This page was created to outline the safety processes that are part of every Tour that we do.
There was a famous submarine explorer in the 1960's who said that missions fail due to either Ignorance, arrogance or complacency. I keep this mantra very close to the surface as we plan and execute each and every trip.
I've camped at Croton probably 50 time, yet I will never say or think the trip is "easy" (to me, that is complacency).
Anyway, here is a breakdown (alphabetically) of everything that goes in to each tour we undertake.
- By the launch of our 2024 Season, I will have the followings certifications:
- Epic Ride Weather
- Each morning on Tour, I get up extra early to run our route through the Epic Ride Weather App. This fantastic tool allows a group to understand the day's weather (temp, precipitation, wind, etc) as we move through it on that day's route. This information is sent to everyone that morning on WhatsApp.
- End of Ride Route Evaluation
- At the conclusion of each Tour, I sit down with our planned route, the route/track we actually took, as well as notes I took along the way. Often, you'll see me stop on a ride to scribble a note about a bathroom or water fountain that we come across, so that I can add it to the route. The idea is that the routes that we have on our Maps Page represent the latest information.
- First Aid kit
- A first Aid Kit needs to take 4 things into consideration:
- How far from definitive care will you be?
- How many people will this kit be used for?
- What medical conditions are present amongst the group?
- What are common things that happen on bike tours
- Road rash, abrasions, and lacerations of the skin
- Musculoskeletal injuries such as fractures and dislocations
- I will be listing the contents of my First Aid Kit on a subsequent Blog Post. We encourage riders to create their own kit in case they are seperated from the group.
- Reference: University of Utah BikeMed Course (https://www.awls.online/biking-medicine-outline)
- Garmin In-Reach
- I take a Garmin In-Reach with me on every trip. This is a device that connects via satellite in order to get an emergency/911 message out in case we are in an area with poor cellular coverage.
- Group Riding Guide
- Our Group Riding Guide was developed to promote safe group ride techniques on the road. Many people on our Tours haven't ridden in a group before. so this Guide was created to give them an outline.
- Our entire season is insured by McKay Insurance. Only riders who sign our waiver are eligible for this coverage (policy coverage available upon request).
- Each evening, I get out my little notebook and record events of the day that relate to route conditions and rider issues.
- It goes without saying that I have a phone with me on each trip. I ensure that it is ALWAYS at 100% on a ride by using a PedalCell generator device on my bike
- Ride Program
- A Ride Program is like a script for each ride, outlining stopping points, Emergency Action Plan, and other ride and course references. This doc is made available about a month before each trip for riders to familiarize themselves with, and it is the basis of our Zoon Safety and Orientation session. It is mandatory for each rider to carry a printed copy of this. Our Ride Programs can be found here.. Ride Programs are vetted each year by our insurance company.
- Rider Contact Lists
- Rider Contact Lists are made available only to Tour Participants. It is mandatory for riders to have a printed copy of this ( I carry 2...one is a very waterproof bag)..
- Route Planning/Maps
- We use Ride With GPS to create and share our routes. New routes go through a rather long process of working with local experts to ensure our ride will be safe and enjoyable. Maps have clear indications as to where medical facilities are located relative to our routes. Routes are shared with everyone on the ride, as well as made available to all on our Maps Page.
- Support Rider/Sweep
- Our Support Ride Program ensures that we have a rider on each Tour who will be at the back of the group, ensuring that everyone is accounted for.. For Micro-Tours, we use a volunteer system that rotates people in the back of the group to act as sweeps.
- A WhatsApp Group is created about a month before each trip, and during this period it is a great way to communicate with other group members. During the actual trip, it is an amazing safety tool that allows riders to pin locations and otherwise communicate important info and pictures.
- Our waiver was written by a lawyer from New York State, and was not some boiler-plate page from the internet. I feel this waiver does a great job in outlining the nature of the Tour we lead. This waiver is vetted each year by our insurance company.
- Zoom Safety and Orientation Meeting
- We host a Safety and Orientation Meeting about 10 days before each Tour. The Ride Program is used as an outline, as we discuss packing, riding and camping aspects of that particular trip. The video is saved, and emailed to everyone in the group the next day, in case some folks were unable to attend.