Welcome to the Great Otway Gravel Grind (‘the GOGG’) – gravel riding at its best as you pass along a magical line through the Otways to the Great Ocean Road and back.
The 97km ride provides a spectacular (but rewarding) challenge as you cross the Otway Ranges to the coast and back on smooth rolling dirt roads where the only things you need to negotiate are tree ferns!
“A great way to test my return to cycling on magnificent gravel roads. I climbed better than I expected on “pleasantly painful” ascents and renewed my confidence in my descent technique. I’ll definitely be back!” – T, Boyd, 2021 Competitor
97km GOGG Course Notes:
- Courses are conducted exclusively on 2WD dirt roads – no single track
- Roads will be dirt roads – predominantly smooth hard-packed earth with some very short sections of looser gravel or slightly rougher terrain
- Require minimal ‘technical bike skills’ to complete and are achievable by all recreational riders
- Includes 3x ‘Time-out’ sections where the race clock stops so you can wait for your friends and enjoy a coffee along the way (even enjoy a swim at the beach)!
- GOGG designed to be completed on either a gravel bike, CX / adventure bike, MTB or a road bike (with min 32mm wide tyres designed for gravel), or flat handle-bar hybrid bike. Many options!
COURSE DESCRIPTION – BIG RING 97KM
The Big Ring 97km circuit takes riders on an amazing journey across the ranges to the coast line and back again. The roads are deeply submerged in the Otway forest with towering trees, ferns and fresh air lining the road before a pleasant section along the Great Ocean Road. This is a terrific ride on traffic free roads that will put a smile on every rider’s face.
Total elevation gain / loss: 2,260m approx
- 58km Leg 1 – Forrest to the Great Ocean Road (Start – Delaney Tk – Mt Sabine Rd – Hayden Tk – Thompsons Tk – Grey River Tk – Kennet River)
- 8km Leg 2 – along the Great Ocean Road – 66km total. (Kennett River – Great Ocean Road – Wye River).
– UNTIMED section, all in the Time Out Zone.
- 31km Leg 3 – The Great Ocean Road to Forrest – 97km total. (Wye River – Wye Rd – Mt Sabine Rd – Kaanglang Rd – Footy Ground):
The Big Ring gravel grind commences with a lap of Forrest township and a mix of bitumen and dirt roads for the first 10km before a steady 12km climb up Delaneys Track to the high point of the race which is over 600m above sea level.
Riders then have an undulating ride along the spine of the Otways with CLIF Fuel Stations at the 33km point before a 20km descent on a quality dirt road to the famous Great Ocean Road for your second time-out zone as you arrive at the Great Ocean Road at the Kennett River Koala cafe at the 53km pt.
The next 10km between the Kennett River and Wye River townships is along the spectacular Great Ocean Road, all of which can be enjoyed as a leisurely ride in the time out zone where the race clock has stopped. Wait for your mates, stop at a cafe or even go for a swim and enjoy the scenery and flat riding.
Pass through the timing gate at start of Wye River Rd at the 67km pt and you are launching back into the race with a 16km climb back to the top of the Otways before a final descent into the finish at the Forrest Football ground. This is truly a world class gravel ride.
Scan the QR Code above to download the terrific CAPRA mapping app and receive the 100km map on your phone. (Follow the prompts to create an account and you’ll find the maps in the app’s ‘Library’)
For interactive map on Trail Forks, click on map image below or CLICK HERE
CLIF Fuel Stations SUMMARY –
An explanation of how the time out zones work is further down the page .
- 33km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction. Water, Skratch and Coffee in Time Out Zone.
- 57km point at the Kennet River shops in the Time Out Zone – Water and Skratch.
- 65km point at the Wye River shops in the Time Out Zone – Water and Skratch.
- 66km point at the junction of Wye Rd & the Great Ocean Road at the end of the Time Out Zone – water and Skratch.
- 83km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction. Water, Skratch and Coffee in Time Out Zone
“This is a ride that puts everything into perspective. The course is as competitive as you want to make it, and the time-out zones were brilliant to re-group, eat, and enjoy the stunning environment I was riding in.” M Purdie, 2020 Competitor
GOGG: CLIF Fuel Stations AND “TIME OUTS”.
Both GOGG races have some time-out section(s) on the course where your race time is paused!. These are included because it’s in the style of gravel riding, allowing you to stop and have a drink – order a coffee, regroup with your friends and then set off again.
“Time outs” will be recorded by the electronic timing hardware set up at these locations:
- 33km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction. (97km and 49km riders) Time stops ~50m before the junction / Time starts 50m after the junction. A CLIF Fuel Station and a coffee van will be at the junction.
- 57km point at the Grey River Rd / Great Ocean Road junction. (97km riders only). Time stops on Grey River Rd ~50m before the junction.
Riders continue along the Great Ocean Road between the 57km pt and 66km pt, passing through the townships of Kennet River and Wye River / Separation Creek where there are a couple of café’s, toilets, and even a beach you can swim at during your race without impacting your time.
- 66km point at the Wye River Rd / Great Ocean Road junction. (97km riders only) Time starts on Wye Rd ~100m after the junction.
- 83km point at Mt Sabine Rd / Kaangalang Rd junction (same point as above – 97km riders only) Time stops ~50m before the junction / Time starts 50m after the junction. A CLIF Fuel Station and a coffee van is at the junction in between.
Points to note:
- Limit of 1hr30 maximum to be used during the “time out”. Riders stopping for longer than 1hr30 will be given a time penalty. Note, it is not compulsory to stop, just an option as it’s an ‘untimed’ section of the course.
- Riders crossing any time point with less than 1 second apart will be given the time of the first rider to cross the point (as per the Tour de France). This is to help ensure that riders know they are on the same race time if they entered / exited all timing points together.
- The CLIF Fuel Station at the junction of Mt Sabine Rd and Kaanglang Rd will have water, electrolyte, fruit, lollies and a coffee cart selling barista made coffee, snacks and drinks for you to stop and enjoy. Coffee cart items are for sale so remember to take some cash with you as the internet connection is dodgy in the rainforest!
CUT OFFS: All 97km riders must:
- depart the first water point at the 33km pt by 11:00am. If you miss this cut off you will be directed onto the 49km Small Ring course.
- restart your ride after the Wye River / Kennet River time out zone by 12:30pm. This point is located as soon as you turn off Great Ocean Road onto Wye River Rd at approx 64km point.
GOGG NOTES ON COURSE MARKING:
For all courses:
- all intersections will be clearly marked and occasional markings with tape and or arrows along tracks to confirm that you are on the right route.
- one or two pieces of the relevant coloured tape will always be placed immediately after a track junction to confirm you are traveling along the correct course.
- It is the riders’ responsibility to ensure they are on the correct course for all events.
General notes about the courses:
- All roads remain open to the public. Whilst there are not many cars – there are still some so ride safely by sticking to your side of the road, being aware for cars and always riding in control as if there may be car around the blind corner ahead (because one day there will be)
- 97km riders go along the Great Ocean Road (GOR) for 9km which is definitely still open to traffic and can be busy. This section of course involves two left hand turns and is all in a time out zone but it is up to the riders to to be aware of over vehicles and stay safe.