September 6, 2017

What to expect from the 2017 Melbourne Dirty Dozen

06 Three Laneways

Perhaps you’ve seen some posts about DD17 and you’re wondering what it’s all about. Or maybe you’ve signed up already and you’re after a bit more information about what’s in store. Either way, here’s what you can expect from the ride … and why you should sign up if you haven’t already!

What is DD17?

DD17 is the 2017 Melbourne Dirty Dozen, the sixth edition of a recreational challenge ride held in or near the Victorian capital. The concept came from a ride that began in Pittsburgh, USA back in the 1980s, in which riders were pitted against a baken’s dozen of short, sharp climbs.

The same concept applies here in Melbourne — we create a route featuring a bunch of tough ascents, and your challenge is to complete the course. It’s not a race — just finishing is tough enough!

The first three editions of the Melbourne Dirty Dozen were held in the Dandenongs. The last two were held out at Warburton. This year we’re in Dromana, a town on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour south of the Melbourne CBD.

How does the ride actually work?

Simple. Turn up to Dromana Recreation Reserve between 7am and 9am on Sunday September 24, give us your name, and we’ll hand you a ride map. We’ll have a coffee van at the start so you get your morning caffeine hit, and then, when you’re ready, you can get going!

You’ll use the ride map (and/or the TCX/GPX file we’ll email you in the days before the ride) to find your way around the course, working your way through the climbs as you go.

What’s the course like?

It’s tough! It’s roughly 65km long with about 1,600m of climbing. There are 13 designated ascents, plus one easier transitional climb along the way. You can find a full list of the day’s climbs here.

The ascents are clustered in three areas: Mr. Martha (climbs 1 to 5), McCrae (climbs 6 and 7) and Dromana (climbs 8 to 13). From the start there’s a 5-6km flat warm-up to get to Mt. Martha before the climbing begins.

After completing the Mt. Martha climbs you’ll head back to and then past Dromana, to McCrae, in what is a nice little transfer along the beach. Make the most of the respite! You’ll tackle the two climbs in McCrae, then back along the beach to Dromana where it’s into the final six climbs.

The toughest climbs of the day are clustered in this last block, and the final ascent of Arthurs Seat is sure to be a challenging one.

Will there be a mid-ride food stop, like last year?

Yep! Our friends at Winners Cycling will again be on hand to pass out goodies to you mid-ride. We’ll give you the exact location details in the pre-ride email, a few days before the event.

Can you give me some tips on how to tackle the course?

Sure! Here’s a few:

Make the most of the flat warm-up. Get your legs warmed up in those first 5-6km before tackling the first climb.
Pace yourself. It can be tempting to smash up the first few climbs but you’re better off saving as much energy as you can. You’ll need it.
Use the transitions for recovery. Just like the warm-up, the rides from Mt. Martha to McCrae and McCrae back to Dromana are great opportunities to stretch the legs, have something to eat and drink, and psych yourself up for the rest of the ride.
Take it easy on the descents. This should be pretty obvious, but trust us — you don’t want to be the rider that crashes and ends your day in the back of an ambulance.
Watch out for the left-then-right turns on climb 8. Partway up the climb you’ll turn left off Mary St then right onto Manna St. Just be extra vigilant at this intersection, particularly if you’re tired — there can be a little bit of traffic about.
The transitional climb is pretty tough. It’s not as long or as hard as the other climbs on course, but it will make you work. It’s just before climb 6, as you enter McCrae.
Take note of how climb 12 ends. The second last climb ends at a gate, but you’ll notice that the road actually continues on the other side. We tried to get the gate open for the event but it was going to be far too expensive (several thousand dollars) …

What happens when I get to the top of Arthurs Seat?

Congratulations, you’ve finished all the climbs! Follow the road back down the way you came, and follow the route map back to the Dromana Recreation Reserve (where the ride started). We’ll have a post-ride BBQ going so be sure to come back and grab something to eat (BBQ is included in the cost of entry).

I’ve done a bunch of Dirty Dozen rides in the past – why should I do this one?

The main reason is that it will be a great day out and that you’ll have a lot of fun conquering this tough course! Speaking of the course, it’s entirely new for 2017 … which isn’t surprising since the ride is happening in Dromana for the first time.

We know you’ll love the coastal views, particularly the ones from the top of the final climb!

Where do I sign up and how much does it cost?

To buy your ticket, head here. It’s just $20 to enter, which includes the post-ride BBQ, and helps to cover the (significant) costs of traffic management, insurance, council permits and more.

What happens now?

Stay posted to the Facebook event page for updates in the lead-up. We’ll also be sending an email around to all signed-up participants in the days before the ride.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you out there on September 24!

Leave a Comment