A record number of over 200 riders, 900+km of fabulous riding over 16 days, a few flat tyres and many happy memories: another Outback Odyssey is done and dusted and those who took part can now put their feet up after an epic effort and reminisce on the journey.
Conditions for this years Outback Odyssey were awesome – some might even say the best ever. Mild temperatures and a few chilly starts gave way to bright blue sunny skies that highlighted all but one day on the trail. Dry weather in the lead up to the event provided firm trails that enabled riders to roll along at higher average speeds whilst some of the more technical sections of the trail (e.g. the decent from Richmond Gap, just south of Quorn and Mt Little Station, north of Hawker) had received recent maintenance and were much easier to navigate for the average rider.
The weather was very kind to us compared to our previous Odyssey in 2015 and the lack of drivetrain-munching mud this year was a welcome surprise to all. There was just one day of rain in Quorn with almost 20ml causing a slight interruption to otherwise calm conditions. The riding experience was so good that, for many riders, the daily arrival and finish times were much earlier in comparison to previous trips. After the rain, clear weather on the final few days of the journey allowed riders to take in the most of the spectacular views that the Flinders Rangers had to offer. A picture perfect way to end the adventure.
Participants certainly ask a lot of their bike on the Outback Odyssey and for the most part, the mixed fleet (including high-end, dual suspension carbon frame rigs, a wide variety of hardtail MTBs, a few cyclocross rigs and even a 20 year old mountain bike still going strong) carried their riders happily to the end. For those who did have issues, event mechanic Lindsey Colla from Velo Mech was on hand to help. The most interesting mechanical issues reported by Lindsey were a pedal stripped out of a crank and a snapped axle. Aside from these incidents, the main consumable used was tyre sealant, 8 litres of it! The spectre of the dreaded caltrop and 3 corner jacks meant any and all precautions were taken to avoid punctures along the way. Despite an apparently ideal growing season for these nasty thorns, the “body count” for flats was relatively low this year.
OUTBACK ODYSSEY RETURNS IN 2019
As our riding posse returns to all corners of the country and nations beyond, there will be many reflections on this years wonderful adventure. We will post more pics as they come to hand and you’ll be able to view them on Bicycle SA’s Flickr account. In the mean time mark your calendars and make your plans for when the Outback Odyssey adventure returns in May 2019. For those who are itching to get back on the road sooner for some more cycle touring, check out the Annual Tour happening in October.