What is the Capital Divide?
The Capital Divide is an unsupported cycling route that traverses the ACT. Riders can tackle the route at any time, however there was a open start on Feb 20th 2021. Make sure you are well-prepared and self-reliant if tackling the route. Be safe.
What is the Capital Divide?
The Capital Divide is a challenging route, with plenty of climbing, fire trails, some singletrack and the occasional unavoidable road section. This route has been created to take in some of the highlights of the ACT, and add to the rich variety of routes on offer in Canberra.
Is it an official race?
There’s no official registration, support or assistance associated with the route. It’s purely created for fun and the challenge of riding across the territory from North to South (or South to North if you want to mix it up).
There’ll be no-one to see you off, or welcome you back from the route, unless you arrange it. So just turn up, ride, and be safe out there.
Is there timekeeping?
If you want to record an official (unofficial) time for the route, then fill in a rider profile, and send in your time upon route completion. Usual bikepacking race rules apply, but no one’s going to be checking up on you, so we’ll leave the accuracy and honesty of your time keeping to your discretion. Official (unofficial) times are recorded continuously from the moment you depart the starting point by the lake, until you reach the finish line at Westermans Hut.
You’re responsible for your own safety on the route. Make sure someone knows what you’re doing and that you have a safety plan. Large portions of the route are difficult to access and out of phone reception, so you should have some form of emergency communication device, at the very least.
About the Capital Divide route
Here’s the new route that is now 100% within the ACT borders:
Capital Divide Route v11
The route is roughly 250km long, beginning in the centre of Canberra and finishing at the southernmost accessible point of the territory.
Shorter route options
If you haven’t got time to take on the full Capital Divide route, feel free to modify it as you wish. The route can easily be split into three smaller segments that could be tackled individually and would make excellent options for shorter day, or overnight rides.
• First 50
• Middle hundy
• Southern border
Camping on the route
Official camping spots are at the following four locations along the route. It’s your ride, so plan whatever camping or accommodation you desire. You will need to complete online bookings for these campsites.
Points of interest
Beginning in town, the route scoots towards the Northern Border campground, following parts of the Canberra Centenary trail. After passing the northernmost point, the route skirts west, through Hall, dipping into NSW briefly, before entering the Brindabella ranges. The halfway point is roughly positioned at Blue Range Hut, where camping is available.
The route then hooks into a bit more of the Centenary trail on its way south, out of Canberra, through Tharwa and into Namadgi National Park. Tharwa is the last resupply point, and even then the small cafe/store has limited opening hours. The route passes a couple of historic Huts, and Mt Clear campground (camping available), finishing just before the border at Westermans Hut.
Register your ride
Whether you’re planning on racing the Capital Divide route, or just heading out there for a good time, you’re welcome to complete a rider profile. After your ride, you can let us know your finishing time to be added to the official (unofficial) leader board. You don’t have to complete the ride during the grand depart weekend in February in order to complete a rider profile or submit a finishing time.
Thanks to Ty Domin for this great write up about the inaugural Capital Divide.
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