2015 Entries Now Open1st December 2014
One of Australia’s longest running XCM events is back on the 2nd May 2015 for the 11th instalment of the Convict 100. Hosted from the sleepy township of St. Albans only 2 hours North of Sydney, the course follows the historic Convict Trail through the heart of the Hawkesbury Valley, taking in some of the best scenery the area has to offer. Regarded as one of the most popular mountain bike marathons on the Aussie calendar as explained by race director Henry van Heerden:
“It is a combination of things but the history of the area and the raw untouched nature of the trails is what riders come back for every year. For most traveling to St Albans means a ferry across the Hawkesbury river. That ferry is like taking a time machine, you are entering a different century. The event is staged from the St Albans village, a beautiful little township with old world charm which centres around the Settlers Arms Inn, the third oldest pub in Australia. In addition to the historical architecture, the St Albans community is largely made up of retirees or people who have lived in the valley most of their lives. When you get to know them (at the pub on Friday night before the event) and see them out on course marshalling the event, you realise these are salt of the earth people who open up their homes and community to some 1500 mountain bikers for a very special weekend of bike racing.”
Naturally it’s not only the historic pub and lovely people that attracts mountain bikers from all over the country, the course itself makes for a very unique mountain bike marathon. All XCM events around Australia follow a similar formula, they include trails that are designed and groomed by a local group of volunteers or mountain bike club in the area. Some are hosted around established mountain bike parks and if you throw in some fire trail to make up the distance, you have yourself an XCM event. The Convict is different in that no trails are built or maintained … there is no groomed single track, you will not be railing any berms at this event.
Instead, the course is staged around the Old Great North Road built by the convicts in the 1830’s. The majority of these trails are still untouched by modern machinery and in certain sections the cobbles as laid by the convict are still in place. Unbeknownst to the convicts but lucky for mountain bikers, the formula of laying road for horse and cart has shaped trails that are perfect for cross country mountain biking. Also, the rocky and sandstone nature of the area has helped to naturally create many kilometres of rock gardens, rock steps and technical terrain that form the heart of the Convict 100. Throw in some spectacular ridgelines, a kayak bridge and hair raising descents and you have the makings of a fantastic marathon course.
“The Convict 100 is an adventure, a journey through some seriously remote and old world country. We like to think it is mountain biking in its purest form before we all learned what groomed single track was. It is rugged, raw and one epic adventure on a bike!”
Entries for all three course options are now open. If you enter in December you can take advantage of the early bird special offering $10 off all entries. To enter click here