Tips & Resources
If you are thinking of joining your first group ride but are not sure where to start, read on! It can be hard to prepare for the ride, know what to bring or what to expect, but we’ve got your back with some handy hints for first timers.
Step 1 – Find a group ride
Group rides are a great way to discover new routes, master new skills and meet new people! But finding the right one for you can be tricky if you are new to the community. Here are our top places to look for a suitable ride.
1. Bike shops
Pop into your local bike shop and ask them about group rides. They will likely host a variety of rides for beginners or be able to point you in the direction of local groups.
2. Cycling clubs
Find a local cycling club. They will often give you a free trial before you sign up to make sure it is the one for you.
3. Riding communities
Check out social community ride groups such as Knights of Suburbia. They have social rolls and no drop coffee rides across Australia.
4. Get social!
Search the web and social media for a ride happening in your area, often rides have recurring Facebook events or group pages. Once you start searching, those clever algorithms will keep new rides appearing regularly!
Contact the ride leader
Once you have found your ride, touch base with the ride leader in advance. Let them know that you are coming and your previous riding experience and ability. They will be able to look out for you on the day, give you a friendly welcome and answer any questions you might have before the day.
Step 2 – Ride checklist
What to bring?
These should fit in a small saddle bag or in your cycling top pockets.
- Mobile phone
- Bank card for a post-ride coffee
- PT card or someone to call in case you need to be picked up for any reason
- Spare inner tube and CO2 canisters or a pump (even if you’re not sure how to use them someone will be able to help you)
- Lights (make sure they are charged)
- A banana, museli bars or specific nutrition – you can always bring them home if you don’t need them!
What to wear?
It’s most important to wear clothes you feel comfortable in. You certainly don’t need the latest and greatest kit. This is a list to get you started:
- Cycling top (the pockets on the back are very handy and mean you won’t have to carry a bag)
A thermal long sleeve depending on the weather (you can take this off and put it in your pockets when you warm up).
Gloves, not only will these keep you warm they also protect your hands
A gilet, very useful as an extra lightweight layer.
- A helmet, non-negotiable, you won’t get far without one!
Here are come common FAQs, there are many!
If you have anything not answered below why not post it in our Women’s Community Facebook group or contact the ride leader.
All rides will advertise the pace of the ride and will specify if they are ‘no drop’ (this means they won’t leave you behind). Check the pace of the ride before you sign up and make sure you are comfortable with it. Talk to the ride leader before you sign up or set off if you are not sure.
Group rides are a great way to discover new routes. It is best to know where you are going or how to get back to base in case you do get dropped or lost however it is very unlikely that you will get left behind on a ‘no-drop’ ride. Rides will usually publish a route that you can look at beforehand too.
Absolutely not – check if there is somewhere to park and save your legs for the ride!
Wear what you are comfortable in and used to riding in
It is best to contact the ride leader beforehand to clarify this, otherwise plan ahead and just take what you need too.
Probably not! Locks are heavy and if you don’t need it not something you don’t want to carry with you. During post-ride coffee there are usually people from the ride who will keep an eye on your bike whilst you order however never leave your bike unattended or unsecured if it isn’t safe to do so!
Step 3 – Ride on!
Remember rule number one is to have fun!
Don’t force it, if the group wasn’t quite the right fit or it didn’t feel right, try another. There are plenty to pick from out there and one will have a spot just for you.
Don’t let one shaky ride put you off, sometimes rides are ‘untidy’ or don’t flow – this is normal and the other riders probably felt the same. Let these ones go and look forward to the next one!
Stay for a post ride coffee whenever you can. It’s a great way to connect with new riders, get to know the bunch and find out what else is going on in the riding community.
Women's Community Facebook group
Our Women’s Community aims to encourage, empower and inspire more women and gender diverse people to ride bikes — through tailored initiatives across our events, programs and partnerships. Our goal is to support healthy and happy women and gender diverse people.
Whether you’re new to riding, training for an event, getting back on the bike or simply want to connect with like-minded people, we’ve got something for you. We’re here to help you build your confidence and unlock the benefits of bike riding in a welcoming and supportive environment.Join now