Confirmed Sunday 4 December 2022.
Hello Riders - thank you for clicking 'I'm in' on Strava. Please note that you MUST register your entry on our site to confirm your attendance : https://goodnessgravel.com - thank you - Will
Gravel Fondo : 135km with 2,700m of ascent
Note : riding this course at 18kph will take you 7:30 - that is without stopping - this distance is NOT for the faint hearted.
What a loop, it has a bit of everything. Riders will head out from the Gundy Recreation Grounds - 242m above sea-level (ASL) and head North. For the first 8km riders will be riding along a lovely stretch of country tarmac before crossing the Isis River and soon after, goodnessgravel awaits.
Riders are on a 'gentle' climb as you cycle through some magical farm and horse properties. At 13km riders at the top of the first 'hill' - 369m ASL - then continue to climb all the way up to the 26km mark. Here riders will be 523m ASL and enjoy some superb views of the Upper Hunter Valley.
At 29km riders will take a left and head West and across the Isis River (water crossing imminent). There is some climing to up through Green Creek and then it is time for a drink and some nutrition at Rest Stop #1 @ 42km, located at a Local RFS. Here you will find music, a place to fill your water bottles and grab your first drop bag. There will also be first aid, bananas and mechanic to assist if necessary. Please say hello to the volunteers and treat the area with respect when it comes to litter and general behaviour, we thank you.
From the Rest Stop #1, riders will continue on tarmac and make a left and then right, as you make your way towards the major climb of the day. Once you turn onto this next section you enter one of the most amazing stretches of gravel road you are ever likely to experience. To begin, look up high up on both sides and you will see that you are surrounded by a grass tree 'forest', it is something that amazes us each time we pass through this section. There must be 100's of them waving in the wind. They must also be +600 years old! Marvel in their beauty as you meander along this stretch of gravel. You will not see this scenery anywhere else in our Country.
Then comes a true WWW (Will We Walk) climb!? There are quite a few +10% sections as you wind your way up to 61km and 958m ASL to go over the 'Pass'. Some people say, it is 'only' the first 2km which is steep but we will let you work out what you classify as steep. Once you crest the top take CARE as you head down a very steep gravel section.
Riders then head in a general rolling and winding direction for the next 57km. Yes, there are a few rises but all you have to do is look at the profile below to get a better understanding of these great kilometres. You will be riding through another beautiful valley in the Upper Hunter Valley. You will also be meandering beside Pages Creek, the good(ness) news is that the flow is headed in the same direction as you, enjoy it for serenity and say g'day to the cows and horses.
At 86km, during that descent, you will arrive into the tiny town of Ellerston where there will be Rest Stop #2 - 516 ASL. Here there will be another place to fill your water bottles and grab your second drop bag. There will also be first aid, bananas and mechanic to assist if necessary. Please say hello to the volunteers and treat the area with respect when it comes to litter and general behaviour, we thank you.
Rest up, refuel and then enjoy the next section as the gravel fades to tarmac at ~99km. It is not all down hill back into Gundy, there is a segment called Belltrees Nundle Rd Climb, more info below, which will test those tired legs and before you know it 135km will be done and you be right back to where you started from that morning.
Registered riders will be emailed the Strava and Ride With GPS link including GPX file the week of the event
As this area is not a major city or massively travelled region, most of the course is not Strava-segmented but that does not mean it is void of logged sectors. Here are four from the 135km ride:
Some people will say this is the first place to really test the legs, 'goodnessgravel Gundy leg tester' https://www.strava.com/segments/27584758?filter=overall : Stats Distance 2.54km / Avg Grade 6.3% / Low Elev 366m / High Elev 527m / Elev Diff 161m / Current KOM to be claimed and QOM to be claimed.
The BIG climb of the day, not long after Rest Stop #1 is 'goodnessgravel Gundy Will We Walk?' https://www.strava.com/segments/27584339 : Stats Distance 7.85km / Avg Grade 5.9% / Low Elev 487m / High Elev 958m / Elev Diff 471m / Current KOM to be claimed and QOM to be claimed.
Immediately after Rest Stop #2 is 'A view of Ellerston' https://www.strava.com/segments/21229571 : Stats Distance 0.83km / Avg Grade 6.5% / Low Elev 532m / High Elev 587m / Elev Diff 54m / Current Current KOM 0.48 and QOM 5:07.
Just before riders get back to Gundy there is 'Belltrees Nundle Rd Climb' https://www.strava.com/segments/1166413 : Stats Distance 1.84km / Avg Grade 6.5% / Low Elev 326m / High Elev 447m / Elev Diff 120m / Current KOM 5:05 and QOM 7:45.