Mashup Bike Rides

Rockhampton Mashup Rides

Rocky Social Mashup Rides - Exploring the hills at Nerimbera on Rockhampton's outskirts.
Exploring the hills off Emu Park Road at Nerimbera on a mashup ride 2019

Remember how it felt riding your bike as a 10 year old? You and your friends tearing around the streets, parks, and trails on some big adventure?

No one claimed they were roadies or XC or enduro riders. It was just the sheer joy of being on two wheels with your mates, and all the while, you were getting fitter, faster, and more proficient.

Well, that’s pretty much what Mashup Rides are about.

Mashups are a break from traditional road and MTB group rides. With an emphasis on fitness, fun, and adventure, you’ll find yourself on back streets, green trails, gravel roads, and pathways you might not even know existed.

Mashups are designed to improve your speed, confidence, and skills on a variety of surfaces during each ride, and leave you looking forward to the next one. 

Legal Stuff

Mashup Rides are free and loosely organised. The goal is purely to get bums on bikes. Riders are not charged a fee, and in return, no supervision or training is implied. While the ride leader is familiar with the circuit and will attempt to keep general order throughout, most aspects of the ride depend on the actions of each individual and are beyond his control.

Thus, no guarantees or promises are given as to the safety of riders, their bicycles, or other possessions. Appropriate rider insurance is strongly recommended through AusCycling. Neither the ride leader nor Cycle CQ will accept responsibility for any peril that may befall anyone who chooses to join in.

If you attend a Mashup Ride, you:

  • accept all responsibility for your own actions and preparations;
  • acknowledge that you are riding at your own risk;
  • absolve both the ride leader and Cycle CQ of all liability.
Social Mashup Rides ~ Xmas night lights in Rockhampton CBD
Exploring the riverbank trails and CBD – Rockhampton City 2018

Who are mashup rides aimed at?

Mashups offer something for every cyclist to take them out of their comfort zone.

For roadies, we don’t take the flattest path at a nice consistent cadence. With more elevation than the average road ride, you’ll find chances to play with your gears on hills or to pull away on some high-intensity sprints if the mood takes you.

Also, if you’ve ever considered taking part in a 60+ km endurance gravel ride like the Hedlow-Gawula Loop, or maybe competing in a cyclo-cross or XC race, the mix of road surfaces will boost your off-road confidence.

Finally, if you’re not a great fan of riding in a tight pack, you’ll find this more relaxed format enjoyable – and without the windbreak of your buddies – a new challenge.

For mountain bikers, some serious kilometres on a less technical course while maintaining a reasonable pace, will improve your endurance for longer rides and races.

Importantly, you’ll find your brain focusing on often-ignored aspects of mountain biking such as cadence, breathing and heart rate, making timely gear changes, seat and body position, and laying your bike into corners at speed.

These skills translate directly to the trails. You’ll become faster on hill climbs, long straights, switchbacks, and berms, and these are the skills that win MTB podiums.

When are Mashup Rides held?

Ride times vary at different times throughout the year. Mashup rides are posted on the Cycle CQ Facebook page, so follow us there if you’d like to stay in the loop.

Social Mashup Ride - Pink Lily pulled over to replenish the fluids
Social Mashup Ride at Pink Lily, pulled over to replenish the fluids

How long are the rides?

Rides vary from about 30 kms (approx 1.5 to2 hours) to 100 kms (5 to 6 hours). On most routes there is an option to pull out earlier if you need to.

The average pace works out around 21 to 23 kph (moving time). Due to the varying fitness levels of riders, we tend to spread out but will pull up periodically to regroup as needed.

What are the routes?

Around 80-90% of the distance will be on bitumen or concrete paths. We try to avoid heavy traffic roads for the most part. Instead, we use lots of suburban streets and secondary roads where possible.

All rides depart and end at Reef Studios, 250 Musgrave Street, Berserker which is directly opposite KFC at Stockland, North Rockhampton.

For people driving to the start point, there is plenty of parking out front and behind Reef. McDonald’s and Subway are also across the street if riders want a post-ride coffee or feed.

If the meetup point isn’t convenient or the time too early, you can try to intercept us along the route. However, while the group is riding and everything running smoothly, I won’t be monitoring the phone or Facebook to see messages that you’re coming late.

Also, the exact course is not set in stone. Roadworks, weather, etc may see us make detours here or there.

What kind of bike will I need?

An MTB, cyclocross, or gravel bike is best. A light off-road tyre tread e.g. Maxxis Ikon is recommended for traction on gravel and damp roads while not generating too much rolling resistance. Road bikes are not suitable for Mashup Rides.

For night rides, you must have a headlight and tail light. Your local bike shop should be able to recommend an affordable light setup for you.

Rockhampton City Lights from Jackhammer trail at First Turkey
Rockhampton City Lights from Jackhammer trail at First Turkey

What is the ride format?

This is a social ride, not a race. The ride leader will be me, Andrew Thompson. I also run the Tuesday night social rides for Rocky MTB. I have a blue card, First Aid + CPR, and am an AusCycling-accredited Skills Instructor.

Cycle CQ advocates the giving and receiving of absolute courtesy by and to all road users. Particularly on busy roads, riders must keep as far left as safely possible.

We don’t block cars from getting around us. Riding format is single file, i.e. NOT side by side except where absolutely safe. Most of us will be riding wide-bar bikes and this is not conducive to safe two-abreast riding.

Use hand signals when turning corners and no running red lights. If riding on shared pathways, give notice to pedestrians.

Riders under 16 yo should be accompanied by a responsible adult, except where they are known to me as capable from previous rides. It is not however my role or right to check the age of riders.

All riders should carry sufficient water, plus any spares they might need. You will also need to bring a mobile phone in case of emergency.

Ride cancellations

Rides will not be cancelled if there are light showers. Also, we will generally ride in winds up to about 35 kph. I use Willy Weather as my bible for ride forecasts. If there’s a storm front approaching in the next few hours, we cancel.

If a ride has to cancelled, updates will be posted on the Cycle CQ page on Facebook.

Have a brilliant day and see you out on the streets and trails. 🙂
Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson, Cycle CQ

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