Alice Springs has infiltrated our hearts here at Flow. We're sure we sound like a broken record, but there's a good reason we keep saying it: this is a place that every Australian mountain biker should experience. If you're looking for a reason to finally come see what Alice is all about, then the 2019 Outback Cycling Easter in the Alice is it.
So, why all the fuss about Alice?
In part, it’s because the brilliance of the trails here is so completely unexpected. Alice sits in the literal middle of the country, an area that most perceive as pancake-flat, with unbearable heat, surrounded by desert. As you fly into Alice over the sands below, it seems impossible that a thriving mountain bike scene could exist out there. Once your wheels touch down, you can soon start to appreciate how diverse the landscape really is, and just how perfect the rolling ridgelines are for building flowing cross-country trail.
But it’s not until you pedal out of town on your bike, and within moment of leaving your hotel find yourself following endless ribbons on singletrack, that it all really clicks. This place is a riding paradise.
The trails are fast, open and serpentine, whipping through gullies and over rocky crests. The weather, especially from April to October, is perfect with clear blue skies practically guaranteed. The social riding and club scene is tremendous, in that welcoming way that only regional towns seem to achieve. The landscape is a breathtaking, ancient collision of reds, oranges and yellows. And the sunsets and sunrises are simply mind-blowing. It’s seriously special.
What’s the Outback Cycling Easter in the Alice then?
What began as a little, local event has grown into a standout on the national mountain biking calendar, but the fun and fantastic community vibe has been retained. Easter in the Alice is three days of cross-country racing (20-22 April 2019), on the very best trails of Alice, interwoven with parties, movie nights and heaps of socialising – equal parts race and festival. Take a look at the event schedule here, and you’ll get the gist! They’re big on the apres race celebrations.
How far are we talking?
For those looking to go long, there’s the full distance event, which clocks in at around 120km of racing over three stages. Or if you’d like to wind it back a notch, there’s the ‘Midi’ option, which serves about 60km over the three days. Or you’ve got the option to race the final day as a single stage too. If you’re planning on being at the pointy end, you’ll be happy to hear the event has Marquee status in the MTBA National Cup as well. Full course maps for all three days can be viewed right here.
What are the trails like?
Fast! We love the way you can wind it up to full speed so often in Alice, with the singletrack arcing away from you through the open terrain, it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to see so far ahead down the trail. There are plenty of technical challenges too, mainly in the form of dramatic rock features that will keep even the best riders on their toes. It’s terrain that’s ideally suited to a dual suspension XC 29er, something light and efficient, but shod with tough tyres to deal with all the rocks that reach out to nip at your sidewalls.
What about logistics?
Alice is a true ride-in, ride-out destination. Once you’re in town, you do not need a car. All the trails cloverleaf out from a variety of trail heads around town, none of which are more than 15 minutes ride from the centre of the Todd Mall, where you’ll find plenty of cafes and pubs to sate your thirst.
So, what’s holding you back?
The time for excuses has passed. Easter comes but once a year, so get your entry in, get your flights booked and come see what racing and riding in the Red Centre is all about. Click here to learn more.