hub on wheels startWhat makes a good bike ride leader?  I’ve been on some big group rides, and I never really thought about the leaders.  You get the cue sheet and/or find out what road-mark to follow, faster people take off, and then rest of the riders get moving, in some semi-organized way.  Or not.  There may be some weaving around and jockeying for position as the better riders zoom ahead and the stragglers straggle.  I tend to look around to figure out where I fit, and try to avoid the yahoos AND the wobblers.  Usually there’s someone around my speed that I end up riding with if I haven’t brought a riding buddy.

Ride Studio Cafe ride picBut what about smaller “no-drop” rides where the leader might actually matter?  Sure, these kinds of rides tend to give a pace range, but there are always riders at both ends. Have you led this type of ride?  What do you find works best?  I had the opportunity to lead some no-drop rides over the summer – kind of by default:  I came up with the routes!  My philosophy is that everyone should get the workout they want.  I am definitely NOT the fastest on any of the rides I lead, but my strategy is to provide a cue sheet and suggest some strategic waiting points.  It has worked so far…

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Experiences?