Leading a VCR Ride
Below is some guidance on leading a ride and is relevant to all those that lead rides or have an interest in understanding what the role of Ride Leader entails
Plan a route which conforms to the general parameters of the ride (i.e. Café Ride, Café Plus etc.). Consider variations if conditions change and recce the route if it is totally new to you.
Publicise the route to the Club via Facebook etc., indicating its length, planned pace and any other relevant features such as very busy roads, unsurfaced sections, major climbs and descents.
Indicate the refreshment stop, if relevant.
Publicise a GPS version of the route if appropriate.
At The Start
Identify the riders and introduce yourself to those riders you do not know.
Check how many rides non-members have been on and ascertain that anyone under 18 has written parental permission* to join the club ride.
Give the pre-ride safety briefing, focussing on the key components, including but not limited to:
Ride protocol - A brief description of the route including distance, pace, hilly/flat, terrain etc.
Confirm that everyone is happy they are capable and prepared for the ride
Reiterate key safety issues as required including any expecting busy roads or steep climbs/descents etc.
Identify if there is a first aider in the group
Provide an overview of the route including café stop etc.
If the group is more than 12 people, the group should be split into smaller groups. The groups can ride at the same or different paces as determined by the ride leader but should aim to keep around 30m between groups to allow cars to overtake safely.
Appoint an experienced rider to lead each group.
Ask for ‘Any Questions’.
During The Ride
Ensure you keep the group at or near the planned pace.
Try to keep the group compact and tidy – two abreast or single file as road conditions dictate.
Riders hopping between groups should be discouraged from doing so while the groups are rolling to avoid consuming the safe space reserved for vehicles that wish to overtake
Ensure that your observance of the Highway Code is exemplary
Stop the ride at appropriate intervals, and in a safe place, to check on the group.
Stop before significant hazardous sections to reiterate safety points.
Ensure that any riders leaving the group en-route are happy to find their own way home. If appropriate, ask one of the more experienced riders to accompany a lone returnee.
In the event of a rider contravening expected ride etiquette or general principles of road safety, point out the problem to the rider(s) concerned.
Any rider that repeatedly ignores the Ride Leaders instruction or otherwise continues to ride unsafely or discourteously may (at the ride leaders discretion and after fair warning has been given) be asked to leave the group - they will need to make their own way back
Lead by example.
At the end of the ride, thank the riders for their company etc.
Note: Parental Permission is only required to be provided once a year but may be withdrawn at the subsequent request of the parent or guardian