The Buddy System is not suitable for use on motorways or trunk roads – please see section entitled “Motorways and Trunk Roads” for EKAM recommendations.
The Buddy System is an alternative to the Drop-Off System for guiding groups of riders along a complicated route to your destination. It is very simple to use and though it can be used with groups of all sizes it is more often used with smaller groups.
When using the Buddy System one rider (the leader) is out in front and sets the route. The leader is not responsible for setting the pace of the ride as every member of the group must set their own pace. No overtaking within the group is allowed*. Other riders follow and are in turn required to mark each junction for the benefit of their buddy (ie the following member of the group). If in doubt as to whether or not to mark a junction, mark the junction! You mark the junction until you are sure that the next rider to come up from behind is indeed your buddy and that he will be clear about the next part of the route. When you are sure on both points you are free to move off and resume your own ride. The last rider doesn't mark the junction as he has no buddy. The buddy system relies on group members not overtaking each other*.
A couple of notes follow:-
You do need to be careful at the start of ride that you will really recognise your buddy on the road; to help with this overtaking other group members is not allowed.
*It's safer and more enjoyable for everyone if the quicker riders go to the front. This may mean some overtaking early in the ride – after then the ride order should stay the same. Small groups who often ride together already have sorted their own ride order. New groups coming together for the first time may wish to amend the order part-way through the ride.