RIDE OF THE MONTH
In this section we will focus on one of the many events that will run over the Sea Otter weekend…
We will get you up close and personal with the event trails and roads around Canberra, with interviews from the locals who will share the lowdown on what’s what.
We know that this section will get you ready, prepped and primed for the weekend of your riding life!
Gravel. It’s a thing right… And, with its growing popularity as the second fastest growing segment in the industry (after e-bikes), we’d be remiss not to feature it as our FIRST Ride of The Month.
We’ll be bringing you THREE amazing gravel rides at Sea Otter Australia! Of different lengths and varying levels of difficulty, there’s something for everyone.
The Bell Curve is one you won’t want to miss. At 70km, over 1,600m of elevation and with mixed terrain, this one is perfect for intermediate to advanced groaders. It’s not one for the timid. The route winds its way from the Cotter Recreation Area, heading up to Bulls Head and back again via a circuit route.
Many Canberrans are familiar with this area and the nearby Warks Road. The Bell Curve takes a slightly approach that’s a bit more remote and a bit more unknown.
You’ll be going from the get-go. Ride a couple of laps of the Cotter Recreation Area first if you want a warm-up.
“It’s slightly off-beat and full of challenges. It’s got one climb that’s a real corker. If you can climb this one you know you’re one of the few” says trailblazer Christo Norman. ‘It’s the first real pinch, up Pipeline Road, around 5k into the ride”.
At least you get it over and done with; and you won’t be alone if you’re walking your bike. That’s totally allowed!
“Once you’ve crested that one, you then get onto some rolling hills on really good quality fire trail with intimate, yet spectacular views, as you wend your way down to the Cotter River Crossing. This is your first chance to really catch your breath.
“You’ll ride across the causeway and from there, you’ve got a steep, consistent climb for the first k with a couple of steep pinches thrown in. That will test the legs for sure. Then settle in for a long steady climb of the remaining 9k’s to reach a total 700m of climbing’ says Norman.
Why Bell Curve? Take a look at the route map and elevation profile and we think you’ll agree with us on the title for this one! From the high point, roughly half way along the route, it’s a predominantly a rolling descent back along Two Sticks Road among some beautiful forests. You will follow the main spine of the Brindabellas for much of the way before dropping onto Mountain Creek Road and back into the Cotter.
There are a couple of gates to maneuver along the way. You can thank us later for your bonus cyclo-cross training.
38mm tyres are recommended. Gravel or mountain bikes appropriate.
Check out all the deets here