Draft welcome letter for new members

Hey Everyone,

To help new members understand the club, find out how to we do things with forums, and what to expect when they show up to their first ride, I am writing a ‘Welcome New Member’ letter.

When this is complete we plan to have this sent to new members on completion of their registration.

I’m looking for feedback and help with this letter.

  • What other info do you think is helpful for a new member?
  • Any tips I have missed?
  • Anything I should change on this letter?
  • And ultimately, does this sound friendly,helpful, and inviting?

Here is a copy of the draft so far



I think it is really good. My only thoughts are maybe to highlight the need for a helmet on all rides (I expect this to be obvious to all but you never know). Secondly maybe suggest people reach out to us at the start of the ride or on the forum if they aren’t sure which group to ride with. I know it is impossible to give really good speed guidelines and I like the definitions as they are but for someone who is new fast doesn’t mean a lot.


Those are some good thoughts from Rob. There is an expectation in the ride link for people to be self supporting but maybe we should also make that front and center if we are talking about helmets anyway e.g. carry spare tubes? Good point about asking about which group to be in. The average speed on a Tuesday is certainly different to Thursday!

I know in previous years there was the learn to group ride which was suggested for people new to group riding. Given this is a different year is that still going to happen? Are we going to advise people who have never ridden in a group ride before to wait for that session? Or just do the training on the fly?

Speeds are always difficult to new riders, if your not familiar with drafting then it is hard to judge. And average speed doesn’t mean too much its the hard parts that matter, hence me avoiding Tuesdays this year.

The LTGR was great, and hopefully we can get it going again. It is so late in the year that I hope we can accommodate newer riders. A couple in a group is usually fine, probably better than a large group, the difficulty usually only comes when people are struggling to keep up and then make mistakes. i’m sure the board is already talking about this.


Thanks for the feedback Rob & Oliver. I will add those points.

I don’t think any discussion has happened around learn to group ride because of the uncertainty of what group riding would look like. Honestly, I was (happily) shocked to read the latest update from the OCA. I don’t think many people expected this much freedom so soon.

Whether LTGR gets organized this year will be need some ride committee discussion and if we have enough people willing to be ride leaders for it.

In the last few (normal) years we have not required people to do LTGR before joining club rides, so making people wait now does not make sense.
A lot of it comes down to people speaking up at the start of the ride about their skill level and experienced members having a polite and friendly chat with someone who they notice is not familiar with how our club does group riding.

Thanks Dan, That’s what I thought!

I was also shocked by the rapid changes from the OCA!

I also learnt to rotate in the middle of winter, the experienced riders don’t need more than one rotation to recognise someone that needs some help.

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Hi Dan
Good stuff. Might want to reference Covid restrictions though. Can’t just show up.



Semi related to this, I wonder if we could ask people to check in for different levels of the ride rather than just the ride in total e.g. I’m coming and hoping to ride fast / group 3. Possibly even add some notes e.g. I’m new.

Gives an idea of what to expect when you get there and even if we have enough leaders for each of the types of groups expected? Might be logistically complex but I thought maybe worth mentioning.

yeah…I guess that should be included for now. I mention covid has impacted what rides we are doing so I’ll have to edit this for next year (that’s me hoping 2022 has no restrictions :crossed_fingers:)

I think it would also be worthwhile to mention that the Wednesday rides are a good introduction for people who don’t yet have experience riding with a group. I haven’t posted it, but I will be posting a rec road ride for Wednesday, and there is already a rec gravel ride planned by Kevin.

Awesome introduction, Dan!

This is solid. I do worry a bit about newish riders not having the LTGR sessions and just joining groups. I got a lot out of the LTGR rides, even having ridden (mostly solo) for decades and having taken the Milton track course. Agree that the logistics probably don’t work this year, unfortunately.

But, ride leaders can probably adapt (keeping new riders with them and chatting through their first ride), so hopefully that won’t be a concern in practice.

One thing that comes up later in the summer that doesn’t seem to be mentioned is lights. I know that the first rides where we were coming back close to dusk and ride leaders asked if people had ‘be seen’ lights, it sometimes caught a few people out. Not an issue yet, but it creeps up fast in the late summer!

:+1: Nice.

One of the first things that is said is please read the ride guide. Do we expect members to do that? If yes, then we can be selective the details we include to ensure it doesn’t get too long.

Including a specific group size is something I would suggest removing. Already we have some inconsistency. In this document it says 20. The ride guide says 16. The risk management plan says,

When a large number of riders come out for any given WCC Ride ride, the riders will be encouraged by the ride coordinator to break into smaller groups. A size of 6-12 is a reasonable group. Groups should be at least 100 metres apart on the road to allow other vehicles to pass safely in two manoeuvres.

I agree group selection is important, especially for new riders. There are lots of factors that should be considered and new riders should work with the ride leader. @jeremyhaak and @MarkW, do we currently provide some guide on this in the ride leader training?

Evidence is at least some members aren’t familiar with the Concussion Policy. I’m not sure if this is the right place, but something for you to consider. Maybe just saying something like,

For a full list of club policies see our Policy page.



I’m working on a document for ride leader training on this cool “fall” morning. I’ll share it with the committee and we can be sure it’s added to the leader training.

Groups of new members should be smaller, in the 6-12 range, while the faster experienced rides can easily operate as a 16+ rider group.

OK – I have converted the DRAFT of this document that @Dan_Newton from a Google Doc to Markdown and then added it to the forum under the Beta Testers sub-category. Most of you should have access to this because you are on various committee’s on the forum, but if you don’t have access let me know.

The Markdown copy of this is here:


Please take a look, and let me know what you think.

I have done zero edits to the conversion so far. This is just the base computerized conversion of the Google Doc. ( For any of you who have edit access to Dan’s Google Doc you can see this conversion text at the bottom of his document. )

This could be tweaked a bit. I personally only see the need for two weeks.

  • Add the WCC Logo

  • All of the links to web pages are inline, just blue links with works.

Something like this:

Can be converted into this:

  • Look at the website group descriptions:

and choose which group suits you best.

This adds the weblink in a preview mode. The text formating around the weblink could be changed. Basically in order to do this automatically we just need to make sure that all web links which we wish to preview are listed on a single line alone without any text.

Not sure if we want this or the simple inline links are good enough.


The number one reason that I want this particular document as a Forum Markdown page is because when a new member signs up and first creates there forum account, there is a setting with their invitation to automatically take them to a specified page the first time they login. I want this document to be that page.

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In terms of the content for this Welcome to the WCC DOC I think this line needs to be edited.

  • Rides are organized by a ride leader for each group and published on the club Discourse forum.

Something like:

Also adding something about setting up notifications about ride postings may be a good idea ( although this is on the forum, so not necessary here, but maybe a good idea to make it easier for new members to find ).

There are a few key points under the Discussion Forum section that need to be added.

Currently it states:

Discussion Forum

  • We use the discourse forum to organize rides, but also to chat when we are not riding
    • We like to chat off the bike too
    • Share photos
    • Talk about all things bikes and a few things not bikes
  • Forum user guide

We should add something about the Members Only section telling new members that it exists as this is of key importance since it is where rides are posted. We should also mention the fact that other areas are accessible to the public so they know to be careful about what they post.

I could add more about the Ride, Race, Lead theme, and the sub-categories, but may not be necessary.

I would like to add something about asking for help under the Site Feedback/Help section to point out to new members that this is an option.

If people think this makes sense I can add a blurb about this, or you can write it @Dan_Newton – just let me know which you would prefer.

I’m not a fan of this style. It would make the document very long and I don’t see the value of the preview compared to just having the blue hyperlink.

For all other suggestions, I’ll edit the draft and see what makes sense (or how much info) to include.

Expect or are hopeful they do - yes

Agreed, we don’t need group size in this document. I’ve changed it to say the fast group will leave in waves.

A reminder about policies in the document is a good idea. I’ve added it.

Updates have been done - I welcome any more feedback.
I’ve played around with the layout and ordering of topics too - I would like to know what people think of this new order.

I’m trying to keep the size of this letter reasonable and realize that it is not an all-inclusive document, but just a helpful starter for people new to the club.

That being said I also deliberately repeated some things numerous times in different sections because I feel once is not enough. (e.g. go to ride planning to see the rides).


I really like this, Dan. I think this is a solid intro.

Some minor editing items:

The LEAD page on the website provides some volunteer and leadership examples. If you want to get involved in any part of the club, let us know by reaching out to an event organizer, contact us on social media, or email info@waterloocyclingclub.ca.

Should be changed to “contacting” and “emailing”.

Ask members at the start of a ride….before you start riding.

A period is added to an ellipsis if it follows a complete sentence and I think normal style guides would have spaces around it. In this case it would be “Ask members at the start of a ride … before you start riding.” This also fixes the awkward look of the ellipsis next to the period in whatever font Google Docs is using.

There’s some wonky formatting with the bullet points on the “Before the ride” section and also the order of departure list. I’d also suggest using “Fast - This group will depart in waves, as needed.” instead of breaking it down. I’d even consider removing the list entirely and indicate groups are determined the night of, depending on attendance.

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Just a thought but do we want to outline which rides are drop and no drop? Typically the race rides in the past have dropped riders and they hook up with the group behind.

Not sure if Fast is a no drop ride or not but it would be good to set expectations for new riders.