Level 1 (Novice & Social Rides)

The Essex Roads Novice Rides are just what is says on the label – ‘For Novices!’
If you are a beginner on a bike then these are the rides for you. You will need to be able to ride a bike on the road of course and understand the basics of the Highway Code. Please do not attend these rides if you have never ridden on the road before. (If you are a complete beginner on a bike and need to acquire some fitness, bike handling skills or confidence
novice27ayou should practice off-road first. There is an organisation which is recommended by Essex Roads that can help you do this called “TrailNet”. They will even teach you to ride a bike, if required!

The Novice Rides at Essex Roads are held on the first Sunday of each month. They are engineered just for you. You don’t need a fancy bike, however something with smooth tyres would be to your advantage. It’s ok to bring your mountain bike to this level of ride. We also strongly suggest that you wear a helmet.

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You don’t need fancy clothing or previous miles under your belt. We just go nice and gentle. Your age is inconsequential too – riders join us of all ages and abilities and sexes. The Novice Rides go at a slow pace, over undulating terrain, and no big hills. We also choose quiet roads which are relatively free from traffic – particularly on a Sunday morning. We go at the pace of the slowest rider, and if you drop back we all wait for you to recover/catch up. And don’t worry – you won’t be left. The mileage is short (about 20 miles) and we definitely stop for a break at a nice café, where tea, coffee, toast, buns and cake are likely to be consumed.

Every Sunday in the month except the first this ride become the Social Ride. You are welcome to join on these Sundays after you have been on a Novice ride and feel you are competent enough. These rides are not fast but are a little faster than the Novice ride and go a little further (about 30 miles).

There are lots of advantages cycling in a group. You will learn lots about bike control, road positioning and how to keep pace with others. It can also be to your advantage in that you will be able to ‘draft’ others by sitting behind them thus saving energy. You can also take a turn at the front if you feel able. What’s for sure is that you will be on quiet country roads you’ve probably never been on before.

You could start with our Novice and Social Rides to gain an indication of your fitness level then go on to our Touring Rides which go a bit quicker and further. You do what suits you best.

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All our Novice and Social Rides start and finish at the Council Car Park on the western side of the High Street, Billericay at 9:00.

See here for more detail.

From there, we take a variety of routes along quiet country roads that you’ve probably never been down before. The Novice Rides are usually back in Billericay about midday, but the Social group sometimes stop for a drink towards the end of the return journey so may be back later than midday, but you can alway break off early if you need to get back.

Here are some questions and answers about Novice Rides: –


I’m not a member of Essex Roads. Do I have to join in order to ride?
No, we welcome all cyclists. You don’t have to be a member, but if you want to ride regularly we would of course provide you with every incentive to come and join our very friendly club.

I want to ride with you. Do I have to be super fit to join in?
No, If you can ride approximately 20 miles or so in distance for the Novice Ride and 30 for the Social Ride you should be fit enough.

What if I can’t keep up because I’m slow?
Don’t worry. We always ride at the speed of the slowest rider and if you get dropped, we stop and wait for you! It’s quite normal to stop for breaks too, along the way as our abilities are very mixed, even amongst experienced cyclists.

Where and when?

Club Rides