Occasionally, problems do come up on rides. Sometimes a person will show up who is clearly out of their depth for the specs of the ride. If you find them falling behind over and over, you are within your rights as ride leader to advise them that the group may not wait for them at each regroup. (Talk to them: make sure they have a map, know where they’re going, and are generally comfortable riding alone.) We always encourage new riders to join us, and we make great efforts to include everyone, but it is important to remember that coming on a ride implies a contract between the leader and the participants. The leader undertakes to provide maps and guidance; the riders undertake to show up on time, to understand the published route, and to be able to ride competently at the listed tempo.
Sometimes an accident will occur. A rider may be injured or a bike may be damaged to the point of not being ridable. In these rare instances, the ride leader may need to deal with the situation in some way that changes the day’s plans. We deal with each crisis as it arises, and there is no single best way to sort each one out.
In the event of an accident requiring medical attention, the ride leader needs to fill out an incident report and send it to: SRCC Secretary, PO Box 6008, Santa Rosa, CA 95406. Incident forms can be found on the club website in the Members Only > Forms section, or click here.
Fortunately, such cases are extremely rare. Most people leading club rides--on a regular basis over many years--will never have to deal with such a problem. Most days, your biggest challenges as ride leader will amount to deciding where to regroup and where to go for lunch after the ride.
Is leading a ride harder than not leading a ride? Of course it is. But for that small outlay of effort, you and your club and your friends will reap immense rewards. Give it a try. You might be surprised at how much fun it turns out to be.