How We Nominate and Qualify Our New Ride Leaders

Let’s face it, riding in groups is our Club’s bread and butter. Making sure our rides are conducted according to our club’s ethos is very much a legitimate expectation not only of all members but also of aspiring members joining us for a trial ride or two. To this end, we take the time to train our new ride leaders and once we (and they!) are confident that they can go at it solo, we proceed with the last step which is to have a senior ride leader validate via a “check ride” that the candidate has what it takes.

How does one become a ride leader?

Typically, existing ride leaders within groups are the ones who identify individuals who have the potential to become ride leaders, and discuss and agree their proposals with the Rides Secretary. Then it is simply a matter of approaching the individual and making the suggestion. Alternatively, a member may indicate to the Rides Secretary or to a ride leader their desire to become ride leader; deciding to proceed is then at the entire discretion of the Rides Secretary.

What is involved in the training phase?

Quite clearly an aspiring ride leader has to be well versed on how we do things. Much is picked up by habitually riding and seeing how things are done but this is not enough. An aspiring leader’s first step is thus to be conversant with all the content of our webpage entitled “How We Lead Our Rides”, paying particular attention to the Group Riding Guidelines. This is the standard that they will be expected to achieve to pass their “check ride” later on.
Then progressively over small segments of 3-4 rides and under the supervision of an experienced ride leader, the aspiring ride leader will have the opportunity to practice the intricacies of ride leading at their own pace. When it is judged that the candidate is sufficiently ready, the ride leader may then proceed with the “check ride”, essentially letting the aspiring ride leader go through a whole day ride just as he/she was a qualified ride leader. It is then left to the good judgement of the ride leader to determine if the candidate has demonstrated the necessary skills. A second experienced ride leader should have observed sufficient of the training in order to endorse the qualification.

Receiving CTC’s formal endorsement

For insurance purposes, all CTC ride leaders have to be endorsed officially by the Guildford main office and their names listed in an official CTC ride leader register. Upon qualifying a candidate, the ride leader will advise the Rides Secretary, who will email the West Surrey CTC Secretary advising that the aspiring ride leader has successfully met the requirements of a ride leader as per our Club Riding Guidelines. In accordance with CTC policy, this needs to be endorsed in writing by the second ride leader present during the check ride. The Secretary then advises the CTC main office who typically accepts the qualification. The Secretary then congratulates the new ride leader of their appointment and, desirably, arrangements are made for either the Rides Secretary or the Group Leader to present the new leader with a club issued portable first aid kit, in order to publicly recognise the qualification.