We had a great time at Bicycle Network Peaks Challenge Falls Creek last weekend.
Falls Creek is a fantastic part of the world, nestled in the high country in the state of VIC, Australia. It's tranquil and a great place to prepare for a tough day out on the bike.
The event itself brings mixed emotions, the scenery is beautiful and the climbing is sometimes brutal. It is well organised and the support riders and volunteers make for a special day out on the bike.
The day starts with a chilly 30km descent before the first 7km climb of the day at Tawonga Gap which is a great way to warm up the body and the legs in preparation for the day ahead.
The next climb of the day is Mount Hotham which is where your day really starts. The climb is 30km long, 1303m at 4.2% average gradient which puts the legs through their paces and sets you up for the rest of the day. If you're feeling bad on this climb, the remainder of your day is going to be extremely tough
There are multiple aid stations along the course with fluids and food to keep you hydrated and energised. If you're not carrying all your own nutrition it's a must to stop and get refuelled because the toughest part of your day is yet to come. And if you haven't remained hydrated up to this point then chances are you'll run out of gas well before the last and toughest climb of the day.
After riding a tough 199km you hang a sharp left and you face straight into a 17% Av gradient wall commonly known as WTF corner. There's no riding around the easy way, no shortcut, no-one pushing you from behind, the only way is straight up using pedal power
The total climb (at least the steep part) is roughly 12km and it is one of the toughest climbs we've done. You'll get a lot of encouragement from riders and supporters to get you to the top but when someone tells you there's only 5km to go, and you know that's 5km with 10% to 15% gradient ramps it doesn't really help.
This event will test your mental and physical ability to a level you've unlikely been tested before but the satisfaction and sense of achievement of rolling over the finish line is second to none
Definitely an event to tick off your bucket list.-----