Blue Derby's New Trails: Return to Sender & Flickety Sticks Upper

From green trails, darker ones grow. Derby’s latest batch of incredible singletrack adds some more serious stuff to the trail network, we dragged ourselves back to Derby to see what’s sprung up since our last amazing visit.

To say that a lot of the ‘A-line’ features pushed our humble bike skills is an understatement. So we let Ryan De La Rue and Rhys Atkinson of World Trail show us how it’s done.

To create a mountain bike destination out of literally nothing, the aim for the little town of Derby in Tasmania’s North East was to lay down foundations of blue and green grade trails and build up from there to form a destination for every type of rider.

After three years of construction, there’s a whole new batch of blue and black trails, so you’ll be able to rock up to Derby and feast on a massive variety that’ll blow your mind and challenge even the most technically advanced riders.

Return to Sender

Watch video here:

Rhys Atkinson, one of the builders of Return to Sender, scrubbing low and fast.
Rhys Atkinson, one of the trail builders of Return to Sender, scrubbing low and fast.
Through a tunnel of green on the upper section of RTS.
It doesn’t get much lusher than this, the moss drips off the trees here.
Ryan De La Rue bursts through the golden morning light.

What is it?

Return to Sender (RTS) is one of the newer trails in the huge network and it’s a total blast to ride, the name comes from simply that it pops out of the native forest opposite the Derby Post office, right in the heart of town. RTS takes in a completely new area of the hillside and is 5.72km of the bliss that Derby has become world famous for. It’s a real mixed bag, from lush and green fern-lined mossy terrain it becomes drier and even a little dusty towards the bottom.

RTS rewards the creative rider, as it’s been built by some of the most skilled and fluid riders we know.
Minnie Jessop’s Beard as the locals call it, the greenery is growing everywhere in the damp forest.
The trail slows and mellows around parts of the forest that demand attention, it’s worth looking around.
Big old trees poke through the fern canopy to the skies above.
Go on. Plan that trip everyone’s talking about.
Rhys scrubbing the super-grippy Stumpjumper 6Fattie.
When the speed of the trail trickles up, you can bet you’ll come across big senders like this.
A double double for the keen to jump at speed, or pump through the rollers with your wheels on the ground.

Take one run down and you may or may not notice the dozens of ‘A-line’ options everywhere, double jumps, step down gaps and huge senders tempt you off the side of the trail. There’s always options, and the clever people at World Trail don’t build trails with bad surprises, so you can clear the gaps with the natural speed and flow of the trail if you’re game to go for it.

Shuttle me up to the top!

Return to Sender starts at the Black Stump trail junction, a high point on Cascade Dam Road that can be accessed by climbing Long Shadow Upper trail but most importantly and music to many ears, the top of RTS can be via a shuttle vehicle! Yes, Return to Sender is a shuttle-able trail, winner! And because it finishes in town it’s straight to the shuttle pickup and back up you go to nail down the myriad of lines and jumps that you’ll most likely need to work up to. Do half a dozen runs of RTS on the shuttle and you’ll be cooked and stoked.

How about this for an amazing trail feature! Through the crevice or around the massive berm. The World Trail guys have taken the time to really make the most of the terrain on offer here.
Rhys hanging up in the green room on one of the larger but remarkably achievable step-down gaps.
In a train of mates, you’ll be able to swap the lead and make sneaky pass moves to spice things up a little.

Flickety Sticks Upper

Beginning from the same junction at the Black Stump is an extension to one of Derby’s most popular existing trails, Flickety Sticks. It now extends right up high to the shuttle drop-off point on Cascade Dam Rd adding an extra 1.5km of super-fast and flowing trail with massive berms and pumping terrain.

This rock section on Flickety Sticks Upper is so fast, get the timing right and you can backside the rocks and carry amazing speed.
The original section of Flickety Sticks is unreal, massive turns through a drier section of the forest where you can really let it slide.


Since our last visit to Derby, the World Trail crew have given on of the trails that return you back to town a makeover. Sawtooth takes you past an old quarry, through regenerated mine locations littered with old mining relics and up to a high point with grand views of the Derby CBD.

To make the most of the views the crew cleared a space, built a fire pit, erected a bike rack using an old rail and council helped build a fence using recycled timber from a nearby property. Talk about making the most of it!

The old ruins and relics have been fashioned into a sweet little loop up to the lookout over town, you can see the whole city of Derby from up there…
An old railway to rack your bike, sweet.
And a short razz back to town, on another prime singletrack descent.
George Clooney of Derby.
Fresh from Scottsdale, a very fine beer. Little Rivers.

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