Melbourne Group Rides

Are you new to the cycling scene in Melbourne and looking for places to ride?  The easiest way to meet people and find popular routes is to join a Melbourne group ride. Everyone is welcome on the rides that I’ve listed below and there’s no need for an invite.  If it’s your first time, just show up, sit in, and watch what everyone else does. There’s many unwritten rules of etiquette on these rides and no one likes some new guy ruining it. Of course there’s heaps of other rides the smaller groups of cyclists organize themselves, but it would be like crashing a dinner party if you just showed up on one of those. There’s probably other rides throughout the Melbourne area where all are welcome, but the ones listed below are the most popular that I know of.

Weekday Morning Rides

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there is a popular group ride that leaves from the corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy.  There are 2 groups that depart from this location. One at 5:45am and one at 6:00am.  I’d say that the 6am bunch is the more difficult one.  Even though the route is the same on each weekday, there are differences in how the rides are ridden.  The difficulty of the ride depends on the day you go on.  I’ll explain in better detail for each day below.

Monday Morning

Very easy and social recovery ride.  Probably about 30km/hr.  Don’t try to ramp up the pace or you’ll look like an idiot.  The bunch will just let you roll off the front and no one will play along.  I made this faux pas the first time I did this ride.

hour-of-power1

Start Time: one bunch leaves at 5:45am and the other leaves at 6am sharp.  Both are easy

Start Place: Corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy. There is a small service road along Nepean Hwy near the BP Service Station where everyone waits for the ride to begin.   You can’t miss the dozens of cyclists waiting there.

Distance: 40km

Finish: Easy big fella.  No bunch sprint finish today.

Bikely route description

Tuesday Morning

Fast ride averaging over 45km/hr.  This can be hard!  I got dropped like a bag of bricks my first time out.

hour-of-power1

Start Time: one bunch leaves at 5:45am and the other leaves at 6am sharp

Start Place: Corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy. There is a small service road along Nepean Hwy near the BP Service Station where everyone waits for the ride to begin.   You can’t miss the dozens of cyclists waiting there.

Distance: 40km

Finish: There is a bunch sprint at the BP station in St. Kilda at the end of the ride. The traffic can get a bit hairy and most of you are probably best off if you stay out of the final sprint so you don’t hurt yourself or others.

Bikely route description

Tuesday Evening

Slow and social down to the end of beach road (travelling down New Street on part of the way out to avoid pm traffic).  On the way back this ride is fast!  Attack after attack averaging over 45km/hr.

fitzroy-cycles-ride

Start Time: 6:30pm sharp

Start Place: Meet at the corner of Barkly St and Carlisle St in St Kilda

Distance: ~40km

Finish:  There is a bunch sprint at the BP station in St. Kilda at the end of the ride.

Bikely route description

Wednesday Morning

Slow on the way out and fast on the way back averaging over 45km/hr.   You can also keep going through the Mordialloc roundabout with some others who will continue going to Mt Eliza / Two Bays which is about a 80-90km trip. See the Bikely description here.

hour-of-power1

Start Time: one bunch leaves at 5:45am and the other leaves at 6am sharp

Start Place: Corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy. There is a small service road along Nepean Hwy near the BP Service Station where everyone waits for the ride to begin.   You can’t miss the dozens of cyclists waiting there.

Distance: 40km

Finish:  There is a bunch sprint at the BP station in St. Kilda at the end of the ride. The traffic can get a bit hairy and most of you are probably best off if you stay out of the final sprint so you don’t hurt yourself or others.

Bikely route description

Thursday Morning

Fast ride averaging over 45km/hr. Very much the same as Tuesday except that riders are starting to get tired and sometimes not quite as fast.

hour-of-power1

Start Time: one bunch leaves at 5:45am and the other leaves at 6am sharp

Start Place: Corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy. There is a small service road along Nepean Hwy near the BP Service Station where everyone waits for the ride to begin.   You can’t miss the dozens of cyclists waiting there.

Distance: 40km

Finish:  There is a bunch sprint at the BP station in St. Kilda at the end of the ride.  The traffic can get a bit hairy and most of you are probably best off if you stay out of the final sprint so you don’t hurt yourself or others.

Bikely route description

Thursday Evening

Tour of the Suburbs it’s sometimes called.  Hilly ride with some decent short climbs throughout the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne.  It’s getting to be a very large group, but everyone waits at the top of two of the longer climbs for the rest to catch up and a water refill.

tourofsuburbs1

Start Time: leaves at 7pm

Start Place: Even though the map or Bikely description does not show it, the start place is on the corner of Chandler Hwy and Yarra Blvd (East Side) in a small parking lot.  You’ll see dozens of riders there waiting before 7pm.

Distance: ~60km (depending where you start from)

Finish:  There is a bunch sprint at the finish of the ride. I believe the Red Rooster is the approximate finish line (or where ever the lead rider throws up his arms first).

Bikely route description

Friday Morning

Very easy and social recovery ride (Same as Monday). About 30km/hr. Again, don’t try to ramp up the pace. There’s usually a bunch who will turn off just before the roundabout at Mordialloc (at the church) who will ride back hard.

hour-of-power1

Start Time: one bunch leaves at 5:45am and the other leaves at 6am sharp

Start Place: Corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy. There is a small service road along Nepean Hwy near the BP Service Station where everyone waits for the ride to begin.   You can’t miss the dozens of cyclists waiting there.

Distance: 40km

Finish: No bunch sprint finish.

Bikely route description

Saturday Morning

Hell Ride.  Not as bad as it sounds, but is definitely a very contentious topic in Melbourne.   The thing you gotta worry about here is a few other riders who seem to turn into idiots when put into a group on Saturday mornings with 100 other cyclists.  Can be fast at times, and probably considered and “intermediate to advanced” level of difficulty.

UPDATE:  Before you think about going on the Hell Ride, read this post and consider if it’s worth it. It’s been giving Melbourne cycling a bad reputation for a long time and no one I can think of endorses it.

hellride1

Start Time: 7am.

Start Place: leaves from a bike clothing shop called Le Knicks at Black Rock (just past the roundabout where the clock tower is).

Distance: ~70km from the Blackrock start/finish

Finish: Massive sprint finish back at Black Rock.

Saturday Racing

In the summers there’s usually no crit racing on Saturdays.   Road races are usually held on Saturdays in the winter.  There may be exceptions to this though. I believe that Footscray cycling club sometimes does crit racing in the winters.

Sunday Morning

In the summer there’s usually racing on Sunday’s.  The big ones are held by SKCC and CCCC.

The only organized bunch ride that I’m aware of on Sundays is CCCC’s “KFC Ride” in the winter.  You can see the details of this ride on their website.

Other Rides

Dandenongs

There’s no open invite groups that I’m aware of who go to the Dandenongs but that shouldn’t stop you.   The Dandenongs offer spectacular riding with many hills to be conquered.  There’s heaps of different routes that you could link up in the Dandies and here’s one of them.  There’s lots of small towns and places to stop for water and food, so just go up there and get lost. It won’t disappoint!

dandenong-rides

Bikely Route Description

Kinglake

Kinglake is another popular riding area with lots of hills. Here is one of the many routes.

kinglake-ride

Bikely Route Description

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2009/06/group-ride-etiquette/ Group Ride Etiquette

    [...] Melbourne Rides [...]

  • DH

    Genius!

  • DH

    Genius!

  • b

    Is the Humevale hill open since the fires??

  • b

    Is the Humevale hill open since the fires??

  • Anonymous

    Nice stuff

  • Anonymous

    Nice stuff

  • Anonymous

    Do the Tuesday and Thursday evening rides run all year long. That is, in winter?

  • Anonymous

    Do the Tuesday and Thursday evening rides run all year long. That is, in winter?

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/ cyclingtips

    yes…all year long. Just bring a good set of blinking lights because it will be dark. Enough street lights to see the road though (except for kew blvd. it’s pitch black)

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com cyclingtips

    yes…all year long. Just bring a good set of blinking lights because it will be dark. Enough street lights to see the road though (except for kew blvd. it’s pitch black)

  • http://twitter.com/iamarkus Mark

    Good work mate – very helpful

  • http://twitter.com/iamarkus Mark

    Good work mate – very helpful

  • Anonymous

    Foot Street is also pitch black – a fun descent at 80+km/hr. Ayups FTW!

  • Anonymous

    Foot Street is also pitch black – a fun descent at 80+km/hr. Ayups FTW!

  • http://twitter.com/parawolf Ian McGinley

    Coburg Cycling Club run Criteriums on Saturday mornings starting 10am at National Boulevard in Campbellfield behind Ford Motor Company.

    http://www.coburgcycling.com.au/

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/National-Boulevard-Criterium-Circuit

    Fast, smooth and wide like CCCC with a slight rise every lap, 1.8km around. A growing turnout for Saturday morning racing.

  • http://twitter.com/parawolf Ian McGinley

    Coburg Cycling Club run Criteriums on Saturday mornings starting 10am at National Boulevard in Campbellfield behind Ford Motor Company.

    http://www.coburgcycling.com.au/

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/National-Boulevard-Criterium-Circuit

    Fast, smooth and wide like CCCC with a slight rise every lap, 1.8km around. A growing turnout for Saturday morning racing.

  • Anonymous

    Yes it is, the surface is quite rough since the fires but its open.

  • Anonymous

    Yes it is, the surface is quite rough since the fires but its open.

  • Anonymous

    isn’t that only in summer?

  • Anonymous

    isn’t that only in summer?

  • chip

    this is fantastic, thanks

  • chip

    this is fantastic, thanks

  • John

    Out west there’s at least one good bunch ride. On Thursday mornings, leaving at 6am from the corner of Ferguson St and The Strand, in Williamstown. A quick trip to Altona and back, with a sprint on the Esplanade in Altona and another in Victoria Street in Willi. Pace is roughly 30kph, distance is 30km. Good warmup for TdS.

  • John

    Out west there’s at least one good bunch ride. On Thursday mornings, leaving at 6am from the corner of Ferguson St and The Strand, in Williamstown. A quick trip to Altona and back, with a sprint on the Esplanade in Altona and another in Victoria Street in Willi. Pace is roughly 30kph, distance is 30km. Good warmup for TdS.

  • Andrew

    Wanting to try the Yarra Blvd ride on Thrusday night.. Can anyone tell me exact finishing place, and what time does it normally finish?

    Thank you.

  • Andrew

    Wanting to try the Yarra Blvd ride on Thrusday night.. Can anyone tell me exact finishing place, and what time does it normally finish?

    Thank you.

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/ cyclingtips

    Hi Andrew,
    You’ll know the finish on the Thurs night ride by the pace picking up to 50km/hr in an all-out sprint. There’s a Red Rooster at a set of traffic lights that everyone sprints for. It’s where the “finish” is on the map above.

    does that help?

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com cyclingtips

    Hi Andrew,
    You’ll know the finish on the Thurs night ride by the pace picking up to 50km/hr in an all-out sprint. There’s a Red Rooster at a set of traffic lights that everyone sprints for. It’s where the “finish” is on the map above.

    does that help?

  • Andrew

    Thank you..

  • Andrew

    Thank you..

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2009/11/the-best-cycling-city-in-australia/ Best Cycling City In Australia

    [...] Melbourne Rides [...]

  • gerardg

    The Tour of the Suburbs now goes Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Apparently there are rides at 6.45 and 7…such was the build up of numbers people of similar speed split off into other rides. Also the 6.45's are not stopping or less stops. For years the meet points were under the bridge in Studley Park or at the big carpark at the top of the first hill/roundabout of Chandler/Earl St. Unfortunately nowdays the meet point is in front of the Blind Dogs home entrance i.e after a bridge on a blind corner at a cross-roads with traffic lights!! The pack causes untold problems for motorists when it starts. The end bunch sprint starts, in reality, when the ride goes through the 'cutting' in Ivanoe East'. (Beware going through Ivanoe East, the strip has many more people/cars there at nights these days) From then on the pace is flat out with a final sprint up the hill to the Red Rooster.

  • tmas

    Where exactly is the blind dogs home entrance?

    Looking forward to this ride on Tuesday.

  • gerardg

    Chandler Hwy before Freeway entrance..there also is a massive BDH billboard. Cheers

  • tmas

    Ah yes, I know it now. Cheers.

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/02/patron-of-the-peloton/ Patron Of The Peloton

    [...] Melbourne Rides [...]

  • Daniel

    Is the Tour de Burbs still running during non-daylight savings?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=787827574 Paul Hart

    If only there were some organised rides out in the Western Suburbs…

  • Pete

    Excellent write up. Thanks V much.

  • Dewulf

    + 1, would also like to know the answer to this one, cheers for the great article and site!

  • danieljamesholt

    Hi, i am relocating from Qld to Melbourne and love a good group ride, the 'Hell Ride' has a great reputation! There are rides on the Gold Coast and Brissie that are trying to replocate you guys. I was looking for information and this site is fantastic! I arrive in Melbourne at the end of May and will look forward to some rides!

  • Paul Adler

    Yes, it's still on in Winter.

  • AaronU

    Hi Daniel, I moved from the GC to Melb in Dec last year. Trust me when I say there is nothing like the hell ride on the GC. The crazies ride on the GC has got nothing on the hell ride in terms of the size and I think the behaviour is more reckless in the hell ride than it is in the crazies. In my opinion if you want to ride fast in a bunch do it in a race… best of luck with your move

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  • surger

    Hey Paul there are daily groups leaving Williamstown, 6 am start Melb Rd – 5am on Wednesday!

  • http://twitter.com/GrumpyWookie Chris OConnor

    Any MTB'er interested in some group rides ? Perhaps out to Lysterfield MTB park ? Know of any other good venues around ??

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  • Christo

    Can someone tell me if these rides are all still current:

    The Tour of the Suburbs now goes Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Apparently there are rides at 6.45 and 7…such was the build up of numbers people of similar speed split off into other rides. Also the 6.45's are not stopping or less stops. For years the meet points were under the bridge in Studley Park or at the big carpark at the top of the first hill/roundabout of Chandler/Earl St. Unfortunately nowdays the meet point is in front of the Blind Dogs home entrance i.e after a bridge on a blind corner at a cross-roads with traffic lights!! The pack causes untold problems for motorists when it starts. The end bunch sprint starts, in reality, when the ride goes through the 'cutting' in Ivanoe East'. (Beware going through Ivanoe East, the strip has many more people/cars there at nights these days) From then on the pace is flat out with a final sprint up the hill to the Red Rooster.

    Interested in joining it this week if the weather is ok.

  • Gramps

    Why not just take the Hell Ride off the rides list? Or at least remove the start time, location and map? It's a ridiculous and unsafe activity and I don't think we should make it easier for people to find. Dis-endorsing it while providing directions is kind of like saying “I don't support shooting a dude in the face… but here's where you can buy the gun…”

  • merete

    I ride with Noosa Crew but is visiting Melbourne from this thursday – sunday (aug 19-22 2010) and would love to do some rides and definitly some with good hills.:) What rides do you guys recommend?? I arrive mid day thursday. Thanks :)

    Merete

  • Anonymous

    I love cycling.What is great about this cycling group is that you can do something that you love and meet new people with whom you can do this.Cycling with friends can be very funny.

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  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/09/melbourne-bunch-etiquette/ Melbourne Bunch Etiquette?

    [...] Melbourne Group Rides [...]

  • http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/09/geelong-uci-world-championships-where-to-ride/ Geelong UCI World Championships – Where To Ride

    [...] Melbourne Group Rides [...]

  • Chris

    Best list yet – thanks!

  • Andrew T

    Hi I’ve just starting riding again after a hard but enjoyable ride around the bay, I’m keen to get back into some group rides
    I remember a few years ago a ride left from the Mill Park shops around 6am Summer 6.30 Winter heading through Whittelsea return. Does anyone know the daysand times for these rides now? I believe this ride was a popular route for the 56 games!
    I live in Macleod keen for 50km plus rides

  • Proteinrevival

    anyone keen to do some recreational riding out of Richmond let me know…

  • Proteinrevival

    anyone keen to do some recreational riding out of Richmond let me know…

  • Proteinrevival

    anyone keen to do some recreational riding out of Richmond let me know…

  • Anthony

    Andrew – you can join our Saturday morning ride that leaves Peak Bike Hub Heidelberg at 6:30am and heads up Rosanna Road and Greensborough Hwy towards Diamond Creek, onto St Andrews and then returns via Kangaroo Ground and Eltham. It’s 60km / 2.25hrs all up.

  • sam

    Any bunches go up to mt Dandenong, or any other hills??

  • Cafehead

    To OP – epic post! Bookmarked.

  • Paul27

    I”m a novice (30-35kph) rider looking for tuesday or thursday evening ride and a longer weekend ride around the hawthorn area any suggestions

  • Nick

    have a look at http://freedommachine6ambreakaway.blogspot.com/ for longer weekend rides

  • velo K

    anyone riding up to Buningyong on Sunday Morning from West of Melbounre to watch the nationals?

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    Thanks alot. I really want to have ride like that sometime.

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  • RiseNshine

    Great blog. I’ve been on a few of the NRR and sometimes mon/fri rides are not recovery speeds and the wednesday is getting pretty fast.

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  • James

    Is the thursday night ride still on when daylight savings arent on? Does it start earlier?

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