Ride Leader's Role

A ride leader has 3 basic tasks:

  1. To prepare a route or choose one from the library.
  2. To follow the selected route with the group.
  3. To make sure no one gets lost and that everyone gets home (i.e., no drop).

Preparation for the Ride:

  1. Prepare a route – either from scratch or from the library. If a route from a library is used ensure it is suitable for your group (distance, type of roads, use of bridleways etc.).
  2. Familiarise yourself with the complete route asking other members for help if need be.
  3. Communicate the route to other members including distance, elevation and expected pace.
  4. Emphasise any points which may be particularly pertinent to the route or the weather conditions etc.


  1. Check the forecast and consider options for varying the route to suit the conditions.
  2. Collect a list of all riders in the group and ensure their contact details are available.
  3. Welcome new riders and introduce them to the group and their “buddies”.
  4. Ensure that all riders have your phone number.

On the road: The leader’s main roles on the ride are to:

  1. Regulate the pace of ride to suit all the riders and be prepared to adjust the route accordingly.
  2. Follow the route. Ideally, you will know the route well enough to manage with your Garmin just as a back-up.
  3. Keep the group together and make sure everyone makes it back from the ride.
  4. Ensure anyone who opts to leave the ride is happy to make their own way back.
  5. Coordinate the group’s activities should an accident or emergency occur.

Some other points to note:

  1. Indicate well in advance changes in direction or a stop.
  2. Highlight particular hazards to the group e.g., steep descents, very bad road surfaces.
  3. Avoid stopping on bends and brow of hills.
  4. Make sure that bikes and riders are off the road, not obstructing pedestrians, when a group stops by the roadside to resolve mechanical problems and punctures.
  5. Keep the group compact, orderly and considerate to other road users including splitting the group on major/busy roads.

End of ride:

The leader should usually return to the start to make sure that everyone has found their way home.

What a leader is not obliged to do:

  1. Be on the front the whole way, the best place is at no. 2 or 3 where they can direct the rider(s) at the front.
  2. Fix punctures and make other mechanical repairs.

The Benefits:

Ultimately, the choices of destination; the route to and from it; and the maximum pace of the ride are the leader’s.