The Lost 202 was formed for a number of reasons, among those was the desire to ride fairly aggressive rides with proficient riders that knew how to safely ride aggressive group rides, and not worry about the constant influx of new riders that some other open membership clubs experience. There is nothing wrong with new riders, we were all new once, it's not a put down or insult. However.....
1.) New riders may interfere with experienced rider's enjoyment of the ride.
2.) Experienced riders may put new riders at risk by influencing them to ride beyond their skill level.
It's just a fact. New or inexperienced riders have an impact on those that ride with them, both behind them and in front of them. Some behind the new rider will become bored or frustrated at being held back. But, we as a club also have a concern that a new riders "pride" may influence them to attempt to ride with us at our same level... and this may result in them riding beyond their abilities which will in the best case scenario, cause that rider a lot of stress and in the worst case, could result in them crashing... this has already happened to us once and we don't want it to ever happen again.
We've all heard the saying "Ride your own ride." We in the Lost 202 do believe in that saying. But if Someone's riding skill level is such that it prevents those behind them from enjoying the ride or riding "their ride"... they either don't belong on a Lost 202 ride or we need to accommodate them in a way which will not hinder the other more experienced riders, nor put the lesser skilled rider at risk.
The Lost web page says... that new or inexperienced riders are not welcome on our rides unless invited by a club member. But we've never gone any further than that statement. Now we have put some guidance around what it means to invite a new rider on a ride or be a new rider on a Lost 202 ride. Our solution:
If you are a new or inexperienced rider or if you feel you may not be up to the Lost 202's ride, you need to have a club member "buddy" in order to attend a ride. The "buddy" must be a Lost 202 member. Your buddy may invite you on the ride, or you may ask a member to be your buddy. In either case, your buddy must be arranged and agreed upon before the ride date. There are more than a few willing to serve in this role. Anyone can have a buddy if they feel they need one, some individuals I will let know that you MUST have a buddy to come along on a Lost ride.
Buddies and their riders will be positioned at the rear of the ride, with the buddy trailing. In the event that the rider is unable to pace with the group, the tail gunner may pass the slower bikes and the ride will proceed. The group will reform either at a predetermined meeting spot ahead, or the lead group will drop corner markers for those behind to follow. The buddy's job is twofold.
1.) To observe the newer riders and provide constructive feedback and advice for improvement.
The other is.....
2.) To escort them if the group becomes separated. No invited rider will be abandoned.
It is important that the buddy and rider proceed ahead to the meet spot or follow the corner markers so that the club is not left to wonder what happened to you.