Leading and Sweeping Venus Bike Club Rides

Leading and Sweeping Venus Bike Club Rides

The COVID-19 Guidelines take priority over any ride details presented here.

Volunteer leads and sweeps are critical to the success of our club rides. The number of ride groups we offer will depend on the number of leads and sweeps we have on any given weekend. Based on previous years, we may need 20 volunteers (or more depending on group size) each week. We ask leads/sweeps to sign up in advance. 

You will receive a $5  credit toward the next year’s club membership each week you lead or sweep in appreciation for volunteering. 

Before the Ride

  • Be sure to read the Club COVID-19 Guidelines for safe riding.
  • Please sign up in advance of the ride on the sign up form 
  • Know your route ahead of time and plan out water, rest stops, and regrouping spots. The route can be found each week on the Member Events page
  • Please arrive at Full Cycle, 2355 30th Street, Boulder, CO 80302 at least 30 minutes before the ride (e.g., if the ride leaves at 9 am, you should be there and ready to ride by 8:30 am).
  • Park in the north parking lot off Mapleton and behind the shop.
  • Ride groups will meet on the grass on the west side of that parking area, along the fence of the ball field. 
  • Everyone on your ride, including you, must wear a helmet and have signed a waiver.
  • Know the basics of the club safety speech. You will be asked to review safety with your group. 
  • Make sure you have a cell phone. The lead and sweep should exchange phone numbers. Full Cycle’s phone number, in case you need to call for advice about mechanical, or for another reason, is 303-440-1002. 
  • Carry your own water and food, basic repair tools, and the route map. You are not required to fix a rider’s mechanical, but someone may need a tool. 
  • Have everyone introduce themselves. Welcome new members.
  • Communicate route, stops, pace, hand signals, known safety issues, etc.
  • Start your ride on time!

On the Ride

Follow all traffic rules. Understand the new Colorado Safety Stop law and what it means for our group rides. Ride safely and predictably. YOU are the role model!

Stick to the designated pace of the ride unless the entire group wants to go slower or faster.

Keep the group together. Communication is key!

  • Announce your plan to regroup after lights, or after several lights if there are many in a row. This allows the group to get back together and back on pace.
  • When you regroup, wait until the last riders to arrive have had a chance to drink/rest. Ask them if they are ready before starting again. 
  • If the group is getting too spread out, you may need to slow the pace. The exception to this is on long straightaways or hills/climbing.
  • If the group is spread out and you come to a turn, signal that you are stopping, pull completely off the road where it’s safe to do so, and wait for the riders to regroup. Be sure to wait right before or after the turn so cyclists further back can see you waiting and don’t ride past. (Don’t stop right at the intersection, as that can be confusing to drivers.)
  • If the group is consistently getting too spread out, you have the option to split the group into two or more groups and ask someone else to lead one of the groups. Nothing is rigid; you can make changes to the group as needed.
  • If a rider chooses to pass the lead, the lead should let her know the next location to regroup. The rider who goes ahead assumes responsibility for knowing and following the route.
  • Remember, no one gets dropped. If a rider needs to stop and tells the sweep, “Go ahead” or “I’ll catch up,” clarify if the rider is saying it’s ok to be dropped or if the expectation is to wait at the next turn or stop sign until they catch up. We don’t want anyone left behind due to miscommunication.
  • If a rider can’t keep up with the group and falls behind causing a large gap in the group, the sweep can offer to break from the group to ride the route with that rider and someone else from the main group replaces the sweep. It should be suggested that the rider consider a slower-paced group or shorter route next time.
  • It is also ok to have a faster/slower rider move into a faster/slower pace group mid-ride. The rider and both leads need to communicate for this to happen. This may only occur when the two groups are in the same location at the same time.
  • If RwGPS decides to be unfriendly and you lose the turn by turn directions, it’s ok to stop and look at the map. Be sure to download it for offline use before the ride!
  • If you make a wrong turn, no worries! Stop where it is safe, communicate with your group what your plan is. Correct course safely, being mindful of traffic.

If someone has a flat, it is not your responsibility to fix it; however, in the spirit of sisterhood, support the rider who needs help.

  • Everyone must have a spare tube and tools with them.
  • Communicate through the group that you are stopping.
  • New riders and those in the short group may need help fixing a flat. Help them learn how and encourage them to attend the next fix-a-flat clinic.
  • If the flat is near the back and the group is spread out, the sweep should call the lead and let her know to stop the group and wait to regroup.
  • The group should stop and wait till the flat is fixed, unless the person fixing the flat says it’s OK for the group to keep going. Make sure the flat-fixer/rider is in a safe place.

If there is a mechanical issue, the entire group should stop.

  • You are not required to know how to fix the problem, but if you can help, please do!
  • If the issue can’t be fixed, call someone who can pick up the cyclist and her bike. Make sure the rider is in a safe place to wait. If a second rider stays with her, make sure there’s a plan for the second rider to get back to Full Cycle safely.

If a rider is seriously injured, call 911.

If you see unsafe actions on your ride, you can do one of two things:

  • Address the issue immediately. Discreetly explain to the rider(s) why what they’re doing is unsafe.
  • If you do not feel comfortable doing this, please tell a Steering Committee member what happened so we can address the issue. While it’s important for everyone to have fun, our #1 priority is making sure everyone has a safe ride.

Thank you for volunteering to be a ride lead/sweep!

We held a 2022 Clinic for Leads and Sweeps on March 29. View the video recording. The passcode is “Clinics4Venus!”