Ride Leaders & Sweeps


Ride Leader Information and Recommendations

Ride leader



Bicycle Magazine (2018) listed five keys to a good group ride:

  1. Standing day and time. Being able to block off a time slot is key to attracting regular riders and magic.
  2. A faithful leader. People need to know that if they show up there will be some to ride with.
  3. A hard start time because after you’ve rushed out of the office to make the ride, nothing is more irritating than waiting around for laggers.
  4. Rain or Shine Policy – Consistency promotes continuity, plus riding in crappy weather makes for good stories.
  5. Post Ride refreshments. They seal in the good vibes.

To these great ideas, a couple more:

  • The ride must be delivered as advertised at the expected speed and distance to respect everyone’s skills, fitness and time.
  • It is the ride leaders responsibility to facilitate introductions before the ride and to assure that all non-Wheeler members review and sign the MCW release of liability form.
    • You don’t need a new form for each ride. Just continue to use the form until it’s full or signatures and then download and print a new one.
    • Keep the signed forms until the end of the season and then submit to the club president or secretary.

Why do we ride as a group? Because it is more fun!

The same Bicycling article referenced a review in The Atlantic  that “Research has shown that shared experience (both positive & negative) are more intense than solo ones, and that participants who exercise in groups report feeling calmer and happier afterward than those who exercise alone.”

How to Ride Sweep?

Riding sweep means staying at the back of a group bicycle ride, to make sure no one is left behind and to be their to help in case of any problems. On most rides you won’t have much to do but keep the slower riders company.

The wikiHow article presents step-by-step procedures and recommendations for how to ride sweep that I hope doesn’t scare away potential sweeps.

As the article points out, “If you are an experienced, responsible bicycle rider and prepared to handle basic roadside repairs, consider riding sweep. If you’re not comfortable with the added responsibility, wait, or ride as a “co-sweep” with another experienced rider.” It does speak to the knowledge needed to effectively help “lead from the rear” for any active outdoor adventure.

We do have a designated sweep for each training ride in May and June. Other rides have a more informal sweep arrangement.

More good ride leader and sweep ideas? email MCW webmaster…

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