Let's do this girls!



Rapid Ascent welcomes you to the Odyssey Angels… a range of initiatives to support and encourage greater female participation at the Otway Odyssey. Powered by women for women… we can do this!

After a successful implementation in 2018 and a number of positive outcomes achieved - including record female rider numbers - we are excited to do it launch the Odysssey Angels program again in 2019!

Odyssey Angels is as much about the journey to the start line, as the event itself. We aim to create a rewarding experience for female riders at the Otway Odyssey, whether you’re new to mountain biking, a recreational rider, or have already covered a few kilometers on your bike in the past.

We encourage you to be part of this exciting program, now in its' second year, where female riders can meet other like-minded women who share the same enthusiasm (and nerves!) about racing, and help support and encourage each other throughout the journey and on race day itself.



This website is full of resources to help and support you - and here are a few handy download to get you going:




The following initiatives for the 2019 Otway Odyssey are designed to remove some of the barriers to racing and make it more fun for more women to be part of the event. Let’s get excited together!

  • Women’s only start in the Rookie 30km MTB course
    • Starting 20mins after the 30km MTB male participants
    • First half of the course will be female-only (unless we catch the guys up ahead!)
    • In the second half of the course, we will become interspersed into equal paced riders from the 50km event, being mixed gender riders of similar ability to us (ie, the ‘faster’ male riders would already be through this section)
  • Ladies Lounge within the Odyssey Event Expo
    • A place to meet and chat with fellow female riders and get excited together
    • Toilets and changing room facilities will be available
  • Pre-race information session to be held on the Friday evening prior to race day
    • 6:00pm-7:00pm in the Ladies Lounge at the Forrest Footy Ground (note, registration is from 4:00pm to 8:00pm)
    • Meet and chat with fellow female riders so we can learn from each other
    • Odyssey Angel ambassadors will be on hand to ask any of those last minute about the race, bike, course and what to wear
    • FREE glass of champagne to female participants who attend the info session
  • FREE training guide that’s specific to women that explains how to prepare for the ride, as prepared by our female Odyssey Angels
  • A closed Facebook group for female riders in the Otway Odyssey MTB and Gravel Grinds
    • A place to meet, chat and share your MTB experiences with fellow Otway Odyssey MTB participants (or potential participants!)



  • Odyssey Ride Angels
    • Ride Angels will be at the start line for the 50km MTB and 30km MTB to assist with any last minute bike issues, answer any questions and be there for support and encouragement
    • Ride Angels will also be out on the course to offer bike support, encouragement and assistance
    • And of course… Ride Angels will be adorned with colored angel wings so we can recognize them out on the trail!
  • Angel Ambassadors – a variety of riders, from first time races, to mums and female influences, will share their personal story as they prepare for their Odyssey race and help you by comparing notes
  • Age categories return in the 30km women’s field
    • We know some of us don’t act our age so this race is all about competitive participation; however we listened in 2018 to feedback and this year we'll also be rewarding age categories...
    • Prizes and recognition will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each age group, plus a load of SPOT PRIZES.
  • Detailed course descriptions (written by women, for women) of the 50km MTB Otway Odyssey and the 30km MTB events.
    • PLUS Interactive course maps to highlight specific points on course (coming soon)
  • Social media station on course
    • Stop and take a selfie on course! Prizes to be won!

We had a lot of fun brainstorming these ideas and are really excited to welcome more women to the event… but let us know if there are other ideas we can do to help you and your friends overcome any fears of racing and be involved as well. Email [email protected] 


“I entered initially as a way of setting a challenge to myself to learn something new. I also wanted to show my kids that anyone (even their mum) can do anything with a bit of practice and determination. I believe in the power of positive role models. Entering the Odyssey was a way of setting an achievable goal for myself; I’m already planning to do the 50km next year!”
Lissie Doyle, 2018 Otway Odyssey first time racer (only been riding regularly for a few months)

Read Lissie’s full interview here.

“I find that races are the only time I really push myself to my limits, not to win, but to see how far I can get. The social aspect and the sense of achievement is simply awesome. So anything we can do to encourage women to have a crack is great.”
Richelle Olsen, 2018 Odyssey Angels skills session participant

Read Richelle’s full interview here


"I had THE BEST time! The adrenalin was flowing all day; the people were really friendly; I loved the course and found the event very supportive." 
Chiara Hill, 2017 Otway Odyssey first time racer (only been riding for 2 years)

Read Chiara's full testimonial story here.

"I really felt I had achieved something and had so much fun doing it. This race got me totally hooked on MTB racing; on the way home, I entered into another race 2 weeks later."
Hayley Cobble, 2017 Otway Odyssey first time racer

Read Hayley's full testimonial story here


Angels on the Trails - meet this bunch of fun loving women who love to ride mountain bikes!



Do you love riding your mountain bike but don’t have the motivation to race? Well here are some reasons why you might like to line up on the start line at the 2019 Otway Odyssey:

  • To challenge yourself to achieve something new – the bigger the challenge the bigger the reward when you finish!
  • Meet other riders with similar ability and like minds
  • Empowerment, to prove to yourself (and others?) that you can set yourself a challenge and feel great when you achieve it
  • To develop your mountain bike skills and become a better rider
  • To ride through a magnificent natural landscape on fun, swooping trails
  • Be part of an event with an electric atmosphere where we all help one another and have fun
  • Put aside the barriers to entry and do something for YOU
  • Opportunity to win prizes – in particular spot prizes!
  • And lastly, to achieve a new years’ goal!

Support Services - the Otway Odyssey offers a safe, facilitated event environment that makes it easier to challenge yourself with these support services as part of your entry fee:

  • onsite medical team to assist you
  • mechanical support with the Odyssey Angels
  • course markings and marshals to direct you where to go so you ride the best trails and don’t get lost!
  • water points and nutrition on course to keep you going
  • race timing and results
  • large event expo area with sponsors stands, live music, kids activities and food / drinks for sale (and coffee for partners, friends and husbands!)



If you think it’s going to be harder than it is, we are here to help you overcome any fears so you know you have the skills and confidence to do it! Check out the following pages for tips and information on how you too, can be part of the renowned Otway Odyssey and Great Otway Gravel Grind in 2019 and have a great day out on your bike with some great friends, regardless of your riding ability.


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