Meet Tim, British Cycling Ride Leader

Francis Twizell

Name: Tim Whitaker 
Ride leader since: 2019
Number of Guided Rides: 154
Number Community Group rides: 314
Location: Yorkshire & the Peak District

Why did you decide to become a ride leader?
I have always exercised coming from a running background, and on retirement I felt that cycling would be a logical step to maintain my fitness. I found that there was a shortage of ride leaders and as I know lots of routes from my running days, I started to lead rides.

What is your favourite part about being a ride leader? 
I really enjoy getting out into the wonderful South Yorkshire
countryside and sharing this with fellow cyclists.

You must meet so many great people, can you tell us about someone you feel has benefited from joining your rides?
I get people travelling quite a distance to come on my rides, as there is nothing locally for them. Therefore I try to encourage people to lead their own rides and have been very successful, in that two separate people have now set up their own groups in their local areas of Doncaster & Chesterfield.

How do you navigate some of the challenge you face while leading to ensure a positive experience for yourself and your riders?
It is really important to describe your ride well, so that people do not book on a ride, which is not suitable for them. Not only should the mileage be stated, but also the amount of elevation and surface conditions. A 20 mile flattish road ride is very different to a 20 mile Gravel Ride, with 2,000 ft of climb on a forest fire road.

What is your favourite ride to lead?
I try to cover a range of different rides, from fairly flat 15 milers on Guided Rides up to Challenging/MTB Community Group Rides.

Tell us a standout memory you have whilst leading?
It's always great to lead a group on a MTB ride in the Peak District, when the sun is shining and we stop to look at the wonderful views.

What is your favourite Kettle Chips flavour?
Lightly Salted Kettle Chips.

Thank you to Tim for sharing their insights and experiences with us.

If you are a volunteer leader and would like to share your experiences, then please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

We love reading all your stories, but please understand we cannot publish them all. We will do our best to publish as may as possible.