It is great to see increased interest in mountainbike rides. However bigger group also requires better organization. All new members (welcome) are basically asking the same questions etc. Pls READ this for general advices.
1. Prepare your Bike and Yourself. Check your tyre and tube condition (remove thorns, refill the Slime from time to time), cables, break pads. Don’t let yourself and your mates down. Ensure you are fit enough. Carry some small cash. Print a paper copy of the flyer with gsm number of leader and pack this paper copy is in your bag. If your GSM fails you can ask a member of the public if you can use their GSM to call your friend…..but only if their number is on paper. Save GSM number of ride leader - it is YOUR responsibility to call him if you are lost/in trouble
2. Nominate a Leader, Buddies and Groups. Ultimately the leader should assign buddies if there are weak members to ensure weak riders are not all together. A plan should be made. Generally if riding in a big group then sub-groups should be made, maximum 6-8 members per group. You should ride together as sub-groups to ensure no-one gets lost/left behind.
3. WATCH THE RIDER BEHIND YOU Look over your shoulder at least every 50 m. If he stops - you stop. Like this nobody is left behind. If you do not do this, the person behind you is fully justified in punching you later.
4. Never leave the group behind you. If you loose the guy behind you, stop and wait. He’ll probably come soon! If not you must return to find him. The person in front of you should come back when he stops seeing you, so don’t worry about him.
5. Never leave the group in front of you. If you feel the guys in front are too fast or going the wrong way, stop. They, following the rule above, will come back to you. Explain to them your thoughts. If they do not return after 3 mins, proceed slowly. They may have some mechanical (and maybe need you).
6. Ensure you have at least 1 litre of water in your camel back in cool months and up to 3 litres in hot months (April-Sept). 2-3 strong gulps each 15 mins is advised, more in hot months. Dates, energy bars and any non recreational drugs you may require should be carried. If you are on medicine let everyone know.
7. Carry a good spares/emergency pack. Minimum = 2 spare tubes (best filled with Slime), basic 1st aid kit, tyre levers, mountain bike pump compatible with valve of your tubes, ….knowledge of how to fix a puncture (Practice), don’t rely on Slime – if you cut the tube (snake bite) Slime will not fix it; hexagonal allen keys (“imbus”), chain tool, wrench nr 8, 10... whatever is on your bike. The best is small mtb tool-set “all in one”.