2018 Dams Challenge

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The Dams Challenge is recognised as one of the 50 top rides in the world* and is Western Australia’s premier on-road cycling challenge.

Choose your challenge with either the 205km 5 Dams, 137km 3 Dams, 107km Duo Dams or 53km 2 Dams Challenge and be one of over 2,000 riders who take on this monumental ride each April. 

Places are strictly limited and demand is always high, so secure a place now in the must-do cycling event of the Western Australian cycling calendar.


Start / Finish location: Champion Lakes Regatta Centre – Champion Lakes WA 6111

Date:  Sunday, 8 April 2018

Times: Rider briefing from 5:40am/6:40am; 5 Dams Challenge from 6:00am; 2 Dams Challenge from 7:00am; 3 Dams Challenge from 7:30am; Event cut-off 5:00pm

There are NO allocated start times for participants.  Riders will be released in waves of approximately 20 riders every 30 seconds commencing with the 5 Dams Challenge riders.


All four Dams Challenge courses offer tough climbing and thrilling decents.

**All routes are subject to change without notice. Please note these are proposed maps and we are awaiting approval from Statutory Authorities.

 5 Dams Challenge (205) 3 Dams Challenge (136km)
PDF MapMyRide PDF   MapMyRide
Duo Dams Challenge (107km) 2 Dams Challenge (53km)

* All Bicycling Western Australia events are timed but they are not races.


(1 Sept – 31 Dec)
(From Jan 1)
(after 27 Mar)
3 Dams and 5 Dams Challenge
BWA Members* $159 $179 $189
Non-Members $199 $219 $229
2 Dams Challenge
BWA Members* $89 $99
Non-Members $99 $109

*Our registration system requires up to two business days to upload new membership details.


– Each check point will have water and nutrition

– Lunch is provided for 3 Dams and 5 Dams riders at Wungong Dam

– Motorbike marshals will patrol the course providing assistance as required

– St John Ambulance will be present to provide medical support

– Broom wagons will follow the last rider

– Each check point and motorbike marshals will all have tubes and gas cylinders which can be used and paid for after the event

PLEASE NOTE: Private support vehicles are not permitted as they cause unnecessary traffic congestion and inhibit the ability of official event support vehicles to efficiently navigate the course. Road closures will be in place around some check points and vehicles will not be permitted to enter.


**Jersey sales have ended.

Pedal Mafia are the official clothing sponsor for the event.

Register for the Challenge and purchase a Pedal Mafia official event jersey for only $77.

Strictly NO jersey swaps. Please note if you change your category (eg from 3 Dams to 5 Dams) your jersey design does not change (will still be a 3 Dams).

Men’s Size Guide          Women’s Size Guide

5 Dams Challenge 3 Dams Challenge
Duo Dams and 2 Dams Challenge


We are hosting two rider information nights in the lead-up to the event. 

Join us for a FREE rider information session featuring tips on bike preparation and maintenance, training, nutrition, BikeFit, fitness preparation and more.

Date: Wednesday, 14 March and Monday, 19 March 2018. 

You can view the previous presentations on our YouTube channel


Rider Packs and jersey (if you ordered one) will be available for collection from from Leederville Sporting Club on these dates: Friday, 6 April (12.00pm – 4.30pm) or Saturday, 7 April (8.00am – 4.00pm). Strictly NO pick up on event day.

Leederville Sporting Club: 78 Cambridge St, West Leederville WA 6007


Strict cut-off times at each check point are imposed.  If you do not pass through the check point before the nominated cut-off times you will be deemed to be out of the event.  Nutrition at the checkpoints will be stated in the Rider Guide when released.


Checkpoints 5 Dams  3 Dams    2 Dams    
Start – Champion Lakes                       
Serpentine Dam 63km 63km    
Albany Hwy/Jarrahdale Rd 92km 86km    
Wungong Dam 112km 106km  
Churchman Brook 121km 116km 17km
Canning Dam 175km   31km
 Finish 205km 136km 53km


 Cut-off Times 5 Dams 3 Dams 2 Dams
Wungong Dam 12:10pm 1:15pm    
Churchman Brook 12:35pm      
Urch Road and Canning Mills 1:30pm      
Canning Road/Brookton Hwy 3:30pm      
 Finish 5:00pm 5:00pm *5:00pm

*2 Dams Challenge have no required cut-off times as riders should complete before 5 Dams Challenge participants.


The 2018 Dams Challenge is NOT a race however we do time each rider.  The purpose for timing is to enable us to monitor your progress, locate you on the course and for your information.

Family and friends will be able to monitor your progress throughout the day with live-to-web streaming from check-points.

Due to the lack of communications in some areas not every check point will provide live results.  The final location of the timing stations will be announced in the rider packs.


Become a member of Bicycling Western Australia’s Strava Club and track your progress against other Dams Challenge participants.

You can upload your rides to Bicycling Western Australia Strava Club by using your Garmin, iPhone or Android device.


Every 3 Dams or 5 Dams Challenge rider who crosses the finish line will receive a commemorative medallion to mark the achievement.

Please note: 2 Dams Challenge finishers will not receive a medallion.


Winners Sports Nutrition is proud to be the Official Energy Bar & Gel supplier of the 2018 Dams Challenge.  Winners energy products have been developed specifically for cyclists and are used and recommended by cycling champion Cadel Evans.  Nutrition plays a vital role for extended rides – Winners will be providing a mix of their energy bars, gels and chews throughout the ride.


Winners are offering a 10% discount from winnersbars.com for all riders participating in Dams Challenge.

Coupon Code: DAMS2018


The team of Accredited Sports Dietitians are proud to be providing nutrition advice for the Dams Challenge. See factsheet HERE


Correct training and preparation is the best way to get the most out of your Dams Challenge experience.  Whether you are an experienced rider coming back to the 2018 Dams Challenge or a first-time entrant, these guides offer some good advice and schedules to enable you to get the most out of the day.

Riding 135kms or 200kms in one day through hilly terrain is a significant challenge.  These programs are designed as a guide to enable riders to complete their chosen challenge event.

It is assumed that you have a reasonable level of fitness and bike skills before commencing the program.  It also assumes most participants will do their longer training sessions on weekends with limited time before/after work for training.  The longer hours of daylight during summer provides an ideal opportunity for 40-50kms ride or interval sessions during the week.







A number of our partners offer group and one-on-one coaching and skills courses. 2 Dams Challenge riders are recommended to take part in a course.  Check out the list of training providers HERE


Cycle specific stretching

Stretching helps to reduce injury after an endurance exercise. Time spent in the aerodynamic position immediately places a huge amount of stress on the lower back, hamstrings and ITBs. A good stretching routine is important to adopt during your training program and will minimise muscle tension.



2015 Ride Ambassador Andrew Patterson shares his tips on conquering the leg busting climbs of the Dams Challenge.

Charlie Gargett his tips on managing the thrilling descents of the Dams Challenge.


https://www.bwa.org.au/file/Nationals%20-%20Crits%20-%20Mens%20-%20mrec.jpgTravis Meyer will be participating in the 3 Dams Challenge.

Ex – Michelton Scott Professional Cyclist, Travis Meyer, has been a finance broker with Finance Detective since January 2017 and recently been named as a finalist for the Rising Star Award in WA. Have a chat to Travis about anything cycling or finance related at the Dams Challenge in April!



Veris Racing athletes will be split into two groups a fast and social group: The fast group, consisting of 2 female and 2 male riders that will attempt to complete the 5 Dams Challenge course as quickly as possible. The social group will ride at a training pace and consist of both male and female athletes aiming to complete the course for an average speed around 25km/hr.


I am a cychttps://www.bwa.org.au/file/Emily%20MREC.jpeglist for Veris Women’s Racing team. 5 Dams is perfect to push anyone’s limits and achieve the unthinkable. This will be my first ride of 200km and I’m excited to crack the 200 mark! Can’t wait to see so many determined faces ready to tackle the challenge. This event is a fantastic one that every person should be apart of.  Let’s do this people!!





I’m looking forward to riding the 5 Dams as it’s a great opportunity to ride and socialise with other riders. I love the course that has been mapped out as it is challenging why providing a great scenic aspect, the areas that are to be ridden through are beautiful. I’d recommend anyone try the dams challenge as there is an event for different abilities.

Listed below is a number of frequently asked questions about the Dams Challenge.  If you cannot find the answer to your question then please contact us.


Where is the event village for the 2018 Dams Challenge?

The start/finish area will be situated at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre – Champion Lakes WA 6111.

Where do I enter the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre?

Access for parking at the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre is off Champion Drive between Tonkin Hwy and Lake Road, please follow the directional parking signs.

Where can I park?

There is FREE parking available at the event village (access via north-west side of the lake on Champion Drive ONLY. No access via Henley Drive).

Parking Map

What will parking cost?


Can I use public transport to get to the venue?

Check to see if you can use public transport to the venue from your start location HERE


Do I have to register with another rider as part of a paired team?

No.  In 2017 the Dams Challenge was opened up to individual riders so each rider now needs to register individually.  You may still choose to ride as a pair (as in previous years) on the day of the event.

Can I change my event category?

Yes, if you wish to change from 3/5 Dams to 2/Duo Dams, the difference in price will be refunded, less a $5 administration fee.  If a free jersey was included in your 3/5 Dams registration this will be forfeited.  If you would like to keep the jersey then the difference in price will not be refunded.

Yes, if you wish to change between 3 or 5 Dams, we can accommodate.

Please email [email protected] to arrange the transfer.   Please note that it is not possible to change jersey event types or sizes from 1st February. 

Any changes MUST be recieved by Sunday, 25 March 2018.

I can no longer attend the event, can I get a refund?

Bicycling Western Australia has a no refund policy.  We do, however, allow you to nominate a replacement rider.  If you would like to nominate a replacement rider please complete a Rider Substitution Form and email to [email protected].  Fees apply, except when transferring to a member, and changes MUST be received by Sunday, 25 March.  Please note that it is not possible to change jersey event types or sizes from 1st February.

Can I swap my jersey size or design?

Strictly NO jersey swaps from 1 February.  Please note if you change your event category after this date (eg from 3 Dams to 5 Dams) your jersey design will not change (will still be a 3 Dams).

Where can I collect my rider pack?

Rider Packs and jerseys will be available for collection from from Leederville Sporting Club on these dates: Friday, 6 April (12.00pm – 4.30pm) or Saturday, 7 April (8.00am – 4.00pm). Strictly NO pick up on event day.

Leederville Sporting Club: 78 Cambridge St, West Leederville WA 6007

Is there a type of bike restriction?

There is no restriction to what type of bike you choose to ride in the Dams Challenge provided the bike is legal to ride on the road.

Can I ride a time trial bike?

Yes, however we strongly discourage the use of Time Trial bikes and TT bars as they are not the most ideal bike to ride in this type of event.

Is there an age limit to register for the Dams Challenge?

There is no age limit however participants must be aged 16 or over.  Riders aged 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during the event.

I have signed up for the Dams Challenge.  When will I receive specific event information?

An information pack with all the details you will need will be uploaded to this site and emailed to all registered riders in the week prior to the event.  Important details and changes will also be communicated to riders through email on a regular basis.

I have ordered a jersey.  When will it be available for collection?

Rider Packs and jerseys will be available for collection from from Leederville Sporting Club on these dates: Friday, 6 April (12.00pm – 4.30pm) or Saturday, 7 April (8.00am – 4.00pm). Strictly NO pick up on event day.

Leederville Sporting Club: 78 Cambridge St, West Leederville WA 6007

Can I change the size of my jersey?

No.  All jerseys are ordered in accordance with your requested size at time of registration.

Jersey sizes can be tried on at Pedal Mafia HQ should you wish to try one on prior to registering.

I have registered and completed the payment.  How do I know if my registration is confirmed?

You will receive a confirmation email and receipt once your registration is successful.  We will contact you leading up to the event with further information.  If you do not receive an email confirmation please contact us.

I have just joined / renewed my membership with BWA however when I try to register for the event I get an error message.

Our registration system requires up to two business days to upload new membership details.  In order to receive the member discount you will need to wait at least until the next day.  If you are still not successful after a couple days please contact us.


The 2017 Dams Challenge was held on Sunday, 2 April 2017. Results are available from blueChip Timing

3 Dams Challenge  5 Dams Challenge

Official photographs can be searched on Supersport Images


The 2016 Dams Challenge was held on Sunday, 3 April 2016.  Results are available from blueChip Timing

Wembley Cycles 3 Dams Challenge    SCODY 5 Dams Challenge

We also published photographs on our Facebook page following the event.


The 2015 Dams Challenge was held on Sunday, 19 April 2015. Results are available from blueChip Timing

Wembley Cycles 3 Dams Challenge     SCODY 5 Dams Challenge


The 2014 Dams Challenge was held on Sunday, 6 April 2014.  Results are available from blueChip Timing

3 Dams Challenge     SCODY 5 Dams Challenge

Here is what some of our previous riders had to say about the Dams Challenge

“The 5 Dams Challenge was a personal achievement for myself. I am not a competitive cyclist, and completing the challenge was all I hoped for.”

“Congratulations for a fantastically organised event Sunday, the best ever. Looking forward to seeing the results.”

“It was my first 3 Dams and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done to all those involved in making this event happen, great job. See you in 2014.”

“I just wanted to send a note of thanks for a brilliant day yesterday. I rode the 5 Dams for the first time – my whole family came to be part of the day (all non-cyclists) and they all spoke of how impressed they were with Bicycling Western Australia and the way the whole day was organised with so many riders to contend with.”

“The organisation of the whole event was awesome! They could teach the organisers of the 3Peaks a thing or two.”

“Well done on the 3 & 5 Dams Challenges. They were great! Well organised, great volunteers, great food and drinks at the stops. Great effort all round! It made it an awesome day!”

“A well put together event. Well done BWA!

“Thanks for a well organised event, it was absolutely fantastic!”

Great work. With a few small tweaks this is one of the premiere bike events in the world! Looking forward to next year. Thanks.

“A well run and very enjoyable event. I’d like to thank the organisers and volunteers who made this event possible.”

It was an excellent event – many thanks to all the volunteers!!

Excellent event, my second ride of this scale (first being Freeway Hike 2013). This seemed much better managed, particularly on the actual day.

My first time and I’ll likely do it again. It was far better organised and run than any of the larger mainstream charity rides.

Overall it was an excellent ride, well organised and good fun. Definitely worth doing.

“Thank you to the Bicycling Western Australia team for their efforts in making the event a huge success. I know these events don’t happen without a lot of planning and “behind the scenes” work. The friendly and efficient registrations on the day, the signage, the drink stations and the lunch station were all just brilliant. The volunteers were courteous, helpful, efficient and kind. You even made the hills seem easier this year! I look forward to more events with you.”

At Bicycling Western Australia, we strive to deliver a world class event.  Each of our team members embodies the values of:

Determination – We work hard to deliver the best possible event for our participants

Inspiration – We inspire our fellow team members and our event participants

Unity and Support – We work as one team to support each other and our event participants

Our dedicated events team is made up of volunteers, local community groups, Bicycing Western Australia employees and we are well supported by our event sponsors and supporters.


If you would like to volunteer your time and join the Bicycling Western Australia team in delivering the Dams Challenge, please register your interest in the below links.

Positions include

• Pre-event bag packing
• Registrations / Information assistant
• Hydration Station attendant
• Motor Bike marshal
• Corner/course marshal
• Event Village helper

If you would like to obtain an further information, please do not hesitate to email us.

Each Dams Challenge volunteer will receive:

  • Valuable experience working on a world class event
  • Official event shirt
  • Foods and refreshments throughout the day
  • Task description – to ensure you are clear about your role on the day

There are plenty of roles available, please ensure you register your interest as soon as possible. Please advise us of any previous volunteering experience, qualifications and other relevant or important information.

Bicycling Western Australia would like to acknowledge the following organisations for their support towards the 2018 Dams Challenge.

















The 5 Dams Challenge is a challenging and rewarding event for serious cyclists throughout Australia. Put your legs to the test on this 205km ride featuring over 2,000m of vertical climbing.


The 136km 3 Dams Challenge gives you a major taste of the challenge and vertical climbing. It’s perfect for those aspiring to work up to the 5 Dams next year.



The 107km Duo Dams Challenge is for the triathlete that loves riding. The ride is finished with a 10km run at Champion Lakes.


*Brand new event category in 2018*

The 53km 2 Dams Challenge gives a small taste of the challenge and lets you experience the thrill of the event. Start with the 2 Dams and work up to the 3 Dams and 5 Dams in the future.

You can enter the event as an individual rider for the event.  The 2018 Dams Challenge is fully supported and includes food and water stations along the course, hydration supplies, motorbike marshals, first aid, broom wagon and more.

Riders have 12 hours to complete the challenge (the course closes at 1800 hours).  This means riders will need to travel at an average of at least 20km/h over the course, depending on stoppage time.

The event is a personal challenge and NOT a race – no place-getter prizes are awarded.

Check out all the highlights from the 2017 Dams Challenge below.


The event had its genesis in 1998 and was first offically staged in 2010.  It has quickly grown from little over 350 local riders to more than 2,000 participants from all over Australia and overseas.

The 5 Dams Challenge, that fabled endurance test for ageing cyclists, was conceived in a café on the terrace in Fremantle one Saturday morning in 1998.  Was it possible to incorporate the five metropolitan dams into a single day’s ride?  Intrepid rider Lindsay O’Brien thought so.

The following Tuesday he set out from Claremont, up the scarp at Lesmurdie and on to Mundaring.  Then proceeding south to Serpentine, past the dam to the South West Highway and back to Claremont – 280km in just under ten hours.

Many different routes have since been used but all using the basic 5 Dams Challenge framework.

Solitude is the devil’s playground, so the ride is more enjoyable in a group.  Many teams of riders have completed the ride, mainly motivated by Ian Pauley who initiated the Summer/Winter Solstice rides and has probably completed the ride more times than any other along with Graham Forward, Peter Gunzberg and Brian “Capo” Roberts.

The ride itself produces its own drama.  The fatigue of ill-prepared riders brings out the best and the worst in them. The camaraderie such a ride invokes makes it a memorable experience.

Join the 2018 Dams Challenge now!

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