Introduction to Ride Guiding


This guidance has been written by and for Social Series volunteer Ride Guides and Backmarkers but the general principles set out below could be applied easily to other ride types.

The Social Series always has a healthy need for Ride Guides and Backmarkers. Those interested in volunteering should read the link entitled Ride, Event and Committee Volunteering

We will never leave anyone behind

This is one of our most important principles. This means that the ride guide, or any of our riders needs to notice if the group is getting spread out. Often this means that we all find a suitable and safe place to pull in at the side of the road. Sometimes it may be enough to just slow the pace down slightly to create a more compact riding group.

Never assume at a road junction that the back of the group has cleared the junction or will know where to go, always wait at a junction if the back of the group is not in sight.

If you think some riders are going at a faster pace than appropriate for the group, you can ask them to slow down so that the group is compact. If riders choose to cycle ahead then they should stop at junctions, they should not assume that the group will take the “obvious” route. Our love of “pointless loops” means that we often divert off the road onto an interesting side road which has fabulous views. If a rider disappears ahead, it is their responsibility to “find” the group again.


When you reach a road junction each rider will need to make a personal judgement about whether they feel it is safe to cross the road. If you do not feel ready to cross the road then wait until it feels safe, even if the rest of the group has crossed, they will wait for you at a safe point just past the junction.

Roadside repairs

It is really helpful if someone on the ride team can mend a puncture! Each rider should have their own spare inner tube, a small pump and the appropriate tool to remove their tyre and wheel (if not quick release). You may find it useful to come prepared to help with minor repairs. Plastic gloves and “wet wipes” are a great addition to your saddlebag! The team at Chevin Cycles often run bike maintenance courses which are well worth attending.


At many of our café stops (particularly in winter) you will not be able to see your bike from the café. This is prime territory for bike thefts so encourage lock sharing! Some riders may not have a lock with them and seem relaxed about leaving it unlocked. Discourage this as a stolen bike will delay and upset the whole group!


We will stop at a café about halfway round our ride. For some rides we have arranged this stop in advance and the café should be expecting us. If the service is good, then the coffee stop will take about 30-45 minutes. Don’t rush stops, they are an important social element of the ride.

You will probably want to drink water and snack during the ride but be aware that some newer riders will find it difficult to snack and drink whilst riding so make sure you pause at the top of the hills for long enough for refuelling and hydration!

Mobile phones/GPS

Don’t assume that there is always going to be a signal, some parts of the Dales can be very patchy and this can cause problems should there be an accident. It is a good idea to have a look at our planned route in advance (they are always on the website) so that you have a sense of where we are going.

This section is duplicated in a separate guide In Case of Emergency which also deals with the need to carry hard copy, Emergency Contact detail on all club rides.

Most rides will go without an incident but sometimes there are accidents on our rides and the ride team will need to make sure that we look after everyone affected. In the event of an accident:

• Phone 999 or 112 (the Pan-European equivalent of 999 which can be used in the UK) explaining what has happened.
• Comfort and talk to the injured riders.
• Administer basic roadside first aid.
• Slow down traffic.
• Get blankets/coats to keep the riders warm from passing motorist and/or homeowners.
• Obtain details of In Case of Emergency contact so you can keep them updated (always carry your club card or other form of ID with the “ICE” number to help us find your contacts).
• If possible, find someone to take care of the bikes of the injured riders and any riders who go with them in the ambulance
• Take photographs of the road scene for any possible follow up – e.g., of pothole damage