Many people choose to ride with friends in a group which is a recipe for a great day out! One of the potential pit-falls in riding with a group is that each group member will have a different level of ability.
This can lead to less experienced group members feeling pressured to ride beyond their capabilities which often leads to a frustrating experience, and could lead to injury.
Your most important consideration is the least experienced member of the group, and ensuring that the ride is within their capabilities. More experienced members of a group should understand this and be happy to ride a trail that doesn’t overly challenge them if this means they get the enjoyment of sharing the experience of group riding. They can also pass on their advice to less experienced riders and help them improve.
The Trail Hubs with more than one grade of trail are ideal for taking a group of mixed ability. This way you can ultimately give people the choice of which trail they wish to ride based on the information at the Hub. Splitting a group up for an hour while people ride their chosen trail with other riders of their own ability will only increase the tales to be told at lunch time. You may decide that everyone will ride an easy trail together, then the more experienced riders will go on to ride a more challenging trail.
Look for Trail Hubs with a skills area where the group can practice riding obstacles together. This way you can get an idea of their riding ability before heading out on a trail. People can over-judge their ability and the time to discover this is before you set off, not half-way through a ride. It also helps people warm up and re-discover their bike handling skills before hitting the trail.
When planning a Landscape Ride on public rights of way, always plan a route with short-cuts. This is especially important with a group. Choosing a ride that commits you to a long ride with few or no short-cuts can put stress on the ‘leader’ if things don’t go entirely to plan. Good route planning will mean you are never too far from your starting point if the weather turns or a bike breaks, but you can ride all day if thinks go according to plan.