The New Year is here and now is the time to start planning your mountain bike adventures for the coming year. After the wash out that was 2022 we are all itching to get back out on our bikes, enjoy the atmosphere and buzz of lining up at the start line with fellow like-minded individuals.
The Convict 100 offers riders the perfect opportunity to set themselves a goal of conquering some of the most challenging and fun mountain biking on offer in NSW.
It’s a demanding course with tough climbs and technical rock gardens, but the high ridgeline views and long descents are well worth it. You really have a true sense of being out on an epic adventure, just you and your bike vs the elements, out to tackle the uninterrupted course from the start line back to where you started. No loops, just 44, 68 or 100km of adventure stretching out before you.
Speaking of St Albans, the sleepy hamlet on the MacDonald River is transformed come race weekend, the population quadruples as old friends catch up around a campfire and new friends are made with the riders in the next tent over. The comradery is not easily forgotten although some memories can grow hazy for those who spend too long in the historic Settlers Arms Inn.
As the evening mist settles in the valley and the riders turn in for the night you can feel the buzz of excitement in the air. Race morning normally dawns with the mist obscuring the surrounding hills, hiding some of the climbs to come. The excitement builds as “Good Morning St Albans!” reverberates from the speakers, calling the last riders out of bed and to the start line. Then the butterflies really get going, gear is checked, then re-checked, riders reflect on their journey to this point…Will my training pay off? Can I set a PB this year? Should I have at least ridden my bike before turning up for the event? Then the starters gun is sounded all thoughts are wiped away in the dash from the line.
After conquering the course, spinning up the climbs, settling into a rhythm along the ridge lines, and flying down the descents and you roll back into St Albans the sense of accomplishment is real, the crowd welcoming and the beer cold.
If you have experienced the Convict 100 before you won’t need anyone twisting your arm, you know you will be there come the start of May. If you haven’t experienced the special buzz that the Convict 100 provides before, make 2023 the year to do so, you won’t leave disappointed.
Many riders have already signed up, you should join them.