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How much experience to lead a learner ride?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by BENNY THE JET, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Only been riding just over a year,would be good to lead a ride,although sometimes every one is a critic ?

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  2. You might have only been riding for a year but you have done a gazillion miles.

    I'd be happy to go on a ride you lead.

    I wouldn't worry about critics, some people just are not happy unless they are moaning about something.
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  3. go for it mate if im free il join ya, remember I lick loiners
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  4. Thanks Mate,all the experience i have gained is through doing lots of hours in the hills but am still not a skilled rider,to lead a group ride is different if the learner comes of, whilst a newbie is leading.I have met many good leaders on net rider but soon as something doesn't go perfect the critics are out and back to riding alone:(
  5. Give it a go Benny, critics are everywhere, if they are constructive then its worth listening, if not then ignore them. You have been on enough rides with different leaders to have picked up pointers on how they work and good points and bad points about different rides.
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  6. Sounds like i will give it a go in the not to distant future any tips from those that have done it, would be good for me as well, and those who wish to participate.Sorry about the punctuation never was any good at English;)
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  7. I say go for it, I've led a couple of Sunday learner rides and I don't have much more experience than you. A few suggestions from my attempts:

    - Ignore the haters, haterz gonna hate.
    - If you're going on roads you haven't done a million times before, it might be worth doing a practice run solo the week before so you don't get lost.
    - Give a ride briefing reminding everyone of how corner marking works, and make sure everyone knows which bike is yours so they don't accidentally overtake you.
    - Make sure you have TEC's phone number.
    - Take it easy, don't let faster riders sitting behind you encourage you to ride beyond your normal pace - it's a learner-friendly ride after all.
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  8. Thanks for the help Cameron,what would be a fair distance on average for regroup and pit stops.Also how many kilometers is to many for a learner ride?
  9. #9 Greydog, Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
    Remember that you don't know who is going to show up on the day. If it's going to be a learner ride, make sure that the route is suitable for a raw learner. If you want to do something a bit more challenging, make sure you make it clear in your post what to expect so people can choose whether to attend or not. If in doubt, post a new thread, not in the Sunday Learner thread.

    Good luck :)

    ETA: also ensure your briefing includes the rules for a learner ride eg no overtaking on bends, no undertaking etc. be prepared to enforce them if necessary. Make sure people know who the TEC is, and what he/she rides.
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  10. Thanks Mandy, i would agree.In your opinion what roads would be suitable for a raw learner?
  11. I reckon 50-80 km depending on how twisty the road is. Less than an hour's riding anyway. Dunno how long is too long for a learner ride - the Walhalla ride that I led was ~ 380km, and that was definitely too long for a typical Sunday learner friendly ride. 250-300km is probably more than enough. People still have to get to the start point and home from where the ride breaks up.

    Hrm. I'm not sure the Sunday rides are usually for "raw learners"? My understanding is that they typically include roads like the Spurs, Gembrook-Launching Place, Kinglake, etc. I know this has been a contentious topic in the past though. I like the suggestion of making it clear what to expect when you put your hand up to lead.

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  12. I try and have a late start and an early finish, learners may be traveling a distance before the ride start and may have a distance to get home when they are tired. If you remember when you were a new rider a lot of energy is expended in riding.

    Allow rest breaks, base the time of the break on when the last rider and TEC arrive so that they get a valid break. Work on about 180km between fuel stops, most people should make that. I would not go for much more than 300km for a learner ride. Allow regroups regularly. You need to have a place to feed them half way through the ride so pick a reasonable size town.

    Talk to the TEC during the ride to make sure no-one is struggling at the back. Clearly mark corners with the corner markers, on a complex intersection have a entry and exit marker if you have enough people. Try and arrange that there are bail points so people can leave if they are feeling they are riding beyond their experience level or have other commitments. As others have said the TEC should have your number and he/she should have yours.

    Each ride leader handles these things in their own way., It's not rocket science I urge you to give it a go. Try and ride the route before you take learners on it just in case there is a surprise.
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  13. Thank you Chris for the your advice,looks like a great blueprint for a Learners ride and have been on several of yours(y).What to do if someone is struggling?,what to do if someone comes off??
  14. #14 cjvfr, Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
    If someone is really struggling then you should not be afraid to speak to them and suggest they need some more experience before their next group ride. You shouldn't abandon them in a area they may not know so see if you can get them back to a known route so they can get themselves home. If they are totally freaked out then maybe see if one of the group will escort them.

    If someone comes off it can be a bit more serious. There is a natural tendency for everyone to want to pull up and help. This ends up blocking road access so the scene controller which is generally the TEC or senior rider on site should move people on. In most cases the TEC will be the one who has to deal with these situations.

    Usually the rider will be sitting up or standing by the time help arrives. If thats the case then slow them down from jumping on the bike and getting going. Try and assess them for any injuries that may be masked by the adrenalin levels. Most riders will immediately ask hows my bike so help them lift it up and inspect it for damage. If it looks ridable then see if they can start it. If they can and they look Ok then you can get going again.

    If they are not moving or conscious then



    For those that choose to be TEC because it is the easy slow job down the back just remember that you may have to deal with an incident. There are a number of Netriders that are trained in Accident Scene Management so the more of us that train in that the better. Worth doing as a course.

    It doesn't hurt to think about when things go wrong but 99% of rides are without incident and everyone is grateful for your arranging the ride.
  15. Sounds to me there is a lot of things that one should consider when putting there hand up to lead a group ride.o_O
  16. Don't stress on it mate, most times everything is easy as pie. My last post was a bit heavy but you asked for some of the possibilities. Don't let what may happen in a fraction of circumstances from stepping up to lead rides. The Sunday learners ride is a great institution and this time of year we all get busy so can't always organise a Sunday ride. If the pool of people willing to do it increases then we can make sure this ride happens every week.
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  17. At least 1000 posts.
  18. I strongly second Chris' statement about first aid training. As TEC I've had to pick a few people up off the road, and being first aid trained has definitely helped;just knowing what to do means we don't panic.

    I also urge ALL riders to take out ambulance cover. At under $50 for singles (under $90 for families) it's DIRT CHEAP. If you get knocked out, even if you look ok, it's really a job for an ambulance IMO.

    As far as learner roads go, there's hot discussion on that topic. You don't often get "raw learners", but then, how would you know unless they tell you? If you don't know someone at the meet point, go up, say hello, and start a conversation. Chances are, if they're new to riding, they'll tell you anyway. Personally I don't think most roads are bad as long as the twisty bits aren't too long. I personally wouldn't take a newer learner up a road like St Andrews rd bc of the dropoffs and the tendency for cars to use the wrong side of the road. But you could ask 10 people that question and get 10 different answers.

    You can be a bit flexible with your route anyway.

    As far as haters gonna hate goes - don't worry about it. If someone doesn't like your ride, they can choose not to go on it next time. They can do their own. There can be more than one Sunday ride going at a time, there's no rule that says there can only be one at a time.

    BTW I don't lead rides bc I have a very bad memory and get lost easily. Sounds funny, but it's actually a PITA. So I TEC a lot as my contribution.
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  19. My 10c :)

    Any road/route is fine so long as you cover these things off:

    - If you dont regularly do the route, check it first. For a learner ride either advise or adjust the route if there are hazards (leaf litter, gravel driveways, wildlife etc)

    - At the pre-ride briefing, advise no-one to leave the ride without telling someone else who is staying on the ride.

    - Count how many people are coming along, and have regular re-groups at turning points along the way, and at each re-group re-count how many you have with you, make sure you haven't lost anyone, esp. after a more challenging section.

    - Go about 3 hours max for a Learner ride, people start whinging after that.

    As a first time leader remember:

    - Leading is harder than following.. especially so at night time.. You have no tail light to follow through the darkness, and you are the first rider to see/hit any dangers.

    - Consider things that may have spread the pack or had anyone lost like multiple traffic lights, a freeway exit, a difficult section of road, do a regroup afterward and count how many you have... Have you got everyone? Have you got your TEC still! :)

    - If travelling down a freeway ie using the monash to get to the hills, keep yourself and the pack in the left most lane, so everyone can see where you exit, consider 2 x corner markers for freeway exits, one a hundred metres up, one at the exit.. plenty of notice!

    - Use 2 x corner markers at roundabouts.

    - Fuel will run dry for some at between 150 and 180k's... If there is a long stretch in the route, consider a "splash and dash" before the long section so everyone can make it. Also check/ring the servo at the other end to make sure they will be open at your expected arrival time ;-)

    - Choose a TEC you trust as a rider.. One you trust not to crash, but also who has patience..

    - Lastly remember its real easy for people to whinge (ooh I wet my nappy on that leg, mummy wants me home for dinner, the Dandenongs are too far for my flux capacitor, whatever I've heard them all)... It takes much bigger balls to stand up and say I'll lead it... If people complain, suggest they lead the next one, they go real quiet, real quick.. Then hold your head up high and enjoy your day the other guys on the ride are enjoying it too :)
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  20. For what it's worth my advice is to lead a small group (less than 10 riders) a few times before you try to lead a large group. Best to make it a group of people you know and have ridden with before.

    Friends will be less likely to seriously whinge and complain and more likely to offer constructive criticism and advice.
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