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The Kowalski Classic


The Last Kowalski

2017 was OUR LAST KOWALSKI. East Kowen and Sparrow Hill are undergoing massive change over the next few years due to clear fall harvesting. Harvesting started in June 2017 and has already dramatically reduced the trail network. There is no prospect of running the event here in future years as this work progresses. Canberra simply lacks suitable alternate venues so we have no option but to call it a day for our iconic events. Self Propelled Enterprises has closed its doors and we thank you all for supporting this event over the years.


The BentSpoke Kowalski Classic is a one-day showcase of the famous trail network of East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill. The event celebrates the achievements of local trail builders Paul Cole, Alan Anderson and the award winning Kowalski Brothers Trailworks (our trail building crew), who together have hand built over 120km of flowing trail in East Kowen (the Kow) & Sparrow Hill (the Bird). The Kowalski Classic is the ultimate single track marathon with three race distances taking in the very best trails in Sparrow Hill and East Kowen.


Watching the video traces of the HALF and FULL course routes offers the best demonstration of how well we have used the trail network. And in case you thought the HALF Kowalski made you feel a bit dizzy and weak in the knees, here’s what the FULL Kowalski looked like. Ridden hard and put away wet… the Evil Trio course designers have fulfilled their brief.


Viva la Kowalski.




New Course. The Kowalski Classic celebrates our obsession with trail building. We’ve hand tooled mind bending amounts of it over the years and we’re always dreaming up more, so each year we craft a course that weaves them all together in a magical way. We’re folding in our all-time favourites, long lost (seldom ridden) friends and brand spanking new trails to debut on race day. The course is quite different each year and 2017 will be no exception. Expect a day full of flow, challenge and smiles on this grand tour of skinny dirt. A singletrack marathon like no other.

FULL Kowalski. The final distance for the FULL Kowalski is circa 96km.

New Trails. Absolutely. The trail fairies have been busy, so you can expect to ride new trail and trail that feels new (but weirdly isn’t). Check out the Kowalskis Facebook page for more information.

XCM Series Final. The Kowalski Classic forms the final round of the MTBA National XCM Series. It will be the deciding round for series contenders across all categories. (Series winner presentations will be held right after the race).


At 25km, the QRTR Kowalski (Tyrion) is a distance that will suit riders coming into the sport as well as those getting back on the bike and unsure if they have the legs for the Half Kowalski. Loads of singletrack, maybe a stout hill and jelly snakes. Sweet.

The TWIN Kowalski is your chance to ride 50kms of our finest trails with your favourite training buddy, family member, your significant other or in fact your identical twin. Singletrack with your bestie… it doesn’t get much better. The twist for this category is that you need to dress alike (so we can’t tell you apart) or dress up so well that we can’t do anything but stare in wonder.

Junior Category. The minimum age has been lowered to include riders 12 years and up. (Parental consent is required for participation in Junior category)


Each race distance features a great combination of our favourite trails so there’s little compromise should you choose something shorter (higher on smiles, lower on miles) however the FULL KOWALSKI will remain a proper test of mettle. Get ready to be ridden hard and put away wet after this mind bending, leg testing, mega trail fest.
The Bird is the Word and the Kow is like Wow.

THE FULL KOWALSKI (circa 100 km):

The Full Kowalski will challenge you over a mind bendingly high proportion of flowing single track across East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention tantalising traverses, sweet carving descents, tight, tight twisty bits and subtly stout stem-biting climbs (provided free by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service!). This race has it all.


Worried that the Full Kowalski will overwhelm your good vibes receptors? Then take on the Half Kowalski: shorter on distance and long on single track. This is a no compromise race distance with the very best trails in East Kowen on display. We have woven an intricate course that will challenge and reward. Don’t expect it all to be easy either – well honed bike skills can be more advantageous than fitness in places… just sayin’.


The QRTR Kowalski will suit people coming into the sport or for those who have had time off the bike and don’t want to hurt themselves too much. It is still mountain biking, so you will get to climb steep bits and squeal along curvy downy bits. This is not a ‘tacked-on’ distance, so there’s no compromise on smiles for this distance. True mountain biking with a great combination of trails.