FNQ 600 – The Final Step – 28/29 August 2021

The FNQ 600 is the final step on your FNQ Super Series adventure, or maybe just a big weekend on the bike in our beautiful area. The course has three loops, all starting and finishing in Wongabel (10km from Atherton). This will let you set up your control gear, have a shower/sleep/feed and enjoy a warm welcome each time you pass through. More details will follow, but check out the indicative course maps below.

Loop One – 355.5km (3736m)

Start your trip with a trip up the Herberton Range then down the Palmerston Range. Spend nearly 100km of cruising time on the coastal flats, hopefully with a tailwind assist to Gordonvale. Find your way up the Gillies Highway (probably in the dark) before a quick lap of Kairi and Tolga and back to base.

Loop Two – 99.2km (1129m)

Start your day with a little loop around Malanda and Yungaburra. Drop back through home base for a late brekky (or smoko/lunch).

Loop Three – 145.6km (1112m)

Finish your ride in style with a mostly downhill 100km to Mareeba. Then it’s just that short hop (that we all know and love) back to Atherton to celebrate !!!!

The time limit is 40 hours (6am Saturday until 10pm Sunday).

Controls

  1. Millaa Millaa (82km) Open 8.44am – Close 11.28am
  2. Flying Fish Point (151km) Open 11.02am – Close 4.04pm
  3. Gordonvale Maccas (259km) Open 2.38pm – Close 11.16pm
  4. Gillies Roadhouse (302km) Open 4.04pm – Close 2.08am
  5. Wongabel (355km) Open 5.50pm – Close 5.40am
  6. Wongabel (455km) Open 9.10pm (Sat) – Close 12.20pm (Sun)
  7. Mareeba Maccas (549km) Open 12.18am – Close 6.36pm
  8. Wongabel (600km) Open 2am – Close 8pm

Note – There are some longer gaps between controls than on previous rides. However, riders will pass through a number of small towns on Day 1 with opportunities to purchase food and drinks. On Day 2, the volunteers will establish Secret Controls, most likely between Wongabel and Mareeba (depending on weather conditions and rider times). Please make sure you carry adequate supplies between each control.

We will be relying on volunteers from Innisfail and Gordonvale to assist with the ride on Day 1. This will also make it easier for the Tablelands volunteers, who will be doing the night shift and the controls on Day 2. Please ensure you can carry any clothing and other gear throughout the Day 1 that you will need for your night riding back to Wongabel.

Planning and Preparation

This is a challenging ride, so make sure you are well-prepared – both in body and equipment. It is strongly recommended that all riders have done some shorter Audax rides (ie: 200km to 400km) or have experience in long-distance riding and night riding.

There will be controls along the way on each loop, mostly run by volunteers local to that area. However, riders are encouraged to be self-sufficient with food/equipment and clothing. There won’t be an on-course sag wagon, but help will be available in emergencies.

Expect everything from warm/hot days to cool/cold nights (FNQ cold – it can get well into the single digits). Rain is unlikely, but possible.

Audax lighting and reflective equipment rules strictly apply – no exceptions. Please make sure you have enough lights, spares and batteries to keep everything going throughout your ride. You will be able to charge your gear after each loop, but will be sharing power-points with other riders.

There will be a meeting of riders a week or so before the start (by Zoom) and on the night before the start. Make plans to arrive on Friday afternoon/evening to set up your gear as there will not be enough time on Saturday morning.

Additional information will be available on this page as it becomes available. In the interim, if you would like to be informed of developments, please email gayle.sticher@audax.org.au to register your interest.

"No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle" Winston Churchill