowly - don't "saw the wheel"

  81. If you feel that your car's tail is coming out i.e. the rear end of your car is coming around you, DO NOT lift from the gas and DO NOT brake (doing so will only worsen your situation.) Stay on the gas pedal with neutral or incrementally increasing throttle to ensure that enough weight (thus traction) remain on the rear tires to regain traction.

  82. If you lose control and are about to go off the road, remember: BOTH FEET IN
    i.e. step on both brake and clutch pedals simultaneously


    WHILE RIDING THE RAGING BULL


  83. Go around and introduce yourself to everyone.

  84. Take photos and/or video (make sure your navigator does this while driving).

  85. If the traffic light turns red, STOP. Don't worry about the group getting separated. That is probably going to happen anyway. Most of the time you will manage to catch up in a matter of a few minutes.

  86. Sometimes it will be necessary for the whole group to stop on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. The Tourmaster will try to do this at the most convenient spot available at the time. If this happens, pull off the road as much as possible to clear the main road for traffic. However, in the case of extreme drought conditions in which the ground cover is very dry and prone to catch fire easily, please avoid parking your car over tall grass as your hot exhaust system may start a grass fire.


    AFTER THE STAMPEDE


  87. Develop your photos and video of the Stampede and email them to the Tourmaster so he can put them on the web site for everyone to see.

  88. Write an article for your local club's newsletter.





Image used within Raging Bull Texas Stampede logo belongs to Jeff Bucchino.
The rest of his artwork can be viewed at www.wizardofdraws.com.
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