Here's some useful information as you begin your journey
Most groups organise cycle rides, but walking, running and other forms of active travel are also welcome. We want to make participation as simple as possible, so we are suggesting your events fit neatly into one day. Of course, the journey can be as short or as long as you like. You can organise the ride in whichever way that makes sense to you.
Participating in a ride will foster new connections between you and your colleagues, and we will equip you with a framework to make a practical difference. Each ride will also have an important educational impact, and we will support you to organise and publicise it.
Practical advice for organising a ride
The distance you plan to cover in a day will vary massively depending on the riders that are participating. If your riders are experienced, or if you can afford extensive planning and support you can do longer distances. If you have safe roads without a headwind and not too many hills, you may be able to get to 100-120km. However, for less experienced riders or in adverse conditions 20-30km is a significant challenge.
Try and complete all rides during daylight. Average speeds of 10-20kmh without including stops are a reasonable place to start. Leave time to take some pictures and videos, and for the recording at the end of the day.
The best route planning involves riding the route in advance as we did for the vast majority of the 2021 rides. However, this takes a lot of organising. Consider using local resources such as individuals in your organisation who ride regularly, bike organisations and clubs who can give you guidance.
If you are riding alone or in a group of 2-3 the logistics, route planning, and safety checks becomes dramatically easier. Once you start to organise groups larger than 5-10 you will need to pay much more attention to remote planning, different abilities and speeds, specified roles and training. This includes ride leadership courses, having a designated rider at the back, and potentially public liability insurance. Here is a useful link from the UK: Cycling UK Event organiser toolkit.
This should be your number one priority but is highly dependent on distance, route planning and numbers. Once you know all these details you can assess the risk and mitigate it appropriately. Importantly, ensure your riders know who is holding that risk. This is particularly important if you allow any children to join the ride - they will almost certainly need a parent or guardian to carry that risk.
If you decide to organise a larger ride, we strongly advise that you partner with a local cycling organisation who can help with your risk assessment and can provide you with the relevant insurance.
Ride for their Lives are providing support in coordinating the messaging and impact of your ride, but will be unable to give specific advice on safety or provide any logistical support or insurance cover. Remember that cycling and active travel are dangerous in many countries, which is the main reason people decide not to use them. This of course then perpetuates the cycle of inactivity, ill health and car dependency. This cycle will not change overnight and needs our advocacy.
Food and water
Unless you are cycling in an urban environment and supplies are easily available, always carry more than you think you might need. In our experience, tap water in a reusable bottle and homemade flapjacks trump a stop at a shop, both in terms of cost and taste.
Accommodation and transport home
Accommodation significantly adds to costs and logistics which is why we are proposing you organise a ride that fits neatly into one day. Cycling home at the end of the ride is also preferable but this might not work when linking up longer distances. Getting a train home with your bike will be the most carbon-efficient solution but you will need to navigate a train company website - these are often deliberately opaque and unhelpful - to ensure you can take your particular bike home. You may also need to book a bike space. These links may be helpful: Seat 61 and A to B.
You might want to explore Warm Showers either as a guest or a host. It links up cyclists who need or can provide free overnight accommodation.