Learning To Lead

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I’ve quite often found myself ‘leading’ a ride – but only in the informal sense of being the person that knows the way. There’s a big (legal and insurance) difference between following your friend that knows where to turn left or right, and following someone who is leading you into…

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Home Forums Learning To Lead

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Learning To Lead
  • 1
    fahzure
    Full Member

    Great article for aspiring guides. Got any more info on the hosepipe singlespeed bodge?

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Got any more info on the hosepipe singlespeed bodge?

    Yep, no idea what he’s talking about and I’ve SS’ed a few bikes over the years…..

    3
    landslide
    Full Member

    Hello, that’s me. 

    It was a new one to me before I did the training, but if the classic SS fix is a bit loose, you can run the chain through a short length of hosepipe, and zip tie it to the chainstay, a bit like the old DCD used to work.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    It was a new one to me before I did the training, but if the classic SS fix is a bit loose, you can run the chain through a short length of hosepipe, and zip tie it to the chainstay, a bit like the old DCD used to work.

    Very ingenious!

    My top non-top is zip ties and stripped free-hubs, had one in anger on a road bike and managed to borrow a handful of zip ties from everyone in the group to zip tie the cassette to the spokes. Didn’t even last one pedal stroke! Sheered all the zip ties instantly…

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    So are there legal consequences in scenario where a club is run mainly on Facebook with a simple disclaimer (helmets etc), a member of the club volunteers to lead a monthly ride ‘in their patch’ and no money changes hands (except for an old club Jersey run). Significant consequences or limited liability if someone was injured and was looking to sue…

    1
    landslide
    Full Member

    “…are there legal consequences…”
    “Significant consequences or limited liability…”

    I think “potentially”, and “it depends”.
    IANAL, but am fairly certain that actual lawyers will argue the fine points of such incidents for 1) ages and 2) money.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    “…are there legal consequences…”

    Not if the group is all adults. Each adult is legally responsible for themselves, if they don’t like the look of the trail, they are free to turn back.

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    spooky_b329 Full Member

    So are there legal consequences in scenario where a club is run mainly on Facebook with a simple disclaimer (helmets etc), a member of the club volunteers to lead a monthly ride ‘in their patch’ and no money changes hands (except for an old club Jersey run). Significant consequences or limited liability if someone was injured and was looking to sue…

    If you’re leading a ride you do have a duty of care to other participants. A disclaimer or waiver won’t remove this. If the worst came to the worst then you might be able to argue volenti non fit injuria. The classic example of this is a boxing match – if you entered one, you wouldn’t be able to sue the person who hit you, as you’ve willingly accepted the risks. It’s less clear in a mountain biking context as levels of risk are much more variable – for example if you were leading a group and took them off down a trail they didn’t know, which was full of shonky gap jumps, that would arguably be a risk they hadn’t willingly accepted.

    Obviously if you’re formally advertising it as a led ride then the expectations of participants will be different, compared to whether you’re on an informal WhatsApp ride. But you’ll have a national body and insurer backing you up.

    Having undertaken ride leader training I feel like its main use is for commercial purposes, or rides where the participants are very much expecting to be guided. In the context of a general group ride it’s less useful. But it’s also a really good general skills primer for everything from nav to maintenance, and the requirement to do an outdoor first aid course is no bad thing. The main issue is the cost (by the time you’ve added up the courses, accommodation and the extra kit you’ll inevitably buy, you’re looking at £750 or so for Level 2). So it’s great to see organisations like NFORC subsiding this for folk who might otherwise think “not for me”.

    poly
    Free Member

    So are there legal consequences in scenario where a club is run mainly on Facebook with a simple disclaimer (helmets etc), a member of the club volunteers to lead a monthly ride ‘in their patch’ and no money changes hands (except for an old club Jersey run). Significant consequences or limited liability if someone was injured and was looking to sue…

    there are two problems – could someone attempt to sue you, and are they likely to succeed.  The first question is always a possibility – even if you are just riding on your own and collide with another rider/pedestrian.  Once you form a club (presumably as an unincorporated body) and start making “rules” (like helmets), or publishing disclaimers it becomes apparent that someone thought they had some responsibility, so perhaps the risk of a claim increases.  The risk of a claim is always partly based on the likelihood of someone paying out.  The second question is different and actually depends on the law and the facts and circumstances of the case.  Hiding behind disclaimers won’t help much.  Equally having no documentation won’t impress if those pursuing you are comparing you to a professional organisation who have written procedures, training, risk assessments etc.

    Not if the group is all adults. Each adult is legally responsible for themselves, if they don’t like the look of the trail, they are free to turn back.

    depends how you have “promoted” it.  If you implied it was a great trail for developing riders and they don’t have the skills to know what they don’t know, or you didn’t know about the blind drop, or they felt they couldn’t turn back because only you knew how to get home, etc then suddenly it’s not looking quite so clear cut.  You can definitely define a group in a way to minimise this but simply saying “adults should know” is not 100% certain.

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Thanks guys, pretty much as I expected!

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