Before Setting Off
We all know preparation is important before setting out on a project or task. Leading a WWCC ride is no different. Here are some reminders and tips:
The Ride Leader is registered, by default as a WWCC member, with CTC by the Club Secretary in order to activate Organiser’s Liability Cover.
The Leader should make preparations for the ride by way of route planning which is expected to use minor roads for the majority of the route. Use of main roads should be kept to a minimum and extra thought should be exercised in order to reduce danger or avoid large traffic islands and right turns off main roads. The WWCC website has a Library section of over 40 rides and a downloadable index of the rides by distance, climb and route taken is on the "Ride Routes" page.
Consider meal arrangements, check that the establishments intend to be open and book if necessary.
Advise riders no later than 09.00 on the day of the ride, by way of the Ride Updatefacility on the WWCC website if cancellation or changes are necessary due to adverse weather conditions or other factors.
Carry at least two WWCC Membership Forms, copies of which can be printed out from the WWCC website.
Carry at least one WWCC/CTC Incident Report Form, copies of which can be printed out from the WWCC website
The Captain should be aware of the document Lead the Group– a 'CTC Guide to leading a group ride' is recommended reading (events/support-for-cycle-event-organisers/policies-procedures)
At the meet
Riders at the meet shall all be looking out for the Leader; some riders may be new to WWCC or need some other special attention. Our advice is therefore:
Be at the Meet in plenty of time to greet riders.
Welcome new riders and introduce them to the group, and identify non-WWCC Members (lapsed members will not always be easily identified without full records to hand).
Request non-WWCC members to complete a Guest Registration Form to join WWCC at the nominal rate.
Riders under 18 are not permitted to ride with WWCC.
Obtain relevant Runs Book and record all participants at the meet or as soon as practicable.
Appoint a Backmarker to ensure that no one gets left behind, and check that Leader and Backmarker can communicate by mobile phone.
Brief riders on any particular hazard expected to be encountered on the ride.
If the group exceeds 15 in number, the Leader should appoint a secondary leader and backmarker and split into groups of approximately equal size.
Ensure that all riders are wearing an approved cycle helmet*
On the road
Obviously when leading a group of cyclist on the road a Leader has a very important role to play. You should therefore:
Give clear instructions to the group.
Regulate the pace of ride to that of the slowest rider and be prepared to adjust the route accordingly.
Indicate well in advance changes in direction or a stop.
Check for presence of Backmarker at changes of direction.
Highlight particular hazards to the group e.g. steep descents, very bad road surfaces.
Avoid stopping on bends and brow of hills.
Require that bikes and riders are off the road, not obstructing pedestrians, when a group stops by the roadside to resolve mechanical problems and punctures.
End of ride
OK, you have got everyone back and you can relax! Well not quite. There are still some final tasks:
Check new riders know their way home and arrange for relevant members to return them to the meet or a point where they are familiar.
Pass on Runs Book to next Leader or to someone intending to attend the next ride.
Contact the Club Secretary as a matter of urgency to advise of any incident that is being reported on a Incident Report Form.
Send forms by scanned e-mail as soon as possible to those listed on the form.
Send off within 5 days any completed Membership Registration Forms to the WWCC Secretary by post or scanned to e-mail.
Finally . . .
Leading a successful ride is generally very satisfying. You are greatly appreciated, by the riders themselves and the wider WWCC. Your focus on the small things has meant a lot.
* the club operates a mandatory cycle helmet rule - No helmet = No ride