A single day marathon requires travel, accommodation, and dedication to making sure everything goes right on the day. But thankfully there’s a new crop of events that are appearing, and growing in strength. 2-4 day mountain bike festivals are gaining favour as a way to use your weekend and maybe another day or two to truly benefit from the travel and training for events. The Southern MTB Festival is one such event, and it has been going from strength to strength in the south-western corner of Australia.
The Southern MTB Festival is a mountain bike weekend with something for everyone in this beautiful corner of Australia. Running from 21-23 September, the festival is jam-packed with a range of events from the spectator friendly Urban Downhill, the Junior Urban Downhill, the Jump Comp – and of course the Southern Peaks XC event which has three distances for 2018: 50km, 37km and a new 17km for those getting into it.
What is the Southern Peaks?
The Southern Peaks is a cross-country mountain bike race with three options. There is a longer distance 50km event, or a shorter 37km event and the new 17km event for 2018. The longer two events start at Maitraya Private Resort, before embarking on a route through the private lands and via beautiful coastal scenery to Emu Point channel. This is a route you cannot ride outside of race day, making it an extra special opportunity to sample to coastal region. What’s even cooler is there is a barge to ferry you across! Emu Point channel is the starting point for the 17km event.
With singletrack, short and sharp climbs, and some secret trail highlights, the races finish in the Albany Town Square. Unless you’re doing the 50km race, which carries on for more demanding climbs and descents, tackling the climb to Mt Melville – which is rewarded by views and the descent back down.
In time the 50km racers end up back at the Albany Town Square – ready to regale all who will listen with stories of their heroics, near misses, and fine riding. The 2017 Southern Peaks was a big success, and Declan von Dietze had only good things to say.
“The Southern MTB is one of the best all round mountain bike events I have been to,” said von Dietze, who has competed in similar events across Australia, and even as far afield as Poland! ”
“From the jumps competition, urban downhill and the southern peaks 50km race, the whole event brings together the mountain bike community for a great weekend of riding.”
“Even with torrential rain throughout the entire weekend in 2017 the trails were riding incredibly well and the village had an incredible atmosphere to celebrate all things cycling. It is by far the best mountain bike festival I have seen in Australia and rivals many of the largest international races for an incredible venue, amazing views and singletrack that makes me excited to head back this year and experience more.”
With 7 categories to jump into and a teams option across the 3 distances, there really is something for everyone. The event team have also organised a shuttle bus service to make the point-to-point logistics manageable, leaving you to think less, ride more and enjoy the post-event festivities.
If you want more details, head to the event website.
The Southern MTB Festival event team have organised some travel deals with accommodation, meals and sightseeing – so why not turn this visit to Albany and surrounds into a good holiday?