Club rides – a ride leaders view and summary

One of the club’s first ride leaders, Andy Perry, gives a brief summary on how club rides have improved for the better


It’s always easy to complain, but we don’t compliment often enough. This short blog looks to change that.

Many of us can look back over the years and remember how we used to ride, long strung out lines with large gaps as people were distanced; 3/4/even 5 abreast at times especially up climbs where it was a free-for-all; people riding all over the road; very few people pointing out holes or other obstacles. A group ride usually meant meeting at the start, riding off and regrouping sometimes or meeting again at the coffee stop.

Those days are thankfully long behind us.

Having hosted rides for Banbury Star now for some years, one thing that has become very apparent recently is the improvements being made in how the group rides together. Over the last 12 months the improvements have been significant. Hopefully you all notice and feel the difference and find it a lot more enjoyable as a result, I know I do.

As a club we have invested in official British Cycling Ride Leader training, first aid training, produced and hosted group riding etiquette skills session and encouraged all riders to help improve their experience and safety along with the safety of the group.

But, it’s with the commitment of all of our riders that we are able to make these improvements. We aren’t quite perfect just yet, but we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we started.

If you hear – “tighten up”, “too wide”, “don’t half wheel”, “ease up front”, “folks can’t hear you calling out holes”, “no more than two a breast” –  and the many other commands we shout, we’re not doing it to pick on people, it’s just us trying to keep us all safe.

The pleasure I get as one of the team of leaders from riding in a well organised group who are sharing the road safely with other road users is immense.

As ride leaders we are committed to everyone’s safety and enjoyment, but it’s a team effort and everyone is equally part of that team.

Thank you all for your commitment to improve and long may it continue.

There is a page on our website that helps reinforce the message;

and a link to the Group Riding Etiquette booklet that everyone should read as its packed with great information