Rogaining is an outdoor treasure hunt, like no other. If you’re the type who enjoys the ‘great outdoors’ via the TV at the end of a treadmill, then rogaining probably won’t be your thing.
The aim of the game is to race against the clock in teams to find the most controls and gain the highest points. Teams travel on foot*, armed only with the course map and a trusty compass. The new kid on the block of rogaining is velogaining.
In order to gain points for a checkpoint teams must record their visit to that checkpoint using the recording device provided by the organisers. see here for the rules of rogaining. https://sarogaining.com.au/resources/rules-rogaining-technical-regulations-2012/
Velogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation for teams travelling on bike. The object is to score points by finding checkpoints located on the course within a specified time. Checkpoints may be visited in any order.
Every team has a different idea of how they are going to tackle a velogaine. Some are out to win and find every control out on the course – if they can. Other teams want to head to the hills to enjoy mountain-top views. Yet others want to hit the flatter areas and discover hidden gorges and explore river beds; immersing themselves in nature. That’s the beauty of rogaining. The setters provide the location and teams get to choose their own route, pace, and adventure.
The 2018 Velogaining event took place last Saturday, starting in Dutton, approx. 6km north of Truro, they hit the back roads and track networks north of Truro.
And here’s the link to the Velogain route map if you want a better quality printout.
Looking at the results page, I was surprised by the number of competitors.
And here’s a brief write-up of the event from the RHOFO team.
Race report – Saturday the 21st of April saw representatives Gerbil and Spurticus of the dirty RHOFO branch shirking their responsibilities and heading North to Dutton, just outside of Truro for the running of a four hour Velogaine in the surrounding area.
What is a Velogaine you ask? Basically, it’s a navigational event in which you have checkpoints to collect and a time limit in which to collect them. Before starting you are presented with a map showing the checkpoints and you need to work out the most efficient way to collect them. Checkpoints have different values. If you collect them all (clear the map) then your place is determined by who clears the course the quickest. If you return over the alloted time then you are penalised points for each minute that you’re late.
Good weather greeted the team and sign in and map collection was completed quickly. Upon receipt of the map Gerbil quickly pulled out some unusual instruments, tea leaves, his lucky rabbit foot and a half used tube of KY, and then began chanting and mixing. Spurticus was quite sure he wanted none of it and took a chance for a toilet break. Upon returning, none of the aforementioned items were present and a highlighted map of our course with a list of instructions had replaced them.
The start was reasonably cruisy with the team finding themselves taking a completely different course to the vast majority of other teams, of which there 34. Confident of his divining abilities, Gerbil continued to bark orders and the team set a cracking pace and set about clearing the Southern check points. Once complete the team headed to the Northern check points battling a head wind, but looking forward to the boost it would give on the way South back to the finish line.
Roughly 60 kilometers in the team decided to pick up an out of the way but high value check point as pace had been good and time seemed to be sufficient. Shortly after the collection Spurts decided to die as only Spurts can and things backed off a little. Still, the team was on target to clear the map.
The final check point required going through the finish line and then back again. The team looked strong for the final leg, collecting the controls and turning around to find a team not far behind on the road. Assuming they were also on their way to clear the map, one final burst was mustered to check in to the finish with just under 10 minutes remaining and their map cleared.
Unfortunately Rogaining have a tradition of reading the results of every freakin’ competitor from last to first, so the wait was long, and tense. The tension built as the results got into the top 5. Gerbil knew the result would be solid from experience, Spurts was just happy to not be yelled at anymore.
Results were in, the team placed second in the whole competition, one of only three teams to clear the map. They were the first MTB based team to come in, only to be beaten by a team equipped with cyclocross bikes, and cleaning up a few other cyclocross riding teams in the process.
A productive day at the office due to some strong riding and excellent course planning.
With the Tour Down Under a distant memory, the Spring Classics have come and gone in a blink of an eye, wrapped up last weekend with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Mens and Femmes.
Anna van der Breggen won 2nd edition of the women’s Liège–Bastogne–Liège ahead of Amanda Spratt and Annemiek van Vleuten.
Capping a monumental springs classics season for Quick-Step Floors who have had 12 different rider tasting success this year, Bob Jungel won this yeas LBL.
Bob Jungels won the 104th edition of Liège–Bastogne–Liège ahead of Michael Woods and Romain Bardet.
A sample of some great photos and footage snippets from Steephill TV below, or you can see the full suite here – http://www.steephill.tv/classics/liege-bastogne-liege/
You can catch some other great photos here at Rouleur.
Meanwhile, over in Switzerland
275 Deviation Road Carey Gully
Saw a For Sale sign on this property on last Sundays iPib Mystery ride as we were heading South towards the Uraidla bakery.
Now you would all know that living in the hills, to me, would be 7th heaven, however i have a wife and daughter who like life ot far from the city, so riding in the hills is a win win compromise for me.
But, just have a look at this.
The house looks presentable, but at $625,000 with views like this, and only 20 minutes from town by car, 40 minutes by bike (a little bit longer going the other way), if you were looking to set up house/shop on the Adeladie hills, how could you go wrong.
On an allotment with 4.6 acres, with panoramic breathtaking views looking back out over the Mt Lofty ranges, with a little imagination you could set up an absolutely superb outdoor entertainment area. Imagine wiling away an autumn evening with your mates, a few local Uraidla brewery ales in your esky, some roo on the bbq and the sun setting over the hills to the west – how sweet would life be.
For those living interstate and looking for a cycle change, how could you resist. Really.
The fabulous Adelaide Hills for riding, wine regions at your doorstep (Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Barossa all within a half hours max drive, the city 20 minutes away and the beach just over 30. Just wow.
Views from inside the house are just as superb, so if it’s sweltering outside, or frigidly cold, a seat inside would be just outrageous.
4 bedrooms, open plan living, slow combustion heater & a split system air-conditioner, great bike storage with the 6.8m x 5.2m (approx.) shed, 100,000 litres of rainwater storage supplies ample water to the home.
Whats holding you back.
Road Raise – its a wrap!
You would have heard all about the Road Raise cycling charity event for 2018 early April – well they all successfully completed the ride from Adelaide to Melbourne, chapeau to all who rode and all the fabulous support team. Volunteers – most events just wouldn’t happen without them.
It was pleasing to see both the mainstream and social media platforms really get behind this crew and rev it up.
Steve Sanders, who I had the pleasure of riding with when i did my cyclo-tour of France last year with George from Unique Cycling Tours (Steve was one of the support teams members – invaluable).
This is Steve’s wrap-up of the road raise event.
I sit here on a Sunday afternoon looking back at was an amazing experience and one that I was proud to be a part of. Our group rode 1100 kilometres over 7 days in fine weather, with great team spirit and most importantly raised over $235,000 for charity.
Again we were joined by two young CanTeen members, Hannah and Angus, both who have embraced and been assisted by this organisation. Their stories are personal and I feel it not right I talk on their behalf but what I did witness with Angus showed care beyond his young years.
At our team dinner in Mt Gambier we were joined by some local members and their parents. Sitting next to me was a mother and her son, Janet and Caleb – who is in grade 5 at a local school. Janet has cancer with a prognosis that is not rosy and Caleb, being raised by only his mother and with no siblings has a future that can only be described as uncertain. Angus spoke at length with Caleb and for a few hours made a positive impact and formed a relationship that hopefully gives Caleb some comfort – after all, Angus has been in that position too. I had seen plenty of courageous acts in my working life when with the Crows but this was very moving and emotional.
I guess what this did for me was give me an understanding that yes, I like riding my bike but it was a deeper and more worldly view I now have about why we do this ride. Canteen is a fantastic, caring and supportive organisation and I thank you for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to witness all I did. It’s not to late to help and for the last time I attach a link to my fundraising page.
That’s an amazing amount Steve et al – well done.
Got me thinking about getting involved for the 2019 event……..
Oh, I still find it hard to believe I was cycling over in France just under a year ago. That’s me in the centre left on the Unique Cycling Tour’s main page – just wow!
Gravel Riding around the Barossa
I’ve always had in the back of my mind a desire to explore some of the dirt roads in the Barossa Valley
Quick fact – Who thought the name Barossa Valley linked back to something Prussian or Germanic?
I did – until i was doing a little research for this posting.
Apparently the Barossa Valley derives its name from the Barossa Range, which was named by Colonel William Light in 1837. Light chose the name in memory of the British victory over the French in the Battle of Barrosa, in which he fought in 1811. The name “Barossa” was registered in error, due to a clerical error in transcribing the name “Barrosa”.
The Barossa Valley is bounded by two ranges – the Western Ridge which is part of the North Mount Lofty Ranges and the Eastern Range which is part of the South Mount Lofty Ranges. The southern extension of the Eastern Range is also known as the Barossa Range.
It was the Southern end of the Barossa Range around the Williamstown that I wanted to explore last Saturday.
What a beauty it turned out to be.
Parking the car in Williamstown, heading North with the gravel bike I had the intention of trying to find out if the fire racks on the maps were navigable.
Within 5 minutes I got held up by something I haven’t seen for a long long time – A cow Crossing. After a few minutes of waiting for the startled cows to cross the road, the farmer came out to create a gap for me to cross through. Friendly people around here – all smiles and a friendly wave.
A No Through Road, now that’s a challenge. The map on my phone showed it turning into a fire track and connecting up with grave roads on top of the range.
So gravel turned to dirt
Which turned to fire trail with a few obstacles
A doer upperer at the end of the track. I reckon I could have gobne a little further, but it was all up and no visible tracks from creek where I came to the end of the made trail. So back I went.
And onto Trail Hill Road. The first of the “real named” roads taking me a cross the range.
The biggest surprise of the ride was a fabulously smooth bitumen climb on the eastern face of the range on Trial Hill Road.
Starting at an elevation of 358m, it climbs only 89 m over only 700m at an average gradient of 12%. The bitumen is superbly smooth, its hard to believe a climb this good is out in the middle gravel heaven. (I don’t think this has been Everested yet.)
Its got a lovely stone wall from the hairpin up to the lookout.
A nice sweeping switchback.
With the bitumen finishing at the Steingarten Rad, which is a blue gravel road across the top of the range and back down towards Rowland Flat.
Look at that view. Stunning.
The strava segment is this – https://www.strava.com/segments/3536512
From here I turned back to Trial Hill Road and resumed my track east towards Pewsey Vale before wrapping back south west towards Williamstown
Picking up the Heysen Trail
Crossing Springton Road and hading into Mt Crawford Forest was a turn up for the books. I wasn’t intending to take to forest trails today, but something was calling, and before I knew it, I had hit the end of the trail and blocked by a few barb wire fences and a river.
Alison Hope, born Roxburgh Scotland, 1821.
Allison’s resting place is a long way from her original home
The dilemma was – do I turn around and backtrack, or do i have a look to see whether I could walk through to the rail on the other side.
Yeah, ok, it was a day for adventuring……
Fortunately for me the river was dry, allowing me to navigate across over to the trail on the other side and resume my ride.
Love the sign –
Unbeknown to me, the JDRF ride was also on today.
Finished of with a nice coffee and a slice of orange and almond cake at the Williamstown bakery.
A brilliant day.
And the rest of the valley and eastern ranges beckons.
Business of the Week – Will Ride
- What is Will Ride and where are you located?
We are an adventure brand targeting sustainable mountain bike activities in recreation, tourism, transport, and high performance. Located in Stirling, Adelaide Hills, specialising in e-bike sales and service, e-bike guided tours, e-mtb hire, and mountain bike coaching and advice. We are licensed National Parks tour operators and accredited coaches.
- What makes your shop unique?
We are Australia’s e-performance specialists in e-bike sales and service, E-mtb guided tours, and E-mtb hire. Pedal assist bikes, not electric motor bikes. There’s a big difference.
With five legalised bike parks within 20-30 minutes of the store, we are able to take you on an E-Bike tour of the Adelaide hills highlighting hidden legal trails.
Our tours are designed specifically to cater for the interests, fitness, experience and time that suits our clients. From two hours to two days, with or without accommodation, and for individuals and small groups, we organise tours to meet your needs.
Our tours use our 2018 Giant dual suspension Full E+ E-Bikes making them a great option for groups of different ability and fitness. It is also an excellent way to try an E-Bike and see if it is what you want.
- What is the story behind Will Ride and how long has it been in existence?
We have been open for 6 months now. Our mission is to expose people to e-bikes in a positive way. To get people to understand where the bikes can take them. These bikes arn’t just for old people or injured people. They can be used for high performance, skills training, heart rate zone training, and much more. The concept started a few years ago from seeing what these bikes were capable of in places like the Swiss Alps.
- Who are the people behind Will Ride and what do they do?
We are a small store, but have a huge support group and a strong team at Will Ride.
I did my apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic with Cavpower, and prior to that I was lucky enough to race on the Downhill World Cup circuit. I have a passion for Adelaide Hill’s, and now for e-bikes. I want to share my passion with others new to the sport, and show them that mountain biking isn’t as dangerous as people think, if you have the right advice and correct bike setup.
At the Will Ride store in Stirling, we have our dedicated and passionate staff Roger and Kane who are both bike nut’s! Importantly they both have background’s in car mechanics, and high performance racing. I feel this is our edge. We all strive for perfection and all feed off each other’s ability to troubleshoot and find better ways to improve the way we do things. We also have Troy Brosnan, who needs no introduction. Troy and I run the MTB coaching clinics.
- Can you provide a brief cycling history of yourself
I started riding when I was 14. We grew up riding and building on a dirt rd we lived on with my friends in the Adelaide Hills.
I worked my way up as a junior racing SA and Australian national DH rounds. I won the U19 Australian DH MTB series and was selected on the Junior Australian team in 2007 in Scotland.
I was fortunate enough to then be selected on the Senior Australian team in 2009 in Italy, and went on to race on the World Cup circuit for 4 years. Every day riding and racing was surreal. It was my dream. I got my first factory ride for Pivot global team in 2009, they made me a custom big bike to suit my lanky arms and legs! However, shortly after signing in the off season, I flared up my re-occurring back injury. I spent 8 months back home in rehab and went back to race the next season, however, my back wasn’t 100%, and I couldn’t confidently ride a full World Cup weekend fast, let alone back it up each weekend. Retiring so young was the hardest thing to swallow, but I am grateful to still be healthy enough to ride for fun now.
- What are your team’s interests outside of cycling?
We all love bikes and all have a passion for sharing our trails with others. Roger and Kane and both active guys. Roger has a race car background working on a high end Porsche team, so loves tinkering! Kane is a professional photographer. Kaneophoto known to most! His shots are incredible and you will see him out at most state, and national bike events.
- What are your favourite cycling routes?
In ADL Winter, Eagle MTB is great. The wet sand just grips up so well!
In ADL Summer, Fox creek. Hard pack clay makes for high speed riding!
Bright, Mt Beauty, and Thredbo have the best gravity fed, natural Downhill tracks.
Verbier Switzerland, Morzine France, Val di Sole Italy, Maribor Slovenia.
- What bikes do you have in your garage?
- Giant Full E+ e-bike
- Giant reign Advanced 0 enduro bike
- Giant STP hardtail
- Giant TCR roadie
- 2019 Rocky Mountain Powerplay e-bike
- What do you like about Adelaide and why – can be cycling or non cycling related?
I think we have the most accessible riding in the World. Road, MTB, CX, BMX. It is all within 30 minutes. I don’t think there is anywhere in the world that has the variety so close together like Adelaide does.
- What major challenges and problems does Will Ride face?
For us, it is trail advocacy and education around e-bikes and mountain bikes. There are so many people who have worked so hard to legalise trails for mountain bikers. We want to educate people how to ride in the parks and share the trails with others. We do this through our guided e-bike tours. I am a downhiller at heart, and love riding down a hill at pace, however, I now know where you are allowed to do this, and where you aren’t. Cleland is a perfect example of this. Riding slow, acknowledging other trail users, respecting the trails, and respecting closed trails are just some of the rules that must be followed when riding in these parks, or it is quite simple. Riders will be locked out of the parks in future.
- What are some of the more popular bikes or projects coming through your shop?
I am really excited for the future of e-bikes. Some smaller brands are making some unbelievable e-bike systems like Rocky Mountain, which just gets you wondering where the big brands will get to in terms of design and innovation. I love continuous improvement and technology. E-bikes are evolving so fast and we see new technology every week. I cannot wait to start building up the e-bike tourism side of the business. The tours are perfect for families, couple dates, birthday presents, or just if you want to test an e-bike. We refund the tour or hire price if you go ahead and buy an e-bike through us.
- What are the major issues facing cycling over the next 5 years?
MTB trail access, e-bike education, safety for all riders on roads. Emergency access for helicopter and ambulance personnel into MTB parks.
Have a look here if you want to find out more information about eBikes from Will Ride.
What can I say – another Epic posting. Please do me a favour, forward this on to two of your friends, and ask them to do the same.
till next time