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Kowalski Classic 2016

bmar560's picture

By bmar560 - Posted on 26 August 2016

Sunday, 16 October, 2016 - 07:00

The meeting times are 'ready to ride'. If you need time to prepare equipment then please arrive a few minutes earlier.

Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Ride Database Entry: 
Kowen Forest
Meeting Point: 

The Ride Canberra site describes the main forest entrance as being the corner of Kowan Road and Sutton Roads. There is a parking area 5km into the forest along Kowan road with gates that may be locked. Call Canberra Connect (13 22 81) for the combinations or ride from Sutton Road for a warm up.

Show on Google maps: Meeting point. Login or register to get directions.


Now in its fifth year, the 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 110km of flowing trail in East Kowen (the Kow) & Sparrow Hill (the Bird).

Love single track? Then you will absolutely love the Kowalski Classic.
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 design 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 2016 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.

New Race Category. 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.

New Trails. Absolutely. The trail builders have been busy in Sparrow and East Kowen, so you can expect to ride lots of new trail. Check out our Facebook 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).

Loop Order and Wave Starts. Our system for feeding riders onto the course was so successful at reducing on-track congestion early in the race last year that we are hitting repeat. The main points are: 1. Riders in the Full Kowalski will head out on a different start loop to the Half Kowalski. 2. We will increase the time gap between wave starts. 3. We will include more passing opportunities (double single track and stabs of fireroad).

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 and never too far from HQ. Sweet.

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

Which distance is for you?

Each race distance features a great combination of our favourite trails so there’s no compromise should you choose something shorter (high on smiles, lower on distance).
The Bird is the Word. The Kow is like Wow.

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, and a number of delightfully stout stem-biting climbs (provided free by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service!). This race will have it all… and more.

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.

The QRTR Kowalski (or Tyrion) 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. A great combination of trails.

Who's in?
jp, adski, p2tx8, andyfev, Pete B, bmar560, sikllama, GarethP, commandokamikaze (9 riders)
jp adski p2tx8 andyfev Pete B bmar560 sikllama GarethP commandokamikaze
What Happened?

Blog entries about this meeting (as this is a race standings and times are shown, click on the title for more and to comment)...

Who Title Status Laps Time Pos.Gen. Category Pos.Cat.
bmar560 Half Kowalski with a bit of mud and wind Finished 1 02:59:06 83 Veteran (30-39) 23
sikllama Just the right amount of mud Finished 1 03:37:07 235 Masters Female, Masters Male, Open Female, Open Male, Single Speed Female, Single Speed Male, Super Masters Female, Super Masters Male, Veteran Female, Veteran Male $110.00 50
Pete B Kowalski Classic 2016 Finished 05:58:13 23 Veteran (30-39) 1
GarethP Kowalski 2016 - a tale of 2 halves Finished 06:10:36 32 Veteran (30-39) 6

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
Pete B's picture

Looking forward to this, easily my favourite race of the year.

Aiming to break the 5:30 mark and nudge a bit closer to the top 50

sikllama's picture

I suspect a postponement may be imminent but lets wait and see...

The course has been released, looks like a ripper (as always) with a new start and a new finish route with some new trails thrown in for good measure.

bmar560's picture

Yes it's looking wet and the forecast hasn't changed in our favor .
I've been checking it every couple of hours.

The trail was already boggy in some spots when I was there 2 weeks ago, more rain since then.
I can't cancel my hotel room that I reserved months ago too. Hoping that it will go ahead.

Rain rain go away !

Pete B's picture

There's always the Floriade

Pete B's picture

There's always the Floriade

bmar560's picture

Current forecast have changed to 30% chance of rain!!

sikllama's picture

We're racing on Sunday, restricted car parking onsite and no camping.

sikllama's picture

Due to unpredictable conditions and risks.

New date Oct 16th.

bmar560's picture

Floriades it is

Pete B's picture

Can you not change the date of the accommodation?

jp's picture

I'm in for the 50. Just had 6 weeks in the UK drinking ale and eating pork pies and sticky date pudding, so a bit different from my usual race prep.

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