The following is stolen from Jeff Cole ... with minor creative alterations - because what's life without a little humor?

For you new club members or those new to events like MINIpalooza it's a good idea to bring a Family Radio Service/General Mobile Radio Service (FRS/GMRS) radio. These radios are usually sold in pairs, and range $30 to $80 (some can go higher). You can find them at Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and other retail stores Make sure you get the type that can transept and receive on sub channels (e.g., channel 20/20).

We use these radios (mostly) to communicate during our drives so that the leader can note hazards ("bike!" "Bear!" "cow!") for the rest of the drivers. Also, having the tail end of the run radio forward that "five Minis are stuck at a light," or worst, "stuck behind a Prius!" Most of the radios come with lithium ion batteries, so don't forget your chargers. Steer clear of units that use regular batteries - they drain the batteries fairly quickly.

If you are going to use these radios just at club events and communication during runs don't be as concerned about the milage distance rating on the radios. This rating is only applicable on a clear day, with no mountains, and having line of sight with another radio on the same frequency. The FRS radios are limited to 0.5 watts of power so while driving twistie roads you might be able to communicate a mile or two. My opinion, buy a set at Walmart (or wherever) and you'll be fine.

Finally if you can find a FMS/GMRS radio with an single ear piece with a push to talk microphone on the cable included go for it as the Mini's interior is not a quiet place we driving mountain roads and trying to hear radio communications from the seat next to you is difficult to say the least. (I have not mastered this talent. I find my cup holder works well)

Please make sure your radio is fully charged. If you're unsure if your radio is working properly, please show up a little early to your run and we'll find someone to help you out.

Have a radio you love or hate? Feel free to post about it to help people who are looking to buy a set.