Below are some guidelines to give you an overview of what you need to think about and do as a ride leader
Before the Sunday
- Ahead of the Sunday, familiarise yourself with the route.
- Don't rely on using your Garmin on the day as proper knowledge of the route is invaluable in making the ride flow, e.g. knowing where the hills are, where you can take it steady and where you can make up time, where the pinch points are or dangerous road crossings, etc...
- The routes are always available on the website from the "Sunday Ride Schedule" section under "Club Rides".
In the Market Square
- On the Sunday, please turn up a few minutes early in case there are any last minute changes or notices.
- Once your group has assembled, make sure everyone knows everyone in the group (a good way for you to do a name check as well).
- If there are any obvious ringers in your group (either too good or not good enough) suggest politely that they move up or down or agree that this group is going to run at the advertised speed and they are not too disrput it, or if they drop off the back they may be left (unless it is the 9.45 steady ride).
- Identify a buddy.
- Briefly describe the route you're going to ride and point out any particular features (e.g. hilly at the beginning so will go off steady, or main road crossings, etc...).
- Set expectations of how the group should ride, reminding that Sunday rides are social, not training rides:
- The group will ride smoothly, no bouncing off the front (e.g. up hills) or lingering at the back.
- Everyone will ride safely, in pairs, unless you call otherwise.
- They shall obey the rules of the road - this usually manifests itself in not signalling when other road users are about.
- Riders should be aware of everyone else in the group and look after each other, make sure no-one drops off the back un-noticed, has a mechanical or is otherwise struggling.
- Riders will be expected to rotate and take turns at the front. (Run two lines moving up on the right and back on the left. A few minutes each on the front with one person rotating in at a time.)
On the move...
- Once on the road get your group organised as quickly as possible.
- When leaving town, run single file unless there is no traffic.
- Otherwise always run pairs unless you are holding up traffic, in which case revert to single file and leave a gap in the middle so cars can "hop" up the line.
- Do not wave cars through.
- If there are riders not "behaving" or putting the group in danger by their riding, don't hesitate to have a quiet word.
- If someone pings off the front constantly, tell the rest of the group not to chase them down, otherwise this will disrupt the group as a whole.
- Try and run to the advertised speed - remember that you may have riders who have just stepped up a group and may struggle to ride faster.
- If you are running fast (e.g. on a flatter route) make sure everyone is happy running at that speed. Do not drop a rider if you are running above speed. Instead, slow down and let them recover.
- If there is an issue with the route, you may need to adjust it on the fly - hence being familiar with the route before you leave helps!
- If you are going to have a sprint for the town limits sign at the end, make sure the road conditions allow it and it is safe to do so 🙂
We have finally had confirmation from British Cycling that as nominated ride leaders you are covered by BC's liability insurance as an officer of the club, but still don't put yourself in a position of risk (e.g. waving cars through, etc...)