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!
Fitz’s Challenge Gran Fondo
Dig a little deeper at Fitz’s Challenge Gran Fondo
Fitz’s Challenge Gran Fondo is Australia’s toughest hill climbing event. For over thirty years, tens of thousands of riders have tested on the slopes of Canberra’s beautiful Brindabella Ranges.
This event is a personal challenge event, not a race. Fitz’s Challenge features routes that range from 50 to 255 km, so riders can choose the distance that best fits their fitness level while experiencing Canberra’s picturesque countryside. Only the longest events (165k and longer) will tackle the legendary slopes of Fitz’s Hill.
One of the mountain bike events we’re most excited about is the Gravity Enduro. This four-stage enduro is a great way to spend a day riding world-class singletrack with your mates while testing your fitness and descending skills against the clock.
All four stages will start at the top of Mount Stromolo. Some of the tracks include portions of the legendary 2008 World Cup DH race course along with the superb Western Wedgetail, Pork Barrel, Double Dissolution and Vapour tracks. Rest assured you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy this event. The Gravity Enduro is filled with tech, flow and fun—even if you don’t have a proper enduro race bike. “We’ve designed this race so that riders on trail bikes can confidently navigate the Gravity Enduro course,” said race director Jeff Hughes. “The enduro will be fun for riders of all ability levels,” he added.
We’ve also created a separate category for e-mountain bikes. So gear up and register today for this exciting event!
Click here to register for the Gravity Enduro.
You can view the complete event schedule here.
Gravel. It’s a thing right… And, with its growing popularity as the fastest growing segment in the industry, 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