Quiet simply the 2017 Royal Far West Ride For Country Kids Route is breathtaking.
The RFW Ride For Country Kids commences in beautiful Wagga Wagga and takes riders through Cootamundra, Cowra and concludes in Orange. I have driven a lot of routes over the years but this route is a little unique. I think the roads and the countryside are just gorgeous but the people who live and work in these communities are so lovely and all seem to have a story about the Royal Far West and all seem to be so eager to get behind the ride and the cause.
The route will depart from the RSL Motel in Wagga Wagga and head to the Charles Sturt University for the official launch. Riders will be released from the University in a series of graded Pelotons and disappear into the wonders of rural Wagga Wagga. The roads are quiet and the scenery is simply stunning.
Take a peek of Day 1 below.
The ride format will be:
- Lunch In Gundagai around 90 K
- Re Fuel Stops as required (expected every hour or so) 10 mins max
- Cootamundra Finish (148 K 1,385 VM)
(add a further 6 K to allow the journey from the Hotel to the Uni so 154 K)
- Strongest Peloton First
- Peloton 1 will have additional options in Gundagai
GUNDAGAI ADDITIONAL OPTION P 1
Before departing Gundagai for Cootamundra, Peloton 1 will have the option to complete a 1 K KOM to a lookout point high above Gundagai and to then ride on a cycle path out to the famous Dog on a Tuckerbox. The total distance for this challenge is 15 K and its an out and back route.
See additional route here.
The elevation graph above tells the story and whilst the initial 20 K as riders depart Wagga Wagga is reasonably gentle thats about where gentle and not so gentle starts and finishes.
The undulations for day 1 between Wagga Wagga and Gundagai are more significant between 20 K and 60 K so riders should be preparing mentally for the challenges ahead right from the get go; this will ensure the body is ready to do what it needs to when the time comes. At 60 K the undulations start to soften as riders head into Gundagai for lunch. From their the undulations return and become more challenging as riders head towards Cootamundra. Riders will take Burra Rd north of Gundagai and this road is super quiet and just classic country NSW; skinny sections, a few bumps but a cracking route. This road will take riders to around 120 K where they will turn left onto Muttama Rd at around 120 K. This is a busier section of road however riders are only on this road for 8 K as they will then turn right onto Old Gundagai Road and back onto more secondary quiet roads before jumping back onto Muttama Rd 5 K out of Cootamundra.
For a detailed look at the route click here.
Whilst the 2017 RFW Ride For Country Kids course isn't in the ALPS riders need to be training as if it was. The 2017 Wagga Wagga to Orange course has a significant amount of undulations and is what I commonly call a workers course. Flat sections come and go so its important riders build leg strength as they prepare for the event; this is what will get them through each day. Ensuring hill days form part of weekly training schedules is really important and trying too wherever possible simulate the course in ones training is also a great idea. A few watt sessions on a stationary bike is also not a bad idea for those who might be time poor.