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Convict 100 2015

Brian's picture

By Brian - Posted on 31 March 2015

Note that this ride is Cancelled.
Saturday, 2 May, 2015 (All day)
Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Ride Database Entry: 
Great Northern Road
Ride Database Entry: 
Womerah Range
Meeting Point: 

St Albans, NSW

Bulga St and Wharf st, st albans, nsw

The Convict 100 is an ‘institution’ in Australia mountain biking! As one of the first marathon events established in Australia, it consistently inspires all entrants to push their personal boundaries. The 2015 event will be the 11th installment of the “Century of Dirt” with a course change to the 100km and all new 68km and 44km course options.

Hosted from the sleepy township of St. Albans only 2 hours North of Sydney, the course follows the historic Convict Trail through the heart of the Hawkesbury Valley, taking in some of the best scenery the area has to offer. The mix of fast fire trail, technical rock gardens, rocky descents and spectacular ridgeline views is unmatched by any other MTB event. It is rugged, remote and one epic adventure on a bike!

The race starts and finishes in the historic township of St. Albans where a community (and the third oldest pub in Australia) welcomes all competitors with open arms. Riders can choose between the full “Century of Dirt” 100km, the all new “Convict half” 68km or a 44km introductory ride for beginners and juniors. This is one mountain bike weekend you do not want to miss!

Who's in?
garyinoz, Brian, CB, philberesford, Blades_Utd, Bikeboy, Antsonline, sly_artichoke, Tristania, danielschipper, ahein, GarethP, webby (13 riders)
garyinoz Brian CB philberesford Blades_Utd Bikeboy Antsonline sly_artichoke Tristania danielschipper ahein GarethP webby
What Happened?

Blog entries about this meeting (as this is a race standings and times are shown, click on the title for more and to comment)...

Who Title Status Time Pos.Gen. Category Pos.Cat.
all74 Convict 44k for Kids! Finished 03:20:16 155 125

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
Fatboy's picture

I'm now attending as a volunteer. Wouldn't mind being stationed near the top of Jacks Track. I bet the race will be blown open up that first climb. It's definitely not one where the elite riders will stay together as a pack.

ahein's picture

Looking forward to the race. It was the very first race I competed in last year. This year given the course is being run backwards I am going to do the 68 rather than the 100. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the jacks track climb

obmal's picture

I have said it before, not a fan of the course reverse, not a fan of the Saturday race.

run in reverse and on a saturday?.. meh..

I'm trying to motivate me to buy a ticket.. can someone please do the mountain bike haka?

Antsonline's picture

Although its a tough climb, it does have a relatively flat middle to it - so there will be opportunity for the group to get back together.

I agree it will split there, but given the nature of the next 20km, I suspect things will bunch up and be VERY tight hitting the canoe bridge at 30km.

Thats just my read on it however, and on the day it will come down to who wants to light the race up really vs those who play it more conservatively....

Of max interest will be the final 10km on the bitumen - where a group will be way faster than an individual, discouraging a lone break.
Lets wait and see though....

Brian's picture

Come on Dave, agree with Saturdays being a PITA but you need to have a go. You don't want to be at home on the day thinking dam, should have entered.

philberesford's picture

If you register before the 3rd you'll save yourself $10. That's 2 beers in a cheap pub or one overpriced beer in a city bar. Think about it... beer!

You know you want to...

Laughing out loud

philberesford's picture

So I'll keep my eye out for you Craig.

Blades_Utd's picture

Hoping for a decent run of weather to get out there for a recon prior to the day.
Look forward to seeing you all there!

Antsonline's picture

I went out and rode at Wiso’s and St.Albans twice over the long weekend – as I wont get much chance between now and the race to much more.
I expect it to be a fast race as usual. The first climb will certainly be selective, but I don’t think it will define the race.
There are two distinct stages to it, and it will be a brave man (or woman) that pushes on really hard through the middle (flat) of it to get to the final pinch on the concrete.

The rest of the trail is in good condition, the rain had created puddles but as usual, there are ways around it. It drains so well up there. All of the downed trees have been removed and cut and as long as you think your way up some of the lines on the techy North Road section, there is no reason to dab or unclip. That being said, in the pressure of a race its hard to stay cool and pick your lines perfectly….

All in all, I think the route change is positive, and will create another classic challenge of a race.

garyinoz's picture

After giving this one a wide berth forth last couple of years it's time to face my demons and ride the convict again. Aiming for better than a DNF!

philberesford's picture

...for the bridge!

Brian's picture

They had two the last time I did it. One for walking and one for riding.

garyinoz's picture

Apparently there will only be one this year but it's twice the width Eye-wink

philberesford's picture

There should make it narrower, not wider.

obmal's picture

I have walked and rode that bridge several times each, and even now often find myself tracking fog lines on roads practicing for that bridge..

Now they change it? why? was it dangerous??

It should be a challenge, hell.. they should fill the river with piranhas and starving lions.."don't fall in bro"!!

Did anyone ever not enter this race because the bridge was scary?

What's next? a 9am start time, gluten free options at the feed stations and hipsters handing out decaf soy lattes at the finish line?

I'm sure that view points differ here; but the old race route was close to being perfect, perhaps even becoming historical?

They are doing a pretty good job of making this race just another 100K MTB race.

Oh well lets let the market decide, see how the numbers compare and all that.

I guess I'm just becoming a stubborn grumbley old bastard.. please save me (that was a cry for help from the other half of my mind).

I still may yet just shut up my complaining and enter the silly thing.

Brian's picture

+1 for a 9am start Eye-wink

Antsonline's picture

Here is the reality. Entries for 100km races are tumbling faster than a novice with new SPD's. Its no use saying 'keep it the same' - because (@Obmal specifically) you arent entering! By your own admission!

They have introduced the 68km loop in response to most complaining that 100km is too hard, and that the 50km was too dull. Now there is a 68km loop, it includes all the good features (rocks and bridges etc) and hopefully will see great entries.

Re the Bridge changing - dont get me wrong, I loved the skinny bridge. However, it came at 65km, after a VERY selective piece of track and was only for 100km riders.
It is now 30km in, with nothing too selective leading into it, and must cater for the 100km and 68km racers. The whinging about bottle-necks in the past has been ridiculous. They propose a solution and there is whinging still!

I know for one, I wouldnt want to be a race organiser. You are damned if you do, damned if you dont, and pretty much damned if you even think about thinking of a change. But remember - you have to keep it fresh otherwise people say is 'done'.....

Lach's picture

... after doing the wade of shame the last time I did the 100 because they said you couldn't walk the single bridge (though many "riders" seemed to give up easily and walk most of it), I thought the two bridges was a reasonable compromise. Are they really changing it?

I suppose also after complaining for the last few years that the 50 was boring (including to one of the organisers who I happened to sit next to on a plane), I should do the 68. It seems a long way though and I know I'll be cursing myself once I hit Jack's Track....

obmal's picture

yes.. I'm just grumbling.. but I have done lots of these races so I feel that I have earned my opinion?

bridges; The two bridge option worked? no?

Anyhow's, I agree that they needed a 70ish K option other than the DNF one at the bottom of the gully.

Yes Anthony you are correct (as usual) the change has been positive for fixing the 50K option, and a better course that they get the 68k riders separated from the 100Kers before the single tracks north of 10 Mile Hollow.

I won't complain anymore.. I promise.

and now I'm going to enter just to show you! Smiling

philberesford's picture

for Brian to start at 9am, it give's the rest of us a fighting chance Sticking out tongue

Brian's picture

I'm happy with the wider bridge and I think the 68km loop is a great option. Only 3 weeks to go now Smiling

sly_artichoke's picture

If they are doing a wider bridge this year, it's probably because the approach will be a short, sharp right-hander off sand rather than the rolling start off the grass as previously, so we might be a bit wobbly on the first few metres. But double the width? Redunkulous!

Lach's picture

...also has a user-friendly 9.30 - 9.55 am start time Smiling

Brian's picture

Rider Support

Once you leave the start you will not be returning to St. Albans until the finish. This is an unsupported race. Any outside assistance (apart from fellow competitors) will be considered cheating and will lead to disqualification. Spectators are welcome at the start/finish and the kayak bridge at the 33km mark. Maps on how to drive from St. Albans to the kayak bridge will be available at the timing tent – Please note, spectators are not allowed to assist their rider in any way at the kayak bridge, that includes nutrition or taking any unwanted gear. Be warned as this will be policed to keep it fair for all riders.

Lach's picture

... that no-one can dive in to help you if you fall off the bridge??? Eye-wink

obmal's picture

There goes my idea of swapping my legs with fresh ones?

hawkeye's picture

What's this bizzo about *becoming* a stubborn old grumbley bastard? Eye-wink

Nice plan about swapping the legs. There's a few bits of mine I wouldn't mind swapping.

obmal's picture

..the "old" part seems to be sneaking up on me.

You should have heard me complaining about the weather last Friday, Saturday and then the mud Sunday and Monday..

Fatboy's picture

I think the wider bridge is sensible being so early in the race when it is likely to be congested. I recall a number of times in the past where I'd take the walk through the water option just because they had a queue at the bridge and would only allow one rider at a time. It's annoying after riding your guts out to have a 20min wait to get across and I can only see that being worse at 30km than it was in the old days at 70km when they only had one option.

As I'm unable to ride this year so will attend as a volunteer I might just bring along a container of oil and my camera and stay near the bridge ... Smiling

CB's picture

There's a 44km ' participation' version too that I'll be doing with my wife and youngest son. It goes over the bridge too so I'm glad its going to be a bit wider than usual.

hawkeye's picture

Saw a comment on another site that the Convict was being deferred until sometime in September. I'm speculating, but expect this is likely due to the number of trees down ... if it's true.

Can anyone confirm/deny?

philberesford's picture

Got a linky John?

hawkeye's picture

"Closed" FB page - Sydney MTB Riders. Can't find the comment now. Sad

Apparently confirmed

LanceArmstrong's picture

I live out in the valley on a part time basis. Fortunately I've been in Sydney this week at the river reached around 5metres during the flood. Local rumour, which is usually pretty accurate, says the race has been postponed. I believe the first car made its way down Settlers rd yesterday, so it has been a wild week.

Brian's picture
ahein's picture

That's a pity, I guess it gives me more time to train Eye-wink. I guess now I just need to work out whether to still have a weekend away in wiseman's or see whether I can cancel and book in again later this year

Brian's picture
obmal's picture

Well.. They could of changed it into a "tough mudder" just like the other mudders but only a little longer and all your your mudding is done on a bike with the mud flying up off the tyres?

Good call, it's much more fun when its a little drier out there.

Antsonline's picture

Yep - a real shame, hopefully it will get rescheduled for another date this year, the reverse loop was going to be interesting!
I do feel for Henry (organiser) as this sort of thing is so out of his hands - freak weather events...nightmare.

Tristania's picture

I think we were all looking forward to seeing what the new course would do. But I think it was smart to do it now, rather than when people are arriving on Friday, unlike a certain 24 hour race in Canberra last year. Hopefully it'll be rescheduled.

Time to find some other races to destroy myself in!

staffe's picture

After a long procrastination I coughed up the hefty fee late last week and now cancelled.

Does anyone know of their refund policy - If the new date does not work for a rider for some reason. Will they refund?

sly_artichoke's picture


"If the event has to be cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disaster, acts of god, terrorism, war or any other reason so deemed by the organisers, all efforts will be made to reschedule the event at a later date. If the event is rescheduled and you are unable to make the new date, no refunds will be issued."

Just sent an email to them supporting the call to postpone. That course, run in those conditions, would cost you more in replacement parts than to forfeit your entry fee!


hawkeye's picture

As the organisers of The Mont found out, you can't contract out of certain obligations under consumer law. If they can't supply the service on the date promised and you aren't prepared or able to wait they have to cough up.

If you can't make the rerun, a call to ACCC or Dept of Fair Trading will help educate them.

It is up to Max Adventure to take out insurance to cover such eventualities. If they choose to self insure, it will come out of their pockets.

Tristania's picture

Thought I'd give a heads up for those desperate for something in the bush this weekend, I've set the course for the 6 & 12 hour rogaine, also happening near Wiseman's Ferry this Saturday, and now will head up there instead, either to volunteer or casually compete. This is the sport of bush navigation with map and compass & is a good physical endurance challenge. The course is in good nick, and I can tell you it'll be a lot of fun. Entries close tomorrow so get in fast:

sly_artichoke's picture

Didn't realise that was the case. Perhaps they throw it in as a red herring to minimise the claims against them.

Tristania's picture

A lot colder in the area in three months time. Really glad it didn't run on Saturday - weather was atrocious! Here's hoping for a better day.

They'll refund your entry minus a $20 fee if you can't make it, or transfer it across to next year or another rider.

ahein's picture

I was up there over the weekend and you can see the reasons why its was cancelled, there were landslides, trees down and quite a bit of erosion and debris around, even if the sun was out all of last week i don't think they could have held the race.

It will be interesting how much cooler it will be at the start with the change to August

sly_artichoke's picture

Then again, it could be absolutely fabulous! City to Surf is the next day, and more often than not it's glorious weather for that event. Fingers crossed.

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