Leading a Group Ride
Crossing Ice in Groups
- Avoid crossing frozen bodies of water whenever you can.
- Never cross ice in single file. If the group leader falls through, single-file riders may not be able to respond quickly enough to keep from following the leader through the ice.
- Learn the safe techniques of ice riding in Maneuvering on Different Terrains.
Organizing and Leading Groups
- The most knowledgeable and experienced rider takes the lead. Trail leaders:
- Guide the direction, pace, and length of the ride.
- Alert the group to changing conditions and warn of potential hazards.
- Avoid unnecessary risk by placing safety first.
- Do not allow reckless behavior such as “horseplay” or passing within the group.
- The last position of a group, called a “trail sweep,” is critical in maintaining proper spacing and leadership on the trail. This rider should be as experienced and knowledgeable as the trail leader.
- Groups larger than 10 or 12 should split into smaller groups, each with a group leader and a trail sweep. Group sweeps report to group leaders. Group leaders, in turn, report to the trail leader.
- Never leave anyone behind. Forcing riders to catch up increases accident risk.