Sky Rides – Any Ride Leaders on here?

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  • Sky Rides – Any Ride Leaders on here?
  • I’ve been thinking about doing the training to become a leader for Sky Rides. I get the concept; it’s about encouraging people to cycle more for fun and general health, and giving them support along the way, etc. I quite like the idea of doing something to help others, and along the way picking up some skills that’ll help me with my own family bike rides.

    I’ve read all the stuff from British Cycling, but would really like to get some feedback from anyone who does this. For example; How are the rides organised? How much time does it really take up? Is the eperience generally positive?

    Any thoughts or comments?

    pondo
    Member

    I can almost help – qualified at the tail end of last year, waiting to do a bit of guiding. I’ve requested a couple in March, let you know how that goes. 🙂

    From what I picked up from the training, the routes are all sorted for you, and there’ll ideally be a couple of leaders to each small bunch of riders, one at the front, one at the back – the one at the front has a bit of an easier time, they do all the sterring, the one at the back has to sprint up to the front at every junction. Might be a good idea to to a guided ride as a punter, get a better idea of how it works – I’m certainly going to. 🙂

    Just a cool way to spend a bit of time on the bike, giving a bit back to a pastime that I’ve had so much from. It honestly looks like good fun, if you enjoy helping out people who are new to it. 🙂

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Thing is with Sky, it’s sort of profit based whereas the Breeze rides are all voluntary, if they did breeze for men too I’d go for that (OH is a qualified breeze leader)

    pondo
    Member

    Sky rides are free? I think (and I AM speculating here) that Breeze is just Sky Ride for ladies only, to encourage more female cycling – it’s still Sky, I think.

    Pondo has it for the r’ship between Sky and Breeze. Perhaps Breeze rides benefit a little from the distance from the Sky brand.

    SkyRide leaders get paid (not much). I’m not sure about Breeze leaders.

    As for the ride experience we used to get a real mixed bag of participants – beginners and families but also experienced riders wanting something different, an easy day, different group – whatever. Rides would be typically 3-4 hours but take up the middle of the day with a late start and mid-afternoon finish. The experience was generally positive – everyone wanting to have fun and generally happy to be patient with slower riders. Only on the odd occasion would someone have to be reminded that it wasn’t a chaingang and we also got the odd person who’d brag about their cycling prowess (once spectacularly so, someone claimed to be a LEJoG record holder) only to blow up early and their bike fall to bits.

    Premier Icon fathomer
    Subscriber

    My wife is a Breeze leader, she don’t get paid!

    missnotax
    Member

    Yup, I’m a Breeze ride leader too. Breeze is female-specific as part of a programme to get more women riding bikes. Ride leaders are volunteers and don’t get paid for it.

    Skyride is the ‘non gender specific’ programme to get people out riding and has funding from Sky, hence their ride leaders do get paid a nominal amount.

    No difference really in the format – they are both about getting people to ride bikes and have fun! – but maybe due to its volunteer nature Breeze does a certain ‘passion’ about it that its difficult to explain! I obviously don’t do Breeze rides for personal gain, but the buzz I get from helping people to remember just how bloody awesome it is to ride a bike is utterly priceless 🙂

    Certainly the Breeze rides I’ve met out and about seem very convivial and I think the volunteer nature of the leaders perhaps helps to break down any barriers between participant and leader.

    The “leader and client/participant” aspect of SkyRides perhaps develops a different sort of expectation/relationship.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    There’s a distinct lack of off road rides!

    Off-road SkyRides happen in the Bradford area. IIRC

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    I’m Dahn Saaaarf. 🙂

    Very sorry to hear that CG 😉

    missnotax
    Member

    I do off road Breeze rides too 😉

    TiRed
    Member

    There’s a distinct lack of off road rides!

    Start some! CTC mtb leader course or similar, or just experience and first aid knowledge are all that’s required. If you build it…

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Start some! CTC mtb leader course or similar, or just experience and first aid knowledge are all that’s required. If you build it…

    If I was fit and healthy then I would but I’m not. 🙁 Would just like to go on the occasional ride if I felt well enough to.

    missnotax – near me are some Breeze road rides that cater for beginners. 5 mile rides include a cafe stop which I’ve not got a problem with but am not prepared to lock up my bike outside a garden centre or whatever.

    An option is to ride my ss which may look incredibly stupid and hold everyone up but I would not worry as much about it!

    Thoughts? 🙂

    missnotax
    Member

    Where are you based CG?

    I’m MIAS MTB coach too so I tend to mix it around a bit – hence I offer some off road stuff through Breeze 🙂

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Romsey vicinity. 🙂

    The other thing, and I know this sounds really miserable, but I’m not interested in rides where there’s kids present!

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Mate did it last year, did 2-3 per month, from taking a couple of people two miles along the river to a 30 mile road ride with a verymixed route in the pissing rain.

    Rides were centrally planned, then passed to the leader and helper. He had one nightmare as an assistant when the ride leader let them down.

    The “pay” seems ok for helping folk get out on their bikes, plenty of freebies for leaders as well.

    I’m on the waiting list for training to be a leader this year, doing my first aid certificate next week as that apparently gets higher pay, and seems a sensible precaution anyway

    Premier Icon oxym0r0n
    Subscriber

    Sky Ride Leader here – did the off-road endorsement before Christmas, so I think we are planning some off-road rides in the Bridgwater area this spring/summer.
    The only problem is we have 1 route planner who is also off-road endorsed.

    1 day basic training
    1 day route planner training
    1 day off-road endorsement

    I do get paid – the commitment is as much as you want to make it. I was deputy on 3 rides last year all of which I pre-rode on the day of the ride.

    All the rides are organised centrally and then you sign up to lead them online, via a secure website. I did find that a few people seemed to be signing up to lead most of the rides if I didn’t get in quick. The lead time was not always long between rides becoming available and the ride taking place/someone else signing up.

    I will be giving it another go this year but am hoping for more off-road.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Well done to those who’ve become involved. 8)

    Thanks. That’s given me a good idea of how things are organised.

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