I need advice about organising rides on a web site.

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
... IIRC it was this very issue - the risk of liability for errant riders' actions falling on the ride leader - that led to the formation of the Fridays as a club, when the original Friday Night Ride to the Coast (before my time) outgrew the "turn up and have a great ride" format.
The risk, not actual liability being imposed. People do all sorts of odd stuff if scared and there's plenty of cyclists willing to advise us how scary it is to ride together unless we join their organisation, failing to see that this fear keeps cyclists divided and riding isolated, all the easier for motorists to bully.
 

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
liability waiver

Not much use in England though. The Unfair Contract Terms Act prevents organisers from excluding or restricting liability for injury or death caused as a result of their negligence.

“A person cannot by reference to any contract term or to a notice given to persons generally or to particular persons exclude or restrict his liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence.”
 

Darius_Jedburgh

Looking for the lost chord.
I used to organise Open Time Trials. Under club and RTTC (as it then was) umbrella.

One event had an accident where a rider hit a car. In the cold light of day it was 50/50, but plod turned up. Told motorist that cyclists should never be on the road and that he should make a claim.

Motorist claimed for new body panel, respray, time off work, hire car etc. Totally milking it.
Cyclist tried to claim off Club/RTTC insurance. Both refused to pay up on the basis that rider should first claim off his household policy. Rider was unmarried and living with parents. Parents finished up with a hefty legal bill to fight a claim against them. Took close on 2 years before RTTC insurance agreed to become involved. Even then they only agreed to pay something like 50% of the claim.
Fortunately, by the time it was all sorted out the car had been sold without repairs so claim just died.
The moral isn't to believe that having a big bike organisation behind you will give you an easy time if a claim is made against you.
 
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You don't necessarily need club insurance to protect against third party liability claims. Some people may find their workplace or household insurance offers a suitable option, which they might already have bought: check the paperwork and if you're insured, see what it requires. And you can never take away all risk of some chancer suing you, but insurance gives you a company, possibly a big one with clever lawyers, to fight alongside you under certain conditions.

I agree with most of the post that the above is cut from, but I don't believe there's a court in the land that would hold the OP liable for the actions of homicidal maniacs on the ride, unless the OP knowingly invited maniacs or instructed them to knock people into the canal.
The whole equation changes once you organise and lead a ride for strangers. Organising an activity that involves strangers is similar to running a business despite it being voluntary. Your household or workplace insurance has no hope in hell. .

As the organiser failing to vet a stranger who turns out to be "homicidal maniac" leading to an incident involving other riders lacks duty of care. As you are the ride leader you cannot assume that rider has proper working brakes. All it takes is for the rider to claim that he was not told that the route has a steep descent. So bringing along the tools and first aid won't amount to much.

Just to frame the challenges one would face and I am only just touching on activity waiver and release form as just one example. Most of it is not worth the paper it is written on. Just 3 of the 5 points is a concern. Best to join a club to lead or do informal rides among friend and colleagues. As long as you do not advertise for strangers, you would be fine.

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mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
As the organiser failing to vet a stranger who turns out to be "homicidal maniac" leading to an incident involving other riders lacks duty of care. As you are the ride leader you cannot assume that rider has proper working brakes.
I disagree with most of the post but especially that. Has anyone here been criminal records checked or had their brakes tested before being allowed on a group ride or sportive? :wacko:
 

neil_merseyside

Veteran
Location
Wirral
I disagree with most of the post but especially that. Has anyone here been criminal records checked or had their brakes tested before being allowed on a group ride or sportive? :wacko:
A local ladies group near me ensures all the ladies do the M check before starting every ride, once they say they have done so they set off.
Once or possibly twice a year a leader with a group I rode with would have us do a 'random' M check, and would just say to someone I'll demonstrate on your bike, thus helping the idiot with the death trap to see 'the problem' and live to ride another day, at which point we usually left them behind as the bike was unsafe.
Wheel removal brake cam levers got closed without fuss but with a knowing wink :whistle:
 
I disagree with most of the post but especially that. Has anyone here been criminal records checked or had their brakes tested before being allowed on a group ride or sportive? :wacko:
You are providing erroneous advice especially when it comes to insurance and where risk is involved. OP specifically mentioned
organise short rides, about 30k, with people I have never met,
It is not a matter of debate or opinion. The operative words are "organise" and "people I have never met". Household insurance does not cover such risk. Insurance coverage is based on risk and even 3rd party risk and public liability is qualified.

I did appreciate OP's phrasing thus providing context.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
You are providing erroneous advice especially when it comes to insurance and where risk is involved.
No, I'm not, because I've offered no advice other than telling people to check their insurance documents. So I guess you think reading your insurance documents is a mistake...

OP specifically mentioned [...]
The post you are objecting to was not in reply to the Opening Post. It was in reply to a later post suggesting club insurance "takes away" the risk of "some chancer suing you for a frivolous reason", which it does not, as experiences like @Darius_Jedburgh's show.

I did appreciate OP's phrasing thus providing context.
Yeah, if you read a post out of context, you'll misunderstand it.
 
I disagree with most of the post but especially that. Has anyone here been criminal records checked or had their brakes tested before being allowed on a group ride or sportive? :wacko:
[This is an extreme example, but I'm just politely answering your question:]
Paris-Brest-Paris and the TransPyreneean Race both did thorough bike safety checks. People still injure themselves through stupidity even with perfect working vehicles!
 
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I used to organise Open Time Trials. Under club and RTTC (as it then was) umbrella.

One event had an accident where a rider hit a car. In the cold light of day it was 50/50, but plod turned up. Told motorist that cyclists should never be on the road and that he should make a claim.

Motorist claimed for new body panel, respray, time off work, hire car etc. Totally milking it.
Cyclist tried to claim off Club/RTTC insurance. Both refused to pay up on the basis that rider should first claim off his household policy. Rider was unmarried and living with parents. Parents finished up with a hefty legal bill to fight a claim against them. Took close on 2 years before RTTC insurance agreed to become involved. Even then they only agreed to pay something like 50% of the claim.
Fortunately, by the time it was all sorted out the car had been sold without repairs so claim just died.
The moral isn't to believe that having a big bike organisation behind you will give you an easy time if a claim is made against you.
Interesting story, thanks :-/
Probably shows that RTTC can behave like weasels (or perhaps *their* insurers?). I don't think it says having the cover from a Big Org isn't worthwhile.
(and we might run into a car - leading to a claim - on a private excursion, so RTTC cover would be a bonus).
 
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T4tomo

Guru
Wheel removal brake cam levers got closed without fuss but with a knowing wink :whistle:
going slightly off topic but an example of of people riding dangerous bikes.

We stopped at a junction having just overtaken an older couple, and I noticed her front WHEEL QR looked at bit odd. It was in the open position and hand tightened with the nut!?!?! Needless to say I sorted it out for her.
 
Not much use in England though. The Unfair Contract Terms Act prevents organisers from excluding or restricting liability for injury or death caused as a result of their negligence.

“A person cannot by reference to any contract term or to a notice given to persons generally or to particular persons exclude or restrict his liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence.”
But almost certainly irrelevant in the OP's case, I think.

The OP does not seem to be proposing to charge the riders a fee. Or any of the conditions needed for an actionable contract to exist - offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relations. I can't see what consideration flows from the invited rider to the organiser - "if I turn up and take part in this ride you're leading then I'll....." what? Consideration must flow from the promisee, and all that.

English Contract Law, explained by our good friend Wikipedia. It's not really that complicated:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_contract_law

I don't know too much about meet.com. I had a quick gander, and it seems they might charge a fee, but I can't really see that that changes much.

The OP may well have tortious liabilities, but so have we all. Whether something happens, and the OP is found to have been negligent, in tort, and therefore damages are due, is another matter. Well, unless his lion escapes of course.
 
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ontodva

Regular
Thanks to the replies to my post I have joined Cycling UK (£48) and taken out Activity Provider insurance (£79). Worth it as it is the difference for me between organising rides and not.
I also bought first aid basics to carry. I have decided not to include a waiver/disclaimer in the event posting text (so sue me).
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Good call about first aid kit. You can get emergency blanket's quite cheap - less than £1 each. I carry one in my rucksacks now after discovering an 'accident' a couple of months ago, and the wind made it very cold.
 
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