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Rocky Trail MTBGP - Round 1

Pete B's picture

By Pete B - Posted on 15 February 2016

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Saturday, 5 March, 2016 - 09:00

The meeting times are 'ready to ride'. If you need time to prepare equipment then please arrive a few minutes earlier.

4.7 hours
Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Ride Database Entry: 
Glenrock State Conservation Area
Meeting Point: 

Corner of Pacific Highway and Fernleigh Loop, Adamstown Heights

Show on Google maps: Meeting point. Login or register to get directions.

The Endurance Series for #rockytrailracers!

Rocky Trail Season 9 will rock!

The SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series is in its eigth year in 2016. Under the patronage of SHIMANO Cycling Australia and with its host of major sponsors and supporters it has grown to one of the major cross-country endurance racing series in Australia.

We are proud that Rocky Trail events enjoy the great reputation that they are challenging yet doable, serious yet fun, professional yet friendly - all driven by its Directors' commitment to run a business that promotes fair races that are exceptionally well run. Our SHIMANO MTB GP events continue to receive respectable coverage across a wide variety of online and print media and what we, Juliane and Martin, hold in the highest regard is that particular human touch-factor that we both thrive to instill into all aspects of our business, especially in the way our events are run. It's an authenticity, we're told, that comes through in the way our entire crew works together to deliver great races.

We want to reward as many riders as possible with prizes across the series. We want to deliver a series that is less of an elite- and winners-only-focused competition, but a positive and inclusive experience for all participants. At the centre of the race results will be that General Classification (GC) determining the major winners of a race. A further measure will be a wider variety of age groups, which will determine the Category podiums. You will receive a placing in both GC as well as one category.

Similar to the 2015 races will be the way we hand out prizes: we will hand out the prizes BEFORE the race start!
Rather than handing out the prizes we get from our fantastic sponsors to the winning riders only, we are introducing a streamlined GC product-reward winning, fixed podium structure and then to spread more spot prizes across the entire field.

We will issue as many raffle giveaway tickets as we receive prizes from our sponsors at each race and they will be categorised according to item value. Each rider with a "winning ticket" will be able to pick a prize from the "Rocky Trail Bazaar" of spot prizes. Additional tickets go into the draw for a selected number of major prizes, which will differ from race to race.

What you race for:

GC podium places will receive a certificate and a prize
Category podium places will receive a certificate of achievement

Series rewards:

Series GC podium places will receive a special trophy and certificate
Series Category podium places will receive a special trophy and certificate

Who's in?
Lach, hawkeye, adski, Hasbeen Racing, Fatboy, pharmaboy, andyfev, Pete B, sikllama (9 riders)
Lach hawkeye adski Hasbeen Racing Fatboy pharmaboy andyfev Pete B sikllama
What Happened?

Blog entries about this meeting (as this is a race standings and times are shown, click on the title for more and to comment)...

Who Title Status Laps Time Pos.Gen. Category Pos.Cat.
sikllama Climbs with a view Finished 6 04:38:21 80 7
Lach Genrock & Roll Finished 4 03:32:25 129 2

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
tate's picture

Hi guys, what's this trail like?
Smooth like wingello, or a bit rougher?
Many rocks?


Dicko's picture

Depends what sections they use - but it is rougher than Wingello - more like Ourimbah - no big climbs - very flowy.


hawkeye's picture

Haven't been up there for a couple of yeas, and haven't been on the mtb much for the last few weeks...

Looking forward to it. Smiling

Lach's picture

... but it was a bit muddy, so I didn't get into much other than the higher tracks around from the Fernleigh Trail link through to Scenic Drive. It was all pretty good, and I'm hoping to be there, but will see how the lower back goes with the physio tomorrow.

The inclusion of a 60+ category is a real incentive... Smiling

Lach's picture

... of the loop they are using Saturday?

sikllama's picture

Though I reckon approx 170ish metres of climbing per lap based on a recon I did a few weeks ago (which didn't include the southern section). Snakes and ladders looks like the main climb which isn't too bad and then a few smaller pinch climbs thrown in.

Any interest in a 3x3 shade for nobmobbers? Happy to bring mine and have people setup their pit under it, assuming enough room to setup. Just note I'm in the 4hr so it will be taken down from around 1330.

Fatboy's picture

Sounds good @sikllama. We've also got a 3x3 so maybe stack them together? Have wife & 1 kid coming (the one who lost paper scissors rock!).

Fatboy's picture

Sounds good @sikllama. We've also got a 3x3 so maybe stack them together? Have wife & 1 kid coming (the one who lost paper scissors rock!).

Lach's picture

... planning to ride bare back, so need somewhere for an esky on the side of the track (hopefully) for bottles and some gels. Will have a mate riding as well - trying to boost numbers in the 60+ category!

andyfev's picture

Late entrant... I figure someone has to come last... Might as well be me Eye-wink

Any chance I could leave my gear under the NobMob 3x3x2?!?

sikllama's picture

Craig - a side by side is a good idea, maybe we can rival the JetBlack crowd... Either I or @hawkeye will be in touch on the morning to catch up.

Lach and any other Nobmobbers welcome first come first served, we'll be getting there around 0745 - look for the green 3x3 with a black/green Trek under it - Secret handshake to gain entry Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Looks like we've got a good crowd coming Smiling

tate's picture

This has been sold out! Does anyone have any tickets but can't go? I need anywhere between 1 and 3.


Pete B's picture

Looks like a good NobMob entry!

If there's room for another Esky under the shade, I'd love to join you all. Also doing the 4hr solo so will only need a bit of space.

It'll be good to put faces to a few names as well Laughing out loud

Fatboy, are you on about the Hamish and Andy rock, paper, scissors trip to the UK?

Pete B's picture

I copied the route from the RT website into Strava:-

Looks like there's a bit of climbing!

Lach's picture

... that's a bit more than I was hoping for, but I suppose what goes up gets to come down again!

tate's picture

Got some.

Fatboy's picture

Pity we don't have a big NoBMoB sign to hang across our 6x3m shelter! We should consider it for next event.

uppo75's picture

It's bone dry in Glenrock and starting to get loose in some corners. It's a little overgrown in places so that could make it interesting.
I'm not racing this but it will be interesting to hear how the fast and slow people interact when climbing snakes and ladders as the there is not a lot of easy passing spots
Good luck to all.

Pete B's picture

Thanks for the heads up. Smiling

What's the tyre of choice there?

uppo75's picture

Any of the usual xc tyres.
I use specialized tyres. Ground control front 29 x 2.3 and fast trak(hardtail) or captain(dually) on the rear.

It is a little more rocky of late as well due to over use and the large amount of rain it copped at the start of the year. I used to alternate rides between hardtail and dually at glenrock, but now I'll only ride the dually. I'm not at the elite end of the spectrum but, for me, the dually soaks up the small stuff and leaves me fresher. The hardtail seems to get bounced around more than it used to.

Scottboy's picture

Which are very green and slippery so be careful on first lap .

uppo75's picture

they have multiple holes in them too. I've come unstuck on the first one before. The second one is not as bad

Fatboy's picture

@hawkeye - text me location when you guys set up and save a spot next to you.

For anyone wanting to leave their gear with us we have a plain green Oztrail gazebo and a decent sized table we'll set up across the front.

andyfev's picture

Where's the camp?

hawkeye's picture

That was fun. Brutal, but fun. The singletrack is as good as any anywhere, but whose idea was that last climb up to transition!? Evil

Actually it wasn't that bad, just a matter of keeping a bit in reserve and knuckling down and outlasting it.

I am nonetheless glad I didn't do the 4hr solo category this time. The sun on the exposed fire trail climbs was furnace-like. Kudos to those who did, especially to PeteB who smashed it.

For those who did the seven hour solo I'll book your appointment with the shrink on Monday morning.

pharmaboy's picture

Fire trails wee not fun - quite a bit I have hardly ever ridden because there is awesome single track going the same way.

The firetrail you speak of hawkeye , was put in at the last minute because there was a fear that someone might get seriously injured on the descent so the course went down easy way out instead of straight across and down a humped water bar firetrail.

Kudos to the 99% of people who managed getting passed well

Longest presso's ever.... ( like a modern day primary school assembly)

hawkeye's picture

descents that were left in were still a bit hairy - stray just inches off the swept line and the gravel was deep and loose. One guy who went wide to go around me got into trouble but managed to stay upright and the corner at the bottom was the slowest on the course. Fatboy had one guy go down right next to him on the same section.

However for the first event ever at a new venue I thought it was handled as well as you could have expected.

Some of the trail issues I hear from one source are to do with NPWS not listening to rider input and being too rigid about sticking to existing trail alignments, some of which are fall line with the inevitable erosion issues and maintenance headaches.

I would definitely go back for another event there, and those climbs were a signal I need to work on fitness. Maybe some Cascades Quarry Track repeats!

Lach's picture

... about the amount of fire trail, but I'm not familiar enough with Glenrock to know what the alternatives might have been. Going downhill on fire trail also seems like a waste of gravity! There was a bit too much climbing for my old legs - not an usual track feature these days. The bits of sniggle used were all pretty damn good, and although some of the downhill bits were pretty hairy in traffic, they were much more fun once the field was strung out a bit.

While I don't love long uphill fire trail slogs at the start of races, they do spread the field out. It needed a much longer section to avoid the traffic jam and conga line on lap 1, although I'm glad we didn't start ALL the way down Gun Club Rd...... Smiling

pharmaboy's picture

Shaft was also deleted because of works been done by the waterboard, that's why the strange loop - having to add on a couple of Kay's meant the creek crossing and firetrail slog (presumably they missed the rocky parallel single because of fears of massive traffic jambs - easy for competent riders, not so easy for intermediates)

Loved watching the visitors having so much trouble getting onto BJs, a line or b line, it didn't matter ;D

fairy1's picture

How did BJ's hold up throughout the race?

Fatboy's picture

The first half lap was the worst I've done for congestion and the only places to overtake were on steep downhill fire roads where there was a narrow grooved line and loose stuff everywhere else so not worth an overtake.

We hit half way and started the never ending climbing - all I kept thinking was @dicko stating there wasn't much climbing. No credibility Wayne!!!!

I did enjoy the course but having all the climbing stacked in the back half of the lap was quite taxing and the increasing heat on your back while climbing throughout the day was tough. I have never spent so much time in a race before riding my easiest gear. It was a matter of head down and grind away.

I estimate about 40% of riders passing me didn't call which is something I'm passionate about especially since my stay in the ICU for a number of days following last years Willo event when someone smacked me from behind attempting to overtake...

Being so close to the beach was good. Had a post race swim at Merewether. Great to clean off that dirt and help the muscle recovery.

pharmaboy's picture

Right about the first lap fat boy - needed a far longer run in start than that.

I'm all for not always sayin when I'm passing - if there's a good opportunity,,I'll usually call keep your line, but if you say passing on your right, you'd be amazed how many people steer right, not left. If you say keep left, they'll steer right.

Racing mtbs is dangerous stuff - it just is , but rest assured the people who are passing lots are generally using a technique that they find safest ( it's usually the passer that ends up in the weeds if things go awry)

I'm still amazed at how many people have no difficulty in just slowing ever so slightly at the right spot and let you shoot past without any words apart from a " thankyou buddy, good riding",

Fairy, BJs is probably better after the traffic than before - still desperately needs softening though. ( technicality has been a fail I think)

c3024446's picture

Such a shame that we couldn't go down one of the old DH trails like "walking the dog" down to the management trail (has bermed corners, jumps, great track) Then we could have gone back up easy way out.

Also, there is single track that runs parallel to the firetrail after the creek crossing to the top of the hill and is a nice climb, unlike those pinchy loose water bars!.

I don't mind hills, but there were so many spots towards the end of the lap where the pinches took too much out of me. 5 laps in solo 4hr was all I could manage, and on the last lap I had to walk the last waterbar climb and the final climb to transition.

dj108's picture

Those bit bits of singletrack you mentioned are illegal so that's why they would not of been used. With shaft being off limits this year it was probably the best loop available. If they do it again next year and use shaft there won't be as much fire road climbing I would imagine.

c3024446's picture

Hopefully NPWS made a bit of cash out of this and it has convinced them to add those trails to the Plan of Management......

adski's picture

The organisers deserve a big pat on the back for putting it together at a new venue. I had a great time on my one lap

trailburner's picture

I (Martin from Rocky Trail) just had a read through all your comments. All is pretty much explained. This was really the only loop we could use with sewage plant works in place. Hopefully they will be done next year and we have a few more options. And while there are more trails in there we can only use the officially sanctioned ones.

A new venue is always tricky but we learnt a lot in terms of where the "hot spots" are and where you can and can't overtake.

Having a mad climb at the end of the loop wasn't ideal but the only way to get back to the event centre. Glad you all enjoyed it apart from the few issues mentioned above.

Hope to see you in Singleton for Round 2. Totally different track there. Will be interesting to see how you compare the 2.

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