Guidance for Route Planners and Ride Leaders
Many thanks for agreeing to plan and/or lead one or more stages of our July 2019 ride from Hastings to Edinburgh. So that we are all ‘singing from the same songsheet’ here are some thoughts about the principles and practicalities of this venture. A template for writing up the route for your stage is here. It would be great if you could complete it and send to us at email@example.com as soon as you are reasonably sure of the route you’ve chosen.
- Know your route
- Designate rider to be at front and back
- Do a bike safety check before setting off
- You may refuse to accept an unsafe rider or an unsafe bike
- Ride at the pace of the slowest, and/or divide into separate groups
- First aid kit
- Puncture repair kit
- Never leave anybody alone
- Prepare note of good places to stop and possible exits
- Have fun!
We all want this to be as inclusive an event as possible. People will be able to register for any stage and we will have at least one point of arrival or departure so that they can cycle less than the full stage. For practical reasons that will be only one point for all stages, unless there are good reasons to have more than one. We must keep riders safe but we must also plan the riding so that the riders have a good time and never feel that they are holding people up. You will work with the organisers to ensure that a designated person rides at the back at all times. That person must be a confident cyclist, able to catch up with the main group when necessary. So,
The ride goes at the pace of the slowest rider
No-one feels left-out or stressed (in a bad way).
You, as the leader, may have to discuss leaving the route if a very slow person is so slow that you don’t think the ride will get to the end in a reasonable time that day. You will ensure that a rider left the route safely – that is, with someone else and at a point where they can be transported back to their base.
You have the authority to decline to accept a rider who is not safe. They may be wearing unsafe footwear or clothing and are unwilling or unable to change them.
When planning the leg, be aware that when you have more than two people, a ride will take longer than you think. Working on an average of 7 miles an hour, to include minor stops, might be useful.
Stopping for ice-cream, tea, cake, etc. is very much part of the experience so schedule time for that. Ideally you will know of nice places to stop.
Because we expect to have a number of ‘rusty’ or ‘novice’ riders on most legs, please try to have a rest break every hour. The duration of that break is at your discretion as leader.
Where we have to have legs of more than 30 miles, let’s try to find points at which people can join the ride to shorten it for them. These would have to be time and location specific, as far as possible.
Those joining points must also be in a place where people can get to by car or train and where we can gather safely.
First aid and general safety
Please know who will have a first aid kit on your legs. This doesn’t have to be you, but please do check that and note it.
You will brief the group of any specific dangers on the section ahead.
It is not your responsibility to check that riders are properly set up for the ride but please do a quick check for any clearly dangerous situations, such as someone planning to ride in long baggy skirt or trousers. Riders will have been sent guidance but we all know how much attention is paid to that!
Punctures and repairs
It is the responsibility of each rider to ensure that their bike is roadworthy and to be able to attend to minor repairs. As the leader you will make a decision as to whether to hold up the ride for such issues or whether to take the group on. Never leave a rider alone in that situation, find another group member who is prepared to stay with them. We will have (we hope) a little army of people standing by to help out with their cars with such emergencies.
Thank you for your help with this ambitious project – it would not be possible without you!
Organising team contact info:
Moira Dunworth – 07807 568649
Carolyn Burch / Richard Raggett – 07500 667669