Lea Valley CC Ride Leaders
All LVCC rides should have a designated Ride Leader, the Ride Leaders job is to guide the group safely around the chosen route and act as a point of contact for riders, particularly new & guest riders.
The Club Ride is normally advertised on Facebook on Friday, please comment on the post which group you are going to lead (It’s highly recommended that each group has 2 Ride Leaders, this helps to spread the workload easier) so other riders have some idea of who to look out for before they arrive at the Town Hall or High Beach.
Ensure you have downloaded the correct route, and even have a quick glance at the route so you are confident of where the route is headed to.
At the Town Hall
LVCC Club Rides have 2 starting points, Ride Leaders should give a brief announcement at the Town Hall, indicating that we will be riding up to High Beach in our groups, indicating which group is the A, B, C & Social groups, announcing when this group is leaving, relaying what shouts & signals we use on the road.
Full announcements will be made at High Beach by each Ride Leader to their group.
Often there might not be a Ride Leader available at this point for specific groups, help out with new members/guests and those unsure of what group to ride in, you may even have to accompany them to High Beach or designate another experienced rider to do so.
At High Beach
One of the Ride Leaders or other experienced riders will often make a few announcements to all the riders about the ride and various activities that are happening over the next few weeks/months:
- The route, potential hazards and things to watch out for, all routes should have the option of a Cafe Stop – the cafe should be the same for all groups to enable riders to move up or down their chosen group.
- Groups – We normally have 4 groups every week based on average speed, point out Ride Leaders for each group (Ride Leaders should put their hand in the air so they are easily visible) all groups follow the same route (sometimes the Social group do their own thing).
- Guest Riders are allowed 3 rides before they are expected to join the club, hopefully they have already made themselves known to members and the groups have been explained to them and they are comfortable with which group they wish to ride in. Introduce guest riders to Ride Leaders before announcements if possible.
- Events – Announce any club or other events that are coming up and how to take part, make it clear that members are expected to volunteer for at least 1 club event per year.
It’s important that all riders pay attention to the announcements and Ride Leaders should pay particular attention as they will often be a point of contact on the ride.
Once the groups have been split, it’s much easier to pass on information, the Ride Leader of each group should:
- Introduce any new/guest riders to the group, or ask them to introduce themselves. Explain that all members should look out for each other and in particular new/guest riders.
- Explain how the group will ride, we will mostly be riding 2 abreast where road conditions allow, when the need to ride single file arises, announce this to the group and ensure the message is passed through the group.
Explain half wheeling, how to maintain the pace of the group, rotating at the front, through and off, regrouping after hills/descents/splits etc.
- Ensure that riders understand the aim is to ride as a group, this means no attacking/sprint signs unless agreed by the group.
The Ride Leader should have an understanding of the composition of the group and if this is applicable, ensure new riders are looked after.
- Explain the shouts and signals we will use on the road and the importance that these are passed through the group.
Once these have been explained, announce that your group is rolling out.
A group should leave first, followed after a few minutes by the B, C and finally the Social Group.
During the ride
Ride Leaders should begin the ride at the front of the group, this will help ensure that those behind can learn quickly from watching the ride leader.
It also gives the opportunity for the Ride Leader to set the pace for the ride, other members should assist in keeping the group in formation early on if needed, keeping an eye on other riders, passing information through the group.
After a while, the Ride Leader can signal their intent to rotate at the front and pass back through the group to see how the successfully is the group riding. Often encouraging and passing information to other riders on how to keep the group together – paying particular attention to new/guest riders and ensuring they are looked after.
Ride Leaders will often have to give advice to other riders to help keep the group together, encouraging weaker or nervous riders on how to ride in a group, explain techniques such as through and off, or ensuring stronger riders don’t push the pace up beyond the group expectations, telling riders not to attack off the front etc.
This is for the benefit of the group, unsafe or bad riding should not be tolerated, if needed stop the ride and remind the group of the expectations set out before the ride.
Before the end of the ride, ensure all riders know where they are, and how to get back to Walthamstow or the general direction of where they want to go.