While the Otway Odyssey has long offered a testing and sometimes trying marathon race for die hard mountain bike marathon racers through to less experienced mountain bikers, there comes a time when an event must expand. And that’s exactly what Rapid Ascent did in 2017 when they introduced the Great Otway Gravel Grind (GOGG).
With the popularity of riding dirt roads (gravel grinding) increasing, Rapid Ascent have seen an option to connect people, bikes, and the beautiful Otway Ranges – without sending them on a demanding route riddled with huge climbs and tight singletrack.
As people look to get away from busy roads and just enjoy a beautiful ride through beautiful terrain, Great Ocean Gravel Grind should strike a chord with people looking for a reason to escape for a weekend.
Rapid Ascent have added two gravel grinds to the suite of off-road events conducted on the Otway Odyssey weekend, to allow those who don’t mountain bike to enjoy a cycling journey through pure wilderness – with no cars. The Otway Ranges surrounding Forrest have a near endless network of quality dirt roads emanating in all direction and these two races will lead you on an incredible journey under the supervision of a coordinated race environment.
But what is a gravel grind?
A Gravel Grind is an event held on unsealed 2WD roads and the Otway Ranges around Forrest are infused with these, making for some superb riding on traffic free roads through the wilderness. The GOGG will include 49km and 97km options that make them achievable for all styles of rider on either road bikes, cyclocross, mountain or hybrid bikes.
According to Rapid Ascent:
“Both GOGG events are designed for all riders on all types of bikes – ridden most comfortably on a gravel grinder or cyclocross bike, they can easily be completed on a road bike as well as mountain bikes and hybrids. You do not need any specific mountain biking skills to complete the course as the entire thing is on easily ridden dirt roads that weave through the wilderness. Racers can race whilst those less time focussed can ride with their friends and enjoy the journey.
So if you’ve never ridden on dirt before never fear, this is as much for you as for those mud covered cyclocross riders who roll around in the mud… either way you’ll enjoy an incredible race through a beautiful part of the world.”
So you might choose to do the Otway Odyssey, and then go for a ‘recovery’ 49km on your mountain bike in the Little Ring event. Or maybe you’ll bring your road bike and do the 97km Big Ring? Either way, it makes for a great weekend of cycling in the Otway Ranges. Do one event, or do both – chat to your friends and make it an amazing weekend away!