By John Flynn in Kooralbyn
Nestled in the Border Ranges of South-East Queensland, Australia, the Kooralbyn Valley has developed a reputation as a must-ride destination for the sport of endurance cross-country mountain biking. Home to the Merida 24 Hour, Queensland's only one-day endurance mountain bike event and one of three major 24 hour races on the Australian calendar, Kooralbyn hosted its inaugural Nite Rider Dusk to Dawn 12 Hour at the weekend.
As all nighters go it was one to remember!
When dawn broke over the picturesque Kooralbyn Valley with two hours remaining in the Nite Rider Dusk Till Dawn 12 Hour, a light fog drifted across the mountain tops.
It was hard to believe only 12 hours earlier, I was at the Kenrick Tucker Velodrome in Rockhampton 1000 kilometres away in the tropics, covering the prestigious Cup on Wheels. And tired though I was, after a day and night on-the-run, scenes like this are worth the sleep deprivation.
In the distance, beyond the sweet single trails of Kooralbyn, Queensland's magnificent border ranges and the iconic Mount Barney disappeared behind a stream of cloud and filtered early morning light.
For the benefit of U.S. readers of Cyclingnews, the backdrop is not unlike The Cascades of Washington State during the summer. Spectacular country, of steep mountains and flowing streams and of course, sweet singles. The beauty of cross-country mountain biking is that it never ceases to take you to magic destinations and the hilltops around Kooralbyn are right up there!
Read the entire Nite Rider Dusk Till Dawn race report, results and photos here.