It's time to talk about arrows. Arrows are the life's blood of CRW. What I first heard about CRW was that they led arrowed rides (actually what I first heard about CRW was that they were a bunch of animals -- sounded right up my alley). Arrowing was a new concept for me, and when I found that all you had to do was show up and follow the arrows on the ground, I was in heaven.
You can learn a lot about a person from their arrowing style. I suspect that one's arrowing style, like one's handwriting, tells a lot about that person's personality. A while ago, I helped arrow a CRW ride. It was a pretty simple arrow, just a line with a ball at the bottom. There were three of us and each had a different take on this simple arrow. Ken's arrows had a long shaft, with a tiny ball at the bottom. Jim's were bigger in all directions. Mine of course, were perfectly sized and proportioned, a masterpiece in spray can art (perhaps I have a bright future in a street gang). Still, maybe we shouldn't read too much into this, to paraphrase Freud "sometimes an arrow is only an arrow."
There's the artistic arrower, who comes up with an arrow design that belongs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Only problem with the expressionist arrow, is that you really can't tell which direction it's pointing in. At the other extreme is the spartan arrow, which is barely more than a shaft. But if you do see it, you know which way to go. Then there's the famous Serratore arrow, which looks like a house and is only slightly smaller than one. If you can't follow his route, you probably shouldn't be let out alone.
There's a wide gamut of arrow placement. There's the "I'm really hope this won't offend" arrow that starts out close to the curb and winds up buried in a pile of sand, trash and general debris, if a car doesn't come and park on top of it first. Contrast this with the three foot "in your face" arrow that's positioned just to the right of the center strip and causes many motorists to think it's a lane divider.
Some people tend to take arrows a bit too literally. I can't say how many people (myself included) have wound up riding up someone's driveway because the first arrow for a turn happened to be placed ahead of the driveway.
No matter how good the arrows, you're going to lose some of the hammerheads. This group uses the lemming technique of riding. One person will get out in front not because he knows where he's going, but because he's very fast. Fifty people follow blindly as he blows by every two foot arrow, not thinking to look on the ground themselves, because "I was only following the leader." We regularly have a crew that does the "Shortest Century in the East" on the Spring Century when they blow by the split and continue on the 25 mile route, despite the fact that by now we have everything but a neon billboard pointing the way.
Then there's the type of person who doesn't feel comfortable venturing out on a ride unless they have arrows, a cue sheet and a map. And woe to the ride leader if the cues are more that +/- 0.01 mile off. This type of person could really use a Global Positioning System, or perhaps some intensive therapy.