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Mon, 24 Sep 2007

Fun courses - 10:51
The Scott Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race (this is the race run by CORC that used to be The Mont Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race) is on soon, the 13th and 14th of October. We moved the race back to the Mt Stromlo area for the first time since 2002, this is because we have the amazing new Stromlo Forest Park recreational facility with a huge amount of single track built for riding and racing.

It probably comes as little surprise to hear that I have raced and ridden a lot of different tracks all over the place, and I have to say the course we have put together for this up coming race is one of the most fun and interesting to ride I have seen in a long time. Back in April 2005 I had a bit of a comment on mountain bike race course design, though the Kowen course did improve, last year it was a really interesting course for a lot of people. I still do not think it lived up to enough of the need for an incredible mountain bike course that a race like our large 24 hour needs.

I am happy to say this has completely changed with the move back to Stromlo. We have two loops in the course this year which you or you team alternate laps around. One loop (the red loop) has some climbing and is not technically very challenging at low speeds. The other loop (blue loop) has less climbing, however it has more rock sections and twisty technical bits though out the single track of that loop.

Friday morning I rode the red loop and I must say it still has me grinning a lot 3 days later. Sure there is some bumpy flatter track early in the lap (bumpy because it is only a month or two old and not ridden in solidly yet) and then we have a climb up the trunk trail to the summit of Mt Stromlo. However all that can be forgiven, it is a fairly easy climb after all, and at this point we get the pay back for all that climbing effort. Descending non stop to transition for between 5 and 20 minutes (depends how fast you can ride down) on some of the most amazing sections of single track I have seen in a long time. Wheeeeeeeeee.

Yesterday afternoon I headed out with some friends and we rode a lap of the blue loop, I can definitely see that it is a bit harder technically, however I loved it, the extra challenge by some of the twisty or rocky sections. The grin worthy section on the back side of the mountain below Slick Rock, the flowing and swoopy tracks coming back toward the event centre. Sure it is not 10 minutes of non stop descending but it definitely gets a grin. I almost wish I was racing in the event rather than helping to run it. At least I can go ride these trails any time. Bring it on. :)

[/mtb/events] link

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