30Sep(Sep 30)10:03 am04Oct(Oct 4)10:03 amSea Otter AustraliaA bike festival for all cyclistsCanberraState:ACTDiscipline:CX,Gravel,MTB,RoadTerrain:Flat,Mixed,Mountainous,UndulatingDistance:1-40 km,121-160 km,41-80 km,81-120 kmType Ride:Century,Charity,Gran-fondo,Multi-day,Recreational
Sea Otter Australia celebrates all things cycling Sea Otter Australia is a 4 day cycling festival that is a little different, with mountain, gravel,
Sea Otter Australia celebrates all things cycling
Sea Otter Australia is a 4 day cycling festival that is a little different, with mountain, gravel, road and CX cycling. This cycling event is based in Stromlo Forest Park, just outside Canberra. Stromlo Forest Park is a popular spot with mountain bikers, road cyclists BMX and families. It is a combination of cycling events for riders of all ages, abilities and disciplines along with a large Bike Expo. Plus there are a few races.
This is the first time that the Sea Otter has been hsoted in Australia. Now in its 30th year in Monterey California, the Sea Otter experience has spread to Girona, Spain and Blue Mountain, Canada. And for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere, Sea Otter Australia will roll out from Mt Stromlo, Canberra.
An important part of this cycling festival, is the bike expo, where you can check out the latest product releases from the bike industry – bikes, parts and accessories and everything in between. Plus you’ll be able to test ride any bikes over the weekend.
There will also be lots of other activities on offer, with plenty of music, films, activities for kids, fashion, food and brews of all sorts and more. Which means the whole family will be happy!
So what rides will be happening? Well, there’s a lot happening over these 4 days – gravel, road, MTB, mixed and fun. You’ll find a calendar outlining the different events here. My tip is to look at the colour coding in the sidebar, to find the events that interest you.
If you’re looking for Road events, you’ll find:
- Around the Mount 40/80. A race that is a picturesque short course loop around Mt Stromlo – out to the West Country, a descent across the Murrumbidgee River and then back towards the event village via the final 11% average short 3.5km hill climb up to Mt Stromlo, where the race will finish.
- Stromlo Climb Trial. Starting at the base of Mt Stromlo Road and winding its way up to the summit for just on 3.5km with up to 11% gradient sections. Solo riders only with the usual categories.
- Fitz’s Challenge. A major drawcard to this cycling festival, is the inclusion of Fitz’s Challenge, which has the reputation of being one of Australia’s toughest rides.
If you’re looking for Gravel events, you’ll find:
- CBR-G. A 55km gravel loop that starts and finishes at the Stromlo Expo Village. This is a ride for the intermediate and beginner gravel rider – with some lovely CBR forest fringe and river trail views – and of course the obligatory ascents. There is also a less hilly Short and Sweet option (around 43km length) for those that just want to take in the sights, smells and sounds of this beautiful Canberra city region. The majority of this route is on fire roads, with the trail conditions being mostly good however there are areas of small erosion gullies on descents and areas of loose gravel in dips and corners. Approximately 10% of the route is on sealed road or sealed off road bicycle path – but the rest is pure blissful, scenic gravel.
- Bell Curve. A 70km slice of the Brindabella Ranges. This ride is aptly named, as it is literally a bell curve i.e. straight up and down. This route has some of the most awesome gravel riding through Canberra’s pristine forest and national parks. Traversing the river and then sweeping up to the high country, before descending back to Cotter. The ride will make your grind your way up a 10km ascent before a pretty clear and even descent back to the Stromlo Expo Village.
If you’re looking for MTB events, you’ll find:
- Gravity Enduro. A 4-stage race that starts at the top of Mt Stromlo, with trails that can be enjoyed by riders of all levels and abilities.
- Dual Slalom. A race with a course that starts at Old Duffy and uses the contour of the hillside to negotiate berms, rollers, and a rhythm section or two. Racing will consist of individual timed run qualifications and then head to head finals. This ride is the main rider and spectator event at Sea Otter!!
- E-MTB Climb Trial. This is an individual time trial race categorised by age classes. The Hill Climb will be a race from the event center to the top of Mt Stromlo, up a mixture of trails, distance will be approximately 4 km.
- Cross Country. This is a wave start race categorised by age classes. The racecourse utilises parts of the 2009 UCI World Championships course. Racing will be a 4 hour race for teams and individuals.
- Pump Track Attack. Stromlo’s pump track is short and tight – which means it’s as good for racing as it is spectating!
- Downhill Air. This is one of the marquee events at Sea Otter. If you’re not riding, then this is agreat event to watch, with lots of jumps. The event is an individual race against the clock categorised by age classes. The racecourse is totally gravity fueled and starts at the top of Mt Stromlo, following the flowing jumps and trail transitions which are roll-able or jumpable features, down the hillside to a sprint finish at the bottom.
- E-MTB Challenge. The race will utilise portions of single track and fire road. Loop distance will be approximately 10 km. Racers will complete 60-80 minutes of racing.
- MTB Climb Trial. This is an individual time trial race categorised by age classes. The Hill Climb will be a race from the Expo centre to the top of Mt Stromlo, utilising a mixture of sweet trails, event distance will be approximately 4 km.
- CycloCross. A CX course is being developed for the festival.
Thee’s a lot on offer over this weekend, with enough to keep the whole family happy.
You’ll find other cycling events, like the Sea Otter Australia, in our online Cycling Event Calendar.