Welcome to the Scody 3 Peaks Challenge tips. Over the coming months, I’m going to be providing you with a whole lot of training tips to help you with your preparations leading up to the start line. I’ve personally ridden the ride for the last two years so know what you are up against. It’s an epic achievement finishing this fantastic ride and such a enjoyable event to have on your bucket list.
Bicycle Network has been running organised rides for years now, and they do a fantastic job of this ride. There logistics are superb.
I’m excited to be involved and looking forward to helping you on your training journey.
The Scody 3 Peaks Challenge is run over some of the best alpine mountains in Australia. There are two main time limits. The maximum time you allowed to ride the event is 13 hours. Then there is a sub 10 hour that provides even more of a challenge.
The ride starts at the top of Fall Creak then descends down to Mt Beauty. After that, you are on the first serious climb, Tawonga Gap. Tawanga Gap is 876 meters high. The decent off it brings you down to the Great Alpine Road to ride up the valley to Harrietville. At the base of Harrietville, you then start the next major climb, Mt Hotham. This 30km climb starts off at a medium steep gradient then after a steep pinch called the Meg it settles down to a 2-3 % gradient right up until the toll gates.
After the toll gates, you then start climbing with the gradient varying from steady to exceptionally steep. Mt Hotham sits at 1825 meter high. It’s a soft decent down to Dinner Plane. This is the best place to have lunch then after lunch the road is undulating with some nice views as you sidle around the valley up until around the 200km mark. This is when you take a hard left hand turn at the start of the climb back up to Falls Creek…
The first part of the climb is nasty. Everything that everyone says about the climb is true. The first time I did the climb it took me one hour to travel 9 kilometres. I had to stand for most of it. I used my compact crankset and my 28 tooth sprocket to get up this first part of this climb. Fortunately the gradient levels out into something that you then settle into a good climbing tempo rather than fighting your bike for speed to stop it from stalling. The road on this climb is sealed with a quartz hot-mix to help give traction to vehicles passing over it in winter. Riding up this climb on a wet day with racing tires is fraught with a high risk of puncturing. I choose to ride on my continental gatorskins to help alleviate the possibility this problem.
At the top, you level out and there are just some small rolling climbs back up to Falls Creek after traveling through some fantastic alpine planes with stunning views. Falls Creek is 1720 meters high.
After 235km and around 3,550 vertical meters is one of the toughest single day recreational cycling events in the world and certainly in Australia. It rivals some of the great rides in Europe and is a formidable challenge to add to your bucket list of “must do rides”.
Due to the nature of alpine riding you’ll also need to be prepared for the weather that the mountains will through at you on the day. These climbs are exposed to the heat of the sun, the wind and of course the cold. The differential of temperatures may be over 25 degrees from the base of the climb to the top. The descents off the climbs are long too.
While it’s a fantastic ride to be a part of on the day the journey you’ll have leading up to it will certainly rival the experience as well. Your journey will be unique, and you will have your own story from your own personal experiences leading up to the event and then of the event itself. At the end of the ride, you’ll come away with a smile on your face and look back on what you have just achieved. And that’s something that’s truly exceptional.
The Scody 3 Peaks Challenge is a ride that you must train for, both physically and mentally.
The first time I did it I just wanted to finish it in under 13 hours. I worked out that if I was able to maintain 150 watts for most for the ride I could do it easy. I did a time around 11:05 hours. The second time I did it I wanted to bring it in under 10 hours. I did some planning and estimated that by reducing the time at the stops and holding an average of 170 watts I could do it. I did around 8hr 59m. This was on their modified course so next year I’m keen to do a sub 10 hour ride on the classic course.
The key rides I’m doing as training leading up to the event is Our Bright Boot Camps in Nov and Feb, The RACV Great Victorian Bike ride and the support riding I’ll be doing down in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under.
Over the coming months, I’ll be passing on my cycle coaching knowledge to help you with your training for the event. I’ll also be including what planning you’ll need to do and what to expect on the day.
And…. some insight into how my training is going for the event as well.