Ride Leader Info
Information for Ride leaders
Here are a few points to consider when it’s your turn to lead a club run. Please consider that although riders in your group may have been riding for a while, they may still benefit from advice on group riding skill and etiquette.
Please plot a route and post it to the Facebook group by the Thursday before your ride. Try to make sure the roads are suitable for your group and you have a coffee stop in mind. You may also want to plan to head out into a headwind and return with a tailwind if possible.
Route Planning Top Tips
1. Get the distance right. G0/G1 - 60 miles+. G2 - 55/60 miles. G3 - 45/55 miles. G4 - 40/45 miles.
2. Plan a coffee stop just after halfway. My preference is at about 60% to 65% distance.
3. When it's really cold, try to plan a long hill immediately after coffee so the group can warm up again. There's nothing worse than a long descent immediately after coffee when it's cold. e.g. coming down from Wendover Woods or Dunstable Downs.
You may wish to have a chat with your group before you set off detailing the route, coffee stop, any known hazards, any big hills where the group may split (and where to regroup) and anything else of note en route. You can let them know your preferred group riding style (e.g. two abreast with changes every 5 mins rotating anti-clockwise) and invite people to speak up about lack of fitness or cutting the ride short.
Welcome any new riders and ask about their experience and strength to make sure they’re in the right group. Let them know how we tend to ride (formation, pace etc) so they know what to expect.
If your group is over 10-12 riders, please consider nominating another experienced rider to lead a second group and split into two groups.
If the weather is forecasted to be severe, you may want to post an alternate route on the Facebook group which sticks to more main roads if it's icy or floods are likely. If the weather is very severe and you don't think it's safe for you to ride, it is up to you to post on the Facebook group and let everyone know that you're not going to be at the Leisure Centre at 8.30 (although feel free to say you'll be there later if you just want to delay the ride by a couple of hours), other riders can then decide if they still want to go out and use your route or not.
Your main role is to make sure the group rides according to our Club Ride Etiquette (please familiarise yourself with it), making sure everyone enjoys the ride and makes it home. You don’t have to sit on the front for the whole ride, you can navigate from within the group by giving directions in advance of junctions etc. Hopefully others will also have the route.
You are responsible for the safety of the group so please call out any unsafe riding (dangerous passing, more than two abreast etc), shout Single when required and get the group to pull over if necessary.
If anyone has a mechanical or crash, ensure the whole group stops and are safely off the road while it’s dealt with. In the case of an accident, make sure the rider is safe to carry on, otherwise please try to facilitate them getting home via a lift/train/taxi and that someone stays with them until they’re picked up.
If you spot anyone struggling, think about slowing the pace of the group. Have a chat with them, ensure they have enough food and suggest they don’t take long turns on the front. If they are really suffering and need to cut the ride short, make sure they know the way home.
Please make sure the group is kept together as much as possible, regrouping after hills if necessary. A ride is much faster overall if you have to stop fewer times to wait for everyone as opposed to riding at a steady pace throughout. As per the Etiquette, if people are causing the group to split or others to suffer, please ask them to ease up a bit. If there are a number of stronger riders continually doing it, it might be best to let them form a separate group and meet them at the coffee stop. Make sure after junctions, everyone is back on the group before the pace goes back up and no one is dropped.
Work out the best way for your group to swap people riding on the front of the group so it’s not down to just a few riders.
- Rotating the whole group round one in an anticlockwise direction.
- The front rider(s) peeling off, going to the back and the next set coming through for their turn.
- Riders communicating they’re going to the front, overtaking the group steadily and moving in front of the lead riders (make sure that you do this safely)
- If in single file, the front rider should signal, move to the left and allow the group to pass before rejoining at the back rather than random overtakes from mid group if possible.
The group riding style should then be communicated to the group before the ride and if people are struggling with it, talk with them mid ride or at the coffee stop.