The Essex Roads Touring Rides are rides that are pitched between Club and Training rides. These rides are for experienced riders of good ability who might have been on the Social Rides but need a next step-up before taking on much harder training rides if they wish to in the future.
Touring rides are set at a good pace – around 16.5-19 miles per hour over roughly 50 miles. During the Summer these rides can be extended up to 70 miles for those training for events or cycling holidays. Cyclists ride in a pack and the pace can get race-like at times. These are great rides for pushing your stamina and fitness to new levels where you will need to accelerate at times to hold onto the group. These rides tend to hold speed up the hills and attack the topography rather than succumb to it.
In terms of what you will require you will need:- a road-bike, helmet, puncture repair equipment, energy gels and plenty of water! We also recommend that you wear proprietary cycle wear. This is more comfortable and will help you to keep cool if you get hot. (You are expected to be self-sufficient and able to repair your own punctures).
We all ride as a group and take it in turns to take the front, this way you get to conserve energy and make an impact when it is your turn! There are lots of advantages to cycling in a pack. You will learn lots about bike control, road positioning and how to keep pace with others. If anyone is struggling we will stop at the major turns on the route and let you catch your breath! Towards the end of the ride, the Group may fracture somewhat as some riders push onto the finish and others set a more leisurely pace so you need to be confident enough to ride back to Billericay in a small group or even by yourself on occasions.
We definitely stop for a break at a nice café, where tea, coffee, toast, buns and cake are likely to be consumed. There’re some great places to visit from Epping Forrest through to Bradwell-on-Sea and we aim to try and find new café locations throughout the season. What’s for sure is that you will be on roads you’ve probably never seen before. You are likely to go ‘anaerobic’ on these rides where you will need to stretch your capacity to push yourself hard then recover afterwards. This is also commonly called ‘interval training’.
All our Touring Rides start and finish at the Council Car Park on the western side of the High Street, Billericay at 9:00. The Car Park is reached by proceeding along the High Street from Sun Corner and turning left just past the Iceland store. See below. From there, we take a variety of routes along quiet country roads that you’ve probably never been down before. We are usually back in Billericay about 1pm, or you can turn off earlier if it’s easier for you to get home.
Where and when?
Here’s our club Guide to Group Riding, it really is worth taking the time to read this.