BAMD was formed a few years ago by a small group of drivers who
wanted to be able to hold regular group drives. Since then, BAMD has grown to become a much
larger part of the Bay Area Miata community, and now hosts a website, tech events, and many
other types of Miata-related activities. Because of our roots, however, group drives will always
be a fundamental part of who we are, but we also understand that when it comes to the
Miata community in general, the type of drives that BAMD hosts are not for everyone.
Because of this, BAMD does not promote group drives to everyone who registers on the website.
Instead, BAMD maintains a list of drivers who indicated an interest in group drives when they
registered, and then followed the necessary instructions to apply for that list. Group
drives are promoted only to this list of drivers. A few weeks prior to each drive, emails are
sent to everyone on the list. If you reply to the email
at least 3 days prior to the event, you'll be sent the starting location and time of the
drive, plus additional useful information, and we'll be very happy to have you along.
BAMD group drives are well planned and organized. Safety of the
participants is our number one priority. Having fun is a close second. Due to the highly organized
nature of BAMD runs, last-minute sign-ups are extremely problematic, and are unlikely to
be accomodated. Also remember that the only way to sign up for a run is to reply to an email
announcing the run. You can't sign up for a run by posting on the forum or sending a private message.
The BAMD Driving Philosophy
Driving a car is part skill and part art. A lot of cars ask
neither of the driver, but a Miata demands both. It's not a point and shoot car with multiple
computers figuring out what the driver wants to do, and then doing something else. It does exactly
what the driver tells it to. As such, it delivers the ultimate in compliments when it's handled well.
BAMD organizes group drives in part to allow drivers to practice their skills and improve the
art of driving. We believe the best drivers are those who work on three things, in this order:
Smoothness is key to everything. It's important for both speed and safety, and it's an important
goal in its own right. Smoothness can be felt in the blending of straightaways into turns, the
planting of the tires under braking, and the synchronization of the gears during shifting.
Smooth driving is the art that most accurately reflects the skill of the driver.
Safety is the result of attention, planning, judgement, and driving skill. Speed is not in
that list and for a good driver it's not a component of safety. Judgement is in the list, and good
judgement determines safe speeds far better than arbitrary road signs or vehicle codes. It's
difficult to practice safety directly, but a good driver practices each of the components of safety on a regular basis.
Efficient driving is where skill and art come together. Speed is the essence of transportation, the measure
of efficiency. Efficient driving derives from being smooth and safe. Some
may not agree with BAMD on this, because some people incorrectly assume speed
is the sole measure of safety. But everyone agrees on the need for safety, and
BAMD believes that so long as Miata drivers continue to practice the art and skill of driving, we
present far less of a threat to safety than does the general population.