The inaugural Highland Fling will take place on November 13, 2005, consisting of 100km of mountain bike marathon racing in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia, starting and finishing in Bundanoon.
Much of the course has now been finalised, and organiser Huw Kingston test rode it on Monday: "Yep, the old body is creaking and groaning but riding the course was a very satisfactory way to celebrate the Queen's Birthday (although us Celts prefer not to doff our caps to the monarch!). I'm really pleased with how the course is shaping up with great variety in the riding - singletrack, open paddocks, native forest, pine forest. In fact the only thing there isn't much of is Roadie Base! (about 2km).
"Apart from the Start/Finish 'straight' the course doesn't traverse the same tracks twice and really is a Grand Tour of the best the Southern Highlands offers. From the popular singletrack in Penrose State Forest to the deep gullies of Wingello State Forest, open farmland to ice creams at Wingello shop! The full 100km will challenge the most elite riders as the ups and downs take their cumulative effect on legs and lungs - they certainly did on mine but that's from an old codger."
There will be more than the 100 km option available: Riders can do half of the Fling (doing Stages 1 and 3 for a total of approx. 53km), or do it as a Relay Fling as team of 3 (Stage 1 27km, Stage 2 47km, Stage 3 26km).
Entries should be open in late July on www.wildhorizons.com.au