1. BEFORE THE RIDE
A. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time to prepare yourself and your bike, to take care of paperwork and to meet new riders.
B. Introduce yourself to the group as ride leader. Let the riders know you appreciate their participation. Have the group introduce themselves, paying particular attention to new riders.
C. Make sure that all non-RHBC members have signed the waiver sheet. Count the total number of riders, members and non-members, you have in your group. You can put this number at the top of the waiver sheet.
D. Make sure that all riders wear helmets and have adequate water for the ride.
E. Announce the route. If you have more than one route, make sure everyone knows which one they will be taking.
F. Discuss any potential hazards on the route.
G. Announce regroup locations if you know them beforehand. You should regroup at least once unless everyone stays together or there is an agreement that there will be no regrouping. You may also indicate additional regrouping stops during the ride if necessary.
H. Remind riders to inform the ride leader or another rider if they leave the route for any reason.
I. Remind riders that bicycles are vehicles and should obey traffic laws.
2. DURING THE RIDE
A. Set the example regarding safety. It’s unreasonable to expect others to ride safely if you aren’t doing so yourself.
B. If you observe unsafe actions, tactfully suggest to those committing those acts that they are endangering themselves and the group.
C. Be careful to set a pace that is comfortable for the group you are leading.
D. If stronger riders decide to go faster, do not speed up to try to accommodate them. If they go ahead of the ride leader, they are on their own.
E. Never leave a rider stranded. The ride leader should carry a basic tool kit, tubes, pump, patch kit, etc., and be prepared to assist riders with mechanical problems if necessary. If you aren’t especially adept at mechanical repairs, recruit someone else on the ride to lend assistance.
F. Be cognizant of new riders during the entire ride. If they have overestimated their abilities and are not keeping up, either go back and ride with them or secure a volunteer to do so. Dropping a new rider is very poor cycling etiquette. Also, it could lead to a dangerous situation if the rider should crash, get a flat or get lost.
A. Don’t block the roadway when motor vehicles are present and wanting to pass. Those at the front cannot always see the traffic behind the group. Prior to the ride ask those at or near the back to call out “car back” when a car approaches. The group should go single-file on two-lane roads when being passed by a car.
B. Observe traffic control signs. Running a red light should not be tolerated and you should stop at stop signs when traffic is present on the cross street. This is more than common courtesy, it’s the law and it could save your life.
C. Don’t pull in front of motorists at stop signs or lights. This only aggravates the motorists and forces them to have to pass you down the road.
D. Use proper traffic lanes. Never ride left of center. Merge to the left-most lane before making a left turn. Make sure to check behind you for clearance before merging to the left.
E. Use proper hand signals before turning.
F. When stopped make sure all riders are off the road.
There are certainly other items that could be added to the above. Mostly leading a ride just requires some good old “common sense”, a little courtesy and a desire to aid others in enjoying the sport of cycling in a safe manner.