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How we ride!

The whole point of the weekend is for you to have FUN while riding at all times within your "comfort zone". You won't have that if you feel that you're obliged to gallop along at a rate that you don't feel comfortable with, neither will you if you feel that you're dawdling along and are getting bored...

Rider Experience                  Every group is made up of riders with varying degrees of experience, age, skill, enthusiasm, horsepower, machine control and stamina. I like to think that we can cater for everybody but it's obvious that somebody who has only recently passed their test will find it daunting to be thrown into this particular deep-end...It's also important that everybody is committed to their riding and, normally, the fact of having to ride all the way down here is a guarantee of that. If you are a "new" rider however it might be worth postponing your 1st trip until you've undertaken some additional training in the UK (see the LINKS page) or just piled on the miles and are feeling confident with your riding. Confidence is the key; how FAST you ride is definitely NOT. Groups are, by definition, made up of riders with varying levels of confidence and we can cater for this by applying the "Drop-off system" This is not complicated but I've managed to make it appear so in the following explanation. Read it carefully as you'll be quizzed on it once you eventually arrive here...

The Drop-off system               The system requires a leader (that's ME!), the riders/junction markers (you!) and a tail-ender (also one of you!)

The LEADER - knows where we're going!....
RIDERS - That's you and hopefully you'll be following me. At any point the route deviates I will signal the bike immediately following me to stop so as to mark the junction for the following riders (this rider then becomes a JUNCTION MARKER. D'oh!). He will stay there until the tail-ender arrives. 
The Junction Marker then moves off ahead of the tail-ender and becomes one of the "Riders" again. I will repeat this every time there is a change of direction and so you will all get an opportunity to be a Junction Marker. Overtaking is fine and is in fact essential for the smooth operation of the system, but please be careful and courteous!
TAIL-ENDER - will stay at the back for an entire section of the ride (from leaving the house to the first coffee stop, for example) and will be wearing a hi-viz tabard to make him clearly visible to all the other riders in the group. The tail-ender is exactly that, nobody else in the group should ever get behind him and he will move the "Junction Marker" on ahead of him once  he arrives at the junction.  If anyone drops out of the group the Tail-Ender will stop with them and find out what is going on. If there is a problem he will get in touch with the leader, or if they are just stopping for a wazz he will wait with them so that the next marker, further up the road, stays in place until they both arrive

The result is that nobody has to worry about getting lost. Even if you can't see any bikes ahead of you, you know that they'll be waiting at the next junction. Everybody rides at their own rate, nobody has to pedal harder than they want to.
It works brilliantly and means that a group with differing skills and experience can travel well together although spread out over a mile or two of road.

By the first coffee-stop of the first day, you'll have totally understood the system and can forget about being lost or left behind and get on with improving your riding.

Think of it as a game of leap-frog.... without the falling over bit...

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