guidance for current and future ride leaders

Leading Groups

It would be brilliant if you could lead a ride

We are on the constant look out for new group ride leaders for all rides.  It is not rocket science but there are a few important things to consider, and it is helpful to be experienced group rider.  

DCC periodically organiser ride leadership courses if you unfamiliar or nervous about leading club rides. Further courses are available via British Cycling. 

Planning your route... a fun bit.

Crafting a route ahead of your ride can be great fun, when thinking about destinations, cafe stops, pleasing lanes, and what will please the group.

  • Think about the group’s capabilities.  If the route is very testing, in terms of distance or hills, make sure they know in advance.
  • Look for good safe roads. Use of busy main roads will receive nil point from the group.
  • Plot a route out using an online tool such as Ridewithgps or Strava
  • Choosing a good cafe will make you think of cake.  The cafe will need to be cyclist friendly and not located in a broom cupboard. 
  • You may wish to choose a previous route and destination. 

Promoting the ride

Ideally, it is best to give a week’s warning of an upcoming ride but we appreciate that is not always possible.  Even late notice will conjure up riders.  A really important thing to address is communication to club members.  Whatsapp and the DCC Facebook 

Route planning tools

Share your planned route by using one of the online tools.  Members love to download the file to their GPS. Just remember to save your file as ‘public’ 

Advertising your ride

Give plenty of notice on your intended ride to drum up interest.  Post on the group ride Whatsapp group and as an ‘event’ on our Facebook group.

Departure Times

The default departure time for Sunday groups rides is 09:00 from the Lido Car Park. You can go earlier or later by make this clear when advertising the ride.  You may pick riders at agreed pick up points such as Crowle or Worcester Premier Inn, but that depends upon your intended route out of Droitwich. 


Weather can be a pain.  Heavy rain or strong winds can be disruptive.  Ice can makes rides dangerous and you may wish to cancel all together. If you postpone or cancel the ride, announce this on both Whatsapp and Facebook ASAP.  

1. Introduction

  • This guidance is for Droitwich Cycling Club Ride Leaders who run non-competitive group club rides for both members and guests.
  • Organised rides, and the people that lead them are the lifeblood of our club, it is very rewarding for leaders and participants Whilst they are guidelines to follow, much of the below is common sense.
  • Ride leaders are covered by British Cycling’s insurance providing they are acting on behalf of Droitwich Cycling Club.

2. Ride Leader Development

  • Whilst not required, Droitwich Cycling Club wants to actively support our ride leaders by part funding their British Cycling Ride Leader qualifications to enable their development as leaders. 
  • Those interested in attaining their Ride Leader qualification should make contact with the Club Secretary. 

3. Duty of Care

  • Whilst not required, Droitwich Cycling Club wants to actively support our ride leaders by part funding their British Cycling Ride Leader qualifications to enable their development as leaders.
  • Those interested in attaining their Ride Leader qualification should make contact with the Club Secretary.
  • Ride Leaders accept responsibility for leading the group and owe the other riders a duty of care to reduce the chance of them being exposed to unacceptable risk of injury, as far as is reasonably practicable.
  • Rides are open to club members, members of affiliate clubs and guests (a guest being defined as someone ‘trialling’ club activities prior to membership for a limit of three attendances).
  • Each Ride Leader will have in mind the type of ride they wish to plan and lead and the abilities and experience of the Club members it might attract. Whatever the type of ride, the Ride Leader should look to work to the practices set out in this document, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of participants.
  • It is essential therefore that a Ride Leader carries out the control measures in the Club’s Generic Risk Assessment. Many of the measures are in fact the responsibility of individual riders so this will need to be communicated to riders from time to time. Attention should be paid to new members or guest riders turning up for the first time to make sure they are reasonably competent and have a suitable bike.
  • Ride Leaders must undertake to lead to the best of their ability and avoid creating foreseeable risk of injury. They must take reasonable steps to deal with any potential risk of injury, which they know exists or arises during a ride.
  • Ride Leaders are volunteers, not professional guides.
  • Droitwich Cycling club guidance makes this clear and states that the individual riders have a duty of care to themselves and others who may be affected by their actions. All riders must take full responsibility for their actions and to also use their own judgment as to what is best for their own and the group’s safety in any particular situation, but: As a Ride Leader you must override unsafe decisions about group actions made by others, if they occur. 
  • A Ride Leader will have knowledge of the route they are leading, be aware and reasonably follow this guidance and be an experienced rider.

4. Giving a pre-ride briefing

  • Group rides tend to fall into two categories: The standard weekly club social rides and the one-off special events or outings.
  • A special event will need a briefing communicated in advance so that club members may decide whether the ride is for them. The Ride Leader may need to check entrants’ abilities are suited to the ride in advance and may wish to limit numbers.
  • For standard weekly club rides a briefing on the day is usually sufficient though Ride Leaders may wish also to provide advance information, particularly in special circumstances due to say a longer route or changeable weather conditions.
  • The briefing should: (i) Outline route; (ii) Distance; (iii) Hills; (iii) Surfaces and road types to be encountered; (iv) Known hazards; (v) Average speed; (vi) Comfort stops; (vii) Café stops.

5. During the ride

  • When riding, the Ride Leader will implement the Club’s Group Riding Rules, paying particular attention to: (i) Keeping the group together and providing support; (ii) Not leaving anyone behind unless agreed during the ride and then only where safe to do so.
  • Delivering the ride that has been briefed, facilitating regrouping (e.g. at junctions; after hills) and keeping to the planned speed, subject to: (i) Making adjustments to the planned ride for comfort and safety; (ii) Always choosing a safe place to stop as a group, and in particular avoiding road junctions, bends and other physical road hazards;(ii) Warning riders before stopping and keeping the carriageway clear; (iii) Assess the problem and decide whether to hold up the ride or leave the affected rider with helpers and details of the route to the next stop(s); (iv) If unsure of the route, stop well before junction to consult map; (v) Check for presence of back marker at junctions. If necessary, wait for slower riders beyond the junction.

6. Equipment failures during the ride

  • In the event of punctures, breakdowns etc the priority is to keep the group safe. Clear the Carriageway/trail if possible or instruct the group to continue to a safe waiting place.
  • Ride Leaders are not expected to be bike mechanics and often others in the group may be able to help with mechanicals. No one should carry out any repairs or adjustments that they are not reasonably confident they can carry out successfully.

7. Ride leader position in the group

  • It is not necessary for the Ride Leader to be on the front for the entire ride. This will be the best position when there are sections of more complex route finding or junction, or areas like narrow lanes where route knowledge might help in decisions for singling out.
  • The Leader also does not have to be the back marker though there may be times, particularly on long climbs where this is appropriate.
  • Often the best position is in the middle. And if on front best to be the right-hand side as this gives better visibility of the group behind.

8. Wearing protective equipment

  • The club requires that helmets are worn at all times during rides of any type.

9. First Aid

  • It is not a Club requirement for a Ride Leader to carry or administer first aid

10. Dealing with an accident

  • If someone has an accident, first ensure you’re not endangering yourself or others by approaching them. Find out if anyone has a first aid qualification and follow their instructions or, if you hold a qualification, follow the procedures you learned.
  • There is some excellent advice provided by British Cycling HERE

11. Club rider development

  • The Ride Leader should encourage the development of individual club members’ abilities and potential for leading rides. Sharing information about bike and riding safety in an informal, supportive and polite way is part of this.