The Vikings Cycling Club’s Novice Program has been running since 2006. It aims to introduce people into the world of road cycling and racing in a safe and supportive environment.
The program will help build your confidence in riding in larger groups and racing in criteriums. We encourage you to sign up for the 2023 Novice Program if you:
own a road bike with drop handlebars
ride your bike regularly and are keen to improve skills, fitness and confidence
are new to riding in bunches and want to learn how to ride safely on the road
would like to give a racing a go when you are ready.
The program runs for 8 weeks and starts on Tuesday 5 September or Thursday 7 September, depending on which group you join.
There will be one coached session per week on either Tuesday or Thursday morning at the Stromlo Forest Park criterium circuit. Sessions will start at 6am and run until about 7:15am.
The sessions will cover rider safety, bunch riding etiquette, skills practice, communication, cornering and racing basics.
As cycling is an outdoor activity, some sessions may be affected by the weather. If we need to postpone a session, we will do our best to reschedule at the end of the program. If we are lucky with the weather, then the program will finish on either Tuesday 24 October or Thursday 26 October.
In addition to the 8 sessions, entries to the program also include:
supported Novice groups at the club's regular Friday Norman bunch rides
the opportunity to join the Novice category at Vikings SuperCrits (Criterium racing) on Thursday evenings during Daylight Savings months
a free Vikings Cycling Club jersey valued at $130!
a bike maintenance night with a local bike mechanic, where you will learn the basics of bike maintenance, including fixing a flat tyre.
The entry fee for the program is $165 per rider. Numbers for each group (Tuesday/Thursday) of the novice program will be limited to 15 participants.
While each group will follow the same program, we try our best to align people’s goals and speeds so you can get the most out of the program. However, if you can’t make the day more aligned to your ability, don’t worry you can still join the other group.
Generally the groups are broken into:
Tuesdays – Faster group – comfortable riding with an average speed of 25km/h or more | Session 1
Thursdays – Moderate group – more comfortable riding with an average speed below 25km/h | Session 2
Ridden a bit, got some fitness under your belt, new to cycling but sporty? Flirting with the idea of giving racing a go or pushing your limits in some endurance events? A bit speedier but looking for people to ride with regularly? Maybe you just want to nail some commute segments on Strava?
This group is probably best for you. At the end of the program, you’ll likely be joining our M2 and above groups at the Norman.
Ridden a little bit on your own? Love getting out on your bike but want to meet other people to ride with (safely)? Wanting to challenge yourself by taking on an organised participation event for the first time? Just keen to see where cycling takes you?
This group is probably best for you. At the end of the program, you’ll likely be joining our M3 or lifestyle groups at the Norman. Or you may surprise yourself with how fast you can go and be racing at crits too!
You will need to have an AusCycling “Lifestyle” or “Race All Discipline” license for the duration of the program. This is important because it includes insurance that covers YOU for third party and personal accident events. https://www.auscycling.org.au/membership
Make sure, if you are taking out a new membership that you select Vikings Cycling Club ACT as your affiliated club. (Riders holding existing AusCycling memberships affiliated with other clubs are also welcome to participate in the program).
You will need:
an Australian standards approved helmet, with the sticker saying it has passed AS/NZS 2063
a drop-bar road bike (no Time Trial aero bars or flat bar bikes)
clip-in pedals (though not mandatory).
a water bottle
warmer clothing than usual, as you will be stopping and starting for coaching.
For more information on the program and stories from previous participants, read more on our website. https://www.vikingscycling.org.au/programs/vcc-novice-program/
If you have any questions regarding the Spring Novice Program, please send an email to our Novice Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to meeting you and helping you do more with your cycling – whatever that looks like!