Day 1 Coolangatta – Murwillumbah
This years ride kicks off from beautiful Coolangatta. We head west and within a few km we are in the Gold Coast hinterland, away from the hustle and bustle and onto the quiet back roads that will be our home for the next 6 days. We have two little Cat 4’s to contend with as we ride up and over the rim of the ancient Mount Warning Volcano and down into the Tweed Valley. At the 28km mark we swing north back over the range via the first real test of the 2016 Ride for Fuel, the Cat 2 Mt Tomewin climb (5.4km @ 6%). We regroup and grab some morning tea at the lookout after 37km. From here it’s a long descent and a brief brush with the Goldie suburbs before we hit our biggest climb of the day, the Cat 2 Springbrook climb (13.3 @ 4%) at the 65km mark. A few k’s after the summit we reach Apple Tree Park, and a massive lunch! After lunch we head further west, dropping into the Numinbah Valley where we swing south and head back over the border range and back into NSW via our last climb of the day the Cat 3 Natural Bridge climb (7.4 @ 4%). From the border it’s an easy roll down into the Tweed Valley to our destination, Murwillumbah.
Day 2 Murwillumbah – Kyogle
Day 2 is bound to be one of the best days riding you’ve ever done. It’s a big call but the parcours offers up some of the most scenic roads, epic climbs and leg sapping undulations that you’ll find anywhere. Heading south-east from Murwillumbah, the first leg of today’s route takes us into one of the most beautiful regions in Australia, the Byron Hinterland.
After a few early warm up ramps we climb over the southern rim of the Mt Warning crater via the Cat 4 Burringbar climb (3.3km @ 4%) at the 9km mark. From here we encounter a series of undulations and short climbs before we hit the Télégraphe & Galibier of the Far North Coast, the Cat 3 Coolamon (3.2 @ 6%) then, after a brief descent, the Cat 4 Goonengerry (2.9 @ 5%) after which we will regroup for morning tea at the 50km mark. We then skirt the rim encountering three more climbs as we move from valley to valley, the most notable being the Cat 4 (1.6 @ 5%) at the 56km mark. At the 82km mark we hit what is probably going to be the hardest climb of this years tour, the Cat 1 Mt Nardi (14.3km @ 5%). While on paper it looks fairly friendly, I suspect there are going to be some very steep sections and a tough road surface, especially towards the top of the climb. Weather pending we will have lunch at the top of Mt Nardi overlooking the Nightcap Ranges. From here it’s a long descent into Nimbin before we head further inland to Kyogle, a town that’s a little bit country and a little bit hippy. While in conquering Mt Nardi we have broken the back of Day 2, we still have plenty of work to do before we can call it a day with the last three of eight catagorised climbs left to conquer. At 115km we have the Cat 3 Stanger Rd Climb (2.4km @ 7%) then at 121km we hit the Cat 4 Stony Chute Rd Climb (1.7km @ 6.3%) and finally we limp our way over the Cat 3 Sargent Rd Climb (3.9km @ 6%). After 141 brutal kilometres with 8 catagorised climbs and plenty of beefy undulations you will have truly earnt that vanilla slice and rooibos tea.
Day 3 Kyogle – Killarney
With almost as much climbing and 30 more kilometres than day 2 you might be dreading Day 3 but with most of the kms being accrued in longer climbs and long sections of flat road, I suspect it will provide the perfect platform to spin out the damage from Day 2 and ride yourself into some form. The first leg of the day will be an absolute treat as we head north back into Queensland via the Lions Rd, one of the top 10 most beautiful roads in Australia. It’s a gentle rise for the first part of the ascent and at the 38km mark we hit the Cat 3 Smugglers Climb (2.9 @7.3%), which takes us up to the border. From here it’s a long roll down to morning tea at Rathdowney at the 67km mark. Heading back to the border we climb back up the range via the Cat 2 Mount Lindesay Climb (10.7km @ 3%) at the 84km mark. After a few undulations at the top of the range it’s all down hill until lunch at Urbenville after 120km. After 12 km to digest lunch we hit the Cat 2 Wallaby Creek Climb (8.4km @ 4%). After a long descent into the Koreelah Valley we tackle the last climb of the day, the Cat 3 Koreelah Climb. From here we encounter a few easy undulations to spin out the lactate before arriving at our destination Killarney.
Day 4 Killarney Loop
Make sure you have plenty of breaky for today’s ride as we’ve got some b-e-a-utiful climbs to take on, most of them before morning tea. After 6km of gentle up hill we hit our first Cat 2 of the day the Carrs Climb (13.1km @ 3%), which is really two shorter climbs, joined by some false flat. After a regrouping at the Lookout at the top we sweep down into the Brisbane Basin before hitting 3 Cat 4 climbs at the 44, 53 and 61km marks. By the time we get to morning tea by Lake Moogerah you’ll be ready to eat the nearest bit of road kill. Fortunately we have absolutely awesome roadies so it won’t come to that! After an undulating 20km we then hit our second Cat 2 of the day, Cunningham’s Gap (9.3 @ 5%) before rolling down onto the Darling Downs town of Gladfield for lunch at 117km. From here it’s a relatively easy 50km of quiet country back roads to complete the loop and arrive back at our base of Killarney.
Day 4 (Alternate) Killarney Recovery loop
It’s normally about day 3 or 4 when the hurt really starts to set in. While we all embrace Jens Voigt’s mantra of “shut up legs” sometimes it’s best to listen to your body and have an easy day, spinning out the fatigue and getting ready to finish the week with power! With that in mind, we’re offering an alternative loop on Day 4 that takes in the beautiful Darling Downs. The loop will cover undulating country with nae a categorised climb in sight. After a nice long lunch in Warwick we will regroup with the other group for the last 30km of the day.
Day 5 Killarney – Kyogle
Day 5 sees us traverse some of the same roads we rode on Day 3 but in the opposite direction as we start making our way East. Don’t worry, you wont get bored. It’s worth taking a second look at the Lion’s Road! After the cheeky Cat 4 Acacia Plateau Climb (1.4km @ 6%) to get the legs warmed up we have undulating terrain with some long drags before we hit the next climb of significance at the 54km mark, Mt Lindesay (3km @ 5%) after which we will regroup for morning tea. The next leg will be a welcome change with largely flat roads before we take on the long descent back into Queensland and lunch at Rathdowney. After lunch we take the Lions Road back over the range to Kyogle. After 20km of undulating uphill to digest lunch we hit Richmond Gap. There’s contention to where the climb starts and finishes but you’ll know you’re on the climb proper when you hit the 900m stretch that averages 14%! After getting back into NSW it’s a long descent along one of the most scenic roads in Australia back into Kyogle for a well-deserved weak soy latte.
Day 6 Kyogle – Coolangatta
Today we’re on the homeward stretch but not without a few testing little bumps to ensure your legs are we and truly done! Starting out from Kyogle we hit our first climb after only a 2.5km warm up. The Cat 3 Kyogle climb (7.8km @ 3%) which, despite the easy gradient, has a few nasty ramps to contend with. From here we drop into the next valley and straight into the Cat 3 Lillian Rocks climb (11km @2.5%) which, similar to our first climb, has a few little descents and false flats that will ensure that this climb is much harder on the road than it is on paper! From here it is a long gradual descent through a mixture of rainforest and farmland to our morning tea stop at Uki at the 53km mark. After the break we have what will be probably the last chance to grab some valuable KOM points of significance as we take on the iconic and stunning Cat 2 Mt Warning! (4.4km @ 8%) Fortunately we have a flat 25km after the climb to spin out the legs before our last lunch on the banks of the Tweed at Tumblegum after 88km. From here it’s a an easy 30km with only an easy Cat 4 Terranora climb (4.5km @ 3%) before we roll back into the Gold Coast for a well deserved celebration dinner! Job Done!
Thinking about joining us on the ride? Fill out an Expression of Interest form here.