Many Club ride leaders use their cell phones, computers, watches, and mapping software for route exploration, guiding, tracking, and recording. They are generous about sharing their map data and know-how about bike routes with other ride leaders, particularly those getting started and interested riders.
Here are some mapping tips if you are keen to know more:
- Our Club members use an assortment of software for mapping, such as Google Maps, Garmin, Map-My-Ride, and Ride with GPS. We have not tried to standardize away from individual preferences recognizing that other clubs have had difficulty doing so; technology improves continuously; ride routes, maps, and records become obsolete over time; volunteers turn over.
- Our Club has created two or three catalogs of ride maps with web links, a hard-copy album containing ride plans and descriptions, and a YouTube video explaining how to use maps to plan routes. Inquire with a ride coordinator.
- Choose a mapping software that feels comfortable. However, mapping software is not required if routes are uncomplicated.
- Explore for rides while tracking with your cell phone. Ask an experienced leader to partner with you in designing a ride.
- You should feel comfortable copying an existing ride and staging your event on a different day, fine-tuning the route to your liking.
- Practice your ride before the posted date. Don't rely excessively on your cell phone to guide you during the event.
- Several ride leaders post their rides with links to maps showing the starting location or the whole route.
- Attend a ride leader training session, which usually deals with mapping.
- Consult the City of Calgary "Cycling City Streets and Pathways," their paper publication distributed and sold periodically in various recreation centers and retail stores, and their mobile apps. City websites provide information about detour routes and closures, safety, and parks.
We always welcome new leaders, usually with fresh approaches to the job, new rides, and varied ways of carrying out well-known ones. Ride leading leads to unanticipated personal discoveries of new areas in the city and rewarding praise from group members after an excellent ride. Talk to a ride coordinator or an experienced ride leader about your aspirations.