How To Form a Bike Patrol in 10 Easy Steps

Interested in starting a bike patrol in your area? Here’s a list of 10 easy steps to get started.

  1. Determine what type of patrol your area needs and why.
    a. Resort- or park-based, public lands, multi-land manager systems,
    b. Paved routes, mountain bike trails, or some combination,
    c. Host unit or patrol unit or a hybrid of both.
  2. Meet with your region director, your region bike advisor, and possibly the National Bike Program advisor.
  3. Meet with the land manager(s) to discuss the agreement/memorandum of understanding.
  4. Consider liability issues (such as insurance, etc.).
  5. From a core group of interested bike patrol members, determine the initial leadership team.
  6. Complete the NSP patrol application.
  7. Get signatures (region director, division director, national).
  8. Write unit bylaws and unit member handbook.
  9. Create and/or fine tune the leadership structure.
  10. And finally, recruit and train members.

Reach out to your region advisor or to Tim Franz, the Eastern Division Bike Program Advisor if you have questions.

What’s Coming for the Bike Units?

The NSP Bike Program Committee has been hard at work for the past year on creating education programming for bike patrols.

What Are the Current Classes for Bike Patrols?

Bike Fundamentals Course  This course is for people considering joining a bike patrol or those who have just joined. It will help patrol members learn the fundamentals all bike patrollers and bike hosts need to effectively assist others while patrolling. Some of the topics include the types of units, duties and responsibilities of bike patrol units, and how to help others while you are patrolling. You’ll learn the different bike types, basics about extrication, some of the methods of transportation, and finally, by the end of this training you will be able to describe the responsibility of bike areas, venues, and land managers to their patrollers. It’s a brief course and fully online.

Bike 1 Course  This course is designed for the entry-level bike patroller or bike host. The content prepares patrollers and hosts for their potential duties and provides a broad knowledge base to start with and build upon with their patrol. Not all topics and information in this course will apply to every patrol or patroller; instead, it will provide a shared foundation for all patrollers or hosts working within the biking context. This course is hybrid; it contains an online course that comes first and then an in-person component.

What’s Coming Next?
Bike 2 Course  We’re starting on this one next. It will be for the seasoned bike patroller or host who is seeking to expend their knowledge and skills to advance their capabilities and improve their value to their patrol.

Instructors Needed!
We’re rolling out the Bike 1 course this summer. We’re looking for instructors in each region to get certified to teach Bike 1. For those attending Powderfall, there are several bike patrolling sessions at Powderfall this year, one of which comes from the Eastern Division. Come see us at the bike program sessions if you’re there.

Reach out to your region advisor or to Tim Franz, the Eastern Division Bike Program Advisor if you have questions.

The Eastern Division Bike Program

As of the fall of 2023, the Eastern Division is working to develop other opportunities for our members, including working on developing its bike program. With bike patrollers and bike hosts serving their community in other areas, this brings considerable visibility to what we do as part of NSP. This provides an opportunity to get more individuals involved in patrolling, renewing the organization, and providing a service to a developing sport.

What is the bike program?

There are different types of bike programs in the division. Some are bike-only units that work in the summer, which is typically the NSP off-season. Some serve alpine patrols that have biking in the summer. Some are stand-alone, lift-served alpine bike patrols that aren’t affiliated with a winter patrol unit. These patrols are proliferating.

The NSP Bike Program aims to identify, implement, and share best practices, develop and expand bike patrolling skills, assist bike patrol and host units with recruitment and retention, and continuously provide value to the NSP organization and its membership.

Who is the new bike program supervisor?

The board appointed Tim Franz, from Genesee Valley to the Bike Program Supervisor position. He comes to the division with 12 years of NSP experience, including positions as patrol director for a bike patrol, an alpine patroller at Bristol Mountain, bike patroller for GROC Mountain Bike Patrol (an International Mountain Bike Association patrol that Tim helped transition to NSP), and OEC instructor.

What’s going to be happening with the bike program?

The bike program is rolling out quite a few new educational programs. If you’re interested in bike patrolling, watch closely for these programs. Only one, bike fundamentals, is available in the LMS so far, but two more hybrid classes should be coming soon. There are several bike patrolling sessions at Powderfall this year, one of which comes from the Eastern Division.

What’s next for the bike program?

You’ll be hearing more about the bike program in the coming months. We’re working to get the program organized and up and running. If you’re interested in more information, please reach out to Tim Franz.