During our last Velo vendredi ride, Javier and I had the pleasure of meeting Aaron from the Birrarung Cycling Club.

We got talking and heard about the idea he and Guin had about teaming up for some combined club rides, opening up new training options and weekend rides for our members.

This week, we decided to test the waters by joining their Wednesday Boulie ride.

Here’s the lowdown:

*Meeting Point:* 6:30 AM, near the Teardrop (where Johnson St exits onto Yarra Blvd)

*Route:* Two laps of the Boulie – one at a warm-up pace, followed by a faster one.

*Attire:* Don’t forget to wear your SKCC kit!

We departed from St. Kilda at 5:50 AM, comfortably ahead of the ride departure time of 6.30am, leaving us with at least an extra 10 minutes.(Could have caught a few more winks of sleep! )

 With time to spare, we did some warm-up laps around the Teardrop. Around a dozen cyclists showed up, with an equal mix of men and women. We split into two groups: one for those craving some speed and another for a more leisurely ride. Of course our choice was clear – we went in the fast group – well that’s where Aaron put us.

The first lap was a warm-up, with a surprise sprint up Bellbird Street to keep things interesting. It definitely lifted our heart rates and our legs were supposedly ready for the second “hot lap.”

As we caught up with the slower group at the beginning of the second lap, we did some smooth (speedy) rolling turns, shedding a few riders before the turnaround point.

The second half of the lap turned up the heat, with Javier leading the charge.

He left a few of us in his wake (as usual) but much to Aaron’s approval. After the ride we all re grouped and headed to Chomp Cafe in Abbotsford for coffee.

The Birrarung Cycling Club members made us feel welcome and the morning couldn’t have been more enjoyable. While this ride is typically advertised for intermediate and advanced riders, don’t let that intimidate you. The slower group definitely took a more relaxed approach, ensuring that everyone could enjoy the ride without any leg-tearing challenges. All in all, it was a fun, fast and friendly ride!

Author: Annie Mollison