Why travel in convoy? Do you do it or are you irritated by it?

@thea09 (18316)
Greece
August 19, 2009 11:05am CST
Conveys, groups of people travelling together in separate vehicles. I just don't get it, what is the attraction. Just now I was stuck behind six Italian camper vans travelling in convoy - slowly. On a road which is not suitable for overtaking, not that I could anyway as there was another five cars between me and the vans and a futher trail of cars behind me. Then in unison they pulled over on the side of the road. Togther. In convoy. No one could get past as the road was too narrow in the first place. Why can't they just meet at the other end? Does it drive you mad too? Are you guilty of it even? Can someone explain why they need to travel together like this.
3 people like this
10 responses
@mysdianait (65079)
• Italy
19 Aug 09
Were they going to some sort of convention for campers by any chance? Here it is normal for groups of friends to set off at the same time and arrange to meet up at a certain point mid-journey but they would also stick together if they could. They would definately leave enough room between one and the next for others to overtake. This is what makes methink that they were almost at their destination or indeed lost if the road was not really suitable for them. Here we get groups of motorcyclists from bordering countries who are travelling sightseeing during the summer months. They scare the wits out of me when first one overtakes and then another and then all the others. That's fine on a straight road but what about if we reach a bend when those last in line are overtaking? Doesn't bear thinking about just as when they overtake on the motorway just before entering a tunnel which is built on a sloping bend. It is so easy to understand why some, many during the summer months, do not end their journey in the way they had planned
2 people like this
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Well I hate to say Mys but the Italians and the Germans are the worst for it, and they don't leave room between to overtake. I did express the thought at the time that they were probably lost and I would end up following them back the way I had just come I did read in Annie Hawes about the Italian travelling together thing. Some Greeks do like to travel to tavernas together in the evenings in a little convoy of cars, whilst speaking on the phone to each other, and that drives me mad too, we all know where we're going so why can't we just meet there, but if it's in the dark and uphill I'm at their mercy as my car will be left at home and I'll be with a mad Greek driver. Must say not really noticed convoys of motorbikes which is a relief, but I certainly hear about the many accidents,it's a dangerous business. You've just made me realise I've never seen a tunnel over here.
1 person likes this
@mysdianait (65079)
• Italy
19 Aug 09
We have those memorial shrines on the side of the road too. They markthe spot where a life was lost and are very frequent here too. It is not only the foreigners but also the locals who cause the problems here. There is also a problem with drunk driving which is getting worse despite the new laws regarding it. I can understand, while reading and writing here, why I prefer to travel by train if I am going any long distance.
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@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
The foreigners here are more of a danger in general as it takes a while to adapt to the Greek way of using the roads and they can be clueless. The locals are more of a danger to themselves. Trains, you have trains? I know we have them but there aren't any locally, the buses are a much more popular mode of transport here and go much faster than the trains anyway.
1 person likes this
19 Aug 09
A few years back I use to help with a local hockey team and whenever the team played away from home we would travel to the destination in several cars, usually in convoy. The reason being is that several of the drivers were in fact quite young and had not travelled to many of the places and unless those drivers who knew where they were going shepherded them along in a convoy they would have got very lost. In a perfect world we would have had a bus or all experienced drivers but unfortunately it was often a case of relying on eager young drivers. But although in this case I can see the need for a convoy, I do feel that when you do drive like this you need to be very sympathetic to other drivers and pull over whenever you see a tailback forming and wait for the road to clear. It could have been worse for you; it could have been 6 caravans weaving all over the road rather than camper vans.
1 person likes this
19 Aug 09
I'll swap with you as we are coming up to the time when the roads here will be blocked by tractors, combine harvesters and all manner of other farm vehicles crawling along at a ridiculous pace and taking up both sides of the carriage way.
20 Aug 09
I can imagine how a donkey would signal that it was safe to past, it would be quite smell
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
19 Aug 09
I know that must be aggravating to get behing that. We don't have that problem here, most of the roads are four lane that i travel on which i don't do much traveling, lol.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi Jo, hope you are well my dear, haven't seen you for a few days. I don't think I'd know what to do on a four lane road but I imagine it would be heaven to shove the camper vans in the slow lane. There is a dual carriageway on the other side of town which at first terrified me but now is much appreciated.
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@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
19 Aug 09
Thanks thea, i'm still around such as i am, lol. Four lanes are great & u could get around folks like that. I travel pretty close to home don't do city driving anymore. Can't handle it!
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi Jo, well when I first moved here I couldn't do city driving at all and used to park and walk. Then summer came and who can walk, it's insane. So I conquered the large town and drive round it no problem, but I did get shouted at three times yesterday for driving the wrong way up a one way street. They weren't shouting at me as such but making me aware it was one way, I'd already gathered that but did they seriously expect me to back up onto the main road
1 person likes this
@dlr297 (5418)
• United States
19 Aug 09
I know that it can be irritating at times for other drivers. But i know that when we go out on our motorcycles we usually go in a group. I know that we do not take up as much road as camper vans, but we do it for safety reasons, If some one breaks down their are others their. Why in the world they would pull of the road and block traffic i have no idea, but it is rather rude.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi dlr, convoys or motorcycles aren't a problem here as they don't go in convoys, plus they would have had the advantage of being able to overtake the camper vans. I still don't really understand your reason for a convoy though, why not just travel two at a time and arrange a destination to meet up at. If someone breaks down it's easy to call on a mobile for one of you to come back to the rescue. As long as the motorcycles weren't travelling in convoy slower than the cars it could work here, but if slower on the narrow bits which is pretty much all of it, they would cause intense frustration.
@dlr297 (5418)
• United States
21 Aug 09
When we go out for a ride on the bikes we usually do not have a set destination. We just all meet in the morning and ride most of the day together their are some days when their is 30 or 40 bikes all together. Like last Sunday we crossed spivey mountain, and we we found this neat town called hot springs, in north Carolina, and we stopped and did some horseback riding, they took us up some mountain trails, and they have this place where you can get in hot mineral baths. But you need a reservation for that so we are going back next month. Im getting off the point, but when we ride, we never know where we may end up. so we can't met their so we all ride together and explore together.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
21 Aug 09
Hot Springs North Carolina has such a lovely ring to it. With your activities there you don't sound like a large group of Hell's Angels which might be a bit intimidating. Anyway your explanation of all travelling together sounds perfectly reasonable and probably you have more suitable roads for it there. We don't get that here at all with bikers though there are many motorbikes weaving between the traffic. They probably don't do it here so as not to draw attention to themselves, the police would have a field day if they could write forty tickets at once for huge fines for not wearing helmets.
• United States
19 Aug 09
Thea, that happens alot around here when groups are traveling together, and the lead car is the only who knows how to get there. Some people actually put little yellow balls on top of their antenna so if you get separated you can find each other. They do drive at normal speed so I don't see them holding up traffic, and I think it's great when other cars let them stay together without pulling out in between them. With the yellow balls, it also alerts other drivers that this particular group needs to stay together, otherwise they are totally lost. Such understanding of the other drivers is appreciative.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi Sweetchariot, well it cetainly sounds as thought your convoys have got their act together and act with manners on the road. There's nothing wrong with them travelling at normal speed but I doubt very much that their little yellow balls would work out here. The thing is with our local road, it takes approximately one hour to drive it to the next town. The road leads to the town and there is nowhere else to go unless you're taking a small side road upwards into the mountains. There is no possible chance of confusion, it's very simple. The road has two lanes, one goes to town the other comes back from town. The sea is on one side and the mountains on the other. There is no possibility of getting lost at all if they looked at their maps and realised this. The average local speed on the road will be between 60 and 90, possibly more, with care necessary on the many hairpin bends. The camper vans travel at 30 or slower, togther. I hope that explains my irritation a bit more as it is indeed frustrating.
• United States
19 Aug 09
With the simpleness of your roads, and the slow speed they are driving, I can certainly understand your frustration. Like you said, if they just looked at a darn map, they would have figured it out..lol
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Quite, it's pretty difficult to get lost on a road that only goes to one place
@hsofyan (3447)
• Jakarta, Indonesia
19 Aug 09
I am a member automotive clubs. We often travel convoy. But we did not disrupt traffic and other road users. Inside the city, we are guided by traffic police. On narrow roads, we travel up to delay traffic quiet. Have fun, which resulted in suffering for others, the act is not fun.
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi hsofyan, it the automative club like the classic car rallies mentioned above? If it is believe me I'd have no problem at all with that and my son would love to see one and would probably be able to point out all the cars. We don't get to see things like that out here. Here are roads are just so dangerous to start with, up, down, severe bends. The local users of heavy vehicles like cement mixer trucks are really good and do indicate when it is possible to overtake, although of course they would never indicate to pull over or to make a turning. But tourist camper vans seem to have no knowledge at all of how to behave and are very likely to run into a case of severe Greek road rage
1 person likes this
@hsofyan (3447)
• Jakarta, Indonesia
19 Aug 09
Oops The situation is really frustrating. What you can not report it to the competent authorities?
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
What competent authorities exactly, this is Greece The police do have one little trick though. We have signs around the village itself saying no camper vans, to make the point the signs are in picture language so there is no excuse for not being able to read them. They are there for a reason. Once you turn from the main road into the village the road becomes narrower and is one way in the summer. It is closed to traffic in the evening. The camper vans go down the hill and hit the road closed sign and are unable to turn left as the bend is too sharp for their vans. They can't turn round and go back up the road as it is one way and there isn't enough room to turn. So the only thing left for them to do is move the road closed sign out of their way and drive down the closed seafront. Then the police jump out of their car and give them an enormous on the spot fine. This is of course highly amusing to everyone trying to enjoy the evening seafront without traffic and good work for the police with a possible bribe involved. Some nights they can make a fortune if theirs an actual convoy.
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@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
20 Aug 09
Hello Thea. This type of behaviour makes me mad as well, and gives responsible motorcaravanners a bad name. People we know often meet up or even travel together, but we always advise never to go in convoy. Friends of ours travelled abroad for the first time last year with another couple, but nobody in our group would ever travel with more than 2 vans together. If they want to meet up, they'll arrange a meet before dispersing, and some of the more organised ones have walkie talkies so they can update each other on their positions or advise of late arrival, accidents en route and suchlike. Next month, 60 motorhomes from our group are making their way to Germany for the Oktoberfest, but there will be no convoys snaking across Europe, as the group leader has stressed it is inconsiderate to other road users. Sorry that you got lumbered with the idiots. If we ever bring our camper to Greece, we'll behave ourselves, I promise!
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
20 Aug 09
Hi Sandra, you've made me smile, the very thought of sixty of you in possible convoy, horrors. But you definitely have the right attitude and I'm sure your camper van would be welcome here. When I spot one on the road though there's a sinking feeling if they are in front of me as I can almost guarantee that once I get round the bend in front there are going to be more of them and that's usually spot on. Unless they are French, they travel alone. Most times I've been lucky and the convoy has been going in the opposite direction with a stream of irrate drivers behind them as they really do stick so close together that it is really difficult to squeeze between. There aren't that many places suitable for overtaking either. I'm sure one intrepid Greek would try and pass the full convoy of six but even for a Greek that would be really risky. Plus he'd have to get in front of all the others in the line in front.
• Indonesia
20 Aug 09
Well, if it's six Italian camper vans travelling in convoy, it must be really annoying and cause long traffic jam. Maybe one of them didn't know the condition or from other country/province, thus they only can follow his/her family/friend vehicle in convoy. My family sometimes do convoy of 2 SUV cars since we always wanna together and one of us in other car still don't know the situation in the destination.. Yes, it drives me mad if they convoy and walk so slowly! Once this happened to me in mountain area and I couldn't pass that convoy because the road is zig-zag and narrow. Really, they make me and my family late 2 hours compared to the normal time
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
20 Aug 09
Hi Chrysan, well the road situation you describe at the end is exactly as it was yesterday, it's a zig zag narrow mountain road, but the ironic thing is it only goes to one place an hour away apart from passing through a few small villages on route, so it is absolutely impossible to get lost on it. It goes from A to B only
• Philippines
20 Aug 09
We do sometimes travel in convoy, i think it's cool.haha Especially if you can't hire a big coaster, then do it in convoy.haha But I hate parades of bikes that's really really long in traffic
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
20 Aug 09
Hi increidibleDNA, you've shocked me, I really thought it was a western thing not worldwide. So do you clog the roads up with your convoys driving along at a slow pace or are you really not a nuisance type at all. What's a coaster by the way? Here a coaster is a little mat we put on a table for a drink to stop the table gettng a mark.
@FFFrocks (306)
• Canada
19 Aug 09
I have a larger than normal extended family. When we are travelling to a reunion or a wedding we often meet up at some point in the journey and end up with a convoy of sorts. Usually with campers and normal vehicles combined. We don't try to stick together too much on the highway though, we usually mark off points along the way where we will all pull over and have breakfast/lunch/supper together. Oh, and we never go slow. I think speed (safely of course) is in the blood... We never do this out of a need to travel together, there are just so many of us is all. When we are all going to the same destination we end up clogging the roads. I think though if you were vacationing with several friends and their families in an area that your aren't familiar with a convoy makes sense. Just make sure that you know the speed limits so you don't tick off the locals, and buy a bloody map!
@thea09 (18316)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi FFFrocks, your last two points totally agree with the point I made in the response above yours, do read it and see exactly what the road is like which I speak about. Your convoy may or may not go down well over here, you'd definitely need to leave enough room in between to overtake. Slowness here is the killer in this as it can easily add unnecessary time to the local journey which some people here actually have to do a couple of times a day, before and after siesta hour. The idea of pulling over at a designated spot to meet up is a good one and could be a lesson to those camper vans today.