Central Oregon Wheelers

Guidelines For Ride Leaders

Leading a ride is one of the most indispensable contributions you can make to the Club.   After all, club rides are at the heart of what we do!  Dreaming up unique, interesting and adventurous routes can be a delight; leading them can be even more fun! The ride submittal form is here (you must be a logged-in member to submit).  

Ride Planning:

Developing a Ride

It is generally recommended that you choose a familiar route that you have ridden.  Study the route, and then ride or drive it beforehand if possible.  Here is a list of 200+ sortable ride possibilities. Choose a starting point that is convenient for you, easy to find, and preferably has rest rooms and parking. 

Submitting a Ride

The ride submittal form is here (you must be a log-in as a member to submit).  

To complete the sections on pace and mileage refer to The Ride Rating System.  In the area asking for a description include a general overview of the route, including any special information, plans or instructions that will enhance the trip (e.g., store stop, alpaca viewing, lunch afterwards).

Contacting Ride Participants & Cancellations

COWs asks that ride leaders, members and guests register for rides. The on-line registration process that is conducted through our website provides ride leaders with the names and emails of individuals who are planning to participate on the ride.  We will remind registered riders, the day before the ride, of the ride.  Registrants can unregister themselves. Inform cowheelers@gmail.com and we will inform all registered riders when we need to cancel a ride because the ride leader becomes unavailable or the weather turns bad.  We will also update your original post with the cancellation information. 

Ride Activities:

The Pre-Ride Talk

  1. Arrive early and be ready to ride.
  2. Begin collecting the group before the posted time so that the pre-ride meeting can start on time. 
  3. Go through the Pre-Ride Checklist at the bottom. (Printable PDF)
On the Ride

Start the ride 0-10 minutes after the posted time.

Consider taking a photo of the group and uploading it to the photo page!

Whether one leads from the front, middle or rear, cooperative companions can help the group function more smoothly and complete the route safely.  It can be helpful to remember that it is not the leader's ride; it is the group's ride.  The leadership style for a particular ride is a matter of choice.  Many factors go into this decision including the type of ride, the size of the group, the ability levels of the group and the personal style of the leader.   

Monitor the participants.  Give information and feedback as needed.  The ride leader is not a policeman or a mechanic.  You’re there to help people complete the route safely and have fun. If someone is riding unsafe after being told, please email cowheelers@gmail.com. We have a disciplinary procedure to remedy unsafe riders. 

There will be faster and slower riders.  Foster group cohesiveness and camaraderie.  Stress the value of the regroup to collect riders together.  If a rider is clearly falling off the ride pace and looks as if they can't complete the course, suggest that they return to the start.  Ensure they know the way back before sending them on their way.

Mechanicals & Emergencies (rare)

Mechanical and emergencies are rare. Most  COW member maintain their bikes well, and even flats aren't a typical problem. Riders are expected to be able to fix flats and carry out simple mechanical repairs.  If a problem occurs leave one or two volunteers to help.  You may want to soft pedal to allow them to catch up, or wait at the next regroup.  If the mechanical problem is beyond roadside repair the rider might want someone to pick them up or use AAA.  If there is no cell reception, send 2 volunteers on to where there is reception to make a call.

If there is an injury, wait until the rider is capable of continuing.  The rest of the group can continue to the next regroup.  Ask a volunteer to keep an eye on the injured person in case they start experiencing difficulties or showing symptoms.

For any incident requiring immediate medical attention call 911.  If necessary, post two people to direct traffic going in both directions.  If there is no cell reception, send 2 people on to where there is reception. Render first aid as appropriate.  At least 2 people should stay with the injured rider until help arrives.  Make arrangements for the injured rider’s bike to be picked up and stored safely.

Note the time and circumstances of the incident, and at the end of the ride submit an Incident Report to cowheelers@gmail.com.

    If there is a medical emergency, call for emergency services first.  Check the site for safety needs, set up traffic control in both directions, and begin to administer first aid.  Once you start life-saving actions, it becomes very hard to stop and make that emergency call.  If you discover you don’t really need an emergency response after all, you can always call back and cancel the call.  When making an emergency call, always provide the most precise location you can:  reference a nearby mailbox, intersection, public facility, etc.


    Ride Leader Pre-Ride Checklist (Printable PDF)

    Ø      Ask if anyone wants to be a sweep

    Ø      Introduce yourself and the sweep (if there is one)

    Ø      Have everyone introduce themselves

    Ø      Have any guests that have not registered online do so

    Ø      Check for helmets

    Ø      Describe  ride, e.g., pace, regroups, special conditions & hazards, drafting

    Ø      Describe safe cycling practices

    o       Take the lane in roundabouts

    o       Two riders side by side maximum (not 6' apart!)

    o       Stay within traffic lane

    o       Avoid "herd" mentality - make your own decisions

    o       Communicate with other riders

    o       BE SAFE

    Ø      Remind riders to notify others if leaving the ride

    Ø      Take a head count

    Ø      HAVE FUN

    Central Oregon Wheelers is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization.

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