Ride Leader Guidelines

As a ride leader, you are a representative of the club. As such, you should be informative and friendly and be sure that new riders know the route and are not left to feel they are not “part of the group.” Your actions on club rides may be the lasting impression that new riders remember of BCC.


If you think you'd like to become a ride leader, attend A2Z Ride Leader Training and ride at least 5 club rides. Volunteering to be an assistant ride leader and/or contacting the Road Captain to have a mentor co-lead with you on a ride you wish to lead are great ways to quickly pick up on the ins and outs of leading a club ride.

BCC rides are open to everyone who is willing and able to participate safely and cooperatively. A ride description may specify the rider experience level that the ride is primarily intended for, but except for rides limited to club members or restricted to our women's only event, a BCC ride cannot exclude any group.

This policy is not intended to limit a ride leader's right to suggest that a rider abandon any club event based upon the rider's lack of ability, equipment, or actions on that ride or a previous one.

BCC members who want to lead a ride must attend an A2Z Ride Leader Training session, to be scheduled several times during the calendar year. Event dates and times will be listed on the club ride calendar. Even if you are a current ride leader, annual re-certification is required!

You must be an active member and have attended at least five BCC CLUB RIDES - not including fee events. You must subscribe to the club e-mail list to post notes and cancellations if required for your ride. Be sure to use the email you provided to the club database. As a ride leader you will also be subscribed to the ride leader list - that allows you to find a substitute leader should a conflict arise with your scheduled date and time.

Lead 10 rides (Nov. 1 - Oct. 31) for a ride leader award. Remember that you must ride 10 Social, or 7 Metrics, or 7 Super Series*, or 10 Climbs, or 7 Mountain Bike for a “Series” award from the club. Inform prospective members on your rides about it!

* A combination of 7 Metrics or Super Series satisfies the awards requirement.

Ride Leader Credit will be awarded to those who fulfill their ride leader responsibilities including:

  • Route planning.
  • Pre-ride safety speech.
  • Ensuring that all riders have signed in and have safely returned.
  • Submitted ride results.

Fee events don't provide ride leader credit. A minimum of two riders is required for ride mileage credit on any approved club ride. Club mileage is awarded for any in-state event with open registration and approved on the BCC calendar where two members or more participate and a member submits a sign-up sheet. Out-of-state events, either fee or scheduled club rides, require attendance by a minimum of 5 BCC members.

Use these guidelines plus a healthy dose of common sense for each and every BCC ride that you lead.


  • Start with mapping software, ridewithgps.com (RWGPS), then drive it or ride it to finalize your route. Stay off highly trafficked roads unless bike accommodations are in place. Be careful on multi-modal paths, where extra precautions are necessary for horse, stroller, and dog traffic.
  • The club has an account with RWGPS which includes an ever-growing database of maps that can be used for route selection, or you can create your own. You can create a personal free account then request an invitation from the Road Captain for access to the club account features.


  • The club calendar is intended to be an interactive tool to provide the most opportunities for our members to find and/or lead rides, with the opportunity to earn a free jersey. After you have finalized your route map on the club's RWGPS account, create a route on the club's website, if one does not already exist. Use the proper route that was created or a pre-existing one to create a new ride on the calendar. Follow the videos on the website or follow the Ride Leader's Guide to Creating & Posting Rides tutorial on how to do both steps if needed.
  • Club rides must be posted a minimum of 48 hours prior to their scheduled start time. If a ride is already posted and you'd like to lead the same ride at a different pace, you can list that ride with 1 day notice or contact the other ride leader and coordinate your slower pace ride to be held at the same time. It takes a minimum of 2 participants to receive credit for your ride. A MAP LINK IS REQUIRED WITH YOUR RIDE POSTING to qualify for approval by the Road Captain.
  • Check the calendar prior to scheduling a ride to avoid duplication or conflict. Consider the big picture for all our club riders. It's a better use of our volunteer manpower if we can share the duties of putting a ride together with short and long legs and multiple ride leaders for one terrific and larger event.
  • The only fee event we don't schedule up against is Little Red.


  • Make sure that you are prepared, have your bike and all your gear in good working order, along with your ride leader binder ready to go. Also, don't forget your bottles and any food you need!


  • If something comes up and you cannot lead your ride – Send an email to the Ride Leader email list before cancelling. You were enrolled in this list when you attended A2Z Ride Leader Training.
  • Arrive in plenty of time to meet new riders and prepare your bike and yourself for the ride, at least 20 minutes before departure time.
  • Begin the ride promptly at the advertised time.
  • If the weather is marginal, go to the start anyway. If thunder, lightning, or driving rain or snow is imminent - it's better to cancel at the start than expose our riders to hazards.
  • If you need to cancel or change your start point or start time, do so far enough in advance, the night before or morning of is best - post a note to the email list and either re-schedule the ride on the ride calendar or cancel it. To cancel the ride, use the cancel button on your ride in the ride calendar, but do so at least 2 hours prior to scheduled start time. If you miss this 2 hour window, complete all the previous steps of using the cancel button and posting a note to the email list, but also go to the start of the ride and tell anyone who shows up for your ride that it has been cancelled.
  • At the ride leader's discretion, a ride start may be delayed to a later time and announced at ride start.


  • All ride participants, both members and non-members must sign the Sign-in Sheet(which you will remind riders is also their consent to theLiability Release) at the beginning of each ride.
  • Riders under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the minor release form, which is part of the Release and Waiver of Liability form.


  1. Introduce yourself - use the script provided in your ride leader packet.
  2. Verify that everyone has signed in prior to starting the pre-ride briefing.
  3. Announce the route and route options, if any.
  4. Announce regroup locations where applicable - or no regrouping.
  5. Announce the distance and pace of the ride, particularly for first timers.
  6. Make sure new riders understand the route. With a map or cue sheet beforehand.
  7. Advise riders that they are riding at their own risk on roads that are shared with motorists.
  8. Utilize the pre-ride safety speech and remind riders:
    • That bicycles are vehicles and adherence to traffic laws is required.
    • Don't block the roadway - go single file in narrow road conditions.
    • Call out “Car back” when a car approaches.
    • Don't call out “Clear” when crossing intersections.
    • Observe traffic controls. Running a red light or a stop sign is a no-no.
    • Don't pull in front of motorists at stop signs or lights.
    • Use proper traffic lanes. Use lane positioning before making a left turn.
    • Inform the ride leader or another rider if they leave the route.

Survey the start parking area before departure to identify vehicles there for your ride.


  • Keep the ride at the advertised pace. If stronger riders decide to go faster, the ride leader must keep to the advertised pace unless there are no other riders who wish to ride at that pace.
  • Any ride can be a no-drop ride, meaning that the ride leader will not leave any rider behind at any point of the ride and the group sticks together. This should be stated in the ride description.
  • For C, D, and Open pace rides that are 40 miles or less in length - the ride leader may opt to lead from the front for the first half of the ride. The remaining portion of the route must be swept to ensure all riders return safely.
  • A and B paced rides at any length are considered drop-rides, meaning that the ride leader is not required to ride with any rider not riding the advertised paced even if the ride itself is 40 miles or less in length.
  • Set the example regarding safety. Pass on the left, announce “on your left,” call out “car back” when appropriate, etc.
  • Never leave a rider stranded. The ride leader should carry a basic tool kit, tubes, pump, patch kit, tire boot, and be prepared to assist riders with mechanical problems if necessary. If you need help with mechanical repairs, recruit someone else on the ride to lend a hand. The club provides CO2 and replacement tubes to Ride Leaders using their own supplies on a club ride.
  • Be cognizant of new riders during the entire ride.
  • Distribute club promo material to new riders. Membership is encouraged after a handful of club rides.


  • Check the parking lot to make sure all vehicles have someone with them - Use the signup column for license numbers or windshield markers distributed while signing up.
  • Post ride statistics to the website. This must be done within 48 HOURS of your ride! Be sure that anyone volunteering as assistant ride leader gets credit. File the hard copy in your ride leader binder back folder for the entire season. Report the number of non-members on your ride so we can track total participation in all BCC rides. Individual non-members ride enough to place in the top 10 in club mileage, so we want to keep member records accurate.
  • Back-check the route if the missing has not returned when you are ready to leave.


  1. In the event of an accident the ride leader should first attend to any injured persons. Unless the injuries are minor, emergency medical help and the police should be summoned.
  2. Make the right decision for the safety of the injured individual. Make sure the injured rider is thinking clearly.
  3. Any accident involving a motorist should have a police presence. Our bikes can cost as much as a car.
  4. The ride leader must contact persons known to the rider at the number provided on the Sign-in Sheet or by accessing the injured's phone for emergency contacts or home numbers.
  5. The ride leader should secure the rider's bicycle and equipment that cannot be transported in the ambulance. Check with a nearby home or business.
  6. Take photos of the accident scene to document occurrences.
  7. Use theIncident Report to record the incident.
  8. Contact the Road Captain or any board member as soon as practicable after the accident so the Club Leaders are aware of circumstances.


  • Any BCC member may be suspended by the Road Captain from leading rides, or scheduling subsequent rides, if, in the judgment of the Road Captain or the BCC Board, the member has repeatedly failed to responsibly lead club rides. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Failure to provide sign-up sheets for riders.
  2. Failure to give adequate pre-ride safety speech.
  3. Failure to sweep rides, where applicable.
  4. Failure to post stats (ride credit on the website for those who attended the ride).
  5. Failure to appear for a scheduled ride that is not obviously cancelled due to weather conditions, where no attempt has been made to notify membership of a cancellation.
  6. Excessive cancellations of scheduled club rides.

Suspension will remain in effect until the member completes remedial action that may include:

  1. Re-attending Ride Leader Training.
  2. Completing an apprenticeship under a Ride Leader Mentor.
  3. Completing a specified number of club rides or club miles prior to re-instatement.

11. SERIES RIDES (Super, Metric, Climb, Social, and Mountain)

  1. Our Series rides are special, and the Road Captain will deem whether a ride meets the spirit of this intent. Issues such as calendar saturation and a ride's repetitiveness on the calendar are issues the Road Captain will consider.
  2. Ride Leader Sweep requirements remain in effect for all rides less than 40 miles in length (see DURING THE RIDE, bullet 2, on pg. 4). This would not apply to Super and Metric Series rides as they are longer than 40 miles, but the sweep requirement would apply to every other Series ride less than 40 miles (Climb, Social, and Mountain).
  3. All Series rides must be Open Paced.
  4. Super Series, Metric Series, and Climb Series routes must be approved by Road Captain - putting “Metric,” “Super Series” or “Climb” in the title doesn't make it so. It must be a different route from our everyday rides.
  5. Social Series
    • Feel free to post as many as you want, but please do not abuse this privilege in order to satisfy the awards requirement, i.e. posting 10 consecutive rides with low mileage.
    • Offer a relaxed pace and be social - with a gathering spot enroute or at ride's end to promote the social aspect.
    • Open pace is encouraged to create safer riding conditions by spreading out the group and to attract a broader base of riders.
    • No-drop provided for slower riders and listed in the calendar title as such - This could require the ride leader to recruit a group from within the ride attendees to ride along at the back of the pack with the slower paced riders.
    • Re-group locations announced prior to ride start. Try to make it no further than the halfway point of the route.

Thanks to Cascade Bicycle Club for their mentoring guidelines and active membership requirements and the Louisville Bicycle Club for Ride Leader Credit clarifications and Sanctioning policy updates.