The following information applies to the 2018 event and details will be updated when registration opens for 2019.
Rider pack collection
You can collect you rider pack on:
- Saturday 27 October at Abode Hotel Woden, 10 Bowes St, Woden from 1 pm to 6 pm
- Sunday 28 October at Stromlo Forest Park from 5 am, and at least 30 minutes prior to the start of your ride.
Bring your proof of registration and your helmet.
All riders must bring their helmet when they collect their rider pack and have it checked for a certified Australian Standard label.
No Australian standard helmet, no rider pack. That’s the law.
Your rider pack contains:
- A rider (brevet) card with your name, ride number, emergency contact details and any medical conditions. Carry your rider card throughout the ride and hand it in at the finish so your time can be recorded.
- A printed ride map
- Zip-lock plastic bag to carry your ride card and map
- Throw and go slips for checkpoints on the longer routes (as indicated on the route maps)
- Helmet sticker with your rider number, which must be placed on the front of your helmet
- Transponder label with your ride number and an embedded timing chip. Affix around the seat post with the number visible from the sides, or somewhere else on your bike with the numbers clearly visible eg. handlebar stem. Do not cut out the timing chip or place the chip directly on any metal component on the bike. More information on bike set-up is available at registration.
- 250km Fitz’s Extreme —arrive 5:30 for 6am start
- 210km Fitz’s Epic — arrive 5:30 for 6am start
- 165km Fitz’s Classic — arrive 7 for 7:30am start
- 105km Tharwa — arrive 8 for 8:30am start
- 50km Tidbinbilla — arrive 8:30 for 9am start
All riders must attend a rider briefing at the start line10 minutes before start time.
The parking arrangements will be different to previous years because the large parking area near the entrance to Stromlo Forest Park is currently a work site. Once the main car park behind the pavilion is full we will use an overflow parking area off Opperman Drive. There will be signage to guide you.
Please arrive early to allow time to walk or ride to the start. Please do not park on the verges – it is a hazard and you may be booked for illegal parking.
Abode Hotels are our preferred accommodation provider. Perfect for riders, Abode Hotels welcome both you and your bike, with bike washing facilities, a secure lockup, and a washer/drier in each room. Riders are also welcome to take their bike into their rooms with them. The partnership offers Fitz’s riders a 7% discount on room bookings at Abode Hotels in Woden, Narrabundah, Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and Murrumbateman, when using the code pedalpower.
If you ordered your jersey before 20 September, it will be ready when you collect your rider pack. Purchases made after 20 September will be included in a bulk order to be placed the week after the event.
You can order a jersey in person when you collect your rider pack or online until midnight on Wednesday 30 October.
Rules and cautions
- Ride according to the conditions
- This event is not a race or a time trial – it is a challenge
- Heed warning signs and advice from marshals
- Wear your Australian Standard approved cycling helmet
- Be aware that you are sharing the road with motor vehicles and are riding over steep terrain
- Steep descents are dangerous at high speed – slow down when descending
- Heed the steep descent warning signs – not every downgrade is signed
- Obey all the road rules and ride carefully
- No more than two abreast – that’s the law
- Ride single file on crests and curves, on narrower roads, and where motor vehicle traffic is present
- Heed the single file warning signs – not every crest or curve is signed
- Disobey the road rules and you will be removed from the event
Riders are to be self-supported – carry water, some food, spare tubes, tyre leavers, pump and suitable clothing
Two-way radio link is located at all checkpoints to the event control centre and in selected course vehicles.
Mobile phones have limited coverage
Food and water
Consume fluid and food intake early in the ride and regularly throughout the ride. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
Water is available at all checkpoints.
Carry sufficient water to get between checkpoints even on a cold day. We recommend at least two 750 mL biddons.
Snack food (free) is available at the checkpoints (mainly fruit, cake and snack bars). Do not rely on sufficient or appropriate food at the checkpoints. Carry your own food supply as a top up.
Food and drink (for sale) is available at the finish. Limited food options are available at the start of the ride, so eat breakfast before you come.
Toilets are located at the start and finish, and at Cotter Reserve, Gravel Pit and Tharwa. Toilet locations are indicated on the maps located in your rider packs and on the website.
Signal the course vehicle driver by putting your bicycle upside down on the side of the road. The driver of the next event vehicle along will stop and give assistance. It may take a while to transport you back to the finish as the support vehicles are primarily for emergency assistance.
If you need to withdraw – please inform an official at a checkpoint or the finish
First aid officers (with transport) are at Tharwa and Stromlo Forest Park.
If first aid is required, contact a checkpoint official, a radio operator, or any of the organising staff who will relay your request to event control.
The first checkpoint (Gravel Pit) for all routes is 33km from the event hub. The rest are located at around 30 km intervals on each route.
Checkpoints provide complimentary water, snacks, and electrolytes and include:
- Cut-up fruit – watermelon, oranges, bananas
- Water and limited electrolyte and sports drink powder
- Confectionery (e.g. jelly snakes, party mix)
- Savoury snacks – crisps and vegemite sandwiches at some but not all checkpoints
- Cake, muffins, biscuits, banana bread,
Tharwa is a mid-event checkpoint with more offerings than at the other locations:
- Here’s the Coffee will be selling coffee and coca-cola
- Cycle City will provide complimentary bike repair and parts
- The local general store will be open for other meals and snacks
- A paperbag lunch is provided for those in the 165 km Classic, 210 km Epic and 255 km Extreme. This includes a bread roll with ham or cheese and salad (wholemeal or white bread) and rice custard. Riders with special dietary requirements should ask at the kitchen for alternative options.
The event hub at Stromlo Forest Park provides a variety of meal, snack and drink choices for recovery at the end of the ride:
- Hartley Lifecare – sausage, steak and vegetarian burgers, sandwiches and rolls, milk, electrolyte and soft drinks, coffee, tea, hot chocolate
- Stromlo Forest Park café – coffee and other snacks
- Chameleon Ice Cream – homemade ice cream, milkshakes, slushies, fruit drinks
- BentSpoke Brewing Co – quality local beer and support for the chill out zone for finishing riders, friends and supporters.
Safety and Nutrition
Fitz’s Challenge has lots of hills and can be a long day on the bike. For riders in the longer routes, it is an endurance event.
To enjoy your ride, and get the best out of the event, you should ride with care, adhere to an eating and fluid plan, and take the opportunity to rest and refresh at each checkpoint.
All riders should carry emergency food and at least two bidons of fluid (your choice of beverage), irrespective of the route chosen and the availability of food, water and electrolytes at the checkpoints.
Drink frequently and in small amounts and not exceed your fluid losses (or starting weight) over the day. Plan your fluid intake, practice during training, and don’t try something new on event day. Be prepared to make minor adjustments during the ride to accommodate ride conditions, distance and your level of fatigue. Ride at your own pace. Rest, eat and drink at the checkpoints.
Drinking inadequate fluid, or drinking too much fluid, are risk factors for dehydration and overhydration. For more information on how to prevent fluid imbalance, see our blog on Nutrition tips for event day.
When to ask for help
If you experience gross fatigue and muscle weakness, severe headache, vomiting, disorientation or any of the other symptoms for overhydration and dehydration, stop and tell someone (another rider, a marshal, a motorist). Riders often confuse these symptoms with the normal physiological effects of high-intensity effort and fail to recognise the differences. Observe other riders around you for signs and symptoms. Support is close by. We have satellite communication, police motorcycles on patrol and support vehicles sweeping the routes.
Alcohol and caffeine
After finishing your ride, enjoy the beer or coffee available at the Hub but ensure you rehydrate first with water or an electrolyte drink. Do not use beer to rehydrate!
Even if you are well-hydrated, alcohol will have a diuretic effect, and large amounts of alcohol soon after exercise can both interfere with recovery and have a negative effect on the immune, endocrine and vascular systems.
We recommend you consume low alcohol beer and coffee AFTER you have eaten and rehydrated with other fluids, and to follow your recovery nutrition plan (see our blog Nutrition for recovery after a training ride).
Fitz’s Challenge will run in most weather conditions (rain, hail, or shine!). In the event of a severe weather warning or dangerous conditions, Pedal Power will either reschedule, cancel or postpone some or parts of the event. Any changes will be communicated to registered riders via email. For more information see our Terms and Conditions.