I learnt everything I know about leading cycle rides and tours with Cycling UK, but not from any of the training courses recently profiled here and in 'Cycle' magazine. I served an apprenticeship most Sundays since 1972, with several different local CTC groups and on many longer tours at home and abroad.
A CTC tour group in Bavaria

At the recent annual meeting of CTC Holidays & Tours [2] it was decided to put the qualification of registered CTC Tour Leaders on a more formal footing. As a first step, I volunteered to document best Cycling UK practice in ride and tour leading.

Leading a cycling tour clearly builds upon the activity of leading a ride. I hugely value the tips and techniques I learnt with CTC’s local groups and use them when I plan and lead tours. Some of the ride-leading knowledge that lives in the heads of our local volunteers went into the production of Cycling UK’s leaflets for group ride participants [3] and leaders [4]. But a leaflet is too small to give more than pointers: the bare bones of how to lead a ride. I’m aware that several local groups are engaged in putting flesh on those bones by drawing up their own more detailed ride leading guidelines, and that some already have such a document. And I know that some information sharing is already happening between adjacent local groups.

I want to ensure that what we’re doing as CTC tour leaders remains consistent with what we’re doing as local ride leaders. I want to expand information sharing beyond informal local links and write a national Cycling UK document of best practice in group ride and tour leading. If you want to be part of this, please send me any guidelines that your local group has already developed, or is working on, or simply your own ideas on the subject. Email me [5] or post to Cycling UK National Office, marked FAO Chris Juden.

In due course, I will circulate a draft document amongst all who have contributed or expressed an interest. I’ve also started a thread on the Cycling UK Member Groups area of the forum [6], to receive informal comments and feedback.