Maydena Bike Park will be re-opening for the 2021/2022 riding season for the second time this Friday, October 22. The park was supposed to open on September 26, but was delayed by a week, due to a spring snowstorm. A fortnight later, the park was forced to close again thanks to a Covid19 positive traveller running away from hotel quarantine, triggering a three-day lockdown in Southern Tassie.
After a soft opening of sorts, the park will be running in full swing from this Friday.
We caught up with the man at the helm of Maydena and Dirt Art, Simon French, to find out what they have been up to through the colder months and what’s new for the 2021/2022 riding season.
- Buller Bike Park gets a refresh | Contour Works and Trailscapes give the network some TLC
- Lake Mountain Resort | Alpine riding a stone’s throw from Melbourne
- Riding the wild west | New trails in Dwellingup and Collie
A few new trails, but prepping for something bigger
When Maydena opened, it was squarely focused on offering gravity trails for experienced riders. Having established itself as an Enduro paradise, the park has been working to fill in the gaps with beginner and family-friendly trails on the mountain’s lower slopes, and is still adding to this offering.
“We have a couple of brand new beginner trails, both climbs and descents, which will open in a couple of weeks down on the lower part of the park. We’re extending the Dirt Surfer Trail and linking up our climbing trail so that it’s singletrack the whole way,” says French.
Also, on the lower mountain, Dirt Art has added line choices to the final bit of trail that leads into the base area.
“We have completely redeveloped the Homeward trail, and there are a couple of other trails going in alongside it. Last season you really only had one way through at the bottom. Coming through this season, you will have four different trail options through that zone,” he says.
View this post on Instagram
Moving up the hill, Maydena is adding linking trails to improve network connectivity, and Skyline is set to get the choose your own adventure option.
“We’re working on a new intermediate flow jump trail up towards the summit. The lower part of our Skyline Trail will be duplicated, so there is a second option,” says French. “You’ll still have the technical rocky version of Skyline, but in parallel to that, you’ll have a fun, fast, flowy jump trail going in; we’re working to bring that online early next year.”
Much of the work that has happened through the winter has been upgrading and refurbishing the current trails, ahead of an extensive development plan that includes a boatload of new singletrack, kicking off next year.
“We’re just really trying to get everything that we already have dialled and improve connectivity. We’ve done major upgrades of almost everything now, but there are a couple (trails) left, and we’re looking to tick those off this year,” says French.
In the immediate future, the trail crew will be building a new XC course for the National Championships in February 2022.
“That will be a couple of kilometres of (new) trail mixed into some existing trail, to get a brand new XC course going,” French says.
View this post on Instagram
Maydena lower mountain shuttles
French says the most significant addition for this season is the lower mountain shuttle service. With about 200m of elevation and about 10km of blue and green trails, Maydena’s lower mountain area is designed to help new riders build their skills and gain confidence on the bike.
“We’re using mostly ATV vehicles, and we also have some troop carriers that we run periodically. That service has proved really popular over the first weekend, and we expect it to keep growing,” he says.
“We’re also working on building out more beginner and intermediate trails. At the moment, we have two top-to-bottom beginner trails through that zone, and a whole bunch of other intermediate and advanced trails,” he says. “The lower mountain shuttle service opens up easy access to a different part of the park.”
These lower mountain shuttles are run on a walk-up basis and cost $10 for a single uplift, $45 for five or $70 for 10-shuttles.
Speaking of the shuttles, Maydena has introduced peak and off-peak pricing, which sees the cost of a day of uplifts to the summit increase by $10 from December to April.
Events and racing at Maydena
The crew at Maydena were obviously excited when the EWS announced it was coming to town in 2022, and equally disappointed when it was cancelled. So to fill the space, Maydena is hosting what it’s calling the Enduro Jam in March.
“We will set two or three racecourses each day, which will be pretty well top to bottom using most of the mountain. These courses will be intermediate to advanced and rideable by most confident riders, and then, we will have a pro stage the runs at the end of each day.
The elite categories will do the two to three courses plus the pro stage, and punters will do the two or three courses, and then have the ability to watch the pro race,” says French.
View this post on Instagram
The event will run similarly to a Fox Superflow or Thredbo Super Enduro, where riders can log as many laps as they want to, but only the fastest time on each run will count as a final race run.
Kicking off the first weekend in October, Maydena is running a three-week spring enduro series and Gravity Fest is coming back this December. Doubling as the Tassie State DH champs, Gravity Fest will include the Maydena King and Queen of the Mountain, Kids Flow Racing and the Dirt Jump Jam.
Also starting in December are Phat Fridays. Modelled off Phat Wednesday in Whistler, shuttles will run from 4-7 pm every Friday, and the bike park will host a social race.
AusCycling National Champs is returning for a second year with XC, DH, Trials, and Pump Track events set to run from February 14-20.
Base area glow up
Along with the trail work that has been happening this winter, French tells us the shuttle queue and patio have been rearranged to make more space for people to kick up their feet and catch their breath.
There is a new head chef slinging pizzas and toasties at the canteen, who will also oversee the opening of an all-new restaurant in the base area. Set to stay open late, there will be a new outdoor beer garden on the front of the main building, and an indoor bar and bistro, complete with pool tables and lounges.
“They will be using a lot of local produce, (it will be mostly) small plates and big platters — a little bit higher-end than the canteen at the back,” he says.
Maydena bike school and hire bikes
Maydena has expanded its bike school at both ends of the spectrum, with new beginner lessons catered towards folks who can ride a bike but may have never ridden trails before and more advanced, technical focused classes for riders looking to improve their skills.
The bike park’s rental fleet has expanded too, with fresh new Trek Enduro bikes and Commencal DH and kids bikes available for hire.
“We have a full kids fleet from Commencal with 20-24in wheels, and then we also have a bunch of smaller Treks with 26in and 27.5in wheels, catering for small adults or large kids. We even have a few 12in strider bikes, so kids can muck around on flat trails or the pump track.
For the latest on what’s happening in Maydena, head over to the bike park’s website.