I ‘m currently planning a short weekend ride for a bunch of experience riders. Have you ever planned a ride?
Here are some tips to consider when planning a ride.
1. Determine where you want to go
A great way to do this is using Google Maps. What I’ve also done is setup a Google Maps account where I can save the maps. You can check out this small route I am currently planning.
[gmap width=”525″ height=”350]<iframe width=”525″ height=”350″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ src=”http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Canberra+Australian+Capital+Territory,+Australia&msa=0&msid=106367294356913683464.000486c77dcd57ec25578&ll=-34.349159,149.48524&spn=1.865762,1.5881&output=embed”></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=”http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Canberra+Australian+Capital+Territory,+Australia&msa=0&msid=106367294356913683464.000486c77dcd57ec25578&ll=-34.349159,149.48524&spn=1.865762,1.5881&source=embed” style=”color:#0000FF;text-align:left”>Old Farts Riding Trip</a> in a larger map</small>[/gmap]
2. Invites some riders
For us, it’s usually someone who knows someone who has a bike. As a good as this sounds, you need to get an idea what their riding skill level is. This helps you work out where to best place them positionally in the riding group. This removes any frustrations for other riders, also, when it comes to speed and capability it takes the expectation off the inexperienced rider in trying to keep up with the group.
3. When you’ve confirmed who’s coming, distribute the route map
Send an email and let everyone know what the route is. If there are any adjustments, you’ll be guaranteed an email. You could make the map collaborative (a feature in GoogleMaps), however, you have to watch that your ride doesn’t become an ignorance pooling session, with everyone putting in their 10cents worth, with the directions and destination changing to something other than your original idea.
However, be discerning enough to accept reasonable ideas and variations.
If you are doing a long distance ride with limited places to stop, get an idea of who has the minimum fuel range out of their tank of gas, that’s handy in planning, where you stop.
4. Find out who has a first aid kit and who has first aid training.
It’s vital to know who has skill in this area. I’ve been on a couple of rides where the rider has come off or I’ve had to take someone to the hospital. Make sure you have any emergency contact numbers available when you head out on a ride.
5. Emergency Communications Strategy.
If you are going to a remote location, plan a couple of ways on how you will deal with emergencies. Ask the question “where will we go to as a fallback position, if there is no communications mediums (telephone, radio, etc)?” It’s useful to have a fallback position. Epurbs or a SPOT are a great tool, where they send a message via satellite to an emergency service.
6. Advise every one of the rendezvous point.
Make sure you tell everyone the place and time to meet.
7. Be willing to defer, cancel or change the trip if the weather is going to be bad.
If the weather channel isn’t giving a good picture for the weekend weather, either defer the trip, or change the destination. We had a ride where we planned for mountain riding, only to find out that blizzards were occurring two days before hand so we changed our destination and went north.
8. Prepare your bike
Give your bike a good check at least two weeks before you go.
9. Pack for the weekend
If you live in a country where you can have four seasons in one day, prepare for all seasons riding.
10. Go and enjoy the ride
Now go and enjoy the ride for the weekend!
When I get some more tips I’ll post them on this page!