Ride Start Communications
It is the policy of the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club that all club rides have ride leaders. Go to the Ride Series Coordinators & Leaders web page for a description of responsibilities.
Ride start communications is central to creating a safer ride and reflects the values of our club. Every rider should expect the communication and provide their attention. In the simplest terms, the communication should include the following six elements.
1. Greet & Introduce Riders
We are great at greeting each other and introducing new riders. It reflects our enjoyment of riding together and the inclusion of new members.
2. Describe the Route
Hand out route slips when appropriate and verbally describe each route and destination. It is important to identify the first regroup point for each route and any special route related safety issues between the start and the first regroup. Keep information simple as regular riders may know it and new riders will not remember lengthly details. The presence of new or infrequent riders may mean providing them additional information to make sure they understand route options.
3. Identify Groups
Once routes are described, which riders are following which routes must be identified unless everyone is riding in one group. The leader for each route group should do a count and make sure that riders know who and how many are in their route group.
The larger the overall ride the more difficult it is for groups to stay together during a mass start. For large rides with multiple groups, allow groups to start separately at staggered times to help them stay together and keep track of each other.
4. No One Left Behind
Identify how riders are going to take care of each other. If there is going to be a sweep for the group, identify the person. If another system is being used, identify how it will work. Refer to No One Left Behind Best Practices.
There are two critical positions: the last and the second to the last rider. The last rider needs to know they are last because they are responsible for letting the group know when everyone has arrived at a regroup point. The second to last rider needs to know their position because they are responsible for keeping the last rider in sight. The second to the last rider’s role reflects a fundamental club value—no one lost or left behind. Extended to the whole group it means that each rider should know who is just ahead of and behind them.
5. Safe Cycling Best Practices
Remind riders to model Safe Cycling Best Practices and perhaps highlight a practice or two that has been poorly modeled recently.
The ride leader should count to make sure everyone arrives at the regroup or is accounted for. Provide the slowest rider an opportunity to rest before starting again. Describe the route ahead and identify the next regroup location.
It is the responsibility a group member to inform the leader, sweep or another group member if they choose to leave the group so that they can be accounted for at the next regroup.