The best of both worlds
It is one of the great debates in cycling. What did you say? Registration for bikes? Dedicated cycling lanes? No – I’m talking about the fundamental issue that has dogged great minds for years… road or mountain bike?
Sure there are people who engage in both disciplines, but they still have moments when they look at their relevant machines and agonise over which one they should be riding or which event they should be working towards.
Equally, the people who do have a clear-cut division may not be debating the ride, but they can miss the joy of heading out for a ride or competition with friends who sit in the other camp.
To suggest that Rock&Road (R&R) is the ultimate conflict resolution might be taking things a bit far, but it is a genuinely clever concept, and one that unites all riders in the most beautiful environment.
R&R has been brought to life by Wild Horizons; an event, tour and training company with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. It is a new concept in cycle racing in Australia; combining both road cycling and mountain bike riding in and around the picturesque village of Rydal, west of the Blue Mountains.
The location has been chosen as it is accessible for a large number of people and combines good quality undulating bitumen roads with challenging off-roads tracks – all in a village-type atmosphere.
“It’s actually an idea that we have been thinking about for a few years, so it’s really pleasing to see it come to life,” says Wild Horizons Operations Manager, Danien Beets. There are two distance options available: the Max R&R which consists of 80km of road followed by 35km of mountain bike, or the Mini R&R which involves 40km of road and 20km of dirt. Importantly, entrants have the choice to either tackle both disciplines, or chose to form a team and stick with their specialty.
“There are obviously cyclists who enjoy both road and mountain bikes and this is a great opportunity to test the two skills on one day,” adds Danien. “There are unique differences in techniques between the two bikes, and it should be a great test of ability and perseverance to tackle both in one event.
“However, we also wanted to make R&R an inclusive event and so think the opportunity to tackle it as a team is a really good option. It’s a beautiful location with a lot to offer all riders, so it will be a great weekend you can share with others. For example, if you’re a road rider, but your friend is into mountain bikes, then you can form a duo team and enjoy the event together – which in itself is pretty unique.”
The interest so far has been very high – particularly for a new event – with good numbers already registered in the solo and team categories. “We’ve been really pleased with the response,” says Danien. “There is definitely an appeal in the concept so it should be a great event and weekend for everyone involved.”
Rock&Road will be held on Sunday 17 May 2015 near the village of Rydal, west of the Blue Mountains, NSW.