Are you interested in leading mountain bike group rides?
Fred Trails Ride Leader Guide
Thank you for your interest in becoming a ride leader for Fred Trails. We hope you and the participating riders enjoy the trails. Leading a ride will provide riders with a guide through terrain, opportunities to explore new adventures, even an increase in ride intensity. This guide is will assist in planning and leading a successful group ride.
Ride Leader Requirements
Fred Trails rides leaders should be able to do the following:
- Ride Leaders must be a current member of Fred Trails.
- Ride Leaders must provide full details of your ride to the Events Coordinator so that it can be included in the calendar at: www.fredtrails.org/calendar.
- Ride in a safe, legal and responsible manner that sets an example to other members.
- Appoint an experienced rider to “Sweep” and ensure no rider is left behind, especially on “No Drop” rides.
- Riding without a helmet is prohibited. All riders must wear safe and appropriate attire, including a helmet.
- Report back to the Event’s Coordinator at the end of the ride. Sent a brief message stating the end of the ride, number of participants, and any comments or concerns.
Choosing the Right Destination
- Choose a trail system you are very familiar with. Predict trail conditions due to recent weather or construction events. Provide a brief description of the ride including trails and intended distance along with start and estimated end time of the ride.
- Provide a brief description of intensity of your ride, such as No Drop, Moderate, or Advanced.
- No Drop – The ride is at a relatively easy to moderate pace, but will stop at intervals to wait for all riders to regroup.
- Moderate – An intermediate pace that may not take interval rests or wait to regroup.
- Advanced – A fast race pace.
- Be specific with time and place, including details of parking and trail head information.
Extras for an Enjoyable Ride
- A successful ride leader is a prepared one. Consider bringing a portable pump, spare CO2 cartridges or a tube kit. Some participants may over-estimate their abilities. They may need a boost of calories through a bar or goo packets. Water is always a necessity, bring extra water in your pack. Don’t forget your cell phone and GPS capabilities. A basic first aide kit such as bandages and ointment or antiseptic are useful for riders who take a spill.
Leading the Ride
- Show up early to greet the eager riders. If inclement weather or dangerous terrain is known, you must make the decision to carry on or cancel the ride. Introduce yourself to the group, even if most already know you. Give them a brief summary of the day’s ride and ask for questions or concerns, especially from new or inexperienced riders. Remind them that we are here to enjoy the trails in riding but we also maintain them and to regularly check the event calendar for trail maintenance days. Be sure all riders have signed the liability waiver either electronically or with you.
- If anyone wishes to bail early, have them notify you before they depart. Mention this in the pre-ride introduction.
- Designate a trustworthy rider to be your sweeper. The sweeper is to stay at the rear of the group and help corral the slower riders back to the group for you.
- Staying together is the goal in a group ride, but if a rider is dropped, stop the group and wait. If time passes and you do not find the rider, consider doubling back for them. An alternate rider can be assigned to continue or the group follows you back to the last stopped area.
- For no-drop rides, try to maintain a casual pace. Be mindful of endurance and technical skills of the other riders. Keep the time fun, we want new riders to continue with the sport.
Thank You Ride Leader
- Thank you again for your interest in Fred Trails as a Ride Leader. Your position is important. Without rides and fun times on the trails, the mountain bike community would not be enthusiastic about our work. This is a unique opportunity to advocate for our trails and instill their importance to our community.