I'm pleased to say that we now have a number of people interested to learn some more about becoming a Ride Leader. This is obviously great news!
It's interesting to hear that many people just don't know what the role entails, or in fact why it's so important. To be honest I can completely understand, after all; BCC rides are very informal and basically identical to any other ride with mates, and lets face it we don't need qualifications for that!
The truth of the matter is that because we are an organised club to which people pay a membership fee and we organise club rides... well because of that 'formal' structure we are obliged to be able to do so with a reasonable level of safety. To ensure that this is the case the CTC and BC insist that club rides are led by qualified Ride Leaders. This ensures that each ride is conducted safely, and allows the participant to take part confident in the knowledge that they aren't going to be led down an unreasonably dangerous trail.
The CTC sums up the purpose of the role with the four E's
- Ensure safety - You, your group, other users.
- Enjoyment - Your group members enjoy what you provide because you have games, ideas and loads of enthusiasm.
- Engagement - You have the skills to match rides and skills development sessions to your group members age and stage of ability.
- Education - Your group members come away from your rides knowing more, whether it be about mountain biking or other aspect of the area used.
As you can see the qualification means that the Ride Leader is able to do a lot more; really adding to the rides that they lead, not just acting as a chaperone.
But it's really important to realise that the technical entry requirements aren't very high, with greater focus being upon having the right mentality and nature.
The CTC's requirements are as follows:
- Have at least one years experience of regular riding experience in trail terrain. This should be a minimum of 30 rides.
- Have an interest in cycle instruction and/or mountain bike leading.
- Hold a valid and appropriate first aid certificate (or obtain one shortly after your course).
- Be able to understand the basic principles of maps (what they represent and how).
- Have attempted to fix punctures.
- Be at least 17 years of age. In this case, you cannot be provided with a full Trail Leader certificate until you reach 18, but you may be provided with an Assistant Leader Award for the interim period.
So if you think you might fit the bill, or would just like to learn some more please get in contact.
I plan to have a pub outing (for those who are interested) at which we can a have a drink and ask some questions - So if you've shown some interest check out the forum (http://www.southerndownhill.com/forum/index.php/topic,198948.0.html) where I'll make the arrangements....
(If you haven't already seen, all the course information is here: http://www.promtb.net/courses/leaderawards/trail.htm )