Preface / Prologue
We: Who are “we”?
The riders whose names are credited at the end of this document assembled and edited this booklet are confident and competent cyclists.
While much of the material has been written elsewhere, these veterans of not only many rides, but of many ride leads felt strongly about documenting just what they see as important and valuable traits about what makes a ride good. They’ve seen it all – the good, the bad, the ugly. They are unlikely, however, to have been the leader for the bad or the ugly. If you know them, you most likely respect them as leaders for just that reason.
Why a booklet like this?
There’s lots of questions bicyclists might [and do] ask about leading rides. Sort of like all the questions you had when you first started riding. Or when you first decided to get serious about getting fitter. One way or another, sooner or later most of us figure out the basics – at least enough of them to make us want to keep riding. But where were they written down? Perhaps a good magazine, a website with tips and tricks, a brochure from a fitness company or even at an online forum. Our own website offers links to as many of those kinds of resources as we can find. So there ought to be resources for leading rides too.
But what about leading rides?
What’s the mystique in leading a ride?
There really is no mystique in leading rides. Oh sure, you’ve got this great memory of your first venture into an area only one member of the club seemed to know well enough to get to via some really great roads. And how there was this great little place to refuel just when you thought your legs wouldn’t let you pedal even one mile more. Well, the truth of the matter is that we all pretty much know of a place or two that’s kind of special in its own way.
So maybe that addresses the next question:
If I lead a ride, where should I go?
Anywhere you enjoy going! There are probably no bad places to go, well, at least none that have good roads to ride that lead to them. Sure, the idea of a really neat destination is alluring and nicer destinations suggest nicer rides but when bicycling, it’s really all about the journey.
And how is it certain leaders seem to attract a really nice group?
Who will show up?
People choose rides for lots of reasons. Maybe the ride starts from close to home, or perhaps it’s the only ride at that pace that day. If not, perhaps it’s a ride that’s going to a neat place or maybe the riders just know the leader and like riding with him or her.
Whatever the reason, how you plan the ride and how you plan to ride are really all that matters. That’s what this booklet is all about.
So OK, the following material can help do that, but when?
When will I be ready?
Hey, there is no time like the present! The material here is a quick read. Much of it you’ll most likely find yourself saying: “I knew that!” The actual time to plan can be pretty minimal if the ride you intend to plan isn’t totally unique in one or more ways.
If you’ve been riding, you don’t need to do anything special to get yourself ready. If you haven’t, then you’ll have to think about how fit you’ll need to be for the ride you intend to plan. Got great fitness? Go for it! Not that fit? Just adjust pace and distance accordingly.
OK, so what else is there?
How do I get started?
Turn the page!! . . . But wait, ride leaders seem to be special.
Will the following information help me be special like them?
What makes a Ride Leader lead rides? What really
is it that a Ride Leader knows that makes the rides special?
How do I know if I’m that kind of rider?
Why me? Why should I lead a ride? Why not?
Hey, this is just the first edition. Perhaps in time, and with your help as a newly minted veteran and expert, together we can figure out even more of this stuff. In the mean time,there really is only one thing more you need to know:
You too can do it!