Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Ride for Any Day of the Week
Austin Area Group Rides

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For the updated 2015 Austin group ride list

Depending on tradition and the other riders in attendance, group rides can be good for a lot of things—being social, enjoying an easy day, motivating yourself to do a hard workout, or getting dropped. Here’s a selection of Austin area rides to liven up your week.

Please note: Some ride times vary according to the season, so if in doubt check in with the ride organizer. Ride info verified as of 4/10/2013.

Road bikes recommended for all rides included below unless otherwise noted. “Time” is wheels down – it’s always a good idea to show up 10 to 15 minutes early.

We know we're still missing some! If you'd like to add a weekly road ride to our list, contact us at

Beginner - Moderate - Hard - Insane - Women Only - Just For Fun
View By Day of Week

Beginner Friendly

Rothe Recovery Ride

A social ride led by elite cyclist and coach Stefan Rothe, this Monday evening option is open to anyone on a road bike. The route changes every week, going out east toward McKinney Falls and the Tuesday Nighter course, north along Shoal Creek, or south to 5th street or to Buda if time allows. Ride time is typically 1.5-2 hours max.

StartATC downtown, 923 Barton Springs Rd.
TimeMonday, 5:45pm
Duration1.5-2 hrs
ContactStefan Rothe,

Wednesday Beginner Ride

Hosted by the Bicycle Sports Shop Research Blvd location, this is a good ride for those new to riding or wanting to ease back into the saddle. Learn about group riding on a 60-90 minute ride along bike lanes and neighborhood streets. The route consists of mostly flat roads, with some hills to learn about shifting and cadence.

StartBicycle Sports Shop, 10947 Research Blvd.
TimeWednesday, 5:30pm
Duration60-90 mins
ContactBicycle Sports Shop, 512-345-7460

Friday Truancy Ride

This 17-18 mph ride led by Mellow Johnny’s takes you through neighborhoods and official bike routes for the most part, with minimal travel on large roadways and just a few hills and optional sprint points. This group is very social, usually hanging out for coffee and snacks before and after the ride.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeFriday, 2:30pm
Distance30 mi
Routesouthwest toward airport
ContactMellow Johnny’s, 512 473-0222

Scout-a-Route Ride

Great for cyclists new to riding or commuting, or for those just looking for a casual spin, this ride aids participants in navigating through the city and learning safe bike commuting options. Two groups are offered: 1) riders who can average 12 mph for 15-25 miles with one or two regrouping points, and 2) riders who can average 14-16 mph for 20-30 miles, with an extended mileage option. Routes vary weekly, going through Clarksville, Rollingwood, McKinney Falls, South Austin, East Austin, and more.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeSaturday, 9am

Jack and Adam’s Sunday Ride

The J&A Sunday Ride is a classic in Austin and is usually very well attended. Ride options range from “no drop” to intermediate and advanced. Rides are often led by shop employees or teams that the shop sponsors, such as Neoteric Racing, Jack & Adams Racing Team, Velossimo, and Austin Nationals. Check the J&A blog for the month’s scheduled rides. Note that sometimes rides are canceled for area events, and the ride usually starts from the Steiner Steakhouse once a month. Routes and distances vary.

StartJack & Adam’s Bicycles, 1210 Barton Springs Rd.
TimeSunday, 8:30am
Durationvaries according to level, but is typically 2-3 hrs; Steiner rides are usually 1.5-2 hrs
Routevaries by week
ContactJack and Adam’s, 888-499-0863,


Nelo’s Shop Ride

Always following the same route (see map info below), this ride meets Monday and Wednesday nights between April and September. Although it can be described as “moderate,” the ride gets progressively harder as the summer wears on. Riders regroup at Parliament. Lights required!

StartNelo’s Cycles, 8108 Mesa Dr. #105B
TimeMonday & Wednesday, 7pm from April to September
Duration14.40 mi, 50 min
RouteGarmin Map
ContactDavid Figueroa, 512-338-0505,

River City Market Racing Tuesday AM Hill Ride

This ride, led by the women’s racing team River City Market Racing, meets at 7am for coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Lead on Lamar. Roll out is at 7:15am. The route varies, but always hits the hills west of town for a 25-30 mile hard workout. Though the ride isn’t “no drop,” they regroup at the top of each big hill and recover between. Men and women riders welcome.

StartThe Coffee Bean & Tea Lead on Lamar
TimeTuesday, 7:15am
Duration25-30 mi, 90-105 mins
ContactJames Murff,

T&T Violet Crown Ride

Meeting at Mellow Johnny’s every Tuesday and Thursday morning and led by a member of the Violet Crown cycling club, this ride is ideal for the intermediate-level cyclist. Expect a steady tempo ride with an average pace of 16-18 mph. No headphones or aero bars. Experience riding in a group is a must.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeTuesday & Thursday, 7am
Duration1.5-2 hrs
ContactAndy Austin,

Gruppo VOP Friday Ride

Gruppo VOP, formed 14 years ago, is an informal association of cyclists that welcomes all riders. The Friday ride is a 28-mile loop going from Westlake out Bee Caves Rd, down River Hills Rd, and up through Seven Oaks back to Bee Caves Road and the Bee Cave City limit sign. Some riders skip the river valley and go to the Barton Creek West entrance for a 19-mile loop. No aero bars. No membership required.

StartBrad Houston’s house, 1813 Holly Hill
TimeFriday, 6:30am (time varies according to season)
Duration19 or 28 mi
Routesee website
ContactBrad Houston,

The Bagel Ride

Led by the Violet Crown cycling club, this ride usually ends with a celebratory bagel and coffee. The ride starts at the Einstein Bros Bagels on Parmer/North I-35. One group completes 50-60 miles, and another travels 70-80 miles.

StartEinstein Bros Bagels, 12400 N IH35
TimeSaturday, 8:15am
Distance50-60 mi or 70-80 mi
ContactDavid Serrins,

Middle of the Road Ride (MOTR)

The UT Cycling Team leads this intermediate-level, 30-40 mile ride. The front group averages 17-20 mph, and a second group averages 15-16 mph. All participants start together in a large group of 50+ people and naturally split into the intermediate and advanced groups. Routes vary weekly, generally 30-40 miles on in-town bike routes and roads with low to moderate traffic, going to or around areas such as Creedmoor, McKinney Falls, Buda, the 360 loop, Bee Caves, and more.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeSaturday, 8:30am
ContactMellow Johnny’s, 512-473-0222

Gruppo VOP Sunday Ride

Gruppo VOP, formed 14 years ago, is an informal association of cyclists that welcomes all riders. The Sunday ride, ideal as an introduction to VOP, is a 27-mile recovery ride that heads south from Westlake to the South Mopac Loop. It’s the most social of the VOP rides and typically ends by 9:45-9:50am. No aero bars. No membership required. Unless you’re experienced riding in a peloton, please stay at the back of the pack for your safety and the safety of others.

StartBrad Houston’s house, 1813 Holly Hill
TimeSunday, 8am
Duration27 miles
Routesee website
ContactBrad Houston,

Bat City Sunday Team Ride

Led by the Bat City Cycling team, this intermediate- to advanced-level ride starts at the parking lot at the southeast corner of Parmer and Lakeline Blvd, just north of the Bicycle Sport Shop Parmer location. The route and distance change each week, but the group usually travels 50-85 miles at an 18+ mph pace. There are usually a couple of city limit sprints and at least one store stop.

Startsoutheast corner of Parmer and Lakeline Blvd
TimeSunday, 8am
Distance50-85 mi

Bicycle Sports Shop Sunday Ride, Lamar

Hosted by the Bicycle Sports Shop Lamar location, this ride features a different route in south and west Austin each week. Average speed is 14-16 mph.

StartBicycle Sport Shop, 517 S. Lamar Blvd
TimeSunday, 8am
Duration2 hrs
ContactBicycle Sports Shop, 512-477-3472

Sunday Violet Crown Ride

Reputed to be one of the oldest group rides in Austin, this group has been meeting every Sunday morning for more than 30 years. Average pace is 17-18 mph for 50-60 miles, and there are some rest points, but if you get dropped, you’re usually on your own. The ride is well suited for an intermediate rider on a road bike accustomed to riding in groups. No headphones or aero bars.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeSunday, 8:15am
Duration3-4 hrs
ContactDave Henderson,

Sunday Circle C Ranch Cycling Club Ride

This ride is a more spirited version of the club’s no-drop Saturday ride (contact the club for more info). Distances and routes vary, but can range from 35-70 miles, depending on the difficulty of the terrain. The average distance is generally 45 miles, with a speed of 13-15 mph. A few riders tend to go off the front at higher speeds. Expect a pack of anywhere from 4 to 30 riders, with a mix of beginners and seasoned veterans. Inclement weather may cancel the ride. Sign on to the Yahoo Group for more info, including weekly maps. Membership encouraged but not required.

StartStarbucks, 9600 Escarpment Blvd #700
TimeSunday, 8:15am
ContactFacebook Group

Jack and Adam’s Sunday Ride (click here )

ATC Sunday Recovery/Intermediate Ride

Led by ATC employees, this is a very small and casual group, usually between 4 and 20 cyclists. The average pace is 17 mph, and riders regroup at multiple points along the 30-mile route, which heads southeast to Stassney and Burleson. This ride is often canceled for rain or very cold weather; if in doubt, call the shop to check.

StartATC downtown, 923 Barton Springs Rd.
TimeSunday, 9am
Distance30 mi
RouteEast, see website
ContactATC, 512-494-9252,

Pure Austin North Ride

All riders are welcome on this non-competitive North Austin ride, provided they can safely ride a bike two-by-two in traffic and hold 16 mph for 50 miles. Participants range from intermediate-level recreational riders to more advanced bike racers. There are no attacks, intervals, accelerations, or weekend warrior attitudes, but this is not a ride for absolute beginners.

Startfront door of Pure Austin Fitness Quarry Lake, 4210 West Braker Ln.
ParkingTo save gym parking for Pure Austin members, park next door at the Capitol One Bank, which is closed on Sundays.
TimeSunday, 9:00am April to October, 12pm December to March
Distancealways less than 50 mi
Routevaries, 512-417-1001


Gruppo VOP Monday Ride

Gruppo VOP, formed 14 years ago, is an informal association of cyclists that welcomes all riders. The Monday ride is a fast-paced, 32-mile loop that heads south from the Westlake area. Very important: Sometimes the start time and place for the Monday ride varies slightly, so for this ride, email Brad a few days in advance so that the riders know you’re joining them. No aero bars. No membership required.

StartBrad Houston’s house, 1813 Holly Hill
TimeMonday, 6:30am (time varies according to season)
Distance32 miles
Routesee website
ContactBrad Houston,

Tuesday Morning Blazing Saddle Ride

MJ's and the 787 Racing team lead this fast early morning ride, which averages 20+ mph and covers a distance of approximately 40 miles. The route takes on the hills of West Austin. Lights required.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeTuesday, 6:15am
Duration2-2.5 hrs
RouteWest Austin

Gruppo VOP Wednesday Ride

Gruppo VOP, formed 14 years ago, is an informal association of cyclists that welcomes all riders. The very popular, very challenging Wednesday ride is a race-paced, 28-mile loop that goes out and back on Southwest Pkway to Barton Creek Blvd and Bee Cave Road, then through the neighborhoods in Lost Creek. You’re guaranteed to get in some hard efforts and brutal hills on this ride. Be prepared for three highly coveted sprint points. No aero bars. No membership required.

StartBrad Houston’s house, 1813 Holly Hill
TimeWednesday, 6:30am (time varies according to season)
Distance28 mi
Routesee website
ContactBrad Houston,

Pure Austin Driveway Series The Driveway Series is a criterium race, not a ride, but it happens every Thursday evening and is a great way to train. Many Austin area bike racers consider it an essential part of their weekly training plan. For event info, go to

Gruppo VOP Saturday Ride

Gruppo VOP, formed 14 years ago, is an informal association of cyclists that welcomes all riders. The Saturday ride offers ride options of 26, 45, or 52 miles. Like the Gruppo VOP Wednesday Ride, this ride often feels like a race, with multiple sprint points and a consistently high pace. The longer loops follow Wednesday’s route and then continue up Hwy 620 to River Place or Anderson Mill Road. The short ride usually travels back along Bee Caves Rd from the intersection of Hwy 620 and Bee Caves Rd. No aero bars. No membership required.

StartBrad Houston’s house, 1813 Holly Hill
TimeSaturday, 7:30am
Distance26, 45, or 52 mi
Routesee website
ContactBrad Houston,

787 Cycling Team Weekend Ride

787 Racing leads a hard group ride every Saturday and Sunday from Mellow Johnny’s. Average pace is 22-26 mph. Participants should be very experienced riding in groups and be able to handle their own mechanicals. Routes vary.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeSaturday & Sunday, 8am

Bicycle Sports Shop Parmer Ln. Saturday Ride Hosted by the Bicycle Sports Shop Parmer location, this ride offers two options: a fast-paced (18+ mph) 50-mile ride, or a more relaxed (13-15 mph) 24-mile ride.

StartBicycle Sport Shop, 9900 W. Parmer Ln.
TimeSaturday, 8am 
Distance24 or 50 mi
RouteThe 50-mile ride is to the Andice General Store and back, but riders can turn back at any time along Parmer.
ContactBicycle Sports Shop, 512-637-6890

Bicycle Sports Shop Research Blvd Sunday Ride

Hosted by the Bicycle Sports Shop Research Blvd location, this ride is an advanced, hilly journey along Loop 360 with some out-and-backs on the hills.

StartBicycle Sports Shop, 10947 Research Blvd
TimeSunday, 8am
Duration2+ hrs
RouteLoop 360 & area
ContactBicycle Sports Shop, 512-637-6890

Insanely Hard

Heavy Metal Ride

All masochists are welcome, whether dedicated roadie, fixie rider, mountain biker, or whatever-else-on-two-wheels, on this informal Monday-night hammerfest, but be warned you probably won’t be able to hang on, and no one will shed tears for your demise. The group meets at the Pflugerville Pedestrian Bridge. Lights and helmets required. Beer money recommended for after.

StartPflugerville Pedestrian Bridge
TimeMonday, 7:30pm

Tuesday Nighter

Not for the weak of heart, this event has been tearing down farm roads in Southeast Austin at 25-30 mph for what some regulars estimate to be 25 to 30 years. However, the addition of neighborhoods and two stop signs on the course has slowed things down a bit. The ride currently completes three 9-mile laps, with an unofficial “A group” and “B group” determined by who can hang on in the first few miles. The ride is free, and there’s no marked course, no support, no prizes, no judges, and no category system, but make no mistake, this is a race.

VideoTuesday Nighter Hitsory
StartAlum Rock Dr and Thaxton Rd, Southeast Austin
TimeTuesday, 6pm sharp during daylight savings time

ATC World Championship Saturday Ride

Words can’t really describe what the ATC Saturday ride does to your legs and lungs. Earning the reputation as one of the hardest group rides in Texas, the Saturday ride regularly hosts elite-level and professional triathletes and road cyclists. Making the “A group” is usually an accomplishment; for the rest of the masses, numerous splinter groups form off the back. The ride starts with a warm-up down Barton Springs and the Mopac feeder, but get ready to grind it out after the right turn onto Southwest Parkway. This is one of the few group rides that welcomes tri bikes and aero bars—just be sure to stay out of them when you’re in the pack. Free breakfast tacos await back at the shop.

VideoATC Video Montage
StartATC downtown, 923 Barton Springs Rd.
TimeSaturday, 8:30am
Distance30 or 55 mi
Route30 miles, 55 miles: continues north along 620 on the dam loop
ContactATC, 512-494-9252,

Women Only

Mellow Ladies’ Ride

Led by the women of Mellow Johnny’s, this in-town, no-drop ride provides valuable group riding skills and the opportunity to meet other women cyclists. Average pace is 14-15 mph, and some group riding experience is expected.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeMonday, 5:30pm (through November)
Distance20-25 mi

Bikin’ Betties

A very casual, ladies-only ride, Bikin’ Betties welcomes beginning cyclists. The distance traveled is from 8 to 20 miles, always ending at a bar, restaurant, or coffee shop for post-ride refreshment. Since rides vary widely in intensity and distance, check the event details on their Facebook site.

TimeMonday 8:00pm (departs 8:20pm)

Second Saturday Women’s Ride Day

Hosted by the Bicycle Sports Shop Parmer location, Women’s Ride Day offers an opportunity to ride in an easy-paced and friendly setting. Participants can opt between 12-, 25-, and 40-mile options. RSVP in advance for the event, and meet at the shop 15 minutes before the start for an orientation meeting.

StartBicycle Sport Shop-Parmer, 9900 West Parmer Lane
Time2nd Saturday of each month, check the RSVP page for ride times
Distance12, 25, or 40 mi
ContactBicycle Sports Shop, 512-637-6890

AFWC Ladies’ Rider

Led by the Austin Flyers Women’s Cycling Club, this ride offers three difficulty options to accommodate all fitness and experience levels. Average pace is 15-16 mph for a duration of 2.5-3 hours. Routes vary.

StartMellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces
TimeSunday, 9am
Duration2.5-3 hrs

Just-for-fun rides

The Yoga Ride!

Follow up a short, approximately 5-mile ride with yoga specially designed for cyclists. Bring your own lights, a lock, water, and a yoga mat. Free event.

StartDoug Sahm Hill
TimeTuesday, 6:45pm

Bikes Babes & Gardens

Dubbed a “guerilla gardening adventure,” this ride is sponsored by the Food Is Free Project and Fast Folks Cyclery. Girls, guys, single speeds, fixies...all cyclists are welcome. Helmet and lights are required.

StartLamar Pedestrian Bridge
TimeWednesday, 8:30pm

Rides by day of week


Rothe Recovery Ride, ATC Barton Springs
Nelos Shop Ride, NC
Gruppo VOP, Westlake
Heavy Metal Ride, Pflugerville Ped. Bridge
Mellow Ladies’ Ride, MJ’s
Bikin’ Betties


Blazing Saddle Ride
River City Market Racing Hill Ride, Austin Java
T&T Violet Crown Ride, MJ’s
Tuesday Nighter, SEast Austin
The Yoga Ride!, Dough Sahm Hill


Wednesday Beginner Ride, BSS 
Nelos Shop Ride, NC
Bikes Babes & Gardens, Lamar Ped. Bridge
Gruppo VOP Wednesday Ride


T&T Violet Crown Ride, MJ’s
Pure Austin Driveway Series, Driveway


Friday Truancy Ride, MJ’s
Gruppo VOP, Westlake


ATC World Championship Ride, ATC Barton Springs
Scout-a-Route Ride, MJ’s
Bagel Ride, Einstein Bros. Parmer
Middle of the Road Ride, MJ’s
Gruppo VOP, Westlake
787 Weekend Ride, MJ’s
BSS Parmer Saturday Ride, BSS
2nd Saturday Women’s Ride, BSS


J&A’s Sunday Ride, J&A’s
Gruppo VOP, Westlake
Bat City Team Ride, Parmer
BSS Lamar Sunday Ride, BSS
Sunday Violet Crown Ride, MJ’s
Sunday Circle C Ride, Starbucks Escarpment
ATC Sunday Recovery Ride, ATC Barton Springs
Pure Austin North Ride, Pure Austin Quarry Lake
787 Weekend Ride, MJ’s
BSS Resarch Blvd Sunday Ride, BSS
AFWC Ladies’ Rider, MJ’s

© Copyright 2013, Kathryn Hunter


  1. Well done Kat! Great compilation of Austin area rides. This is a keeper.

  2. thanks for this list, ATC!

  3. Austin Cycling Association also has usually 10 weekly rides posted, though the actual rides varies

  4. Social Cycling Austin has the TNSR (Thursday night social ride) and the Saturday Caffeine Cruise - both no drop fun social rides that begin and end at different locations each week.

  5. Southwest CycleSport (Bee Cave) has Saturday 7:30am and Sunday 8:00 rides from the shop.Saturday's ride is about 34 miles, Sunday's varies between 45-55 miles. Average speed 18 mph; both are no drop rides.

    Starts at 11701 Bee Cave Rd 78738