The long-awaited Grinduro finally hits Australian ground on 2 – 4 December this year. This global gravel cycling event brings together elements of gravel riding and gravity enduro (timed stage race on single-track mountain bike trails), all thrown together with a party spirit, quirky activities en route and a festival atmosphere.
A unique race needs a unique environment. The Grinduro has been doing the rounds of Europe, North America and Japan; that it has landed in Falls Creek means that this little alpine village does have something to offer on a world stage. Grind up to the 1849 metre peak for 360-degree views of the highest peaks of Victoria. Pedal through snowgum groves, around historical huts and aqueduct trails carved into Bogong High Plains. Get into the flow of existing and new single tracks through the tall mountain ash forest. The race showcases the breadth of trails on offer and suits a range of abilities and bikes.
Anyone who has taken part in cycling events, especially gravity enduros, knows this is where great camaraderie is borne. Long periods pedalling cement relationships that might have just been a passing moment on a track or bitumen. The only racing takes place on the downhill sections and it is every rider for themselves. For the rest of the ride, it is where the fun can happen, like sampling a local brew or jumping into a refreshing alpine lake. There are a few secrets including the actual course that will be revealed two weeks prior but certainly Grinduro’s “Perfect Party-to-Race Ratio” will be what keeps the riders talking about the event long after the fatigue has worn off.
Fatigue? Yes, this is a long one, with three big days on and off the saddle: 80 km on the Saturday with four timed stages, a prelude ride of 35 km on Friday afternoon plus the two hour post-ride “Hangover” on Sunday. Fortunately, the crew at Grinduro have factored in the reality pinch on Saturday, so if you overestimated your fitness and underestimated the effects of altitude take a shortcut and leave out the fourth stage and 40 km to complete the Grindurito instead. Pack your snacks, but lunch is served out on the course, and even breakfast and dinner are provided on the day back in the village so there is a lot of value in the ticket price.
Most cycling events are for cyclists but this one really brings in the full entourage and mega appeal for all at the Event Hub with bike expo and Kids Space, live music and DJ sessions, a bar, food vendors, and yoga and pilates sessions. It is the perfect blend of Falls Creek’s other major three-day events: the Ignition MTB Festival in November and February’s Feastival of music, art, comedy, science and food in February. The Hub is central to the village so participants have a plethora of accommodation styles to choose from close by or select the rider package with Alpha Lodge when registering entry.
For more information visit fallscreek.com.au