Guidelines for Group Leaders
The role of the leader
The ride leader has a duty of care towards the riders and must ensure as far as reasonably practicable that the safety and enjoyment of all the public has been taken into account in the organisation of the ride.
Before the ride
Because group rides have a good safety record, CTC does not require a formal risk assessment for regular club rides. It relies on the experience and common sense of leaders who can assess the terrain and traffic around them and make appropriate decisions as a group progresses. It also recognises that many enjoy discovering new terrain or taking an unexpected diversion; our guidance does not stand in the way of this spirit
However good practice suggests any leader must have a potential route in mind and should consider in advance known physical hazards, likely weather conditions and the ability of the
Descents, main or busy roads, poor road surfaces and the nature of trails are all possible hazards that can be identified and possibly avoided through route choice or made safer by
communication with riders.
Above all consider the impact of weather and the ability of riders especially in wet and icy conditions, and be prepared to slow the group or alter your plans to suit the conditions.
Some other suggestions
Ensure that you are familiar with the route. Check that the chosen refreshment stops are open, can accommodate the likely numbers and that food will be available.
Offer to ring and advise on numbers if the group is large. Be aware of possible extra toilet stops.
Have your own Leader's Toolkit
• selection of small tools, etc
• coins and card for telephone, or mobile phone if available (Do not rely on mobile phones for communication between groups, especially in high country and off road)
• a supply of CTC Guides to Cycling with a Group, plus incident, entry, and membership forms.
At the start
Avoid causing an obstruction or noise at the
Welcome new riders, introduce yourself and tell
them about the ride. Ensure that all riders are
carrying emergency contact details.
Ensure child participation rules are adhered to if
young people attend the ride.
Some other suggestions
Allocate a "buddy" to a new rider, not just for safety but to ensure they are socially welcomed and included. The buddy need not stay with the newcomer for the duration of the ride.
Use an experienced “backmarker” to accompany the last rider on the road and wait if someone stops without the front of the group being aware. Check for the presence of the backmarker at
junctions. This is especially important in large groups, groups of very mixed ability or with novices.
Consider splitting very large groups, appoint an assistant leader if needed.
Choose a safe place to stop as a group. Warn riders before stopping and keep the carriageway clear. In the event of enforced stops; clear the carriageway if possible or instruct the group to continue to a safe waiting place. Assess the problem and decide whether to hold up the ride or leave a small group behind with
details of the route to the next stop.
During the ride
Adhere to the CTC Guide to Cycling with a Group thereby encouraging others to do so.
Set your standards of behaviour through clear instructions and personal example when dealing with hazards, junctions, potholes, vehicles, passing traffic, narrow roads, dangerous descents, passing horses, etc. Speak individually to riders who do not conform. Make sure the riders on the front clearly pass on indications of hazards, if in doubt stop the group to ask for co-operation. The same applies if riders have an unsafe technique or equipment.
Leaders do not have to be at the front all the time but should be able to communicate with leading riders to give directions, warn of hazards and indicate a stop if needed.
If a rider suggests they may leave the ride, or that the ride should carry on without them, check that you cannot change your ride to suit their abilities, or ask an experienced participant to assist the rider.
Make sure you are clear:
• that they are leaving, not left behind
• that the rider is not separating because they feel they are holding back the group or are unwelcome.
• that the rider has adequate knowledge and resources to get home.