Information for Ride Leaders

Every month many members lead rides. If you have been riding with the club you probably appreciate the members who take on this leadership role.  Are you ready to step up and lead a few rides?  Here is the information to get you started.

Reasons to Lead Rides

  • The rides on the calendar are always too long, too short, too fast or too slow.
  • You want to ride in a particular area or ride to a particular place.
  • If feel it is time for you to help out.
  • You like being in front of the pack!
  • You want to get one of those neat ride leader awards at the annual banquet.

You Won't Be Alone

Many members are happy to co-lead a ride with a new ride leader. A co-leader can help you resolve any problems that may arise on your first experience as a ride leader. If a co-leader isn't designated in advance, a member on the day of ride can volunteer. Just ask if anyone will volunteer to be a co-ride leader as it is your first time to lead. On most rides there are at least a couple of members who can help when someone has minor mechanical or medical problems.

Good preparation is to read over the material in this article and consult with the Ride Coordinator if you have any questions. 

Get Your Ride in the on the Calendar

For your ride to be posted, you must send it to the Ride Coordinator.  It is best to send an email with the details--start time and location, ride code, distance, and anything else about the ride people would want to know--i.e. lunch stop, money needed, special attractions, whether rain will cancel, etc.

The more lead time the better. Rides will also be added to the RideLine. For a mid-week ride call before Sunday night. For a weekend ride, call before Thursday night. The Ride Line is generally updated late Thursday and Sunday nights.

Things to Carry

  •   Sign in form and pen. Before starting a ride have all the riders sign in on this form. Non-members should sign on the back of the form.  Be sure they include an emergency contact number, even if it is in another state.  Putting 911 is not acceptable.  In case of an accident,a member's personal primary insurance provider is billed first and TWBC’s insurance can be billed for the remainder.
  • You might want to always carry a few sign in form.pdf with you in a bag. Then you will always be ready to lead a ride!
  • Map and/or cue sheet (Required for rides over 35 miles). You can be reimbursed for any copying by providing the Treasurer with a check request form.
  • All bicyclists should carry a first aid kit, basic repair kit, pump and water on rides and be wearing a helmet.  Do not let someone join a Club ride if they are not wearing a helmet.
  •  Be sure someone on the ride has a working cell phone.
  • A map of the area where you are riding would be helpful when someone needs to take a short cut back to the start of the route.

Planning your ride:

  • Know the route you are planning to ride.
  • Prepare a map and/or cue sheet. Make copies if over 35 miles in length.
  • Ride the course on the day of the week and time you plan to lead the ride to get an idea of what kind of traffic you will encounter.
  • Check where you can get food, water and restrooms on the route.
  • The Ride Coordinator is a good resource person, able to provide ideas, maps and or cue sheets. Please do not hesitate to contact her.
  • Be flexible. Things may not always go as you had planned. Don't let a glitch spoil your ride.

Day of the Ride

  • Arrive 15 minutes early so you can be prepared to leave at the scheduled time.
  • Have everyone sign in.
  • Introduce yourself and explain where you are riding. Go over the rules of the road.
  • Announce where the group will regroup.
  • If it is a group larger than 10 and you don't have a co-leader, ask for a volunteer to "sweep".
  • Emphasize riding safely and announce any hazard(s) that the group may encounter.

During the Ride

  • Ride the code!! This is the biggest complaint we get--the leader not leading the ride at the code they advertised.  If the ride is a 1 or 2 code, take time to keep the group together.
  • Periodically, regroup and count heads to make sure you haven't lost any one.
  • Be aware if a rider is having any mechanical or physical trouble.
  • Talk with riders who are not riding safely.   

After the Ride

  • Complete the ride sheet by entering the number of miles ridden, and any particular "notes".
  • Turn the completed ride sheet in to the Ride Coordinator. You may want to send your map or cue sheet as well. This may be helpful for others wanting to lead rides.
  • Immediately email the membership chair person the contact information on any non-members who were on your ride. We will add that person to our database and contact them about membership.

When You Can't Lead Your Ride

Occasionally an emergency arises which prevents you from leading your ride. Suggestions for resolving this situation:

  • Find another club member to lead the ride. The Ride Coordinator may be able to give you some suggestions. 
  • Get someone to arrive at the start location to announce that you cannot lead the ride. Perhaps it can become a "Decide to Ride."  The group figures out where they will ride and who will lead. If you can provide maps of your intended route, that would be helpful
  • See if the Ride Coordinator can cancel the ride from the online ride calendar and from the Rideline.


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