All posts by Rob Ramsden

Inaugural SPR Ride Leaders Meeting

Tonight we held the first ever formal meeting of SPR’s Ride Leaders at Dome Westralia Square. With over 30 in attendance, the evening included the group getting to know each other a little better as well as general networking and socialising.

A huge thank you goes to Toby for hosting our evening and creating a great atmosphere for us.

The evening involved the team workshopping ideas for how to improve the safety and enjoyment of SPR’s training rides with lots of great ideas and recommended solutions being offered.

Going forward, it is envisaged that a sub-set of this group will create a formal sub-committee that will meet 3 times a year to further contribute to the improvement overall of SPR’s training rides.

One of the great ideas ready for immediate implementation will be that Ride Leaders will encourage riders in their group to communicate calls as normal (ie: “car back”) but to also include a polite “pass it up” or “pass it back” following the call. This is in pursuit of increasing communication across the board and aiming to improve the distribution of important information throughout the group. So…if you’re reading this….pass it up…!!

:::UPDATE::: Music Icon Monty Cotton to Perform at SPR’s 10th Anniversary Cruise

In addition to securing the iconic PS Decoy to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our iconic Club, music icon Monty Cotton will be providing the live music at the event.

Monty travels the globe performing his show A Boy Named Cash at arts festivals, corporate functions, weddings, cruise ships, pubs and clubs, breakfast radio and morning television. He has also performed on The Voice Australia.

Monty covers a broad range of music styles from rock and roll and country to R&B and modern pop. His audience-engaging style and musical versatility has made him a highly sought after entertainer!

Here he is with Goyte & The Basics…not bad company!!

Do NOT miss this opportunity to spend an evening on the river with friends and your SPR family.

Tickets available here.

SPR 10th Anniversary Cruise – Last Chance!

PS Decoy

The PS Decoy is an icon of the Swan River. SPR is an icon of the River Loop.

We have secured an opportunity to combine the two icons and enjoy some time off the bike together, in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of our Club.


Where: Mends Street Jetty, South Perth

When: Saturday April 6th 2019

Time: 5:00pm boarding for a 5:30pm departure (do NOT be late!)

Dress: Black Tie

Return: 9:00pm for a 9:30pm disembark

Tickets will be available until Thursday night, 4th April and can be purchased here.

Quiz Legends…Start your engines!

To get everyone in the mood for April 6th, we thought it might be a good idea to look back at the last 10 years of SPR history in the form of…you guessed it…a quiz!!

The quiz has been designed to test your knowledge of both the history of the Club as well as current events, people, geography and general knowledge.
There will be prizes for the most number of correct answers down to 3rd place…but there’s a catch! To be eligible to win one of the prizes, you MUST be on the PSS Decoy on the night of April 6th; no exceptions! In order to be in the running for a prize, make sure you have your ticket, which can be purchased here.
Entries close midnight April 3rd, 2019!
So, get your quiz master hats on, confer with friends if you need to. (Oh, and Committee members are not eligible to participate and are NOT open to bribes – they are VAULTS!).

The Big Announcement!

Well…we can’t keep you waiting any longer….and we’ve run out of creative ideas to delay it anymore anyway….

South Perth Rouleurs 10th Anniversary celebrations on the 6th of April 2019 will be in the form of not one, but two events!

Event One: Celebration River Loop Ride 

Starting at 7am, we will conduct a suitably nostalgic, guided River Ride where we will take in some of the significant landmarks and spots-of-significance that represent important milestones of the Club’s growth and development. More details on the conduct of the ride, suitable attire and the like will be provided in due course. A call for volunteers will also be made, so stay tuned for that and more!

Event Two: An Evening Cruise on the PS Decoy

In keeping with our South Perth heritage, we have secured the PS Decoy to steam us around…you guessed it…a river loop with a difference!  This will be a black-tie evening not to be missed. We will be frocking up and enjoying a catered cruise with live music and lots of Club nostalgia and stories to be shared!

Where: Mends Street Jetty, South Perth

When: Saturday 6th April, 2019

Time: 5pm boarding for a 5:30pm departure

Dress: Black Tie

We hope you agree that Saturday 6th of April 2019 is a day/night that you will want to be in Perth to help us celebrate our 10th Anniversary in style!!

SPR Social Sub-Committee

And the mystery continues….

There has been plenty of chatter throughout the Club over the weekend about what we have planned for our 10th Anniversary on the 6th of April. Committee members claim to have been offered bribes of gold and silver (…“Not all treasure’s silver and gold, mate.”), while others have been threatened with Davy Jones’ locker!! So much passion for information…

Now, while we’re not yet ready to spill the full beans, what we can reveal in this next instalment is that there will in fact be NOT ONE, but TWO, separate events happening on the same day!! “Holy Decoy, Batman! Is that a statue in the middle of the river??”

Both events will be in keeping with our ‘river-ride’ theme, each with its own key elements of intrigue and curios to keep you entertained. What we can unveil today is that you’ll need to be ready to ‘pedal the distance’ AND ‘frock up’; but for which is which? Time will tell….

So, tune in next week…..same Bat-time, same Bat-channel….

As the year of 2018 comes to a close….

…we are planning 2019 event that is not to be missed!!

April 6th 2019 will see all those in attendance celebrate 10 years of SPR. So many memories have been created, friendships formed, races won and lost, volunteers provided, events organised and completed…we are a leading example of a community group that transcends the sport we all love – our heart & soul is social & sporting inclusion. Anyone can, and has, joined our Club to develop their own love of the sport of cycling, found new friends and established ways of living their life that were previously unimaginable (“Riding a bike in Italy up those same hills that the ‘big boys’ ride?? Not a chance…until I found SPR!!”)

But how to celebrate such a big occasion? With change & adaptation a constant force on the Club over the last 10 years, we wanted to do something that would be meaningful to everyone who has or does belong to SPR, which is why we’ve chosen the the ‘SPR River Loop’! We feel it would be remiss of us to not pay homage to this nationally, and in some cases internationally recognised icon of Perth cycling!

Now, of course it won’t just be ANY SPR River Loop – that would never do! And, if we told you exactly what we were planning, where would the fun in that be?!

Over the coming months we’ll be drip feeding a few clues on the Blog during the lead up to the big day….just to keep you guessing. Some clues will likely be decoys to throw you off the scent and others will be factual to help you get to the start on time (and wearing the right a-tyre)! If you think you’ve got it, keep it to yourself…but don’t be too sure as we think we’ve got something pretty special that might just surprise you!

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, all Committee members have been sworn to secrecy so don’t go putting the squeeze on them!! They are vaults!

So, if SPR has, did, does or continues to mean anything to you as a person or cyclist, then lock it in! When this event picks up a full head of steam you will NOT want to simply hear about it the next day! You will want to be able to revel in the fact that you have participated in and contributed to something that will become part of the history of the Club, just as the SPR River Loop is part of the fabric of Perth.

Be sure to have the late afternoon/evening of the 6th of April well and truly blocked out in your calendar! More clues and information will be provided soon!

Save The Date – 6 April 2019!!

South Perth cycle club was established in 2009 to draw together and co-ordinate the social, recreational and competitive activities within the existing South Perth Rouleurs community.

The cyclists thundering to destiny

To celebrate turning “10” we are planning a river loop with a difference. Details of the event will be provided periodically as the plans are firmed up, but for now, make sure you have the evening of the 6th of April, 2019 marked in your diaries. If past experience is anything to go by in terms of what our little community can achieve, this will be an event NOT to be missed!!

SPR Ride Leader Program – Call for Expressions of Interest

SPR’s training rides set us apart as a cycling Club; we are one of the few clubs in Australia that is not affiliated with a bike shop facilitating a broad range of opportunities for people to cycle in a group every day. Since its inception in 2009, a key feature of the feedback the Club receives is the need to improve the way our group rides are led. With more consistent, trained and visible ride leaders, the result will be safer, more enjoyable ride experiences for all.

To this end, the Club developed a ride leader development program, with the objectives of:

  1. developing SPR ride leaders’ knowledge and skills of both ride leadership and core cycling skills
  2. building the confidence of ride leaders to ensure ride consistency and enhanced decision making during group rides
  3. growing the pool of capable, confident ride leaders

We are now seeking Expressions of Interest from SPR members who would like to be part of our second public Ride Leader Development Program. The Program consists of three separate but related components:

  1. Theory: covers the core knowledge and skills required to be an effective ride leader for group rides across the Main, Transition and Development rides conducted by SPR (+/- 2hrs personal time)
  2. Skills Sessions: out on the bike, learning all about what it takes to be a good ride leader as well as having the opportunity to practice your skills and ideas in a “safe” environment. (3 x 2.5 hours sessions)
  3. Ride Leader Observations: This will involve you being the ride leader for up to three (3) separate SPR training rides with an observer to determine how you go about deploying your skills and knowledge in the “real world” environment. (2 – 3 ‘normal’ training rides, weekdays or weekends as required)

As a participant, you will get:

  1. New Skills: You will learn new skills and knowledge about cycling as well as ride leadership.
  2. Kudos: Be part of the “qualified” ride leader team out on the road.
  3. Stuff.Upon successful completion, Program participants will receive a custom SPR Ride Leader jersey to be worn whenever you are leading a SPR ride.
  4. On Going Development: Access to private discussion groups; coaching and skills development; ride-leader only events.

In return, once you have completed the Program, we will expect your commitment to the following:

  1. Lead a minimum of 2 rides* per month throughout the year
  2. Be a role model for ride behavior on ALL rides you participate in
  3. Assist in the recruitment and mentorship of future ride leaders
  4. Assist in training/observing people for their readiness to take on the role of Ride Leader.

*All prospective ride leaders should note that, from time to time, they will need be called on to lead rides of a lower skill &/or fitness level than their own. This means putting the interests of the Club and other riders before their own.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from SPR members who regularly ride with the Main 2, 3 & 4 as well as Transition groups. We currently have a good number of riders from the Main 1 cohort; we really need to boost our numbers further down the line. While the ability to ride at or above the level of the group you are leading is important, just as critical is the constructive attitude and sound communication skills that are brought to the role. Empathy, care and the ability to encourage others is essential to the success of the ride leader.

In the event we are over-subscribed, the T&D sub-committee will use the quality & content of the EOI’s as well as the need to balance the mix of ride leaders to select the required number of participants. Anyone who is not selected shouldn’t be discouraged; it’s a numbers thing (us) rather than a capability thing (you).

As part of your EOI, we’d like you to outline:

  1. what you hope to get out of being a SPR ride leader
  2. why you feel you will make a good contributor to ride leader team
  3. which SPR group you usually ride with (M2, M3, M4, T), and
  4. your statement of commitment to the role of ride leader in terms of time to complete the Program and to lead the requisite number of rides per month

We anticipate kicking the Program off on the 27th of October and completing it by mid-December.

If interested, please submit your EOI to  before 12 October 2018. If you have any questions about the Program before submitting your EOI, please send them through to and we will get back to you ASAP.

SPR Training and Development Sub-Committee

Which Ride For Me 2.0

Following on from last Saturday’s post regarding the changes being made to the M3/M4/Transition rides, it’s timely for us to refresh an article posted back in 2016 that would still appear to be current in its content and guidance.

As was communicated last week, there has been much conversation about particular aspects of some of our Saturday training rides, specifically the Main 3, 4 and Transition. The conversation generally revolves around expected speeds (average and cruising) as well as general cycle skills.

We have processed a range of contributions from people who regularly lead or participate in these rides with the aim of firming up a clearer view for all what is expected across this large cohort of the Club’s members.

Key Rationale for the Rides

Transition 2: “I’m just starting finding my way on this group ride thing, and excited about riding a bit further than I have been before. I’m still a bit nervous or unsure about what’s expected and about riding too close to anyone else.”

This ride is for people who have developed a base level of fitness and general cycle skills with the Development Group or may be returning from having a long spell off the bike. The group rides a shorter distance (approx. 40km) than the Main Rides and often at an average pace of between 22-24km/h. During the ride, the group may get up to a cruising speed of 28-30km/h if conditions like wind direction, traffic lights and roll through skills are favourable. It is expected that riders in this group will still be developing their group riding skills but will be able to undertake key manoeuvres like riding one handed while signalling or drinking, not surging off the front during a roll through, looking over both left and right shoulders whilst maintaining a straight line.

Transition 1: “I’m getting used to this group riding thing and am looking to take it to the next level; I think I need to start riding a bit faster to get my fitness up and really test myself. I’m getting comfortable riding in bigger groups near other people and feel I can contribute to the roll throughs confidently.”

This ride is for people who have developed a solid level of fitness and good cycle skills with the Development or Transition 2 Group or may be returning from having a long spell off the bike. The group rides a shorter distance (approx. 40km) than the Main Rides and often at an average pace of between 25-27km/h. During the ride, the group may get up to a cruising speed of 34-36km/h if conditions like wind direction, traffic lights and roll through skills are favourable. It is expected that riders in this group will have developed their individual riding skills and looking to firm up their  group riding abilities at important times throughout the ride (eg: roll throughs; pace lines; hills/inclines).

Main 4: “I’m used to riding in groups and I want to ride for longer but not necessarily faster; I really want to focus on my endurance. I’m comfortable riding in bigger groups near to other people and feel I can contribute to the roll throughs confidently.”

This group formed out of the need to allow people to increase the distance they cycle, whilst maintaining the average and cruising speed of the Transition 2 ride. So, the key capability is endurance! As a rider in this group, you need to be able to rider further than the Transition rides but you don’t have to ride any faster. This ride is a great option for those wanting to step up their long range fitness while getting better at riding in a group situation. It must be noted that this is a “no drop ride” as there are no other groups going to be able to come along behind to sweep up any riders who fall off the back. This means that the whole group MUST show respect to the decisions made by the ride leader to either re-group and/or slow down the average/cruising speeds to match the ability of the slowest rider (see below on Choosing Your Ride).

Main 3: “This group riding thing rocks; I can contribute to the roll throughs confidently, I can hold the wheel tightly of my fellow riders and I can get up and over the little hills without getting spat out the back. My endurance is at a point where I can ride a bit faster and longer than I’ve been able to before”

Main 3 is about building endurance and riding faster. If you choose to ride with this group then you need to be able to maintain both the average speed (25-27km/h) and cruising speed (up to 34km/h) over a 50km distance. It is typically the last 15km that hurts the most and this is where we can run into problems if you have chosen the wrong group at the start. The other key difference with this ride is that it “may” be a “drop” ride where there is a Main 4 group following. If this is the case then the ride leader may make the decision that the majority of the group on the day can maintain a certain speed and that there is one, two or three riders that are struggling. In that instance, the ride leader will communicate to these riders that they are not able to maintain the pace of the group and that they may be dropped. The very strong suggestion will be that those riders “sit up” and wait for the Main 4 group to come along and then join that ride. If there is no Main 4 group following then the group will be a “no drop” ride and act as per Main 4.

Choosing Your Ride

We all have ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ days. So much depends on how we’re feeling and what we want to get out of our precious training time. Some people are after a social outing whilst others are up for a trip to Pain City. It’s important to keep this in mind when choosing your ride; you’ve come along to a GROUP ride and it’s expected that once you make your choice you conform to the expectations of the GROUP, not the other way around. If you’ve traded up too high too early, then it’s not really fair that you keep calling “Ease Up” and expect the ride leader to control the group to your pace if you’re the only one dropping out the back. Similarly, if you’re always on the front of the group and have the legs to maintain the average and cruising speeds ALL the time, then you’re probably ready to step up.

Above all, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen to the ride briefing so you know what the expectations of the GROUP are and respect the decisions and calls of the ride leader(s) on the day. It is not easy to control everyone all of the time. It may be that they have to slow the GROUP down to allow for the safety of a single rider as it may be unsafe or not in line with the group’s “no drop” practice. Ride leaders are trained to identify how the group is travelling as a whole, to pick up on any individuals who may be doing it tough (or riding unsafely), and to make decisions in the best interests of the GROUP on the day.

If you have any feedback or questions on this or any other aspect of riding in SPR’s group rides, please do drop your friendly training and development sub-committee an email at