About Rides

The main DOGS activity is tandem rides. This page gives some guidance for ride participants, and ride hosts (leaders). Visit our Events Calendar for information about specific rides (and other events). Guests are welcome to try us out.

The webmaster welcomes contributions from hosts and/or participants of pictures of, and narrative about, rides that can be added to the web site.

Note: all participants on DOGS rides must wear an ANSI, Snell, ASTM, CPSC or UL approved helmet. Period.

For Ride ParticipantsFor Ride Hosts
We welcome all riders on our rides. Non-members are welcome, and we hope to induce them to join. Please obey a few courtesies, bearing in mind the effort the hosts have made to put together a fun event:
  1. Bring adequate food/drink for yourself for the ride.
  2. Show up on time.
  3. Sign in on a sign-up sheet.
  4. Get a cue sheet, if any, from the hosts.
  5. Wear an approved helmet.
  6. Obey traffic rules and regulations, including signals and stop signs.
  7. Enjoy the ride.
  8. Check in with the hosts at the end.
  9. Hang around and socialize (optional). It's always okay to bring food to share.

We don't necessarily all ride together, but the fastest riders usually stop periodically to let people catch up and to make sure no one gets lost.

Hosts are responsible for planning the ride. Herewith is a condensed list of things to do, with links to more detail.
  1. Plan a route.
  2. Provide the webmaster with ride details at least a week in advance.
  3. Bring enough (optional) cue sheets for all riders, plus spares.
  4. Get a copy of the sign-up sheet. Make sure everyone signs. Parent/guardian must also sign a Minor Release of Liability for minors.
  5. Bring extra blank forms: New Member, Accident Report.
  6. Begin the ride.
  7. At the end of the ride, be sure all riders are accounted for. Socialize.

Details for Ride Hosts

Ride Planning

  1. Plan a ride in a familiar area. Everyone has a favorite ride or a "default ride" that they do. Consider turning it into a club event.
  2. Pick a good starting/ending location. Some favorable characteristics include:
  3. Keep the mileage reasonable. Many rides are in the 35-45 mile range.
  4. Try to plan a route that includes bathrooms and places to buy food, particularly on longer rides.
  5. Consider the terrain. Some people love hills, some loathe them.
  6. Prepare cue sheets. You're allowed to run a "led ride", for which there are no cue sheets, but you bear extra responsibility to make sure everyone rides together.

    Typical cue sheets look something like

    GoCum.Then...To/on to
    0.40.4LSpring Valley Rd.
    2.73.1STL TRO Spring Valley

    There isn't any fixed format. Ask other members for software suggestions if you need help. It's a good idea to include "negative directions" where there's a chance of error, such as "If you get to an Exxon station, you took the wrong turn."

    You can use this MS Word template if you like, supplied by Brenda Isherwood. Brenda says you can put the ride name and date in the header and the host names and phone numbers (or other information) in the footers. Of course you can modify the template as needed.

    Bear in mind that some teams like two cue sheets. Bring enough copies.

  7. Double-check mileage with a bike cycle computer. Car odometers always seem to be off by a few percent.
  8. When you're ready, contact your regional ride coordinators to get your event on the schedule. Be sure to indicate your intentions in case of bad weather and provide your contact information.

    Also send ride information to be posted on the DOGS web site. Include at least: name of ride; name(s) of hosts; date and time; location (starting point); distance. You must also notify the webmaster whether you're leading the ride without cue sheets.

  9. Tandem riding is a very social activity. Teams like to hang around and gab after rides, and food is a great social lubricant. Consider planning for refreshments at the end of the ride, though there is no requirement to do so. Such arrangements can take many forms, such as:

    During the hot summer months, please bring something to drink (water is fine), especially if the gathering point has none available.

    Keep in mind that this is supposed to be fun, not a financial burden on anyone.

Day of Ride Details

  1. Be sure to collect everyone's signatures on the ride sign-up sheet, which includes an implicit liability waiver. A parent or guardian must sign a Minor Release of Liability for each minor, as well. Downloadable forms are available on the Paperwork page.
  2. Bring extra copies of the DOGS Membership Form. Prospective members often join us after enjoying a ride with us. Downloadable forms are available on the Paperwork page.
  3. Have available copies of the Accident Report Form (available on the Paperwork page), just in case. In the unlikely event of an accident that results in injuries, you should fill out one copy of the Accident Report Form for each injured party and send it to George and Linda Wells. They will forward it to the insurance company.
  4. You're responsible for making sure everyone finishes the ride, or at least that you know where everyone is. This may mean you need to ride "sweep" by bike or car.
  5. Although you're responsible for everyone's having a good time, that usually takes care of itself. Don't over-worry!

Last modified: 1 November 2008