For you new club members or those new to events like MSSD it a very good idea to bring a Family Radio Service/General Mobile Radio Service (FRS/GMRS) radio. These radios are almost always sold in pairs and are in the $30 to $80 (some can go higher) range in Walmart or other merchants. Make sure you get the type that can work with sub channels.

We use these radios (mostly) to communicate during our drives so that the leader can note hazards ("bike!" "Bear!" "Leo!" aka "Law Enforcement Officer") 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 minivan!" They are also convenient to communicate with club members at Fontana Village as cell phone coverage is rated lousy to nonexistent. Most of the radios come with lithium ion batteries, now, but a few had AAA batteries. Steer clear of these conventional battery units as they eat through deposable batteries quickly.

If you are going to use these radios just at club event 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 comunicate a mile or two. Some GMRS (only) radios are rated at between 1 to 5 watts of power but have and a FCC ($85, 5-year) license requirement. There are quite a few treads discussing the licensing issue between FRS and GRMS and I won't go into that here. 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 hope my opinions help you in your radio selection.