Many studies have found that physical activity is linked to academic success; financial advisor group, Synchron, are firm believers of this. Instead of being stuck in air-conditioned rooms all day, Synchron acted upon the fact that physical activity would help their team intake more information whilst in Alice Springs for their 2016 seminars.
We organised with Outback Quad Adventures (OQA) to split the group of 64 people into two groups of 32 people each. Both groups commenced the day at 6:30AM. Group 1 began with Outback Cycling at The Alice Springs Telegraph Station, and Group 2 at OQA. We chose a hand over spot in between the two locations that people could realistically mountain bike to and that a coach bus could drive to. We decided on a spot on Undoolya Road, where the bitumen met the corrugated road. From that point, the groups would swap activities. The cyclists would dismount and hop on the bus to OQA and the group that came off the bus would be fitted to one of the bikes.
When the first group arrived at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station at 6:15AM we begun to fit them to the correct bike and helmet sizes, filled up their complementary Outback Cycling water bottles, and gave them the run down of the bike brakes, gears and mountain bike tips. It was a surprisingly chilly morning, with the mercury sinking to 6 degrees during the previous night. The group were naturally eager to set off and warm up!
There was a variety of physical fitness, mountain bike experience, males and females. Outback Cycling MTB Tour Guide Jenn led the group up past Trig Hill, passed the Cattle Grid, down a few rocky and unusually watery creek crossings, down the Wallaby Track and to a spot we refer to as the “Four Poles”. There, we stopped and waited for the rest of the group to catch up. While waiting, several kangaroos were spotted hopping directly in front of us! This really pleased some of the people visiting from cities!
Once the other half of the group caught up we continued on the last half of the single-track. The group divided along the way into more advanced MTB riders and more leisurely riders. The quicker group continued on single track to the meeting point, while the ladder followed Jenn down to a dirt walking path and directly up the bitumen on Undoolya Road. Roughly 1.5 hours and 5 kilometres later we had all reached the meeting point!
The bus from OQA arrived at the designated meeting spot with Group 2, and as planned they hopped on the bikes and Group 1 departed on the bus off to OQA. We repeated the same route back, this time all on single-track. By this time the sun’s heat had successfully absorbed the chilly morning dew and begun to warm the skin.
We made it back to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station with Group 2 by 11:00AM and lots of happy faces and fatigued bodies! Much of the feedback we received was very positive, with most people surprised at how challenging, yet fun the experience of mountain biking in our desert terrain was.
Looking around, people had found shady spots under trees to lie down on or indulge in a post work out coffee or vanilla slice from the Trail Station Wifi Cafe. Half of the group even went on to take of the tour of the Historical Precinct at Telegraph Station!
With only minor bike mechanic mishaps and zero injuries (except for a couple scrapes here and there) we couldn’t have asked for a better group of people and day to take them out on our famous Central Australian single track!