MTB; it’s big in the Centre
You may be surprised to learn that Alice Springs has a vibrant & burgeoning Mountain Bike Scene, locals have been enjoying it since the early history of Mountain Biking in Australia and today it is rapidly establishing itself as a premiere mountain biking destination in Australia.
What makes it so special? Three key things; the terrain, the accessibility, and the climate.
The rolling hills around the township are made for mountain biking; low friction hard pack surfaces for fast riding, short sharp climbs and descents, the open nature of the vegetation which provides excellent visibility of the track as it unwinds in front of you, and then of course there’s rocks – where there are rocks there is challenge, and fun. To cap it all off there are the expansive vistas at every turn and that superb winter weather.
Track building begun in the 90’s by enthusiastic and hardworking locals and then accelerated with the establishment of an active club. Once the scene was established the Northern Territory Government saw the enormous potential and has jumped on board to develop a formalised network of trails to compliment the hundreds of kilometers of preexisting trails.
The trails literally surround the township of Alice Springs; a short 5 minute ride from the CBD (and most accommodation houses) will have you in the bush on a sweet bit of single track heading north, east or west on a quick squirt or a several hour epic. Logistics for the visitor and local alike is simple, grab your bike and go – no vehicle support required.
Commerce has established around the mountain biking activity. There are four very good bike stores in the town and you can also hire all the gear you need from Outback Cycling (they run guided MTB tours as well). Ultimate Ride Bicycle Centre runs weekly ‘shop’ rides so be sure to get in touch if you are interested in joining in.
You can check out a map of the Alice Mountain Bike Trail network established by Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT here; don’t worry, there’s way more trails than those on the map, but the map will get you started.
For MTB happenings around Alice Springs go to the Alice Springs Mountain Bike Trails Facebook page. Keep in touch with the mountain bike community and get involved in the numerous casual and social rides that go on every week as well as competitive events held by the Rough Riders Mountain Bike Club.
To see what riding in around the Alice looks like click here
Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR)
There’s a very active MTB club as well; the Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR). Rough Riders have a busy events schedule, there’s always something going on, competitive and social. Check them out here. Also see the Alice Springs Mountain Bike Trails Facebook page.
Easter in The Alice
A 3 day mountain bike stage race. Including a National Marathon stage (short option available) held over the Easter long weekend each year. Organised by the local mountain biking community. Come and ride some of the greatest mtb trails in the world whilst enjoying the greatest hospitality in the universe! Enjoy the legendary outback friendliness of Alice Springs. Race in the cool of the mornings and enjoy the rest of the day exploring with your family or mates.
Whether you are a world champion or a recreational selfie snapper Easter In The Alice caters for you. visit the website
‘The Redback’ formally known as the Ingkerreke MTB Enduro is as much an adventure as a race as a MTB race. Held in August each year and organised by Rapid Ascent. The event includes 6 stages run over 4 days of incredible mountain biking along the sweet single tracks and trails that explore the inspiring landscapes of the MacDonnell Ranges, near Alice Springs. There’s plenty of camaraderie and good times with mountain biking tales tall and true playing out daily in the Red Centre (and retold with poetic licence while recovering around the pool each afternoon). The event captures the spirit of the Red Centre by leading riders on a true off-road journey through the heart of Australia – complete with dust, sweat and tears along the sweet single tracks and dusty 4wd tracks of the mighty MacDonnell Ranges around Alice Springs, a place where the sun always shines.
Road Cycling too
The Simpsons Gap Bicycle Path is a favourite among the local cycling community for road, mountain bike and casual cyclists alike. The regular but short inclines, declines and sweeping bends make for a pleasurable riding experience. It is a sealed bitumen path that meanders for 17 km through attractive bushland between Flynns Grave and Simpsons Gap. It starts just opposite Flynns Grave about 5km to the west of the Alice Springs CBD. Return is via the same path or a slighter longer route on the road via Larapinta Drive.
Road Cycling Club
There is a lot of cross pollination between the Alice Springs Cycling Club and the local mountain bike club; Rough Riders. What better way to get fit for cross country riding than getting a few k’s under the belt on the road. The Club provides a broad variety of cycling activities including road and mountain bike social rides and road, track and mountain bike.
There is a smorgasbord of social rides pretty much every day of the week to cater from casual to more serious riders as well as a comprehensive competition calender. Check out their website for times and details.