The Snowy Ride organisers are very aware that there are a lot of different sized groups with varying degrees of experience who travel to be part of the Snowy Ride.

We don’t want to try and tell riders what they should be doing, or how to do it, but we do want to help you prepare for the long distance riding and travelling to the Snowy Ride. After all we want you to arrive in one piece, have a fantastic time at the Snowy Ride and get home safely at the end of the weekend – all while contributing to our ultimate aim to raise money for research into a cure for childhood cancer.

Plan a route to the Snowy Ride

  • Do yourself a favour and make a plan for your trip, including plenty of rest stops
  • Plan ahead where you will make these stops and refuel yourself and your bike
  • Be conservative in estimating how long you can comfortably ride each day to avoid fatigue

 Preparing your gear and bike

  • Check your bike over and have it serviced before the ride
  • Pack a tool kit
  • Test any new gear or accessories before the ride, not during
  • Pack light and distribute the weight evenly. Keep heavy items low and make sure your bike maintains a low centre of gravity
  • Prepare for all weather conditions; bring along extra layers and wet weather gear

 Think about riding as a group

  • Plan frequent stops and make them multi-purpose for fuel, food, toilets and drinks
  • Choose stops that have enough room for all of your group to pull off the road safely
  • Have your two most experienced riders at the front and back of the group and ride at a speed that’s suitable for the least experienced rider
  • If your group is large, think about splitting into smaller subgroups. Smaller groups are more manageable and safer; the dangers of group riding increase steeply with group size
  • Appoint someone to keep an eye on less experienced riders
  • Set some ground rules
    o   no rider should pass the group leader
    o   agree on how long to wait for riders who have become separated from the group
    o   anyone experiencing a problem should pull over and wait for the tail rider whose job it is to help
  • Find out who has first aid training and make they are carrying a first aid kit
  • Ensure all members of the riding group are aware of stops and are familiar with the route
  • Refuel at every opportunity
  • Ride in single file, not in staggered formation
  • Allow at least three seconds between you and the bike in front

Communicating while riding

Mobile phones make staying in contact with riding groups and partners easier, however coverage in the Snowy region can be hit and miss. Make a plan ahead of your ride on how you’ll regroup and work out how to communicate while riding so you can keep your group together.

Here are some basic hand signals that might come in handy:

STOP Left hand held up, forearm vertical
SLOW DOWN Left arm extended straight out, palm down
HAZARD On left side of bike: point at hazard with left hand
On right side of bike: point at hazard with right leg
MARK CORNER Pat top of helmet with open hand
YOUR BLINKER IS ON Extend left arm and open and close fingers

Avoid rider fatigue

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid heavy, fatty foods and eat smaller meals more often to stay alert
  • Be aware of afternoon fatigue – energy levels can dip after lunch
  • Check in with other riders in your group at each stop about fatigue levels
  • Get plenty of sleep before the ride – don’t start with a sleep debt