Potter’s Bridge CIBA Training Ride

By Craig Ryan

“The PBTR is a CIBA sponsored ride for the purposes of improving one’s bike riding skills, camaraderie, and having fun.”

Through the history of this ride, most riders naturally break out into groups appropriate for their skill and strength level. As group leaders, we have given groups the freedom to police themselves and organize however they wish. We would like to continue to do so, but require your help in making this happen.

Too often we see our groups swell to an inappropriate size for the roads we travel on. Often, we see a well working small front group with a long tail of single file riders hanging on for dear life. Riders pushing themselves to their edge become erratic, and crossroads can become dangerous. Gaps open, and riders straggle in, alone or in small groups. Do you find yourself going harder than you’d like and barely hanging onto the group? Are you looking at a strung out single line ahead of you? Is this the kind of ride you like?

The solution is easy. Run a second or third group half a mile behind the first, possibly traveling just as fast. Safety increases, and riders have a more positive experience. This is not new to our ride, we’ve often had as many as three groups leave the staging area. We just need to focus on it and take the initiative to make it happen.

We need leadership on the road, especially among our faster riders. Experienced fast riders need to teach newer fast  riders the skills they need to be safe. Don’t just try to drop them and hope they go away, teach them. If a group gets too large, make another. PBTR is not a race. It is a tool for training, and a means to increase the riding skills of a growing population of riders.

Thus far we have enjoyed a friendly relationship with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Dept. and the local citizens who live and work along our route. Many areas of the country do not have this privilege, and we do not want to lose it. We would like to see our ride portrayed as well organized and for skilled riders. Help us protect our ride’s reputation. Public perception of our ride is important. Most importantly, let’s keep our ride off the evening news.

• keep group size down to about a dozen

• start your group with a few miles of orderly two up riding

• make sure your group reforms easily after cross roads, don’t make them chase

• allow traffic to pass easily

• no one wants to be “bossy,” but be direct with each other where necessary

• plan as a group how hard your ride will be, and stick with the plan

• refrain from using tri-bars within a group

• protect the riders behind you

Let’s make the PBTR the leader!