Visit the Calendar page for current times and locations. Daylight, road construction, and other factors cause changes throughout the year.
Notes and reminders for all AAVC rides
- All riders MUST wear helmets on these rides, and bikes should be in good working order. You are responsible for bringing water and food, and supplies to fix a flat tire or other minor mechanical problems.
- Riders are encouraged to select a group appropriate to their skill and fitness level.
- Keep in mind when reading these descriptions that recovery time means riding at a slower pace for a short distance. Riders should not expect to stop riding.
Group Ride, Forsythe Middle School, 15-20 miles Paved
This is an easy, low-key ride intended to be a fun, social event. It's great way for new riders to meet AAVC members and learn the basics of riding with a group. There is a strict no-drop policy for this ride- meaning NOBODY gets left behind. If you get tired and want to turn around early, someone will ride back with you. Perfect for new riders! This ride is from March through October.
Criterium Practice, Varsity Drive, 2 hours — Summer
The workouts are run on the same course as the Spring Training Series (Varsity & Highland Rd.), and take place from the first week of May until the end of August. Aim to start by 6:00pm each week.
Practices generally last 90 minutes, and consist of six short but intense practice races. The ride typically focuses on criterium skills, such as riding in a pack, attacks, lead-outs, and sprinting. Since it's a closed loop, you can't get dropped- this is a great chance for newer riders to learn from experienced riders and work on improving speed and bike handling skills.
DIRTHAMMER ride, Barton Park — Fall
This fall ride is a weekly mainstay of cyclocross season. True to its name, it encompasses dirt roads and is a hammerfest from the start. These rides usually start by September, if not slightly earlier. Cyclocross bike recommended, but a road bike with tough wheels and tires will work, too.
There is rarely any waiting for mishaps or dropped riders on this ride, and good skills on rough roads are required. So come prepared, including a copy of the route map and lights as the days get shorter.
Group Ride, Wolverine State BREWing Co, 20-30 MILES DIRT
A casual mixed gender dirt road ride from Wolverine State Brewing Co through the scenic dirt roads and farmland West of Ann Arbor. After the ride, return to Wolverine State Brewing Co for beer and nachos. Pace is 15-18 mph on well packed gravel with a distance of 20-30 miles.
Group Ride, FORSYTHE MIDDLE SCHOOL, 40-60 miles
Rides leave from at 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays from the first week in April until the fall time change. Depending on weather, rides sometimes start in March. Riders are often dropped on this ride so know the route and ride within your limits. If you're trying to ride with the A group, know that the B group will be coming to sweep or in the B group look for the C group. There are also several opportunities to regroup. If you get dropped before Chelsea, simply wait at Zou Zou's for the group to come through.
The ride will split into the following groups of usually 6-8 riders (10 max) before leaving the park. In the event of a smaller turnout one week, less groups may be used. The goals of good group training and safety will still be applied. Conversely, in the event of a big turn out, more groups will be created to ensure the smaller group size for safety on the roads and specificity of each group’s goal.
A Group: Fast ride with pace dictated by the stronger riders, often cruising at 22-25 mph with sprints at 35+ mph. Riders should be category 1-3 and have very good group riding skills. Distances are 35-60 miles.
B Group: Fast tempo ride with recovery time at major intersections only. Distances of 30-50 miles at an average riding pace of 20-22 mph. Emphasis on working in smooth pacelines and maintaining the group effort. Category 3-4 riders.
C Group: This group is formed when the number of riders in the B group dictates splitting the group. Typically, this group is for riders who are newer to racing and/or paceline techniques. Distances (and speeds are) is similar to the B group but with more chance for recovery, and a speed set to help riders stay together and practice group riding skills. Category 4-5 riders.
Saturday and Sunday
Morning group rides, Wheeler Park
Democratic ride (whoever shows up decides on the type of ride). Often this a tempo ride of 50-70 miles (occasionally longer) with one or two groups split by fitness or training level. Steady pace of 22+ mph with occasional roll-ups. Recovery time and regrouping will occur at major intersections.