Winter Solstice 300
Warrnambool railway station, VIC
The Winter Solstice 300 is a new event that celebrates the beautiful gravel trails of the Shipwreck Coast and Otway National Park. At 300km long, it’ll be a great route for first-timers and a good challenge for experienced riders.
This bike packing route runs along the shipwreck coast and into the incredible Otway National Park, dropping down into the coastal town of Lorne before climbing back up into the Otways then the final stretch of fast, flat gravel into Geelong. The start is at the Warnambool train station and finsh at the Waurn Ponds train station. The start time is set at 15 minutes after the first train from Melbourne gets into Warnambool and the end is a V Line station as well so this will hopefully allow those coming down from Melbourne to get an easy train home at the end.
The route is 300km of mostly gravel roads with some sandy double track and short sections of paved road. Being only 300km it is the perfect route to dip your toe in. For those worried about the distance there are camp sites in the Otways and Lorne is about 2/3rds of the way which provides great options to break it up into a couple of days. Anything with 40mm of rubber will be fine and a hard tail MTB will have its place as well.
I expect the fastest time to be sub 20hr, Mid pack 24-30hr, Lantern Rouge 40-48hr
Weather will play a big part in how the race is ridden, lots of rain leading up to the race will make for slow going and lots of hike-a-bike through sections of the Otways and along the sandy cliffs just outside Warrnambool not to mention the short days of winter will push riders to test their capabilities in the dark. Don’t let the distance fool you, this route throws some punches!
Borrowing from the GDT, a photo at the Waurn Ponds train station with the clock at the end of the route will mark your final time. This is an unspported bikepacking event. Usual rules apply and if you are unfamiliar with them jump on over to http://tourdivide.org/the_rules.
You are riding at entirely your own risk. I take no responsibility what so ever for your safety or ability to complete the route. Given it will probably be haling and 5 deg I suspect I will be the only one riding anyway!I will be setting up tracking through https://maprogress.com/ and post details up when I have it sorted.
The draft route is https://www.strava.com/routes/2740890487926940502 but please do not use this on the day as I haven’t finalised it yet and there might still be some minor changes. I will announce the final route once I have it sorted.
Organised by: Matt See