Outback Odyssey 2017 recap

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.

THE CONDITIONS

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.

THE BIKES

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.

2 Comments. Leave new

A great ride again with Bike SA showing its experience and good organisation. Too many top-rate examples to list. However, the 3 instances of commercial food providers’ slow service needs to be fixed for future Odysseys. Some issues were unsolvable at the time but some problems could have been fixed on the spot, ie with queuing both sides of self-serve tables. Overall a uniquely fabulous event.

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Peter Smith
June 5, 2017 10:13 am

What a great tour with a wonderful team supporting the event and riders.
The memory lives on

A poem for all, adapted from the presentation at Melrose by Sue and Will Johnson

MAWSON ODE
Adventures are what we yearn
A ride through mud and dust
Grab your bike, pack some gear
It’s the Mawson Trail or bust

The pack took off all fresh and clean
Ray watched and shook his head
He’d have his work cut out this time
They’ll be injured lost or dead

HAVE WE HAD A LOVELY DAY
SOME LITTLE UPS AND DOWNS
OUR OUTBACK MAWSON ODYSSEY
WITH LATTE’S IN THE TOWNS

Now Russell here you’d have to say
Is shepherd and the boss
And we the wayward cycling sheep
Hell bent on getting lost

The Marshall’s then all dressed in red
The Kelpies with their bark
Flat out all day up lanes and tracks
To get us in by dark

Each night Ray’s wise advice was given
Look out for the signs, he did rant
Track will be flat as Aunt Maud’s chest
But as rough as hessian underpants

To feed this mob is Maureen’s job
With breakfast , lunch and dinner
They sweat and grunt and pedal hard
Not one of them is thinner

And now I’ll end and wish you well
But remember now Ray’s biding
For tomorrow you know we’re getting down
To some Bloody Serious Riding!!!

HAVE WE HAD A LOVELY DAY
SOME LITTLE UPS AND DOWNS
OUR OUTBACK MAWSON ODYSSEY
WITH LATTE’S IN THE TOWNS
Adapted from
Will and Sue Johnson, Orange, NSW

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