Kowalski Brothers Trails Update
by Des Kowalski
Over the past four months, we’ve been turning ourselves inside out building a heap of new trail in East Kowen – including what we believe to be the highest (and longest) single track in the region. We have been running our trail building session twice-weekly for months now and while there is much to do, progress has been excellent. We are really excited about these new trails and we can’t wait to show them off to you.
Located to the West of the main MTB trail network in East Kowen, we have built three new trails on one mountain that will see use for the first time in the Kowalski Classic marathon (on September 22). We think they will be an iconic addition to the race because while they take riders somewhere new and fun to ride, they also take riders to the top of one of the highest mountains around and offer riders great vistas of the surrounding ranges. At 915m, the top of the mountain is almost 70m higher than Mount Ainslie and a full 100m higher than Black Mountain, which means there is some pretty good climbing to be had. The first trail we have built is a climbing track called Escalator. Escalator (along with a section of climbing fire road) will take riders from the base of the mountain to just shy of the top and onto a fire road that rings a large compartment of pines. The Escalator trail zig-zags up a steep native spur, yet it is totally doable on single speed (though there is the odd technical or tight corner to sharpen your skills).
Once off this track, our original plan was to take riders around the compartment using the fire road, because it is quite pleasant to ride and has great views, but that idea went out the window once we explored inside the compartment and saw how enticing the terrain was. That one walk in the pines has meant many more sessions in the woods carving trail, but we are delighted with the results. The Effing Track is our highest and longest track to date and will be a hoot to race on. At just over 3km in length, the Effing track follows some great contours, twisting through the compartment before popping riders out at the very top of the mountain and at the edge of Kowen Forest with grand views out toward Wamboin, Bungendore and beyond. Nice!
We are now halfway through building a descending track from the top of the mountain and the final track in this location. This track (yet to be named) dives off the hill with some nice carving corners, fast traverses and plenty of jumps. Smiles will be had. We’ll be on this trail for another month before starting one final section of new trail just near the seismic station, being the final link back to the main trails. The terrain out West has been challenging, but very exciting at the same time. We’ve worked hard to get the most out of each area so that the riding is as good as possible. We think you will like it.
These new trails will be officially launched at the Kowalski Classic on September 22. We hope to release the course to entrants about a month out from race day for those keen to explore new lines.
The proposed course for the Kowalski Classic is quite different to last year, with the first 50 being held almost entirely on the East Kowen side (last year was mostly Sparrow). We’ve got us a cunning plan to join our best-loved trails together in a very interesting way. Join us for a crazy amount of single track! Come. Ride. Smile.