Ride Leader Procedures
Why be a Ride Leader?
Being a Ride Leader is enjoyable, rewarding and fun: you have the satisfaction of sharing your knowledge and enabling people to ride their bikes. You get to choose when and where you ride. No formal training or knowledge is required to lead one of our club rides, except perhaps common sense and an enthusiasm for cycling, alongside a desire to share that passion with others.
Role of the Ride Leader
Ride Leaders are there as a focal point for enabling and ensuring the smooth running of a club ride. They are not expected to be experts in any field, for example first aid, cycle maintenance or the law.
Ride Leaders will have been on a number of club rides or will have come from a club where they have regularly led rides, so will have experience of riding in a group. They are therefore likely to be able to help resolve any problems or incidents.
How to become a Ride Leader
Any club member who regularly attends club rides can become a Ride Leader for Cycle Seahaven. In order to become a Ride Leader, they must meet the following criteria:
Potential Ride Leaders must lead at least two different rides, ideally made up of different size groups and, where possible, with different observers. The minimum number of riders on an observed ride must be four.
One of these rides must involve route planning and appropriate CSH grading (based on speed, terrain and weather conditions). This route must then be led by the potential Ride Leader.
During an observed ride the potential Ride Leader must demonstrate the following:
- provide a brief overview of the ride (time, route and terrain) to the riders at the start of the ride
- provide easily identifiable stop or regroup points throughout the ride to ensure that those riders at the front of the group don’t break away or inadvertently ride into hazardous sections
- at stop points collectively brief everyone about potential hazards on upcoming sections (loose gravel, potholes etc)
- factor in stops to enable riders to recover, rehydrate or snack
- use of appropriate hand signals and verbal warnings.
- demonstrate the ability to encourage, assist and ‘control’ the group as whole.
It will be beneficial for Ride Leaders to have a basic knowledge of first aid. The club will provide training and first aid kits. Ride Leaders will still have discretion on whether to administer first aid, but we would hope they would assist a casualty until professional medical help arrives.
It will also be beneficial for Ride Leaders to know how to fix a puncture and training will be provided on how to do this (if required). There is no requirement for the Ride Leader to fix a puncture during a ride.
To remain an active Ride Leader, Ride Leaders must lead or assist (help another Ride Leader) on at least one ride every year. This activity must be for a ride that takes place and not a cancelled or postponed ride. In cases of doubt, reference to the calendar or confirmation of assistance will be obtained by speaking to the Ride Leader concerned. Ride Leaders who have not led a ride for over a year will become inactive.
The process for an inactive Ride Leader to return to active status will require an inactive ride leader to assist on one ride and lead one ride. Where necessary the committee will assist with this.
All riders, whether members or guests, have a duty of care as dictated by common and statute law.
A Ride Leader has a few additional responsibilities:
To be covered by our liability insurance, the Ride Leader must publish all rides on the club’s online calendar. If a Ride Leader wishes to lead a ride “off calendar” this ride is not covered by the Club’s insurance and is therefore not a Cycle Seahaven Ride.
The Ride Leader should be familiar with the route and ensure it’s correctly graded. (Note: it is not expected that the Ride Leader will constantly check familiar routes. However, if a route is a new route, it may be advisable to have tried the route first).
The published ride will normally include the start time, expected distance and/or duration, indicative level in accordance with the Grading System. This gives riders a good idea of what to expect and will help them to judge their suitability to join a ride.
A Ride Leader can refuse any member or guest from joining the ride. For example, a rider may not be considered experienced enough or physically able to complete the planned route, or they may expose the other riders to additional risk.
Ride Leaders should be familiar with the Club Rules (usual disclaimer, number of guest riders, duty of care, constitution, link to Junior Member page, etc).
The Ride Leader has access to the online Incident Form which is completed at the discretion of the Ride Leader.
A Ride Leader must record the name of every rider. This is a requirement of the Club’s insurer. Guests are encouraged to leave their details with the Ride Leader in case of an incident.
Ride Leaders are simply a contact point to help organise rides.
They accept no additional or third-party liability above that of any other rider in the group.
Ride Leaders will be registered with the Cycling UK thereby benefiting from their third-party liability insurance and legal experts. This is part of the service offered by Cycling UK, paid for by The Club’s affiliation fees.
The committee regularly seeks feedback from Ride Leaders and reviews the Ride Leader process. Where requirements are imposed then suitable training will be provided, free of charge, to the Ride Leaders.
We acknowledge this is a voluntary role and we are grateful for the support of our volunteers. The club has an obligation to recognise this and will provide training as required.
Cycle Seahaven (‘The Club’) are affiliated to the Cycling UK, and as such run The Club according to their documentation and procedures. A useful source of information is cycling UK’s Ride Leader Handbook and Ride Leader Toolkit.