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

Jan Poshenko
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1. North Road Ride (NRR)

NRR or the North Road Ride is a very popular bunch cycle that takes place in the middle of Melbourne during the summer months. This ride starts from Highpoint Shopping Centre each year in August and proceeds to take a leisurely ride through the northern suburbs such as Thornbury and Brunswick. The route for this ride is typically 40km long and takes 5-6 hours to complete.

2. Tour de Burbs (TdB)

Started in 2004, this 14 km road biking event is held every second Sunday of the month, from September to May. The ride starts in the city and continues in a clockwise direction, through the Eastern and Northern suburbs of Melbourne. People from different denominations of cycling, from time-trialists to road riders, from downhillers to other off-road bicycle disciplines, join together.

The first who cross the finish line get some souvenirs: a t-shirt and a free lunch.

You can always add your challenges to this ride, such as visiting certain places and taking pictures or just riding as fast as you can to enjoy the thrill.

The whole idea is to explore our brilliant suburbs with your bike. Some top-rated places to stop and eat at include the Morbid Anatomy Museum, Doncaster, and the Sewer Arts, Thornbury.

3. Knights of Suburbia (KOS)

KOS is a group of young men and women, with a common interest in riding motorcycles. Embracing their motto “Wear Your Riding Gear With Pride,” it is no wonder that they are no strangers to a bit of fun. When they’re not busy riding, they are busy organizing events to bring fellow bikers together. They’ll be hosting a bunch of rides on the 21st of October around the streets of Melbourne so it’s a great opportunity for you to meet up with fellow bikers. Their events are always exclusive to KOS members, rookies, and ladies, which shows us that they take a keen interest in the safety of fellow riders. Join their Facebook group for more information.

4. Napier Park Riders (NPR)

They meet at the Napier Park Pool in South Brisbane every Wednesday from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

The meeting point is at the multi-story car park; riders who show up a bit early generally hang around on the grass area. In all my years of riding, I have never seen a pool emptier than at this time; the place would be deserted if the assembled group didn’t know each other. And even if you are not someone who likes to socialize before a ride, you can hang around chatting to your friends and acquaintances for a couple of minutes, just to fill those awkward moments when everyone arrives at once and it's just about then when the fun starts!

Bring a towel, a swimming kit, and the contact number of someone who knows you will be swimming. They’re very strict about the time and you’re not allowed in before 6:30 PM.

Cost: It’s free! You get to swim for free and most of the time, they provide rice and meat too, not to mention a ride home or a lift to work.

Route: The route is a social loop by the river with a stop for a bite before coming back.

5. Cardinia Climbers (CC)

They organize themselves into groups of 14, with each group allocated a particular ride. This means all members have a say in where the group goes, creating a great sense of community and bonding. It also means the group will have a leader who organizes the day and creates opportunities for each person to give their input. It’s a great way to create lasting memories, and there’s always a fresh challenge to look forward to.

6. Maling Road Ride (MRR)

Starting at the bottom of the Maling climb in suburbia, the ride makes its way up into Ivanhoe and through the Montmorency forest. Leaving the forest behind as you make your way into the city, you can make your way around the Harbour Bridge, sail past the Southbank, over the Yarra, or through the suburbs before the long haul home.

This infamous Melbourne Bunch Ride is a serious climb and tackles the toughest of climbs in the city. If you’re looking for something challenging, that is a fight from the bottom to the top, then this one is for you. Don’t forget a magnetic water bottle and a turbo for your bike for this one. A power meter can be handy, too.

Leave the city, and you’ll enter the tree-lined streets of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, climbing steadily to the crest of the hill. You’ll pass through Montmorency, climbing into Ivanhoe, with the shadows of Sunbury looming on the horizon.

7. Hell Ride

The Hell Ride began in 2002 and consists of 13 tight corners and a long descent just up from Toorak Road. It is a serious adrenaline rush you’re not likely to forget. Also, its notoriety has made it famous among motorcycle fans.

The Hell Ride was created by Hugh Milne, a VicRoads Inspector, who was on a mission to crack down on speeding in the area. He brings the VicRoads helicopter to a hover in front of speeding cars, gives the offenders a hard time, and then lets them continue.

If you’re going to do that, be advised that you’re not allowed a run-up. You can only do the descent in one go.

8. CTX Ride

The Major Taylor Boston Criterium Fast Was from 1965 until the late 1990s. During this time, the top professionals from around the world rode this course. Now the race continues under the name of the Covered Bridge Road Race.

The 52 Kilometer / 32 Miles CTX is first held in 1981. Since then, thousands of cyclists have crossed the finish line.

The CTX was founded by the Bicycle Racing Club. But due to a lack of support and funding, the race was canceled in 1998. In 2008, the CTX was revived and since 1992, the event has been held at the Covered Bridge Area.

Race Start and Finish

The cross-state tour CTX takes place in the village of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. Race start and finish are at the bridge, where the race receives its name.

The main street of the village remains closed for both participants and curious onlookers from Thursday until Sunday evenings.

The Challenges of CTX

The CTX is not for the fainthearted, as it is not a flat ride. Riders have to get over the mountains of the Blue Hills Reservation, which make them cross state borders 3 times.

The tortuous climb from the village of Warwick to Montague is especially challenging. But there is a sense of satisfaction once all riders went over the mountain.

9. RFWYA (Ride From Where You Are)

Melbourne is best known for its beautiful sights, events, and climate, so there are many different things you can do in the city. It’s also the largest city in Australia, so you won’t run out of things to do here anytime soon.

This is why it’s not surprising that there are an abundance of bike rides that regularly take place. The 14 bike rides listed below will take you to different parts of the city and some of the best tourist sites. These are some of the best bike rides in Melbourne and they are sure to thrill you during your trip there.

Queen Victoria Market

This bike ride passes through many famous parts of the city such as Magistrates Court, the Treasury Casino, State Library, and Treasury Gardens. About 6,000 people take part in this annual bike ride that normally happens on the first Sunday of October.

Federation Square

This is another annual bike ride that is held in Federation Square and is a part of the social calendar of many Melbournians. About 3,000 people take part in this event.

10. ACDC Friday

Visit on Friday and you are bound to run into a good number of people just like you. It’s a great place to start the weekend from here you can decide where you want to go. The music and the atmosphere will get you.

It’s a club filled with people from all over the world who gather here to have a good time overlooking the beautiful Melbourne city center in the background.

The patrons at ACDC are friendly, cheerful, and upbeat. If you come to this place, better prepare yourself for an excellent night out.

11. Williamstown Weekday Bunch

Williamstown Weekday Bunch is an established group in Melbourne that has been around for several decades. Its members are from all walks of life, including doctors, nurses, accountants, government servants, teachers, and more.

Rides take place on weekdays at 5:45 PM from the Just Cafe in Williamstown, Victoria, and the ride is generally shorter in distance (approximately 32 kilometers). On average, riders burn 600 calories and cover 32 kilometers.

This particular bunch is for people that want to ride quietly at their own pace and aren’t concerned about competing or keeping up with the pack. It’s a group ride, so slower speeds can be expected, but the group is also 21+, so no groups or expert riders are allowed.

12. Emerald Bakery Loop (EBL)

Distributed on the corner of Swanston St and William St in Melbourne, this is one of the most talked-about bunch rides in the city. The route takes you around through North Melbourne and it is the first bunch ride to be mapped and tracked on a GPS.

13. Deer Park Loop

This is one of the “bucket list” rides in Melbourne that you’d want to take care of as soon as possible. The Deer Park Loop is not just a bunch ride, but a bonding ritual that helps riders practice their navigational and communication skills while enjoying the city.

14. Beach Road Ride (BRR)

Beach road, as the name suggests, is all about speed, although you’ll usually find that the more serious riders are tucked away in the wind-sheltered parts and not out on the open road. On the Beach Road, you’ll need to be ready to take advantage of the breaks in the traffic and also ride comfortably in a bunch at high speeds. You’ll be exposed to a lot of wind, so don’t be caught unprepared.

The Beach Road Ride will take you from Elwood through St Kilda to Brighton Baths and back again. BRR is as close as you’ll get to riding a criterium and without the barriers. Many criterium riders ride Beach Road as part of their training as the riding is hard with fast accelerations and fast cornering.

BRR is held on the first Sunday of every month.