How to organize and lead a ride for the DBC.
Thanks for considering leading a ride for the DBC! It is one of the most rewarding ways you can volunteer your time for the club. Here are some ideas that may help it end up as a successful outing, especially for you, the ride leader:
Plan Your Ride
- Create a route YOU want to ride. (Then, if no one shows up, you’ll still have a fantastic day.)
- If you need some inspiration, check out these local ride ideas, area rides, and other resources for route planning.
- Consider the main theme: a destination? exploring a new area? distance/training? climbing?
- Always keep participant safety in mind; avoid busy roads with lots of car traffic wherever possible.
- If you have led a ride for the club in the past few years, chances are that it tucked away in the ride archives. It would be easy to dig it out, dust it off, and get it ready to take out for spin.
- Scout the route
- If it’s a new route for you, or one you haven’t ridden in a while, get out there and scout it. (Are the roads all open? Is the water source you were counting on still there?)
- If that’s not possible, alert participants that there may be some ‘unknowns’ and to be prepared for adventure.
- Map it and/or provide an accurate cue sheet
- This is especially important if you don’t plan on keeping the group together.
- We encourage ride leaders to use Ride with GPS. That way all, or most, DBC ride maps will be on one website. It’s acceptable if you would rather use a different mapping website, such as Map My Ride, or an entirely different system, to generate a map and cue sheet.
- It is perfectly OK to ask riders to print their own cue sheet as part of being prepared for the ride.
- Put together a ride description that includes all of this information:
- Pedal-out time
- Start location
- Terrain (be specific about any difficult climbing)
- Pace (and your plans for regrouping)
- Really think about this. Are you planning to circle around and check on people who drop off the back? Will the group wait for someone who has a flat? Or is it ‘each rider for him/herself’? BE SPECIFIC about this so that no one is surprised on ride day.
- If you expect a larger group with varying cycling abilities, consider assigning another participant to ‘sweep’ the ride for you. Or encourage stronger riders to go for bonus miles (or interval training!) by circling around to check on the back of the pack.
- Ride leader’s name, email and contact phone numbers (especially for the day of the ride)
- Availability of ‘services’ at any non-local start and along the route (food, water, bathrooms)
- Any specifics that would help riders arrive prepared (bring extra water, bring a sandwich, etc.)
- Whether you want participants to RSVP to you
- What would cancel the ride? (weather considerations, for example); how will you communicate that?
Advertise Your Ride
- Send your ride description to the club’s Ride Calendar Coordinator, so that it can be posted in the Online Ride Calendar
- Announce your ride on the DBC listserv … perhaps a couple of times … to generate interest
Lead Your Ride
- Ride roster sign-in IS NOT required.
- If you would like to keep track of who came on your ride it’s OK to have a sign-in sheet, but it is not a requirement of the DBC.
- For purposes of liability coverage, participants in DBC rides should be DBC members. Encourage any non-member participants to join the DBC if they plan to continue attending club rides.
- Introduce any new riders to the group; make people feel welcome
- Outline your plans for the day, especially where regroup points will be
- Exchange cell numbers, as necessary
- Stick to the advertised pace. (If there is a consistent complaint about club-led rides, it is that the pace was not what was advertised.)
- HAVE A SAFE AND FUN RIDE!