The following is the club recommended protocol for ride leaders on club runs.
Before the ride:
- Sign up in the shared spreadsheet (here) – ideally a month or so beforehand.
- During the week before the ride, figure out a café stop and route.
- If you can (not essential, but nice) – let folks know what the route is going to be. If you can produce this as a Garmin routing file or map that’s excellent.
- A day or so before the ride, give the café a ring to check they’ll be open and to warn them that a bunch of hungry will be descending on them.
To give an idea on times and distances:
- A first of the month club ride should be around 50 miles at 15mph average.
- Rides during the rest of the month should be 50 to 70 miles (a little less in the winter, maybe a bit more in the summer) at whatever pace the group dictates – but typically that means between 16 and 19mph.
On the ride:
- Try not to have more than 20 riders in a pack. If you have more than this, split into two or more groups – ideally going to the same location so long as the café can cope. It’s your responsibility to find someone to lead the other group who is happy with the route and what they’re doing.
- Keep the group together on the way out to the café – which means regulating the speed so you don’t drop people. You may need to call to the people on the front so they don’t inadvertently pick the pace up and you’ll need to be listening for calls from folks who are struggling. Particularly take care at the top of hills – this is when you’ll tend to lose people off the back if they’re struggling.
- On the way back from the café, stay with the slowest riders (which normally means riding near the back to spot if anyone gets dropped). Other riders, if they’re happy they know the route or have your route on their Garmins or printed off, can head off at their pace – but that’s up to them.
- Where possible, groups should try to follow the same route (which is the key advantage of publishing it ahead of time) so that people who try to head out with a faster group and get dropped get picked up by the ride leader who is travelling with the slower riders.
- If you spot someone on the ride wandering dangerously, wobbling, riding three abreast, getting too close or overlapping wheels it’s your responsibility to “have a word”. Try and do this tactfully and gently but it’s better to let folks know than risk an accident.