WHAT IS THE ‘G.O.G.G.’?
GREAT OTWAY GRAVEL GRIND = ‘THE GOGG’
- GOGG ‘Big Ring’ – 97km
- GOGG ‘Small Ring’ – 49km
- Held in conjunction with the Otway Odyssey MTB Marathon (Saturday)
The Otway Ranges served up one of Australia’s first gravel grinding courses at the GOGG’s inception in 2017, and Rapid Ascent is excited to see the GOGG return for a 7th year in 2023 having proven just how good the dirt roads of the Otways are!
The GOGG is designed for those who want an alternative to riding on busy sealed roads and instead want to enjoy the freedom and fresh air of riding gravel through beautiful forests with few (if any!) cars. The Otway Ranges surrounding Forrest have a near endless network of quality dirt roads emanating in all directions and these two races (97km and 49km) will lead you on an incredible journey under the supervision of a coordinated race/ride environment.
The GOGG is conducted in a unique format that includes a number of time-out zones where your racing time pauses – allowing you to regroup with your mates or partner, stop for a coffee at the coffee vans, or even enjoy a swim a the beach! Exit the timeout zone and your ride time resumes until you get to the finish. These allow social riders to wind back the competitive aspects of the event, and for those here to race it adds a strategic aspect to the course as you ride hard through each segment.
“The GOGG is wonderful, beautiful, and for a few hours – painful. It really is such a brilliant ride.” Heath, 2022 Competitor
“I loved the time-out zones! Meant I could catch up with mates and also appreciate what a special part of the world I was riding in!” Mark, 2020 Competitor
The courses can be enjoyed on any type of bike, such as gravel specific bikes, MTB, CX, or flat-bared commuters – either way you can take in the beautiful terrain and complete a beautiful day on the bike (with a difference – see below)! Unlike MTB races on single track, the GOGG requires no real cycling skills other than some fitness and determination to enjoy yourself.
“A great way to test my return to cycling on magnificent gravel roads. The vibe around the event was sensational and I made some new friends. Climbed better than I expected on “pleasantly painful” ascents and renewed my confidence in my descent technique. I’ll definitely be back!” – Terry Boyd, 2021 GOGG participant.
Date: Sunday 25 February 2024
Location: Forrest, Otway National Park, Victoria
Type of Bikes: Both GOGG events are designed for all riders on all types of bikes – ridden most comfortably on a gravel bike or cyclocross bike, they can easily be completed on a mountain bikes and hybrids. Just make sure you have a wider and heavier duty tyre than your normal road tyre.
You do not need any specific mountain biking skills to complete the course as the entire thing is on easily ridden dirt roads that weave through the wilderness. Competitors can race whilst those less time focused can ride with their friends and enjoy the journey.
So if you’ve never ridden on dirt before never fear, this is a great ride for as well as the more fanatical cyclocross and roadies… either way you’ll enjoy an incredible race through a beautiful part of the world.
GOGG big ring – 97km
This ‘big ring’ starts and finishes at the Forrest Football ground, taking riders on an beautiful journey on 2WD dirt roads through the mighty Otway Ranges to the coast (think Great Ocean Road!) and back again. These smooth dirt roads make for some magical riding through a timeless landscape with tall trees, massive tree ferns and a great sense of journey as you power through the hills. The course will include plenty of climbing with some sizable ascents spread across the course to keep your lungs working and 3 timeout zones where you regroup and catch your breath.
You do not need any specific mountain biking skills to complete the course as the entire thing is on easily ridden dirt roads but you will need to pack your thunder thighs because there are a few climbs that will keep you honest along the way.
It’s already building a reputation as a riding classic, make sure you sign up for year 5!
“Mt Sabine was great! Plenty of variety on course and friendly folk all round.” Mike, 2020 Competitor
GOGG small ring – 49km
The 49km race will include a similar mix of smooth rolling dirt roads through the Otway rainforest that opens up this off-road cycling paradise to those who might normally stick to the asphalt. The roads are basically traffic free and the vistas along the way provide the wow-factor riding you don’t get when sticking to the main roads.
Ideal for those who may be new to cycling, not as fit as they’d like to be or who like to sleep in, the 49km Small Ring is also designed for riders on all styles of bikes ranging from gravel grinder or cyclo-cross bikes to road bikes (with thicker and wider tyres than normal) as well as mountain bikes and hybrids. The 49km race includes 1 timeout zone where you regroup and catch your breath.
No special bike skills are required although a solid set of legs or a can-do attitude will help you conquer the hills and feel on top of the world when you reach the top.
Excellent course with a variety of surfaces and gradients. Scenery was excellent, and the encouragement signage was appreciated. D.Nelson, 2019 GOGG Participant.
THE G.O.G.G. DIFFERENCE…
We know that coffee (and cake?) is crucial to the cycling community so once again, both the 97km and 49km races will include at least one time-out zone where you can enjoy a coffee and cake with your mates before remounting your bike and racing on to the finish.
Use the time out to wait for your friends and add to the social scene knowing that your race clock has paused for you to catch up. There will still be finish times, winners and grinners but having a pause in the middle is the gravel grinder style and you’ll love it.
Time-out zones: the clock stops as you enter the zone, and restarts again once you leave! Great hey?