In the past year I have led a lot of group rides through the meetup function in Zwift. One of the biggest group rides I have led is the Tour4Kids meet and greet which had over 30 riders that attended! Throughout these group rides I have learned what makes group rides fun and engaging. Some of these ideas I got from other group rides led by various teams that I have really enjoyed.
My first tip is to put a mini race at the end of the group ride. Mini races attract a lot of riders because it lets them release their competitive sides after spending around 50 minutes at a social pace. You can also use this as a reward to the riders in the group ride for respecting the leader and the pace. In the Tour4Kids group ride at times the group started to spread apart, leaving me behind with a few other riders. If there is something riders want they will definitely ease up slightly to let the leader rejoin the group.
My second tip is to have a conversation with the riders. Chatting about various things makes the riding a whole lot more fun and before you know it the ride is over! Something that I have seen in previous group rides led by different teams are that the leader would put together a quiz for the riders to answer. The first person to answer gets X points, and then the rider with the most at the end is the winner for that ride. This ensures that all the riders have fun and engage with each other. In case anyone is interested, a view from another riders point of view: Video. Note: Riders under 13 can only see the leaders chat and not other riders chats.
My final tip is to have a sweep or slow down for the slower riders. Having a sweep makes everyone feel like they are being cared for. The sweep goes back and helps the riders that are struggling make it back onto the group. In most group rides there are people who volunteer before hand to be a sweep. The teams often allow anyone to hang with the sweeps if they are a stronger rider and want to help out.
That is it for my list of tips for leading a group ride and also some things that I have enjoyed in previous group rides. Some of my favorite group rides are the ones by HERD, PACK , and Team Vikings. All of these teams do an amazing job leading and entertaining the riders! Any other tips, comments, or questions? Leave a comment below 👇