SPE News #108

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Has it really been only 7 days since the Mont 24 Hour Race? A mere seven days ago you were busy preparing for the race – belting in tent pegs, getting a handle on Race HQ, futzing with your race plates, making interesting fashion choices, adding or subtracting air from your tyres, talking tactics, chomping on Stroopwafels, nipping off for nervous wees and generally getting jiggy with it. It was the last Mont after all... 

And what a weekend it was. The weather was stellar. The storm on Thursday was made to order as it brought the hero dirt then went on its merry way. The sun rose on Friday to clear skies and for the rest of the weekend everyone partied on and off course. As you'd expect from many years of practice, our bump in was ridiculously calm and organised, rego ran like clockwork and every single team that entered the race collected their race plates (and that never happens). Rider briefing came and went, and at noon on Saturday 316 runners raced through Race HQ (arms and legs akimbo) to be united with their bikes before launching into the forest for the riding of dirt.

From there on, the event ran smoothly, the weather stayed fine, overnight temps were mild, the end of Daylight Savings didn't confuse many (except those riders who got back to transition before they left) and many thousands of laps were completed. The course has been widely acknowledged as our best yet and held up extremely well to the 93,440km ridden collectively over the 24 hour period. The Mont 24 Hour has been run and won and we thank you for being part of the event weekend. Aside from the riders, we have many other people to thank – our sponsors, event partners, crew and volunteers (please scroll down for this).

Some stand outs from the weekend — The pump track and new skills area were an absolute hit with the kids. It was very busy again this year. The Kow Kids Race was a massive success and the Kowalski-Krush Bike Wash Bay got an absolute hammering right through the weekend. The Kowalski Steam Kow was a highly popular addition to Race HQ and word is that more than a few beers were pulled from her rump across the weekend. An amazing sculpture built by Christopher Yarnold of the Kowalski Brothers. Maltilda the Steam Kow ambled off into the forest at the end of presentations and was last seen heading toward Bent Spoke Brewing in Mitchell where they've built a corral for her. In case you missed the chance to sample a Frothy Brown from her rump, you best get down to Bent Spoke's next function for a pint.


Aside from the usual number of falls, trail etiquitte faux pas and one shocking display of poor rider behaviour toward the end of the race we really couldn’t be happier with how the event unfolded. As this is somewhat an end of an era for us, there is definite sadness and regret amongst the team but we are absoliutely delighted to have been able to deliver another high quality event and retain that typical Mont 24 atmosphere. As Kurgan in Highlander said “It is better to burn out than to fade away”. We hope you enjoyed your time riding the Kow.

So, what will you do with your spare weekend in 2018? Ride somewhere new! There are now so many places to ride – destinations with excellent new trails to discover. Weekends away with your riding buddies, riding new locations and locally built trail beckons. As a trail builder, I think this is an excellent development.

If at some point down the track we decide to do a John Farnham we will let you know...

Thank you all for riding the Kow in 2017 (and in every year previously). Event photos below.
Alan Vogt and David Edwards (Self Propelled Enterprises)


Total entrants = 1640
Female riders = 14.6%
Riders on track = 315
Laps completed = 5840
Distance covered = 93,440km
Male Day Laps = 3139/Night Laps = 2064
Fast Day Lap (M) Lewis Cressy 43:59
Fast Night Lap (M) Kian MacKinnon 46:55
Male Laps = 87.7%
Female Day Laps = 410/Night Laps = 227
Fast Day Lap (F) Cristy Henderson 53:49
Fast Night Lap (F) Liz Smith 56:39
Female Laps = 12.3%

Team Breakup
15 teams in Young Guns
24 teams in Foursomes Honest 40s Male
9 teams in Foursomes Honest 40s Mixed
6 teams in Foursomes Open Female
71 teams in Foursomes Open Male
17 teams in Foursomes Open Mixed
4 teams in Foursomes Open Mixed eBike
20 teams in Six Packs Honest 40s Male
14 teams in Six Packs Honest 40s Mixed
3 teams in Six Packs Open Female
80 teams in Six Packs Open Male
53 teams in Six Packs Open Mixed


Aurora Images captured over 60,000 images across the event weekend and unless you were hiding behind a tree or wear Harry's cloak of invisibility, they have probably taken photos of you too. Photos are ONLINE NOW and searchable by plate number. Images from the Kow Kids Race are separated from the main set to make it easier for Mum and Dad to find their child's photos. A 10% discount is already applied. GO HERE


Every year people part ways with some of their gear and this year is no exception. Found things include, chargers, charge boards, clothing, lights, camera gear, camp chair, bike parts, tools, tubes etc. If you lost, found or souvenired an item at the race please get in touch with us HERE so we can reunite them with their owners.


Trails don’t magically sprout out of the ground on their own. They just don't. They are dreamt up and built by people who love crafting trail and work hard to realise that vision. Without trails, mountain biking doesn’t exist, so be sure to do your part. Find the time to help build trail (it is surprisingly fun and rewarding) or support the work of those that do through DONATION. Enter races run by organisers who are vocal and active supporters of trail builders (many are trail builders themselves) and suggest to organisers that don’t that they change their wicked ways. Become part of your local trail building movement and grow the sport one metre at a time. Join a volunteer group, grab a tool and hook in. Build Trail. Be Awesome. Des Kowalski (aka Alan Vogt)

Mont2017_Sponsors_540px 2

Thank you to our sponsors. Mont Adventure Equipment, GU, SRAMSchwalbe, Osprey, Crowleys Hot Sauce, Squirt, Frameskin, Bent Spoke, Julbo, Kowalski Brothers Trailworks, Aussie Butt Cream and Bike Culture as well as our bike lighting sponsors Exposure and Nitelights.
Support our sponsors by buying their products.


While a mountain of work goes into delivering the Mont in the months before race day, it is simply impossible to deliver without the efforts of our Race Crew and the many volunteers who devote their time to make it all happen in the event week. David and I especially thank Dave White (race director & MC), Paul Cole (course director), Raynie McNee (volunteer coordinator and Kow Kids Race go-to girl), the unflappable Pam Price (Registration & Shop), Stu Plant (MC), Steve Martin (timing), Rob Mihalyka (moto marshall & fixer), James Hall (trophies, presentations, podium maker and awesome race buddy), Chris and Nutty (Kowalski Inner Circle) and the tribe of volunteers who worked really hard all weekend. Thanks to Craig Stonestreet and Paul Gardner (my occasional trail building teammies from Jindabyne Landscaping) for helping reinvigorate the pump track and building the skills area. Thanks go to Tim Kuschel from GuzBox Design and Audio for making everything sound like it should, Brent, Caz and the team from Bike Culture who again wrenched like gurus to keep everyone rolling for the weekend. Thanks go to our musicians for rocking out on course. Matt & Emma D'Arcy from Krush for helping keep bikes clean and Myogen for rubbing people the right way. Thanks to the foodies My-T-Nice Catering, Jackos PizzaBlack Bear BBQ, Two Before Ten and Bent Spoke Brewing for serving it up when it was needed most and thanks to Chris Maher from Brindabella Waste for tidying up after everyone so quickly. Our deep and heartfelt thanks go to our intrepid trail builders, the Kowalski Brothers Trailworks and Paul Cole who together continue to deliver the most enjoyable, flowing mountain bike trails in the region. The Kowalskis also built the bike wash bay, some of features in the skills area and as always were instrumental in village bump-in and out (awesome as usual). We'd also like to extend a big thanks the ACT Parks and Conservation Service upon whose lands we run the race and to MTBA who administer the sport of MTB.



The Dirt De Femme is a ladies-only event famous for introducing many women to the joys of MTB. Organised with love and care by Cycle Education, the 2017 event offers a brilliantly organised event, cash, prizes, junior entry discounts and much, much more. 
There are two courses to choose from, each offering fun, excitment and a little challenge.
Embrace the fun of riding through some great trails. Go HERE.

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Self Propelled Enterprises
PO 3368 Manuka
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2603

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