Development Squad


The Development Squad (DS) aims to develop new rider's fitness, skills and confidence to ride safely in a large bunch and prepare for the Taupo Cycle Challenge, if it is your goal to ride bunch rides or take on a 40, 80, 120 or 160km section of the Lake Taupo Cycling Challenge this year  then read on.  You must be able to competently and confidently ride alone and have ridden at least 20kms. If we assess that you are not yet ready to learn to ride with others in a bunch, you may be asked to return when you have had some one on one lessons. 


  • The DS is part of the regular weekly ride leaving at the same time (8am Sunday) as the main OTB's group
  • All riders gather before 8am for a pre-ride briefing on the corner of Box Hill & Station Road Khandallah assemble on the forecourt of Automat/Brendon Motors
  • There is no cancellation service and rides take place in most conditions, it is up to individuals to make the call on the weather.  However, riding is not recommended when raining or very windy
  • Rides will follow much the same course as advertised for the main ride schedule however, the grouping, pace and distance will be tailored to a more social/non-competitive level
  • The DS is targeted at adults or teens who must be accompanied by a parent 
  • The objective is to start and finish with the main bunch
  • Rides will generally be at least 40-50km and average about 24-28km/hr 
  • Generally the group will stay together, however options exist to turn back at various points on the ride
  • The plan is to increase the distance and pace as appropriate. It is expected that over time riders will move up to ride with the main bunch when they feel confident/ready
  • The bunch will be led by experienced riders and aims to give instruction in safe group riding and to set training goals for improvement and enjoyment


A few things you should be aware of and organise before coming out on a Sunday: 

  1. We join the squad we require that you ead and agree to abide by the group's Etiquette and Safe Riding Tips
  2. It is important that you use a road bike (set-up for you) in good condition i.e. roadworthy and obviously have a good fitting helmet. If in doubt get your gear/wheels checked out at your local bike shop
  3. Always carry a cell phone and tell someone where you intend to go in case you need to be collected in the event of equipment failure
  4. You will need to carry a spare tube, tyre levers and pump, plus at least one water bottle, (two bottles are recommended) a few snack bars or energy gels and money 
  5. Wear/carry clothes for the prevailing weather conditions including cycling gloves, a high visibility top and don't forget sun cream and sunglasses
  6. The rides will incorporate various rest stops to regroup/recover and offer turn back options. Find out about the ride distance and be prepared to turn back early if you're getting tired  
  7. Know your bike and how to ride it, we strongly suggest you look at attending the bike awareness and skills courses available, see below
  8. NO iPods or similar in a bunch ride, these compromise the safety of the bunch by reducing a rider's ability to hear the safety calls, approaching cyclists/traffic and ability to be fully aware of surroundings

Contact us to get started

Either turn up on Sunday at 8am ready to ride and ask for our DS Group coordinator Andrew Elliston or click here  to email him and register your interest or find out more 

we also suggest you join the DS email group to keep up with the latest information on the DS training programme for the week.

Getting on or off the group distribution list is easy, just follow one of these links: subscribe or unsubscribe.  Please review and comply with our email use policy

The list will only accept and distribute emails from email addresses registered on the list. Mail sent from a non-registered email will be rejected.

To send an email to all members on the list address it to: [email protected] (cut & paste this into your address book)

Note: Replies go to the author of the email if you wish to reply to all on the list you need to address to: [email protected]


Get patched 

We would like you to feel part of the team and acquire the OTB riding gear, click here to see the clothing options available and to contact our clothing coordinator


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