ride leaders

Ride Leader Responsibilities

Tips on How to Lead a Ride

Planning Your Ride:
As ride leader you have the pleasure of riding the route you want at a pace that you want with rest stops where you want them. The first step in leading a ride is proper planning.

The leader should choose a route that is familiar to him or her and that is appropriate for the participants. Pick a starting place that has plenty of parking and, if possible, toilet facilities and shade. Avoid routes that become crowded with walkers, joggers, skaters, other cyclists or auto traffic unless you can time the ride to avoid high traffic levels.

Be sensitive to the fact that group riding is different from riding alone in that it is more difficult for a group to move through intersections or move into the left turn lane if required. It is your responsibility to keep the group together. Plan to regroup at reasonable intervals.

Be familiar with the route and aware of any hazards or changes in conditions that could affect the ride. Determine the length of the ride and the approximate pace you wish to hold. Go out a week or so before the ride date to uncover any unforeseen road changes or construction problems. It is good to have maps or cue sheets available for your ride, but not mandatory.

Be familiar with the BCLC Guidelines for Safe Group Riding prior to the ride. If possible, have a co-leader share the responsibility. This could be especially helpful for those of you who, for an unexpected reason, cannot lead the planned ridet

Items that your riders will need to know and you will describe in your ride description are: the distance to be traveled, the planned average speed, the location of and directions to the start, the type of riding surface, is it a no drop ride and anything else that might be unique to your ride.

Email the Ride Coordinator your ride information. In your description of your ride note the time you will notify people if you need to cancel the ride due to weather. Generally the ride leader should cancel the ride at least two hours before the start time or as soon as they know the ride cannot go on. If you wish, include your email address on your ride notice.

Riding Speeds
 We have adopted the following table as a means to describe your planned ride speed.

A   Average speed 19-25+ mph. Average speed on flats >23 mph. Ride is competitive. Riders must have the ability to ride in close quarters and pacelines. Stopping and regrouping is infrequent. Riders who cannot keep up or have a mechanical problems, may be dropped. Regroup at discretion of ride leader. Ride length is generally >50 miles.

B   Average speed 15-20+ mph. Average speed on flats >18 mph. Fit to strong riders. Moderate to fast paced ride. Depending on distance there will usually be at least one rest stop. Riders who can not keep up or have a mechanical problems, may be dropped. Regroup at discretion of ride leader.

C   Average speed 12-16 mph. Average speed on flats >15 mph. Moderately paced ride. Depending on distance there will usually be multiple stops. The group will stop for mechanical problems, and regroup as often as necessary so no one is left behind. This is a no-drop ride.

Leisure rides over easy terrain. Ride usually breaks into groups of different abilities and regroups or meets up at a destination. Bike styles vary. Be sure to arrive at the starting point early.

Use the rider sign-in/waiver form
 Signatures are mandatory for all riders. Note that any rider under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian cosign. Keep the sheet with you during the ride for the emergency numbers in case of an accident. Return the sheet to the Ride Coordinator as soon as possible after the ride or at the next club meeting.

Review the Guidelines for Safe Group Riding as required based on your knowledge of your riders skill levels. Take a count of your riders and make sure they are staying with you. Recount at regrouping points in the ride. Carry your cell phone if you have one. It’s a good idea to make your number available to other riders in case of an emergency. Remember, leaders are only required to use due care in leading the ride. The riders themselves are responsible for riding safely and avoiding accidents. The ride leader has the authority to exclude any unsafe rider or equipment from the ride. Start the ride promptly.

  • Give an overview of the ride including general route, distance, riding speed and rest stops.
  • Summarize your expectations of the riders and mention group riding rules that may be pertinent to that particular group.
  • Get to know your riders. Perhaps have each rider give their names and anything they would like to say.
  • Let riders who may want to ride ahead of the group know that by leaving the group they may be “deemed to have left the ride”.
  • Make sure that all riders understand the speed of the ride and make certain that all riders are confident that they can keep that pace comfortably.
  • Determine if there are any riders who plan to leave the ride midstream or any riders who fear they can’t keep up and formulate an alternative plan for them.
  • On no-drop rides, regroup at turns and as needed to keep everyone together.
  • These items not only insure their safety but also will provide a positive image of bicyclists.

A ride leader may want to move to other parts of the pack. Experienced riders can ride at the front as long as they maintain the pace and know the route. It is a good idea to appoint a “sweep” to ride at the rear of the group to support slower or inexperienced riders. Rides will be listed on the website as received. To get your ride into the newsletter you must get the information to the Ride Coordinator no later than the end of the month. Newsletter deadline is generally the first Thursday of the month.