I have a friend, Pibb, that takes notes and journals every day and every ride. The Every Day Carry (EDC) Community is huge on carrying small notebooks and I have taken to carrying a Field Notes book with a cover that Joker made for me. I generally only write down reminders, to do lists and addresses, but it is very handy to have. All of this to make a point on how good notes taking can improve group rides and long rides.
Smartphones and GPS are great, but very prone to getting broke or going dead. Here is what I am thinking. Carry a riding notebook, especially on a cross country group trip. The first thing you need to write down in your notebook is your emergency contact. That will be huge if(God forbid) you get hurt. The next thing you need is your addresses and phone numbers of any stops or rally spots. I always write a plan for the route that I can see while I ride(example, example), but having more notes and numbers is always good. The next thing that could be very helpful is getting the phone number and emergency contact of everyone that’s riding with you. Having everyone’s number is great if you lose somebody on the ride. Also I have a ton of riding buddies from the internet that I don’t even know their full legal name or even who to call if(God forbid) they get hurt on a ride. It’s also really cool to have phone numbers to call all your best friends from the internet later.
I plan on carrying a Rite in the Rain mini side stapled notebook and Trekker Space Pen for all my long rides and day trips in the coming up. The Rite in the Rain should hold up better to sweat and rain, than a regular Field Notes stapled notebook.