Course Information for Women Events

FINAL EVENT INFORMATION: We encourage all riders to download and read the event program which contains all the final event information like schedule, rules, course maps… CLICK HERE to download (right click ‘save as’ 13meg pdf).

 

 

Course information

We all know that women can achieve anything and are as tough as any bloke right…?! Right.

But if you are a bit unsure of yourself and are new to this cycling thing then here are a few recommendations for which of the Otway Odyssey races are best for you. There’s definitely a goal here for you, after all, most of the time it’s the journey to get to the start line as much as the race experience itself!

INDEX:

CLICK HERE TO ENTRY

 

COURSE VIDEOS AND INDEX MAP

We have produced 5 little video clips on the 30km course to show you what it looks like and to dispel any concerns about the course or the technicality of the terrain. The map to the right provides an index for each clip or watch them all for the whole picture!

 

Video #1: The race venue and start at the Forrest Football Ground

 

Video #2: The first 5km of 30km (and 50km) course.

 

Video #3: The Red Carpet single track descent.

 

Video #4: The Yaugher single track.

 

Video #5: The ‘Sandy Climb’ and finish line.

 

 

Detailed below are 'friendly' course descriptions written by female sporting enthusiasts, Adele Worner and Kate Maffett. These are lengthy to give you a good insight and understanding of what to expect...

 

30KM MTB COURSE DESCRIPTION

  • Saturday 24 February, 2018
  • Start/Finish Forrest Football Oval, Forrest Victoria
  • 9:40am female only START (the men start at 9:20am)

COURSE MAP - CLICK HERE

The 30km Rookie is a mid-distance course that’s designed for mountain bike newcomers, riders who are new to mountain biking and/or racing, and capable junior riders. It is a great course that is both challenging and achievable for all types of riders who don’t want to do the full 50km or 100km races.

With the female-only start (20mins after the male field), and our Odyssey Angels on hand for any last minute bike maintenance or advice and support on course, this ride is sure to provide you with a great riding environment with like-minded women.

You’ll start with your fellow riders on a gradual climb on Kaangalang Road which quickly turns into a 2WD dirt road. This section is a great way to warm up the legs into the ride despite being a decent climb and will  get you comfortable with your surroundings, your bike and might give you the chance to have a chat with some of the other riders as you pedal through the tall timber forest around you!

After approximately 5km you’ll reach the Lake Elizabeth turn off where you turn LEFT for the Red Carpet single track descent which will have you smiling with excitement and challenge you with its twists and turns! No shame in hopping off your bike if you need to walk a section or two though!

The Red Carpet is the name given to a popular 4km  flowing downhill section of track, giving you the chance to roll back down the hill and experience the thrill of mountain biking in a breathtaking setting. It’s generally a gradual descent, however there are a couple of short rocky sections – all 100% rollable, with no steep drops.   Take your time and enjoy the serenity whilst practicing those mountain biking skills you’re so eager to try out, or hit the gas and fly along for an exhilarating rush. You should have the trail to yourself by now after the climb has spread everyone out so don’t worry about holding other riders up! 

Google video of what you can expect on the Red Carpet with Kate Maffett - CLICK HERE

Finish Red Carpet and you’ve got another short climb on a dirt road and then its downhill and into the Footy Ground at the 12km point where you can see your family and friends for some high-fives, refuel at the water point (or cafés and BBQ’s?!) before heading into the second leg of the ride in an area known as Yaugher Forest.

Once leaving the Footy Ground, It is here that the women only section of the 30km Rookie course ends, and you become interspersed with the mid to latter half of the 50km MTB race – the faster , competitive 50km riders would have already been through this section so don’t worry about getting in anyone’s way again, you’re probably all as fatigued as each other by now!

Yaugher Forest is an extensive network of MTB single track but your 30km route will be very clearly marked so you know where to go. Your loop offers a mix of undulating trails, with the odd steeper section (yes, it’s ok to walk your bike) followed by some rewarding downhill sections through the bush. None of the trails are very technical with no rocks to worry about and just a few log roll overs to test your skills with.

If you have ridden in Yaugher before then you may be familiar with the trails called ‘Super Loop’, ‘Foxtail’, ‘Vista’ (this one can be a bit sandy in parts) and ‘Barre Warre’ which you will follow on race day. They are all graded either Green (easiest) or Blue (the easy end of medium) and with a bit of training beforehand, are fun for all riders.

The main things to remember here are to RELAX and ENJOY the flow of trails and SMILE because you are doing it!

Once you leave the Yaugher Forest and cross over the sealed road, you’ll ride around the back of the car park before cruising down the finish chute having achieved your goal as an Odyssey Angel yourself! WELL DONE! 

COURSE MARKING

The course will be very clearly marked with:

  • Large GREEN arrows and smaller GREEN arrows. Arrows indicate the correct route.
  • BRIGHT GREEN plastic surveyors’ tape tied to trees. These indicate that you are on the correct route.
  • Red and white barrier tape marking where NOT TO GO!

WATER POINTS

  • 12km point in the Forrest Footy Ground feed zone. There will be taps located right next to the track with Hammer Electrolyte available from marshals if required, or you can also get some support from your family and supporters as well!.

COURSE STATS

Length: ~29km 
Total elevation gain / loss: 700m
Legs:

  • Leg 1 (Start - Kaanglang Rd - Footy Ground): 12km, 340m elevation gain / loss.
  • Leg 2 (Footy Ground - Yaugher - Footy Ground): 18km, 360m elevation gain / loss

 

 

50KM MTB COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

  • Saturday 24 February, 2018
  • Start/Finish Forrest Football Oval, Forrest Victoria
  • 8:00am START

In 2017, we had 49 female riders on this course, including mother of 3 Kim Willocks who took line honors. Kim’s youngest child was 3 months old at the time – it’s her love of the mountain bike trails and freedom to do something for herself that saw Kim jump back on the bike and set herself the 50km Shorty challenge. Read more about Kim HERE.

COURSE MAP - CLICK HERE

The 50km Shorty is the next level up from the 30km course and is designed to be enjoyable and achievable for riders who have a few more mountain bike KM’s and technical ability behind them. Its not super-hard but it is a bit tougher than the 30km and includes an incredible mix of single track, easy 4WD tracks,  bite sized hills and a superb race atmosphere that is encouraging of all riders.

Men and women will start together in a single mass start that has a great race day vibe atmosphere – just remember to position yourself in a spot that matches your ability – fast riders at the front!! Once under way you start with the same 2WD road climb the 30km riders did but 50km riders go further uphill, climbing for approximately 10km at an easy / medium grade that spreads the field and allows you to find a comfortable pace with riders of similar ability. The early section of the course leads you through some awe inspiring tall timber forest that is a joy to ride through.

At the 10km mark 50km riders set off down a fast, straight single track past an old quarry and then back down a section of road we just road up before turning right onto a super fun single track descent through huge fern trees down to the Lake Elizabeth car park. There is a tough little climb on a 2WD road out of here and then its onto the famous Red Carpet single track, one of the most popular sections of trails in Forrest.

The Red Carpet starts off with a short bit of uphill before tipping downhill, the first 500-700m are the most technical with some tighter corners and rough sections (no shame in walking those) and then gets a lot easier one you cross the road dirt road and becomes smoother and faster to ride.

Take your time and enjoy the serenity whilst practicing those mountain biking skills you’re so eager to try out, or hit the gas and fly along the flowing trail for an exhilarating rush, the last section of trail on the big smooth berms are super fun.

Google video of what you can expect on the Red Carpet - CLICK HERE

The course then heads over to the popular West Forrest trails where riders will enjoy trails 4, 5 and 6 including the popular ‘Follow the Dog’ berm run. This section has a mix of up and downhill, with some challenging little hills mixed in with some swooping descents, none of it being overly technical with a few logs to ride over and smooth rolling bumps (and jumps?) if you are going well.

Google video of what you can expect on the Follow the Dog berm run - CLICK HERE

Coming out of the West Forrest trails and back along Yaugher Road, riders reach the 33km point which will see you pass through the Forrest Football Ground where you can see your family and friends for some high-fives before heading into the second leg of the ride in an area known as Yaugher Forest.

Yaugher Forest is an extensive network of MTB single track but your 50km route will be very clearly marked so you know where to go. Your loop offers a mix of undulating trails, with the odd steeper section (yes, it’s ok to walk your bike) followed by some rewarding downhill sections through the bush. None of the trails are very technical with no rocks to worry about and just a few more log roll overs to test your skills.

The 50km course through Yaugher is the same as the 30km race and takes in the well ridden trails called ‘Super Loop’, ‘Foxtail’, ‘Vista’ (this one can be a bit sandy in parts) and ‘Barre Warre’. They are all graded either Green (easiest) or Blue (the easy end of medium) and with a bit of training beforehand are fun for all riders.

Once you leave the Yaugher Forest and cross over the sealed road you just need to ride around the back of the car park and then you’ll be cruising down the finish chute having achieved your goal as an Odyssey Angel yourself! WELL DONE!

COURSE MARKING

  • Large GREEN arrows and smaller GREEN arrows. Arrows indicate the correct route.
  • BRIGHT GREEN plastic surveyors’ tape tied to trees. These indicate that you are on the correct route.
    • Red and white barrier tape marking where NOT TO GO!

WATER POINTS

  • 21km point Hydration Station at turn-off to the West Barwon Dam picnic area - tap fill up AND water bottle transfer location (see below).
  • 33km point in the Forrest Footy Ground feed zone. There will be taps located right next to the track with Hammer Electrolyte available from marshals if required.  

COURSE STATS (approx.)

Length: 50km 
Total elevation gain / loss: 1410m
Legs:

  • Leg 1 (Start - Kaanglang Rd - West Forrest trails - Footy Ground): 33km, 1,000m elevation gain / loss.
  • Leg 2 (Footy Ground - Yaugher - Footy Ground): 17km, 410m elevation gain / loss

 

 

GRAVEL GRIND 49KM COURSE DESCRIPTION

  • Sunday 25th February, 2018
  • Start/Finish Forrest Football Oval, Forrest Victoria
  • 9:00am START

INTERACTIVE 'MAP MY RIDE' COURSE MAP - CLICK HERE

Picture this… simply stunning tall timber forests lined with tree-ferns, smooth dirt roads weaving through the trees, air so fresh it purifies your soul, a gaggle of girls to ride and chat with along the way, zero cars or traffic zooming past your hip, a mid-ride café where you can stay as long as you like and the full support of an event environment should anything go wrong…

…if that sounds like you’re kind of ride then the Great Otway Gravel Grind (the GOGG) is for you!

The 49km course is designed for those who don’t necessary have the skills or inclination to mountain bike on narrow trails but who enjoy a cycling journey through pure wilderness - with no cars - allowing you to take in the beautiful terrain.

The GOGG events stick to the 2WD dirt roads that permeate the Otway rainforest and do not require any special skills or equipment to enjoy. Whether you have a mountain bike, road bike or something in between this event is within your reach as it passes through some magnificent scenery on the Otway Ranges.

The 49KM GOGG commences with a mass start with all riders setting off together but with wide, open, traffic free roads there are no issues with faster riders going past or riding side by side with your friends. The course starts out on some flatter roads before a long climb up Delaneys Track to Mt Sabine Road deep in the Otway Rainforest. At the top of the climb you pass through the ‘Time-Out zone’ and water point where you can purchase a coffee and cake and meet up with friends, before a fun descent down Kaanglang Rd to the finish in the Forrest Footy Ground once again.

All roads provide easy, fast rolling and riding with no technical aspects along the way. The descent is on a smooth, hard packed dirt road and avoids any loose gravel or sand that could be a bit tricky – making it a great ride for riders of all abilities.

TIME OUT ZONE

We know that coffee (and cake?) is crucial to the cycling community so the course includes a time-out zone where you can enjoy a break with your friends before remounting your bike and racing on to the finish. There will still be finish times, winners and grinners but having a pause in the middle is the gravel grinder style and you’ll love it.

Timing: the clock stops as you enter the time-out zones, and restarts again once you leave! Great hey?

COURSE STATS (approx.)

Length: 49km 
Total elevation gain / loss: 1,030m approx
Legs:

  • Leg 1 (Start - Delaney Tk - Mt Sabine Rd): 33km.
  • Leg 2 (Mt Sabine Rd - Kanglang Rd - Footy Ground): 16km.

COURSE MARKING

  • RED and/or ORANGE directional arrows on a white background. Arrows indicate the correct route.
  • Strips of FLUORO PINK plastic surveyors’ tape tied to trees. These indicate that you are on the correct route.
    • Red and white barrier tape marking where NOT TO GO!

WATER POINTS

  • 33km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction. Water, Hammer Hydration and Coffee available in Time Out Zone.

 

 

PASSING ETIQUETTE

We know that being passed by a faster rider is often quite intimidating for slower riders as it can make you feel less skilled and sometimes a bit silly – UNTIL NOW!!

We have given all riders (fast and slower) strict instructions to be aware of each other on the trails and follow these instructions for happy passing:

  • Faster riders who catch someone else are asked to let you now they are there, saying something like, “Can I go past when there’s a chance...” or even “Track please”. They should then wait for a wider section of track – and not just barge on through
  • The slower rider can then say, “OK, go past on the right” or “just up here it’s a bit wider, go there”. But it’s good to acknowledge that you heard them and give direction for when they can go past
  • The faster rider should not and does not expect to go past the moment they catch you, slower riders should stick to their line and call them through when it suits both of you
  • And if you are going to pass another rider then make sure you are actually faster, don’t pass if you are pushing 120% effort to get around them and then slow down afterwards

The bottom line is that both riders should leave your ego in the car park and simply communicate that you want to pass and agree a point when it suits to pass. Happy riding!

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