The 14 Melbourne Bunch Rides You Wouldn’t Want to Miss

A Cyclist in Melbourne

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There are many bunch rides happening daily in every corner of Melbourne, rain, hail or shine.

The bunch size could easily double or even triple during the summer as everyone wants to fit in a ride before the weather warms up.

One thing about Melbourne's bunch rides is that they leave right on the dot. You've got to do all the chasing by yourself if you're late.

So, be sure to arrive at least 5 minutes earlier.

Here are the 14 most popular bunch rides in Melbourne in terms of bunch size, route difficulty and frequency.

No doubt there are many other smaller groups but these 14 will get your started.

Once you've made some new friends within the bunch, you'll discover even more rides.

I can guarantee you that.

Now, read on.

1. North Road Ride (NRR)

North Road Ride Bunch Route

North Road Ride Bunch Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

NRR

Mon to Fri, 545am and 6am

Corner of North Road and Nepean Highway, Brighton

NRR Long

Wed, 545am

Corner of North Road and Nepean Highway, Brighton

83km

This ride is aptly named after the meetup point, North Road

You can either start at 545am or 6am depending on your time preference.

Mondays and Fridays are usually ridden at a recovery pace after a hard weekend of racing or long rides and Fridays to prepare for the upcoming weekend.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are ridden at a hard pace (40km/h+ on flats). The bunch makes a u-turn back to St Kilda at Mordialloc for a coffee or straight to work.

On Wednesdays, some of the bunch will head for a longer ride down to Mount Eliza. If you’re in for the NRR Long option, be sure to start at 545am.

2. Tour de Burbs (TdB)

Tour de Burbs Bunch Ride Route

Tour de Burbs Bunch Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Tue, Thu, 645pm and 7pm

Corner of Yarra Boulevard and Chandler Highway, Kew

Tour de Burbs, a ride that goes through the Melbourne’s eastern suburbs of Kew, Balwyn, Doncaster, Templestowe, Ivanhoe and Heidelberg.

If you’re running tight on time and looking for a good, hard workout in the evening, this might be the one.

It’s short, rolling and full of punchy climbs which guarantee to have your heart rate going through the roof.

The 645pm bunch is ridden at a much harder pace and 7pm rides at a tempo pace. If it's your first time joining this ride, I would advise to join the 7pm bunch instead.

3. Knights of Suburbia (KOS)

Knight of Suburbia Sunday Bunch Ride

Knight of Suburbia Sunday Bunch Ride

When

Meeting Point

Ride Leader

Distance

Sunday Bunchie

Sun, 730am

Health Bar, 5/1637 Main Road, Research

Ash Micallef

Coo Coo Loop

Sat, 440am

Diamond Creek Shell, 52 Chute Street

Chris Taylor

37km

South Side

Fri, 545am

Phamish Food and Wine Bar, St Kilda

Olivia Oatanovska

50km

West Side

Fri, 545am

Yarraville train station

Matt Arthur

26km

The Knights of Suburbia is an amateur racing team based in Melbourne.

Their Sunday bunch will bring you through some of the best routes around Melbourne's north east.

Starting from Research, near another popular local route called the Mount Pleasant, the bunch will ride north towards Kangaroo Ground and Panton Hill before hitting St. Andrews, which is the base of another popular local climb, Kinglake.

Just after St. Andrews, the bunch will take a left turn into Hildebrand Road before snaking its way through Hurstbridge, Diamond Creek and back to the starting point.

Ride starts at 730am but the bar (cafe actually) is open at 7am for those who want to get their pre-ride caffeine fix done. Otherwise, you can always have them post-ride.

As this is a rolling terrain, the pace will be kept manageable so that the majority of the bunch will stay together throughout the ride.

If you're after a weekday ride, don't forget to check out their Friday South Side from St Kilda towards Mordialloc and back, or the West Side riding around Yarraville, Seddon, Footscray, Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds and Essendon.

Check out their Facebook event's page to stay up to date.

4. Napier Park Riders (NPR)

NPR Bunch Long Ride Route

NPR Bunch Long Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

NPR Short

Mon, Wed, Fri, 530am

Corner of Woodland Street and Napier Street, Essendon 

NPR Long

Tue, Thu, 530am 

Corner of Woodland Street and Napier Street, Essendon 

The NPR ride has been around for as long as one can remember.

It's named after the starting point, the Napier Park in Essendon. It was started by Aaron Mulkearns, who is also known as Mr NPR on his Strava many many years ago.

The route goes around the suburbs of Essendon, Keilor, Airport West and the Melbourne Airport’s air traffic control tower.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday is the easier and shorter version.

Tuesday and Thursdays are longer and ridden at a harder pace, especially the sprint up McNabs Road to the airport tower.

Be sure to have someone with you if you get dropped as the route involves many turnings and you don’t want to get lost!

A post shared by Aaron Mulkearns (@mr.npr) on

5. Cardinia Climbers (CC)

Tour of Berwick Bunch Ride Route

Tour of Berwick Bunch Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Monday Tapa's

Mon, 530am

East End Wheelers along Princess Highway, Beaconsfield

Tour of Berwick

Wed, 530am

Corner of Princess Highway and Clyde Road, Berwick

Casual Friday

Fri, 530am

Corner of Princess Highway and Clyde Road, Berwick

The weekday bunch ride by Cardinia Climbers offers everything you'd wished for; flats, rolling hills, short steep climbs, fast and technical descents.

There are 3 rides throughout the week with each ride taking a slightly different route.

The Tour of Berwick on Wednesday is probably their most iconic ride which takes your through the Berwick Ardennes. It's also the hardest route among all.

6. Maling Room Ride (MRR)

MRR Weekday Bunch Ride Route

MRR Weekday Bunch Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Mice Group

Mon, Wed, Fri, 6am

Tue, Thu, 555am

Corner of Canterbury Road and Avenue Athol, Canterbury

Rabbits Group

Tue, Thu, 6am

Corner of Canterbury Road and Avenue Athol, Canterbury

The Maling Room Ride, or better known as MRR is a weekday ride in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

It’s named after the cafe, The Maling Room situated a few hundred metres from the meetup point where the bunch have their post-ride coffee at around 715am.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there are 2 groups.

The slower group (Mice) leaves at 555am while the faster group (Rabbit) leaves at 6am. Both groups usually come together along Mitcham Road fast pace down Doncaster Road.

Mondays and Fridays are usually ridden on a recovery pace.

A post shared by Chelsea (@chelseawednesday) on

7. Hell Ride

The Hell Ride Route

The Hell Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Sat, 7am

The clock tower, Blackrock

Arguably the most notorious of all of Melbourne’s bunch rides.

On any Saturday morning you’ll easily find 100+ riders in the Hell Ride, rain, hail or shine. The group swells to 200+ during summer.

This ride is definitely not for a new rider or someone who lacks experience riding in a very fast pace bunch (45kmh+). The group is big, fast, relentless and at times reckless and dangerous especially towards the back of the peloton.

There is also a police motorbike escort to ensure everyone is adhering to the traffic rules (don’t jump red lights).

You have been warned.

8. CTX Ride

CTX Saturday Bunch Ride Route

CTX Saturday Bunch Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Tue, Thu, 6am

Caltex along Beach Road, Sandringham

Sat, 7am

Caltex along Beach Road, Sandringham

The CTX ride which is an acronym for Caltex Crew Cycling meets at, well obviously Caltex at the corner of Bridge Street and Beach Road in Sandringham.

This very well-drilled, rotating double paceline and fast paced (40km/h+) group will take you along Beach Road to Mount Eliza and back.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the group makes a u-turn at Mordialloc for the shorter 25km option. 

Most regulars are kitted out in the CTX kit so you won't miss them if you're there!

9. RFWYA (Ride From Where You Are)

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Tue, 6am

Corner Walmer Street and Yarra Boulevard, Kew

Route Varies

The RFWYA was started by Hells 500 who is a bunch of cyclists that loves riding hard in the hills.

They've also started Everesting where you ride a total of 8,848m (the height of Mount Everest) elevation gain a in single ride. Ever since then, many have not only completed the Everesting but also double and triple Everesting!

The unique thing about RFWYA is that the route differs every week and it's never announced beforehand. The only way to find out is to keep up.

The ride lasts for an hour so you can expect the distance to be anywhere between 30km to 40km at most.

Most of the bunch have their post-ride caffeine fix at the nearby Three Bags Full cafe before everyone heading off their own ways or straight to work.

A post shared by Craig Simons (@donwhippet) on

10. ACDC Friday

ACDC Friday Bunch Ride Route

ACDC Friday Bunch Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Fri, 615am

203 Langridge Street, Abbotsford

If you're looking for an early start to your weekend, then the ACDC (Arrivee – Cycle – Depart – Caffeinated) ride could be the one. 

The ride starts and ends at the Coffee Peddlr where everyone have their post-ride caffeine fix. It only opens at 730am on Friday, so you have get your pre-ride caffein fix somewhere else.

Starting with a relatively flat profile for the first quarter of the ride, you'll then come to several 10-15% sharp pinches to get those legs yelling at you.

Check our their Instagram page to stay up to date.

A post shared by Lewis Greenhalgh (@acdc.cc) on

11. Williamstown Weekday Bunch

Williamstown Weekday Bunch Route

Williamstown Weekday Bunch Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Tue, Thu, 6am

North Williamstown station

If you're in the west, this could be the ride for you besides the NPR ride in Essendon.

The route is pancake flat throughout and goes all the way from North Williamstown station towards the west, passing the Altona beach front and to Altona Meadows before making a U-turn back the same way.

The ride ends in less than an hour and you can catch a sunrise view over Williamstown during the Spring and Autumn months when the sun rises later in the morning.

12. Emerald Bakery Loop (EBL)

Emerald Bakery Loop Route

Emerald Bakery Loop Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Sun, 650am

Opposite of Hungry Jacks along Canterbury Road, Forest Hill

As the name implies, this bunch ride brings you to the Emerald Bakery located in Emerald, on the southern side of the Dandenong Ranges.

It is a bunch ride that runs throughout the year and bunch size could vary depending on the weather. The bunch has its own kit in blue/pink and you'll definitely won't miss them as the EBL name and the route map is on the kit.

The route takes in some of the best climbs in the Dandenong Ranges such as 1 in 20, The Crescent and a fast descend down The Wall. After a short coffee break at arguably the most popular cafe in Emerald, the bunch heads home.

While the route to Emerald is usually unchanged, the route back could vary sometimes. The straight route back is via Belgrave-Gembrook Road and Grantulla Road up to Kallista and a climb through The Crescent before descending via 1 in 20. 

At times, especially during the autumn months, the bunch takes a slightly longer detour to ride the magnificent Selby-Aura Road to Selby before rejoining back to Belgrave-Gembrook Road and back.

The Selby-Aura Road is one of the best kept secrets of the Dandenong Ranges and you can be assured of a great view riding in smooth and quiet roads.

13. MOSH

MOSH Ride Route

MOSH Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Sat, 650am

Opposite of Hungry Jacks along Canterbury Road, Forest Hill

48km

MOSH is a short Saturday bunch ride that takes you up the northern side of the Dandenong Ranges, from Montrose to Olinda, Sassafras and finally Home.

Climbing up the Dandenong to Kalorama via Montrose is a much quieter affair compared to the very popular 1 in 20 from The Basin. This climb is almost similar in distance and gradient (6.1km at 4%). The only difference between is that there is a short flat section in 1 in 20 between the third and fourth kilometre. 

Once you've reached Kalorama Park, make sure to stop and take in the view of the Silvan Reservoir at the lookout especially if it's a clear and sunny morning.

From there onwards, it's another 1km before the road flattens out. Alternatively, you can detour via Ridge Road and climb up to the Sky High Observatory to have a view of Melbourne city and Port Phillip Bay.

The bunch usually stops for coffee at Sassafras before descending the 1 in 20 and finally heading home.

14. Beach Road Ride (BRR)

Beach Road Ride Route

Beach Road Ride Route

When

Meeting Point

Distance

Tue, Fri, 545am

Corner of Belgrave Road and Waverley Road, Malvern East

43km

Beach Road Ride, or BRR which you'll see in the bunch's Strava titles is a twice weekly morning ride that goes to arguably the most popular cycling route in Melbourne, the Beach Road.

The bunch starts right on time. Most of them arrive 1-2 minutes before the ride starts, according to the GPS time. So don't be surprised if you don't see anyone there if you're 5 minutes earlier.

The route is mainly flat and the bunch makes a turn at Mordialloc and head north along Beach Road. On most mornings, you'll see plenty of cyclists out along this stretch and it's a ride not to be missed.

If you're up for coffee, the bunch stops for a quick coffee at Albert Park before everyone heading their own way after.

A post shared by Yogaretnam (@yogaretnam) on

Do you know of any other good bunches around Melbourne? Get in Touch!

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