We offer group rides, which involve store staff taking you out on a pre-determined route. It is a great way to improve your cycling, get or stay fit, learn how to bunch ride, and get some tips on your cycling technique.
PLEASE READ OUR MT EDEN CYCLES BUNCH PROTOCOL BELOW:
Riding in groups is always fun. It helps you get out there and stay fit, happy and motivated. That’s why we organise rides every week. Don’t be intimidated, it’s all about having fun riding your bike and getting some fresh air.
Our store rides are proving really popular and are well attended but there is always room for more!
Tuesday and Thursday 6:30am ride
On Tuesday we run three different groups. The Fast Group leaves first, followed by the Med/Fast group and then the Medium group.
This runs over different courses each week. To participate in this group you need to be capable of riding approx 30km. Please note the ride is really only suitable for cyclists with drop handle bar bikes. Sadly MTB’s and straight handle bar bikes are generally not able to keep up.
On Thursday we run the same as Tuesday.
The Medium and Fast bunches head to St Heliers via Remuera Rd and Riddell Rd and then back along the waterfront (approx 34km). Some of us then head into the city to work, others up past the Parnell rose gardens, while others of us continue on for another 10km’s finishing back at the store. There are 2 compulsory stops to allow riders to re-group. All welcome!
Sunday 7:00am ride
Rides start from the front of the store and we alternate the course each week. These are a 2.5 hour ride and some cycling experience and leg strength is required but we do run two bunches.
One bunch is fast/medium paced
One bunch is medium paced.
We encourage you to come along and give it a go!
The four Sunday routes we alternate are:
Wk 1: The world famous Butter Chicken Loop (a hilly ride through the foothills of the Wtks and Nth/West AKL).
Wk 2: An undulating ride in Nth / West Akl.
Wk 3: A loop through hilly Scenic Drive in the Waitaks, up via Swanson Rd and back through Titirangi.
Wk 4: A flat loop along the Waterfront, to Botany, the Airport and back through Mangare Bridge.
To see when the next bunch ride leaves our shop, please click here
Mt Eden Cycles Bunch Rides Protocol
The purpose of these organised bunch rides is to allow AKL’s road cyclists to improve fitness, riding technique and enjoy comradeship in as safe as possible manner.
It is every rider’s responsibility to ride safely, promote safe riding, and ensure the safety of others.
Your Individual Safety Responsibility
Everyone rides at their own risk and should seek to minimize that risk. Safety cannot be taken for granted and it is every rider’s responsibility to ride safely to compensate for the hazards inherent in cycling.
Cycling is a hazardous sport due to poor road conditions, variable weather conditions and the speed and closeness of riders and other traffic.
The AKL city roads were not designed for cycles and motorised vehicles and other road users are not aware of or in some instances respectful of cyclists’ safety.
The presence of cyclists often antagonizes other road users, mainly by cyclists inadvertently holding up traffic. We can influence this in our riding practices and attitude. We must continually improve practices and as a group lobby for safety improvements.
The members of this protocol promote:
- an awareness of safety
- adherence to safety bunch riding rules
- observance of the road code
- reporting of hazards and incidents to local authorities and police
When you ride with Mt Eden Cycles you are expected to adopt these rules:
Respect The Role Of The Ride Organiser/Bunch Leaders
The Bunch Leaders are trained and experienced and are there to ensure we all ride safely.
Before the ride starts they will organise those attending the ride into definitive groups.
These bunches will not exceed 20 riders and should contain riders who can ride at a similar pace. The bunch attempts to stay together for the entire ride. Do not attempt to ride with a bunch you cannot ride comfortably in AND if you are stronger than the others in your bunch do not increase the pace above what is the norm for that bunch.
The Bunch Leaders are responsible for:
- the pace of the bunch – they will ensure the pace is neither too slow or too fast.
- keeping the group together
- ensuring bunch behaves as a single unit
- correcting the behaviour of those not riding according to these rules
Obey these Protocol’s
- Stop at red lights
- Stop for pedestrians at Pedestrian Crossings
- Do not ride across Pedestrian Crossings on their ‘green’
- Ensure signals and calls are passed up and down the bunch.
- No more than two wide and keep the group together, filling gaps.
- Ride shoulder to shoulder when in pairs.
- Watch following distances.
- Keep your head up and look forward over shoulders of rider in front so you can anticipate sudden changes
- Ride no more than two abreast – change to single as instructed by Bunch Leader
- Do ride through a queue of cars to lights/stop unless the queue is so long as to make this the only sensible option.
- Make eye contact with drivers approaching you or waiting for you.
- Group to behave as single unit
- Aero bars/tri bars only to be used by rider on front.
- Approaching a right turn – ride just to the left of the centre line. Proceed only when way is clear and on instruction of a group leader
- When turning left remain within the lane(don’t cross centre line)
- When you hear a car horn, wave (genially) to acknowledge
- Similarly acknowledge cars who have waited behind for a suitable place to pass
- No ipods worn
- No mobile phone use while in motion
- Signal by hand and ideally voice when turning or stopping
- Ride half a metre out from the kerb
- Never overlap wheels with rider in front
- Indicate road hazards ahead to riders behind (both by hand and voice)
- Ride a steady straight line
- Avoid braking or changing direction suddenly
- Ensure your bike is properly maintained and in safe working order
- Ensure cleats in good condition
- Ensure tyres/brake pads are in good condition
- Know how to change a tube.
- Wear an NZSA approved helmet
- Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions
- Use a white front light/rear red light (minimum) in good working order at least ½ hour after sunrise and ½ hour before sunset.
- Always carry adequate water/spare tubes/Allen keys/pump.
- Always carry your mobile phone
- Have ID on your person or bike
- Sunglasses or plain glass for eye protection are recommended
- No littering
- Wear brightly coloured clothing
- No clothing tied at the waist
- No putting on /taking off of clothing while in motion
Be Ready Before You Ride
Personally – mental focus, attitude, nutrition, hydration.
Arrive in time for the pre-ride organisation.
New riders should identify themselves before the ride and will be placed in an appropriate bunch by the ride leaders.
New riders are welcome to join us although we insist on just a few requirements:
- Recognise that you ride at your own risk and it is your responsibility to ride safely, promote safe riding, and ensure the safety of other riders.
- New riders must be competent at riding their bikes – we are not geared to teach you how to ride and operate your bike
- you must be conversant with all the rules and protocols above
- Whilst riding, introduce yourself to other riders, listen for calls, seek advice from and listen to experienced riders.
- Be aware that experienced riders and bunch leaders will offer you advice. Although this may feel like you are being told what to do, advice is given for your benefit and with your safety and the safety of the group in mind. Take advice constructively, in good heart, as it is meant.
Technique and Principles for Group Riding:
Certain principles apply when riding in a pack of riders. These principles are vital to the safety of the group and its members. Learn them and you will be welcome.
Failure to learn or adhere to these principles will mean you are putting yourself and others at risk.
Warn of road hazards: Anticipate hazards and risks and communicate these to other riders e.
- Car up Vehicle approaching the bunch from the front
- Car back Vehicle approaching the bunch from behind
- Single Form up in single file (merge like a zipper)
- Glass, rock or gravel Glass, rocks or loose gravel on the road
- Slowing The bunch is about to slow down – prepare to stop
- Chain off Someone has lost their chain - care required
- Slow rider The bunch is about to pass a slower rider
- Runner The bunch is about to pass a runner on the road
- Clear Last rider indicating it is clear to change lanes
NB: If there is not sufficient time to avoid glass or a hole, it is safer to ride over the hazard rather than violate rule – No Sudden Moves.
Pass on signals and calls:
Communication is vital, calling load and clear pass the call down the bunch
No sudden moves: Be predictable and smooth, no sudden moves eg suddenly brake, turn right, turn left, speed up or slow down. It is inefficient and dangerous.
Give others a turn: The idea is not to prove how strong you are by hogging the front, but rather to learn how to ride together in a group, and feel comfortable changing positions. There will be plenty of time to test your strength.
Rotate down left side of bunch: To share the work load and maintain a consistent pace, the front riders will need to be retired and replaced with fresh riders from within the bunch. To achieve this change over safely, the front left right rider moves forward and left of the bunch and slow pedals to the rear of the bunch.
The front/right rider moves to the front/left position so as to position himself/herself to also follow the same move and slow pedal to the rear of the bunch.
Thus the bunch will slowly rotate anti-clockwise. The time you spend at the front is up to you and if you need to retire, communicate your intentions with your ride partner.
If you hold the left/front position and your partner in right/front clearly needs a rest you must roll off and slow pedal to the rear.
Don’t exhaust yourself by pulling too long: If you are weaker than the other riders in the group take your turn in front to practise technique and keep the pace line flowing smoothly, however take the front only for a few pedal strokes.
Draft reasonably close: Keep as close to the rider in front of you as is comfortable and safe. Try not to let ‘gaps’ open.
Ride close side by side: This is much more efficient and allows all riders to ride next to their partner.
Use brakes carefully: Be aware that sudden stopping has a consatena effect behind you.
Don’t fool with water bottles or food while leading: Don’t take hand off handle bar to get bottle or food unless you have checked the road ahead is visible and safe ie not approaching a corner, roundabout etc
Don’t overlap wheels: Ride behind the rider in front of you.