THE COURSES

The course consists of dirt road, old 4WD tracks and sections of cow pad single track with some climbs and lots of fun down hills.
Recreational Class course - approx. 40km

This course is recommended for the novice to intermediate riders.
If this is your first Paluma Push and especially if you are new to Mountain Biking then the 42km course is for you. 42km off road on a Mountain Bike is a lot more physically demanding than a 40km road ride.

Intermediate Class course - approx. 50km

The intermediate course is basically the recreation course with the Paluma Dam loop added. If you've done the Paluma Push a few times and maybe you are looking for a bit more of a mountain bike challenge but not quite up to the gut busting 70km course then the Intermediate course is for you. The loop around the dam us a great section of single track.

Competition Class course - approx. 70km

This course has extra technical sections, difficult climbs and descents to make it more of a challenge and is recommended for the more experienced and fitter rider. As well as the Paluma Dam loop there are 3 extra loops that make you work, cry, grin and smile all on the same day.

The 2016 course will largely resemble the course from 2015. Provided there is no big rain event late in the wet season that causes a lot of damage we will pretty much use last year’s course. It ain’t broke so we won’t fix it too much.

NOTE: sections of the course between Check Point 3 to the End are in Private Property. Do not ride those Private Property sections before or after the race. Rockwheelers has special access to use the Private Property areas on race day and for volunteers leading up to the race.

And YES, the graziers/private property owners notice riders going up only in one's and two's. They don't like it and Unauthorised Access jeopardises Rockwheelers' access to the area to be able to stage the Push. The safest bet for your course preview ride is to ride the road up to the Dam and do the Dam loop which is open to the public.

The conditions along the course are variable but being in July it’s traditionally a glorious North Queensland winter, cool and sometimes misty at the start in Paluma and dry and warmer conditions as riders approach Hidden Valley. Ultimately, conditions can depend on the amount of rain the area gets in the summer wet season and any out of season rain up to race day. A good summer wet season makes for a couple of interesting creek crossings. An exceptionally good wet season makes them even more interesting.

There are 6 checkpoints along the route all with radio contact to each other and Paluma and Hidden Valley. The course is cleared by a sweep rider so if you have a breakdown you won’t be left out there (for too long). Slower riders may be directed towards the finish line to ensure all riders have finished the course in about 5 hours.

The first 4 km along the bitumen road is part of the race. But by all means, use this time for a good warm-up (yeah right).

At each checkpoint Recreational and Competitive classes take different routes and these turns are clearly marked.