Advice for Ride Leaders
(Come on in the water is fine)
You can choose the ride start point; it does not have to be Towcester centred. Use the club website forum for your ideas and see if a group will come to you.
- Prepare. Work a route out in advance; if possible ride the route first, noting the terrain, distance and time the leisure ride takes. Then add on a bit of time for any hold-ups. What looks simple on a map can become confusing when actually seen out on the road. Look for any short-cuts in advance on the map to get home if the ride takes longer than planned. Remember that others on the ride will probably not know the route and may be dependant on you. Have the map with you to help others get their bearings.
- Prepare. If a café stop is planned try and phone the cafe in advance of the ride to check that they are open and can cope with the number of riders in the group. It can be very embarrassing for you if the place is closed when you arrive or does not have enough seats.
- Prepare. Get to the club house/start point before your group arrives. If you are delayed or can’t make it try and phone in or pass the word on.
- Prepare. Try to find a volunteer “tail-end Charlie” who will ride at the back and look after any potential stragglers or mechanical/puncture victims. The “Charlie” should be a strong and experienced rider as s/he may have to come quickly to the front to keep you informed of any problems and then go back to help out.
- Prepare. Make sure that you have a copy of the club signing-in form and that all riders fill in the required details. Count the number riding from the list and count heads at setting off. It is very easy for someone to get left behind.
- Welcome. Welcome any new people that are on the ride and explain to them what they should expect of the ride. Introduce them to other riders.
- Communicate. Before starting a ride or continuing after a café stop, make sure everybody knows that the group is about to leave so they can prepare to move out. Remember, less experienced riders may be slow to get started and if a gap opens up they will be playing catch-up from the start.
- Starting off. Start relatively slowly to enable the group to get organised behind you and allow any gaps to be closed up. This is particularly important when riding through a town where traffic lights may split the group.
- Look and listen. For signs from the group that you are leading the run too fast or too slow or someone is tiring. If the pace is too fast people will generally stop talking to each other. Take from advice from “Charlie” at the rear as to who is struggling and change the pace accordingly. Keep a steady pace when going up-hill and/or stop to regroup at the top of the hill if safe to do so.
Now the most important advice - Enjoy the day (and start to plan your next ride).