Off Road Responsibilities

Off-Road - Responsibilities

Riding in a group requires a bit of organisation and a few key people to hold the group together. If you are asked to Lead a ride, be the Back Marker or act as a Middle Marker, here are the tasks you need to perform.

There are a number of responsibilities that every rider should note so the ride runs smoothly.

  1. Ride Leader
    • Plan a route that is suitable for ride members. Factors to consider are; distance, ground condition, hills, weather conditions, refreshment stop, on/off road ratio, and areas to avoid due to public events (Epson race course, golf course, other cycling events etc).
    • Turn up on the scheduled ride, or find and brief a replacement leader if you can’t make it.
    • Check for new riders and assess their cycling ability for the ride.
    • Ensure that riders have your mobile number. This is usually advertised on the web site.
    • Note mobile numbers of riders if possible.
    • Appoint a Back Marker, exchange mobile numbers and tell them the intended route and the location of the refreshment stop.
    • Count the number of riders before setting off.
    • Carry a map. Even if you know the area well, a map will save time and confusion if giving directions to the emergency services.
    • At junctions nominate someone (middle marker) to direct the other riders until the Back Marker appears.
    • Stop occasionally for all the riders to catch up, this is usually best after a climb. Check that everyone is present and is OK.
    • If there is a particularly slow rider, consider they take an easier route or head back early, on their own if they are confident or with assistance. This ensures enjoyment for the majority of the riders.
    • Be prepared to alter the route if there are delays, bad weather or slower riders.
  2. Middle Markers
    Larger groups may require some middle markers to keep the group together.
    • Ride near the front of the group and stop at junctions to direct the other riders until you see the Back Marker.
    • If a large gap forms between the front and the back of the group, get a message to the ride leader to slow down or stop, for the others to catch up.
  3. Back Marker
    • Stay at the back. Do not let anyone follow behind you.
    • Report any incidents to the ride leader as quickly as possible via another rider or by mobile.
    • If you need to move nearer to the front of the group, appoint another Back Marker.
  4. Riders
    • Need to have a level of fitness suitable for the ride.
    • Carry a mobile phone (if possible) that is charged and switched on.
    • If you need to move nearer to the front of the group, appoint another Back Marker.
    • Note the Ride Leader’s mobile number. It is advertised on the web site.
    • Give the Ride Leader your mobile number (in case you get separated from the group)
    • Ensure that your bike is in working order.
    • Carry appropriate tools and spares; inner tubes, tyre levers, pump, a multi-tool. Remember your lights if it is an evening ride.
    • Carry some water, snacks and some money for the tea stop.
    • Wear a helmet, this is mandatory.
    • Wear or carry appropriate clothing for the conditions.
    • Carry a small first aid kit - optional.
    • Observe the Highway Code and show respect to motorists, walkers, horse riders and other cyclists.
    • If you are a qualified First aider, inform the Ride Leader of your skills if someone is injured.
    • Inform the Ride Leader or the Back Marker if you wish to leave the ride.
    • During the ride, be aware of the rider behind you particularly at junctions. If you can’t see them, they may not know where to go and the group could get split up.