Aussie Video: Fry and Flint, Enduro Champs at Blue Derby


Row Fry is a legend of the sport here in Australia, though you’d most likely associate her name with XC racing, rather than ripping it in Enduro on a bike like the Scott Genius. She’s former National XC Champion and marathon racing star, and it’s only recently that she turned her hand to Enduro (read our interview with Row Fry here) and has quickly risen to the top.

Isabella Flint is a young pinner on the ascension – at just 15 her performance at the Enduro National Champs would have placed her fourth in Elite Women. She has the EWS in her sights and will be one to watch closely.

We caught up with Row and Izzy at Blue Derby, just a hour or so from their hometown of Launceston, for an arvo of ripping the trails. Enjoy!

Learn more about the 2018 Scott Genius range.

And if you want to read more about the bikes they’re riding, make sure you check out our Genius First Ride Impressions here, or our First Bite pieces on the Genius 920 and Contessa 720.

Blue Derby on the 2018 Scott Genius

 

 

 

Blue Derby’s New Trails: The Blue Tier & Big Chook

We’re referring to the freshly built 20km singletrack descent through the lushest, greenest, mossiest Tasmanian Wilderness you’ll ever see. Though it’s not only the beauty of the place that will get your blood pumping, it’s that incredible feeling when you lose yourself in the fuzzy flow zone as you duck and weave through a trail that’s been built with utmost care and love.

_LOW2056-2
Walk to the top of the lookout above the trailhead to give you a perspective of how much forest surrounds you. From Binalong Bay to Mt Cameron, the views are mega.

Watch video here:


Starting way up high on the Blue Tier plateau, 600m above sea level on a magnificent sub-alpine clearing where the thriving mining town Poimena once stood, you’ll see a tall timber archway signalling a dramatic beginning of a pretty exceptional experience.

Through the archway and off you go.
Through the archway and off you go into the forest.
Plenty to be excited about right here.
Plenty to be excited about right here.

Where, what, how?

The Blue Tier is a 20km predominantly descending trail about half an hours drive out of Derby towards the coast. It’s graded as an intermediate (blue grade) trails, suitable for a reasonably competent mountain biker. But for those with a penchant to ride hard, hit gaps and carry loads of speed there is a myriad of alternate lines to try, some were way over our heads, we’ll save that for next time.

The trail stays out in the open for a little while, weaving along the plateau past remnants of old mining heritage.
The trail stays out in the open for a little while in the incredibly unique sub-alpine terrain up high, weaving along the plateau past remnants of old mining heritage.
_LOW2127
Across crystal clear streams, lined with greenery.
The moment you burst into the dense forest, is the moment you'll most likely lose your mind.
The moment you burst into the dense forest is the moment you’ll most likely lose your mind, we did.
Enormous myrtle beech trees are like their own mini ecosystems with so much plant life growing on them.
Enormous myrtle beech trees are like mini-ecosystems with so much plant life growing on them.
The higher sections are the greenest.
The higher sections are the greenest.
The thick canopy locks together above you to lock in the moisture of the forest.
The thick canopy locks together above you to lock in the moisture of the forest.
Spot the riders.
Spot the riders.
_LOW2180
It’s a fast and flowing trail; it feels great to ride.
Jumping through the green room, Rhys and Ryan boosting one of the optional lines off the side of the main line.
Jumping through the green room, Rhys and Ryan boosting one of the optional lines off the side of the main line.
Warp speed.
Warp speed.
Across this incredibly lush and fresh creek crossing, park your bikes and sit to soak in the surrounds.
Across this incredibly lush and fresh creek crossing, park your bikes and sit to soak in the surrounds.
Like some forest dream, the waters are so clear and the vegetation is vibrant and dense.
Like some forest dream, the waters are so clear, and the vegetation is vibrant and dense.
Under the covers of green.
Under the covers of green.
Spot the Rue.
Spot the Rue.

The Big Chook bit.

The trail within the trail, Big Chook makes up the second half of the Blue Tier Descent with a slightly different flavour. It’s more fast paced and can be ridden a lot harder with huge berms and swooping rollers to keep up the stoke.

So, it’s a shuttle to the top followed by finishing with a hard earned break at the pub, you’re kidding me, right?

It’s best to shuttle up to the top (or ride up if you’re completely insane) with a Derby tour operator – we recommend the legends at Vertigo MTB – and finish the Blue Tier/Big Chook descent with a hard-earned break at the Weldborough Pub under the pleasant shady outdoor beer garden. The coffee is great, craft beer a-plenty and the steak sandwich will satisfy a mighty hunger.

Up the other side to Atlas.

If you’re travelling to Derby to ride, the Blue Tier and Atlas double are an absolute must, the trails closer to town are amazing, but nothing matches the feeling of shuttling up so high, descending for so long and then shuttling up again to descend back to Derby town. It’s the ultimate day out, one you’ll always remember.

Atlas is an entirely different beast, it’s longer, rougher and a whole lot rockier. Built by the similar crew from World Trail, it has worn in and matured into a super-engaging trail with oodles of line choices, and also plenty of potential to eject you off your bike if you’re not careful.

See more on the Atlas trail here – Flow Mountain Bike, Blue Derby, Atlas Trail.

Getting the feet wet with pristine Tassie water.
Getting the feet wet with pristine Tassie water.
Through the massive man ferns on the Big Chook section.
Through the huge man ferns on the Big Chook section.
A brew and a break at the Weldborough Pub.
A brew and a break at the Weldborough Pub.

_LOW2480-2 _LOW2481-2

Shuttles from Welborough Pub heading up the other side to Atlas, the wilder and faster of the descents.
Shuttles from Welborough Pub heading up the other side to Atlas, the wilder and faster of the descents.

For all the information you’ll need; maps, accommodation, shuttle bookings and upcoming events head to – www.ridebluederby.com.au

Blue Derby's New Trails: The Blue Tier & Big Chook

In only a few months, this has become one of the most hyped-up, talked-about and photographed trails in Australia. Rightly so, The Blue Tier is worth every piece of fuss.

We’re referring to the freshly built 20km singletrack descent through the lushest, greenest, mossiest Tasmanian Wilderness you’ll ever see. Though it’s not only the beauty of the place that will get your blood pumping, it’s that incredible feeling when you lose yourself in the fuzzy flow zone as you duck and weave through a trail that’s been built with utmost care and love.

_LOW2056-2
Walk to the top of the lookout above the trailhead to give you a perspective of how much forest surrounds you. From Binalong Bay to Mt Cameron, the views are mega.

Watch video here:


Starting way up high on the Blue Tier plateau, 600m above sea level on a magnificent sub-alpine clearing where the thriving mining town Poimena once stood, you’ll see a tall timber archway signalling a dramatic beginning of a pretty exceptional experience.

Through the archway and off you go.
Through the archway and off you go into the forest.
Plenty to be excited about right here.
Plenty to be excited about right here.

Where, what, how?

The Blue Tier is a 20km predominantly descending trail about half an hours drive out of Derby towards the coast. It’s graded as an intermediate (blue grade) trails, suitable for a reasonably competent mountain biker. But for those with a penchant to ride hard, hit gaps and carry loads of speed there is a myriad of alternate lines to try, some were way over our heads, we’ll save that for next time.

The trail stays out in the open for a little while, weaving along the plateau past remnants of old mining heritage.
The trail stays out in the open for a little while in the incredibly unique sub-alpine terrain up high, weaving along the plateau past remnants of old mining heritage.
_LOW2127
Across crystal clear streams, lined with greenery.
The moment you burst into the dense forest, is the moment you'll most likely lose your mind.
The moment you burst into the dense forest is the moment you’ll most likely lose your mind, we did.
Enormous myrtle beech trees are like their own mini ecosystems with so much plant life growing on them.
Enormous myrtle beech trees are like mini-ecosystems with so much plant life growing on them.
The higher sections are the greenest.
The higher sections are the greenest.
The thick canopy locks together above you to lock in the moisture of the forest.
The thick canopy locks together above you to lock in the moisture of the forest.
Spot the riders.
Spot the riders.
_LOW2180
It’s a fast and flowing trail; it feels great to ride.
Jumping through the green room, Rhys and Ryan boosting one of the optional lines off the side of the main line.
Jumping through the green room, Rhys and Ryan boosting one of the optional lines off the side of the main line.
Warp speed.
Warp speed.
Across this incredibly lush and fresh creek crossing, park your bikes and sit to soak in the surrounds.
Across this incredibly lush and fresh creek crossing, park your bikes and sit to soak in the surrounds.
Like some forest dream, the waters are so clear and the vegetation is vibrant and dense.
Like some forest dream, the waters are so clear, and the vegetation is vibrant and dense.
Under the covers of green.
Under the covers of green.
Spot the Rue.
Spot the Rue.

The Big Chook bit.

The trail within the trail, Big Chook makes up the second half of the Blue Tier Descent with a slightly different flavour. It’s more fast paced and can be ridden a lot harder with huge berms and swooping rollers to keep up the stoke.

So, it’s a shuttle to the top followed by finishing with a hard earned break at the pub, you’re kidding me, right?

It’s best to shuttle up to the top (or ride up if you’re completely insane) with a Derby tour operator – we recommend the legends at Vertigo MTB – and finish the Blue Tier/Big Chook descent with a hard-earned break at the Weldborough Pub under the pleasant shady outdoor beer garden. The coffee is great, craft beer a-plenty and the steak sandwich will satisfy a mighty hunger.

Up the other side to Atlas.

If you’re travelling to Derby to ride, the Blue Tier and Atlas double are an absolute must, the trails closer to town are amazing, but nothing matches the feeling of shuttling up so high, descending for so long and then shuttling up again to descend back to Derby town. It’s the ultimate day out, one you’ll always remember.

Atlas is an entirely different beast, it’s longer, rougher and a whole lot rockier. Built by the similar crew from World Trail, it has worn in and matured into a super-engaging trail with oodles of line choices, and also plenty of potential to eject you off your bike if you’re not careful.

See more on the Atlas trail here – Flow Mountain Bike, Blue Derby, Atlas Trail.

Getting the feet wet with pristine Tassie water.
Getting the feet wet with pristine Tassie water.
Through the massive man ferns on the Big Chook section.
Through the huge man ferns on the Big Chook section.
A brew and a break at the Weldborough Pub.
A brew and a break at the Weldborough Pub.

_LOW2480-2 _LOW2481-2

Shuttles from Welborough Pub heading up the other side to Atlas, the wilder and faster of the descents.
Shuttles from Welborough Pub heading up the other side to Atlas, the wilder and faster of the descents.

For all the information you’ll need; maps, accommodation, shuttle bookings and upcoming events head to – www.ridebluederby.com.au

Blue Derby’s New Trail: Shear Pin & 23 Stitches

Or if you’re game these two new trails will thrill your socks off and challenge your skills, and like Return to Sender, it’s either pedal up to the top via the climbing trail Long Shadow, or shuttle up to the Black Stump junction with a local shuttle operator, we recommend Vertigo MTB.


Watch video below


Make it a double, double black

Shear Pin and 23 Stitches are both black graded runs, not so much because they’re hard to ride down but if you ride each the A-line options you’ve earned some serious bragging rights.


Shear Pin

Where’s the name come from? A shear pin is a part designed to break before the tool does, World Trail broke many of them wrenching rocks around into place and out of the way, many shear pins were harmed in the construction of this trail and hence the name. They have managed to push a trail through a seriously rocky part of the hillside above Derby, linking up huge off-camber granite slabs and jagged rock-strewn terrain.

Where is it?

Shear Pin leads straight into 23 Stitches and is accessed from the Black Stump junction on Cascade Dam Rd, via a shuttle vehicle or climbing Long Shadow.

_LOW2547
A fast start to a run down some seriously chunky rock.
_LOW2638
The World Trail crew took this trail through the rockiest terrain they could find.
DSC02301
The photos don’t quite do the rock justice, and Rhys and Ryan do make it look too easy.
DSC02325
Huge bare granite slabs offer up options of high and fast, or low and slow. Stay high if you’re lucky.

You can bet your bottom dollar that this side of the hill will feature in the upcoming Enduro World Series in April 2017, it’s well and truly up to the task of challenging the world’s best. DSC02283

It’s a jangly, bumpy, ragged run, while only just under 1km in length it’s hard to keep the wheels rolling through the rock. Then you’ll come across massive slabs of bare granite that will push the limits of your tyres if you take a bad line, or if you get it right you’ll stay high above the ugly stuff and through the other side even faster.

Ryan rides a tight line hard and fast, front wheel holding traction in a natural rut with the rear skipping out. Maniac.
Ryan rides a tight line hard and fast, front wheel holding traction in a natural rut with the rear skipping out. Maniac.
Rhys tipping it in on a bare granite slab.
Rhys tipping it in on a bare granite slab.
Keeping momentum and wheel rolling is the tricky bit.
Keeping momentum and wheel rolling is the tricky bit.

23 Stitches

Quickly becoming a favourite is the new jump line that continues the descent from Shear Pin to the valley floor, riddled with jumps of every shape and size. From straight rhythms to big hits off the side of the trail, to whopping step downs this track will take a few runs to fully master.

Hip to the left, hip to the right, jump long, jump down, transfer to the other side, it’s all coming at you fast on this trail!

To get you into the mood, 23 Stitches begins with another huge chunk of off-camber granite.
To get you into the mood, 23 Stitches begins with another huge chunk of off-camber granite.
Past the Great Race, a water race from the mining era built in the hillside to carry water to mine sites.
Dropping in past The Great Race, one of the many water races from the mining era that had dug and built into the hillside to carry water to mine sites.
And boom, the first hit is a big one.
And boom, the first hit is a big one.
Rhys off the wide kicker, boosting high.
Rhys off the wide kicker, boosting high.
Kicking up roost, holding mega speed.
Kicking up roost, holding mega speed.
Berms with absolute support.
Berms with absolute support.
DSC02458
One of the more mellow jumps is a right hand hip jump which can give you some serious pop and height if you want it.
Ryan eyes the landing on a big hip gap.
Ryan eyes the landing on a big hip gap.
And back to town for another shuttle run.
And back to town for another shuttle run.

www.ridebluederby.com.au

Blue Derby's New Trail: Shear Pin & 23 Stitches

If gnarly rock and big kickers ain’t your jam then stay clear of these two new descents in the Blue Derby network. Shear Pin has been cut from pure rock and 23 Stitches is a jump-riddled playground trail that’ll have you spending a whole lot of time floating in the fresh Tasmanian air.

Or if you’re game these two new trails will thrill your socks off and challenge your skills, and like Return to Sender, it’s either pedal up to the top via the climbing trail Long Shadow, or shuttle up to the Black Stump junction with a local shuttle operator, we recommend Vertigo MTB.


Watch video below


Make it a double, double black

Shear Pin and 23 Stitches are both black graded runs, not so much because they’re hard to ride down but if you ride each the A-line options you’ve earned some serious bragging rights.


Shear Pin

Where’s the name come from? A shear pin is a part designed to break before the tool does, World Trail broke many of them wrenching rocks around into place and out of the way, many shear pins were harmed in the construction of this trail and hence the name. They have managed to push a trail through a seriously rocky part of the hillside above Derby, linking up huge off-camber granite slabs and jagged rock-strewn terrain.

Where is it?

Shear Pin leads straight into 23 Stitches and is accessed from the Black Stump junction on Cascade Dam Rd, via a shuttle vehicle or climbing Long Shadow.

_LOW2547
A fast start to a run down some seriously chunky rock.
_LOW2638
The World Trail crew took this trail through the rockiest terrain they could find.
DSC02301
The photos don’t quite do the rock justice, and Rhys and Ryan do make it look too easy.
DSC02325
Huge bare granite slabs offer up options of high and fast, or low and slow. Stay high if you’re lucky.

You can bet your bottom dollar that this side of the hill will feature in the upcoming Enduro World Series in April 2017, it’s well and truly up to the task of challenging the world’s best. DSC02283

It’s a jangly, bumpy, ragged run, while only just under 1km in length it’s hard to keep the wheels rolling through the rock. Then you’ll come across massive slabs of bare granite that will push the limits of your tyres if you take a bad line, or if you get it right you’ll stay high above the ugly stuff and through the other side even faster.

Ryan rides a tight line hard and fast, front wheel holding traction in a natural rut with the rear skipping out. Maniac.
Ryan rides a tight line hard and fast, front wheel holding traction in a natural rut with the rear skipping out. Maniac.
Rhys tipping it in on a bare granite slab.
Rhys tipping it in on a bare granite slab.
Keeping momentum and wheel rolling is the tricky bit.
Keeping momentum and wheel rolling is the tricky bit.

23 Stitches

Quickly becoming a favourite is the new jump line that continues the descent from Shear Pin to the valley floor, riddled with jumps of every shape and size. From straight rhythms to big hits off the side of the trail, to whopping step downs this track will take a few runs to fully master.

Hip to the left, hip to the right, jump long, jump down, transfer to the other side, it’s all coming at you fast on this trail!

To get you into the mood, 23 Stitches begins with another huge chunk of off-camber granite.
To get you into the mood, 23 Stitches begins with another huge chunk of off-camber granite.
Past the Great Race, a water race from the mining era built in the hillside to carry water to mine sites.
Dropping in past The Great Race, one of the many water races from the mining era that had dug and built into the hillside to carry water to mine sites.
And boom, the first hit is a big one.
And boom, the first hit is a big one.
Rhys off the wide kicker, boosting high.
Rhys off the wide kicker, boosting high.
Kicking up roost, holding mega speed.
Kicking up roost, holding mega speed.
Berms with absolute support.
Berms with absolute support.
DSC02458
One of the more mellow jumps is a right hand hip jump which can give you some serious pop and height if you want it.
Ryan eyes the landing on a big hip gap.
Ryan eyes the landing on a big hip gap.
And back to town for another shuttle run.
And back to town for another shuttle run.

www.ridebluederby.com.au

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

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.
_LOW1724
Through a tunnel of green on the upper section of RTS.
_LOW1764
It doesn’t get much lusher than this, the moss drips off the trees here.
_LOW1806
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.

DSC01788
RTS rewards the creative rider, as it’s been built by some of the most skilled and fluid riders we know.
DSC01710
Minnie Jessop’s Beard as the locals call it, the greenery is growing everywhere in the damp forest.
DSC01726
The trail slows and mellows around parts of the forest that demand attention, it’s worth looking around.
_LOW1738
Big old trees poke through the fern canopy to the skies above.
_LOW1782
Go on. Plan that trip everyone’s talking about.
_LOW1699
Rhys scrubbing the super-grippy Stumpjumper 6Fattie.
DSC01844
When the speed of the trail trickles up, you can bet you’ll come across big senders like this.
_LOW1960
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.

_LOW1885
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.
_LOW1908
Rhys hanging up in the green room on one of the larger but remarkably achievable step-down gaps.
_LOW1872
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.

_LOW2006
This rock section on Flickety Sticks Upper is so fast, get the timing right and you can backside the rocks and carry amazing speed.
_LOW2015
The original section of Flickety Sticks is unreal, massive turns through a drier section of the forest where you can really let it slide.

Sawtooth

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!

_LOW2041
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…
DSC01952
An old railway to rack your bike, sweet.
DSC01956
And a short razz back to town, on another prime singletrack descent.
DSC01572
George Clooney of Derby.
_LOW1650
Fresh from Scottsdale, a very fine beer. Little Rivers.

_LOW2045 DSC01944_LOW1693_LOW1689 _LOW1664 DSC01573 _LOW1652 _LOW1647

www.ridebluederby.com.au

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.
_LOW1724
Through a tunnel of green on the upper section of RTS.
_LOW1764
It doesn’t get much lusher than this, the moss drips off the trees here.
_LOW1806
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.

DSC01788
RTS rewards the creative rider, as it’s been built by some of the most skilled and fluid riders we know.
DSC01710
Minnie Jessop’s Beard as the locals call it, the greenery is growing everywhere in the damp forest.
DSC01726
The trail slows and mellows around parts of the forest that demand attention, it’s worth looking around.
_LOW1738
Big old trees poke through the fern canopy to the skies above.
_LOW1782
Go on. Plan that trip everyone’s talking about.
_LOW1699
Rhys scrubbing the super-grippy Stumpjumper 6Fattie.
DSC01844
When the speed of the trail trickles up, you can bet you’ll come across big senders like this.
_LOW1960
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.

_LOW1885
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.
_LOW1908
Rhys hanging up in the green room on one of the larger but remarkably achievable step-down gaps.
_LOW1872
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.

_LOW2006
This rock section on Flickety Sticks Upper is so fast, get the timing right and you can backside the rocks and carry amazing speed.
_LOW2015
The original section of Flickety Sticks is unreal, massive turns through a drier section of the forest where you can really let it slide.

Sawtooth

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!

_LOW2041
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…
DSC01952
An old railway to rack your bike, sweet.
DSC01956
And a short razz back to town, on another prime singletrack descent.
DSC01572
George Clooney of Derby.
_LOW1650
Fresh from Scottsdale, a very fine beer. Little Rivers.

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www.ridebluederby.com.au

Must-Ride: Blue Derby, Stage 3 – World Class Tassie Trails


It’s been a little over 12 months since Derby announced it was open for business as a mountain bike destination, and we came for a visit. Back then, the name Derby meant nothing to us – a bit of Googling revealed it to be a sleepy, some would say depressed, town of just a couple hundred folk. Halfway between Launceston and St Helens in Tassie’s north east, it’s a stunning piece of the world, and until you look really deeply you’d never guess that the whole region was ripped apart, and sustained, by tin mining until the mid-20th century. But those industrious days had faded, and Derby was at risk of rusting away, like a forgotten old piece of mining hardware abandoned in the forest.

What we found and rode on our first trip was the highlight of the year for us and we’ve been itching to come back to see how the scene and trails had developed. Finally we made it to Derby again, and things have definitely changed, in a big way.

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Derby is the most successful experiment in mountain bike-driven social recovery that we’ve ever seen in Australia. A bold investment in the belief that if you fill the hills with amazing trails, mountain bikers will flock to them like gulls to a picnic. While we’re sure that most of the townsfolk hadn’t had much lycra in their lives previously, they’ve embraced the new legions of visitors too – bike paraphernalia is everywhere, and new bike-friendly accommodation and cafes are emerging too. Why has Derby’s transformation been such a success? It has the winning formula: amazing trails, incredible scenery, just the right amount of remoteness, all backed up with the facilities you need to feed, water and maintain riders and their bikes.

But of those four elements, it’s the trails that matter the most, and the way this network has grown since our first visit here is pretty extraordinary. And it’s not complete yet, not by a long shot. The final piece in the puzzle currently under construction is a mammoth trail from the Blue Tier, which will be almost 25km long, and overwhelmingly descending. When it’s opened in June 2016, there’ll be over 80km of truly world class trail in this most unlikely of locations.

This time around, we were treated to a tonne of fresh riding, including the brand new trails of Atlas and Black Dragon, which open on 30 October 2015. Browse on, and make sure you head to ridebluederby.com.au for all the information on trail conditions, maps, accommodation and more.


Flickity Sticks

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This blue level trail is a fresh addition since our last trip to Derby. You can ride it as a loop, with an insane bobsledding descent back to the huge chasm of Devil Wolf, or peel off from the climb to continue on to Dambusters.

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Atlas

Representing a huge leap in the development of the Blue Derby network, Atlas is a brand new trail and it’s absolutely epic. About 10km long, it actually begins high up in the hills outside of Weldborough, about 20 minutes drive from Derby. Vertigo MTB are running a shuttle service to the trailhead, or the masochists out there can pedal up from town, but we’d recommend saving your legs for the descent that’s coming.

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This trail is a real contrast to those in the drier terrain closer to Derby – it charges through incredible rainforest, under huge ferns. It all feels a lot like New Zealand, all dark dirt, mosses and filtered green light.

Atlas is a complete overload of amazing sights. Everywhere you look there’s another massive, ancient tree, or ginormous rock outcrop, and that’s not to mention the creative and flowing trail features either. World Trail have taken it up a notch with Atlas, offering more A/B lines, some seriously decent jumps, berms that you stick to and insane feelings of surfing through the forest.

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Eventually, Atlas emerges from the green and merges with the descent of Dambusters, which is itself is already a standout. A top to bottom run of Atlas is a life changer, no doubt.

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Dambusters

Pack a sandwich and your camera – Dambusters is a great adventure trail. Dambusters has been open for a while (it was completed just in time for the Marathon National Champs here in March 2015) and its reputation is already well known, for good reason.

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A complete loop of Dambusters is a solid ride. After climbing out of the valley, you scoot along the side of the water, ducking in and out of singletrack and across the river that feeds Cascade Dam. A look at the elevation profile of this trail shows it ends with a avalanche of a descent, but first you’ve got to climb. As is customary with World Trails work, it’s not a grunt, and the trail takes nibbles at the elevation, until you’re suddenly at Lakeview Drop with nothing but flat-out descending ahead of you.

The run back down is as insanely fast as you’d ever want to go. Huge berms catch your traverses and spit you back across the hill, with poppy rollers and sly doubles keeping you in the air half the time too. It goes on, and on, and on… If your eyeballs are watering too much, you’ve also got the option of splitting off onto another new trail, Black Dragon for a steeper, more technical descent.

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Black Dragon

Handbuilt trails are a rarity in the modern mountain bike park, especially ones like this. Black Dragon is a properly challenging, technical trail, climbing and descending the ridgeline steeply. You can ride it as a loop from Devil Wolf (fair play to you if you clear the whole climb!) or ride it as an alternative descent on Dambusters.

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There’s plenty to think about on this trail, with steep rollers, off camber lines, some tricky rock sections and steep chutes that require a bit of thinking ahead! We love it, and think it’s an awesome bit of spice.

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New Blue Derby Website with Trail Cam – A World First

Dorset Council is excited to announce the launch of a new website for the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails! The new Ride Blue Derby website is LIVE  – And the trails will reopen after winter maintenance works this weekend: www.ridebluederby.com.au

In a world first, mountain bikers will also be able to check out the current riding weather on the new website! The Blue Derby Trail Cam will feed LIVE footage directly to the website, with no slow hourly updates or boring single-frame shots often seen on online Snow Cams.

You can now see how hard the wind is blowing, how bright the sun is shining, and if your best mate has taken off to the trails without you!

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In fact, the Ride Blue Derby website has loads of great new features! Merchandise, including jerseys, t-shirts, caps, drink bottles, stickers and magnets can all be purchased from the website. Blue Derby merchandise is only available through the website or, at present, local businesses in Derby. All proceeds from the sale of online merchandise goes directly towards funding the maintenance of our beloved Blue Derby Trails, so buyers have the added bonus of giving something back to the trails that have given them so much enjoyment!

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With an improved layout and content on the new Ride Blue Derby website, riders can easily access all the information they could possibly need for planning their next trip to the trails! Trail routes and ratings are clearly shown on an interactive online map with PDF download option, and you can easily browse accommodation options, places to eat and anything else you could possibly need to know!

The website is designed around the Blue Derby slogan of RIDE, EXPLORE, LIVE. Top of everyone’s list will be RIDE – What trails are in the Blue Derby network? How hard are they? How do I get there? – find the answers to these questions and more! Check out what else is on offer in and around Derby under the EXPLORE menu – What options are there for a meal? Where can I stay? What else is there to do in the region? – there’s plenty to choose from in north-east Tasmania! And for those that just can’t get enough of the trails, come and LIVE a bit closer!

In addition to an awesome network of mountain bike trails, this special part of the world provides the perfect lifestyle with a suite of education and health services, and a full range of work and investment opportunities available in the Dorset and Break O’Day municipalities.

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In addition to all this, there’s the opportunity for riders to provide feedback and upload videos of the trails. Those visiting Blue Derby for the first time will be able to see what other riders have thought of each section of trail, and any hot tips they may have for conquering Dam Busters or perfectly executing Berms and Ferns…

So make sure you check out www.ridebluederby.com.au and see the Blue Derby Trails like they’ve never been seen before!

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And local businesses that would also like to be included on the website listings can easily fill out an online form for their details to be uploaded: www.ridebluederby.com.au/list-your-property 

The Blue Derby Trails were funded by the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund.



Flow visited Blue Derby, did we love it?? YES!

Click for our destination feature on Derby.

 

Must-Ride: Derby, Tasmania


Slightly fearful that Derek might throw his glass at us, we assure him that he’s been correctly informed – the 21km of trails we’ve just spent the morning exploring in the beautiful wilds around Derby are absolutely world class.

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Despite his volume control problem, Derek (a lifetime resident of Derby) is actually very enthusiastic about the new mountain bike trail development that’s about to put this place on the world mountain bike map. “The whole region’s been rooted,” says Derek, “it’ll be good to see people coming back to Derby.” And come they will, in their droves, because this tiny little town of 200 people is about to become the epicentre of the fastest developing mountain biking region in Australia.

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Derby’s been pretty quiet for a little while now… once upon a time, it was the centre of a tin mining boom that saw its population swell to over 3000 people and brought wealth to the region in a huge way. But when the dam burst in 1929, flooding the mines and killing 12, the town never quite recovered. Mining operations limped on for another few decades, but when the rail line to the town was shut in 1992, Derby slipped into the sleepy state that’s defined its existence for the past 20 years.

But things are about to change. The entire north-east corner of Tasmania is undergoing a mountain bike renaissance, and for the past 12 months, some of Australia’s leading trail builders have been mining the rugged hillsides and valleys around Derby for the kind of gold we like.

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We’d been given a run down of what to expect at Derby over the phone by Glen Jacobs of World Trail, but it wasn’t until we hit the ground that the scope and challenge of building trails in this area really hit us. This is a region that had been absolutely ravaged by mining before words like ‘sustainability’ even existed, but over the past 50 years the Tasmanian wilderness has fought back. What you’re left with is terrain that melds man-made and natural features; huge piles of rubble now swallowed by moss and ferns, deep gorges where rivers have been re-routed, tunnels, dams, massive pieces of abandoned mining equipment. It’s the kind of terrain that would have been near impossible to envisage laying a trail through, and Jacobs is the first to admit that it seemed that way at first. But the challenging terrain is what makes this place all the more special – it’s an area you’d never, ever expect to be able to see on your bike, and the trails take you on a real tour of the highlights, both natural and man-made.

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The Blue Derby trail development is an ongoing project. Stage 1, opening 7 February 2015, is what we’ve been lucky enough to explore. At a little over 20km, it comprises just a quarter of the total trail that will eventually make up the Blue Derby network, including a mammoth all-day point-to-point ride from the Blue Tier back to Derby, via Weldborough. The trails are of the calibre that we’ve all come to expect from World Trail nowadays (holy hell, we’re a spoilt lot!) – bermed, ludicrously flowy, sneaky jump lines everywhere – with a great natural progression featuring easier trails close to town, getting faster and more involved as you get up into the wilds a bit further.

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Flow Nation - Blue Derby 15One of the great things about the Blue Derby trails is that they are literally on Derby’s doorstep – the trailhead is a 200m ride from the Corner Store (yep, the same as you’ll find in Forrest and Mt Buller) which is a 20m ride from the bike wash which is a 10m walk from the pub! You get the idea – it’s all right there. And the whole place has the kind of character that mountain bikers will love too, an authenticity that you don’t get much in the city, and that’s a large part of this place’s appeal as a mountain bike destination.

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With a lot more trail development in the pipeline, and the awesome riding of Hollybank and Launceston not far down the road already, we’re looking forward to spending a lot more time in this corner of Tassie in the coming years. If you’re in the region this weekend, get along for the first serving of an absolute trail feast that’s coming our way.

For more information about accommodation options, trail maps, bike hire and more visit http://www.ridebluederby.com.au/

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