Beginner Rides -

Back by popular demand, our beginner rides, get you into riding with a club.

Come and join us on a wednesday night or the last Saturday of every month – times may vary so please check the ride calendar for more details – at the roundabout next to The Junction Leisure Centre, Station Approach, Broadstone for a 2 hour (10 miles approx) back to basics, getting back to it, beginner ride. We will take you around the local area offering hints and tips as we go.

The ride leader will be advertised on the ride calendar for the date you select. Please ask for the ride leader when you arrive and exchange details with them. Helmets must be worn.

The emphasis of the club is on social cross-country riding, with the club running a number of activities that offers beginners, including those with limited cross-country cycling experience, the opportunity to improve their cycling skills & fitness and progress at their own pace onto progressively longer, faster and more technical rides.

Specific beginner’s rides are run throughout the year and are supported by periodic skills courses, skills assisted rides and bike maintenance classes.

Helmets, an appropriate bike, suitable lights (in autumn/winter), spares and clothing are all that are needed.

Spring and Summer Rides

Starting after the clocks go forward, in April, there are weekly beginner rides as part of the clubs Wednesday and Saturday rides. Check the Dorset Rough Riders Ride Calendar for specific details, or if you are a member look out for rides posted on the members only Facebook page.

Rides will be in groups of up to 10, are guided with a distance of typically about 10 – 15 miles at an leisurely pace with plenty of stops. The ride will take about 2 hours in total including the frequent stops. Mainly trails, there will be some road sections, hills and occasional obstacles as we visit the local heaths. If something is difficult, don’t worry, we were all beginners once and we don’t leave anyone behind.

Off-road cycling is tough and can be dangerous. Appropriate equipment is essential – a decent bike (not a road bike) a cycling helmet and some spares are essential. We can give some advice here and being a member gives you a discount at most of the local cycling shops.

Rides usually start at Station Approach (roundabout), Broadstone, 6.30pm on Wednesday or 1pm on Saturday. Check the Ride Calendar for more specific details.

For members, we also organise day trips outside the area. A minibus and van are hired and up to 20 riders can visit places like Swinley Forest, Haldon, Forest of Dean and the Quantocks for as little as £10 – £15 each time. Some of these rides will include specific beginner’s and improvers rides as well as the more advanced options.

The aim of the rides is to introduce cross-country cycling. Once you feel confident at this level there are other club rides to try out with easy and medium rides that become progressively faster and more technical over longer distances.

Autumn and Winter Rides

Rides will continue throughout the autumn and winter. However, will be less frequent and subject to weather conditions. Our aim is to run at least one Saturday ride and two Wednesday rides per month.

As it is winter the weather will be colder and wetter – be prepared for some mud, but, we will use more trails, cycle paths and roads. The aim will still be to provide an introduction to cross-country cycling as well as an easy ride to keep fit. Even on Saturday afternoon lights may be necessary for these rides. There are some club lights which can be borrowed, but they are limited so please let the ride leader know these are required in advance.

Not a member? Not a problem – try up to 3 rides with the club before you join.

Mechanical and Skills Courses

The club provides a number of subsidised skills courses for members to improve cycling abilities. These are small group lessons with an experienced instructor lasting about 3 hours. These will occur regularly throughout the year and are a great way to improve.

A Beginners Skills Course will typically cover bike set up, ride position and descents.

An Improvers Skills Course will typically cover faster cornering, steeper descents, small drops and small obstacles.

In addition there will be a number of Skills Assisted rides, where a qualified coach joins us for the ride giving tips and training as we go along.

Basic maintenance courses (changing tyres, broken chains) are given by club members throughout the year. This will also cover spares you are likely to need on a ride. The aim is make you more self-sufficient on a ride.

Fitness Levels

Beginner’s rides are not too far, easy paced and over fairly easy terrain. We stop regularly and wait for everyone. The rides therefore provide a good introduction to off-road cycling and an opportunity get fitter without being pushed too hard.


If you are then contact one of the committee or come along to one of our rides and see if you like it. Membership of the club is only £15 a year and as well as offering lots of club rides and events, gives you access to plenty of advice, an opportunity to improve your mountain bike skills.

This link may be of interest to some people: Beginner Tips