When it comes to riding in Brisbane ,for a good morning hit out, popular with many locals- ‘The River loop’ seems to be a mainstay…
La Velocita Brisbane based Kirra McDonald gives an overview of the river loop.
CYC’d Cycling Club appreciate that everyone likes a good river loop… They also realise that not everyone wants to ride it super fast. Some are ready to take on the Friday 'Pain Train', and some are ready to welcome the weekend with a gentle roll and a very welcome cup of coffee at the end.
There are two meeting points that Cyc’d publish on the club’s “Team App”:
The first is for those who live on the ‘other side’ of the river (The southside). They meet on the corner of Stanley St and Main St (outside Planet Cycles in Wolloongabba). The first meeting point is for those who want to roll over together, departing the south side at 4:45am… yup it’s pretty early, but the old saying the early bird catches the worm… well that has nothing to do with the ride, but the early cyclists do get their pick of the tables and chairs at the café!!!
The MAIN meeting point for the ride is in the sheltered area under the Go Between Bridge. Here the ride leader, Kent, known to most as KB will ask people ‘which ride they are joining today?’ It is a loaded question for some…
With up to 40 riders on any Friday the group is broken into 3 smaller groups to make sure every rider can ride with other riders of similar ability and experience. It is also an important safety factor both for the riders and for the motorists we share the road with.
The 3 groups are knows to the riders as:
GROUP 1: “THE PAIN TRAIN”
There are no lines to read between here. It is literally an HOUR of POWER. This group tend to fly around the river at speeds averaging about 35-40km/hr +. It is quick, and it is definitely not for the faint hearted. Aimed at those who are confident, well skilled cyclists who are perhaps on formal top end training programs. QRTS riders typically frequent this bunch.
GROUP 2: “THE SANE TRAIN”
This is the ‘happy medium’. Packs a punch, without blowing a gasket… You will often find KB pushing this group around the river… He sets an even and steady tempo, but hit the corso and there is a bit of a sprint section that gets everyone going. By here if you aren’t awake, well you will be once you find Cemetery Hill…
GROUP 3: “LIGHT RAIL”
This group will average between 27-30km/hr with the option based on group concensus on the day of doing the full Friday loop, or a slightly shorter loop. This is aimed at getting new riders out and creating a welcoming environment. As you learn some better handling skills, gain some fitness, group 2 becomes the typical progression. If you are into racing and have a big weekend planned this is usually where you will find those guys and girls who are just out to turn their legs over... we all know they only go for the coffee really.
The thing that stands out about this club ride is the inclusive and welcoming nature. Post ride, most will stop, have a coffee, have a laugh and on occasion, will dissect the who’s who of the ride on the day. Who tore away, who bonked up the hill, and who was just happy to be out riding.
On a personal note, after only being in Brisbane for three months I actually feel like I'm part of the furniture. I have met some really awesome people who just love their cycling. They enjoy getting out and having fun. Training hard if that is what they want, but for the most part the commaradarie amongst the group is superb.
Newbies - very welcome. Regulars - good to get tips from. Racers - well they push the limits and do so without a hint of arrogance. What a group of people that come together on such a regular basis.