A Pedal Power ACT social day rides is a cycle ride that occurs on one day only and does not involve participants paying an entry fee and is not classified as a ‘cycle ride tour’ or ‘cycle ride special event’. This page contains guidance to members who develop, advertise and/or lead social day rides to assist in enabling group cycling to continue as a pleasurable, safe and largely voluntary activity:
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Only leader accredited ride leaders may run Pedal Power ACT social rides.
Pedal Power ACT approval is required before participants can be charged a fee to enter a social day ride – contact the Executive Officer.
Preparing a social ride
Rides should be a pleasure for the ride leader as well as for those participating.
Run rides that you will enjoy—go to a destination you would like, via a route suitable to you and at your pace. That is only fair, for you are doing Pedal Power members a service by running the ride.
There are no restrictions on the type of ride you may conduct, so long as it is legal and safe for the riders.
There are different types of rides including: a jaunt to the café, a half-day social ride, half-day long (and fast) rides, a day long ride, night rides, weekends away, ride to join another organised ride, many day country ride, or whatever you desire.
Social day rides can comprise, amongst other things:
- a local ride around the bike paths and/or local roads in and around the ACT
- a ride to some location in the area surrounding the ACT
- a ride starting away from the ACT and riding on roads in the area surrounding the ACT and in the ACT
- an evening ride in and around the ACT
Where to ride
- Do not be too concerned about finding a ‘new’ ride. Although new ideas are most welcome, there are only so many places to go and riders will be appreciative even if they have done it many times before.
- A good starting point is to look at the Pedal Power events calendar and see what outhers are doing.
- Then look at maps of the route you are thinking of riding.
- Within Canberra, the Canberra and Queanbeyan walking and cycling map (PDF 17.5 MB) is the best available map for cycling – use the interactive map – paper copies available from the Pedal Power ACT office.
- Publications such as Where to Ride Canberra give suggested rides; these are available from the Pedal Power office, and show the best roads for cycling and also the main bike paths and many connecting footpaths.
- Street directories can be useful.
- Outside of Canberra, there are regional maps available.
- If your ride is off-road and/or in hilly terrain, consult a topographical map.
Some things to consider
- A clear destination, although not compulsory, usually makes a ride more enjoyable.
- Halfway stop or focus point is often appreciate by riders. Whilst this has traditionally been a cafe or similar, it could be anything at all: a geographical feature, cultural event, notable building or park.
- If planning your ride to, from or through the middle of city/town and some group centres, be aware that these areas large groups of cyclists can be difficult to manoeuvre. With planning, it is usually possible to approach those areas on bike paths or back streets.
- In urban areas, it is helpful if the ride includes one or two opportunities for toilet breaks. As many members may ride some distance to the start point, a start point with toilets will earn the Ride Leader much gratitude.
- Consider where riders might obtain extra water particularly on longer rides.
- Consider where there are public toilets – particularly in urban areas.
- Think about the likely temperatures, weather conditions, and daylight hours of the time of year you want to run your ride. If your proposed route involves crossing floodways, consider that as well.
- For off-road rides, it is essential to check it is legally permitted to cycling where you intend to go, especially in national parks. Get permission if necessary.
- The easier, flatter and shorter your ride, the more likely it will attract inexperienced riders. In that case, minimise busy intersections (especially where a right turn is required), multi-lane roundabouts and busy roads without shoulders. This is not always possible, and a few unavoidable hazards should not completely scuttle your plans to follow a particular route when you exercise caution.
- For a regular Pedal Power ride, ensure the route and conduct of the ride is in line with the advertised length, difficulty and other requirements.
Check the route
- Ride it (or at least drive it) yourself, if possible, before advertising it.
- Take note of:
- any particularly difficult areas or hazards, eg knowing the location of a kerb ramp or underpass can be invaluable
- the distance (overall and to focus points, cafes, water points, etc)
- the time it should take, with stops
- the location of suitable stopping (and regrouping) spots, water, food and toilets.
For many rides, you should prepare a cue sheet for your ride to help you and assistant ride leaders. It can be a description of the route, something sketched on a map, or a detailed instruction sheet set out in a table. Choose the type you find more useful and, where appropriate, put it in your ride advertisement and/or give copies to the riders.
It is often useful to include locations of public toilets and where water is available.
Advertise your ride
Advertise your ride as required as so that potential riders have a fair understanding of the ride they are going on.
At the start of a social ride
Attend the start of a social ride
For all advertised rides, the ride leader—in person or in proxy—must attend the start at the advertised location and time.
It is impolite and annoying for someone to arrive at the start and to find no one there.
If you cannot make it on the day, ask someone else to go as your proxy.
If the weather is unsuitable for riding, the ride leader can cancel or modify the ride—perhaps do a short ride to the nearest café, or shelter.
What to bring:
- bike and helmet
- pump, tool kit and spares (for yourself and possibly other riders)
- copies of your cue sheet and/or map (if appropriate)
- Pedal Power ride sign-on sheet
- pens for use by riders when signing on
- food and water
- mobile phone (if you have one)
- first aid materials (desirable but not essential).
The rider sign-on sheet
- The ride sign-on sheet is an essential risk mitigation tool for the ride leader, other riders in the group and Pedal Power.
- Completing the ride sign-on sheet gives us essential information – we know who is on the ride and can contact someone if a rider is injured on the ride and it enables us to contact riders if it is necessary to follow up any incidents that occur on the ride.
- Completing the ride sign-on sheet helps reinforce with participants that while the ride leader will help and guide them, they have obligations to look after themselves.
- Having participants accepting the release contained in the ride sign-on sheet gives some legal protection to the ride leader and Pedal Power; however, the release cannot override the law. Therefore, the release does not over ride any claim valid in law.
- Our lawyers advised us that we are fools not to have a ride sign-on sheet with a release (waiver) and get it signed by all participants.
- In case of a claim, it is important to know whether the claimant was on the ride or not.
- Pedal Power insurance cover requires us (and ride leaders) to act in a sensible and safe manner the sign on sheet is a risk mitigation strategy we can show to our insurer to demonstrate how we conduct rides sensibly.
- It is in the interest of the ride leader to have all participants sign on
- Pedal Power requires ride leaders to have all participants sign onto rides using the ride sign-on sheet.
- Ride leaders should only lead official Pedal Power ride in accordance with the Pedal Power guidelines for ride leaders so that they receive cover from the Pedal Power volunteer and legal liability insurance.
- If someone refuses to accept the waiver, get them to sign-on and mark no to the disclaimer.
- The ride leader may ask a person who does not sign the sign-on sheet not to ride with the group.
- Participants should not argue with the ride leader – the leaders is a volunteer giving up their time for the benefit of the group. Send any gripes to the office.
Starting the ride
Arrive early and welcome the riders – particularly new riders in the group.
Pass around the ride sign-on sheet and get all rides to sign. (The sign on sheet is an essential risk mitigation tool for the ride leader, other riders in the group and Pedal Power.)
If someone objects to signing on, get them to sign on and mark ‘no’ to the disclaimer and/or ask them not to ride with the group.
Before the ride starts, advise participants of the ride details and requirements. The following list is a guide to the types of things to address, but some may not be appropriate and there may be other things that should be addressed. Select content as appropriate. There is a downloadable pre-ride briefing aide memoir to help you on the day.
- Welcome riders and introduce yourself.
- Check that all riders have signed on.
- Advise route and terrain and road surfaces.
- Mention any known or possible hazards along the way such as cars, trucks, potholes, road works, etc.
- Advise how long you think the ride will take.
- Advise any locations for regrouping, water and food.
- Ask participants to advise you (or someone else on the ride) if they are leaving the ride before the finish.
- Advise the bike path rules: keep left, stop off the path, give way to pedestrians, and watch out for oncoming bicycles.
- Advise the road rules: obey the traffic rules, keep left, stop at red lights and stop signs, use cycle lanes when they exist, take care in traffic.
- Advise group etiquette and signals: call out when slowing and stopping, point out hazards to following riders, signal when turning.
- Ask if there are any non Pedal Power members present, and if so encourage them to join.
- Advise that Pedal Power public liability insurance covers financial members only and that others may be at risk.
- When appropriate, designate a tail end person(s). Give them a copy of the cue sheet or map or ensure they know the route.
- Inform the group ‘if you ride ahead of the leader or behind the tail end person you are on your own’.
- Get those present to say their names and introduce new members.
- Give other pertinent advice as appropriate.
Getting under way
- Aim to be on the road soon after the advertised starting time.
- Assess the requirements of new riders subtly and, if considered desirable or possible, assign someone to keep an eye on them.
- Identify possible stragglers, and if possible assign someone to ride with them.
- Collect the sign on sheets.
- Do a head count of riders (the tail end person can do this).
During a social ride
How you organise a ride is up to you as ride leader.
Ensure you explain what is going to happen at the pre-ride briefing.
Some things to consider during the ride:
- Set your standards of behavior through clear instructions and personal example when dealing with hazards, junctions, potholes, vehicles, passing traffic, narrow roads, dangerous descents, passing horses, etc.
- Ride in a safe, legal and responsible manner that sets an example to other riders and road users.
- Make sure the riders on the front clearly pass on indications of hazards, if in doubt stop the group to ask for co-operation.
- Speak individually to riders who do not conform to good riding practice.
- As far as possible, ensure the safety and well being of other riders.
- When leading a large group, consider appointing an experienced rider to ride at the rear of the group or get one of the faster riders to lead so that you can stay at the back to ensure nobody gets lost or left behind.
- If the riders form into different speed groups, ensure that each group knows where the ride is going.
- Run the ride at close to the advertised speed (as far as practicable).
- Delegate tasks to others as required (eg, searching for a straggler, assisting another rider).
- If a rider suggests they may leave the ride, or that the ride should carry on without them, check that the rider is not separating because they feel they are holding back the group or are unwelcome. Consider that you may be able to change the ride to suit their abilities, or you can ask an experienced participant to assist that rider.
- If a rider intends to leave the ride, ensure that they have adequate knowledge and resources to get home.
- If finishing at a location other than the start, check that all riders can find their way back to the start and, if not, give directions or arrange another rider to go with them.
- Attend to incidents during the ride and assist with obtaining appropriate help (in so far as practicable).
In case of an incident during a cycle ride, follow the advice and directions on the handling incidents page on this website.
An incident is any occurrence when someone is injured, or other thing occurs that may have repercussions for Pedal Power ACT, the ride leader, participants in the ride or other people.
After the social ride
- Counsel any riders who rode at a significantly different speed form the average (eg, a significantly faster new rider might be advised to consider joining a more challenging ride next time and a rider who struggled to keep up might be advised to join an easier ride).
- Forward the attendance sheets to the Pedal Power office when practical.
- Consider any incidents during the ride require attention require attention and, if so, complete an incident report.
- Forward the original of any incident report to the Pedal Power Office as soon as possible. Keep a copy for your own records.
Last modified JW 18 November 2012