Video: 2019 Enduro World Series Calendar – Plus Trophy of Nations Race

We’re really excited to see Rounds 1 & 2 of the Enduro World Series coming back down under for 2019, making it far more accessible for Australia’s emerging enduro talent to make a strong start in the series.

22–23 March 2019 Round 1 – Rotorua, NZ
29–30 March 2019 Round 2 – Derby, Tasmania
10–11 May 2019 Round 3 – Madeira, Portugal
28–29 June 2019 Round 4 – Canazei, Italy
6–7 July 2019 Round 5 – Les Orres, France
9–10 August 2019 Round 6 – Whistler, Canada
23–24 August 2019 Round 7 – Northstar, California
21–22 September 2019 Round 8 – Zermatt, Switzerland
28 September 2019 Trophy of Nations, Finale Ligure, Italy

What is the Trophy of Nations?

Taking place on the iconic trails of Finale in September 2019, the Trophy of Nations will be a true celebration of cycling as riders cast aside individual glory in favour of teamwork and national pride. Teamwork, strategy and sportsmanship will be pushed to the limit as riders have to work together in teams of three to race for a combined result.

Josh Carlson has a lot of experience in Finale Ligure. Photo: Sven Martin

Featuring three categories, the event will pit nation against nation, industry against industry and amateur against amateur team. Each category of team will be made up of three riders. National teams will be made up from the top three riders of the newly structured Global EWS ranking from that country, and there will be both male and female teams.

To put that in context, if the event had run in 2017 Team Australia would have been Sam Hill, Jared Graves and Josh Carlson taking on Jerome Clementz, Damien Oton and Adrien Dailly of Team France.

Sam Hill on his way to winning the 2017 series in Finale. Photo: Matthew DeLorme
Jared Graves had some unlucky mechanicals in 2017 but showed his form with some great stage results. Photo: Enduro World Series
James Hall ranked 55th in the 2017 EWS, an impressive result for a privateer. Will he make Team Australia to race again in Finale Ligure in 2019? Photo: Ross Bell

Amateurs riders can also enter their own teams of three with no restrictions on how they are compromised – giving them the chance to ride together to take on some of the biggest names in mountain biking.

Industry teams are being invited to get involved too, allowing mechanics and team managers to down tools, leave the pits behind and get out on the trails and show what they’re made of.

The Trophy of Nations will be a standalone event and will not contribute to a rider’s global ranking, taking place in Finale the week after the series concludes at round eight in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Shelly Flood will be an Aussie to watch as she continues to dabble in Enduro amongst her DH commitments.

EWS Down Under

Learn more about New Zealand’s Round 1 in Rotorua here and Tasmania’s Round 2 in Derby. Then start planning to secure yourself some EWS qualifying points at the Shimano Enduro Tour starting October 2018 on the Gold Coast, followed by Derby then Mt Buller.

“So, Jared, who do you want on Team Australia with you?”

Maydena Bike Park – It’s OPEN, Get To It!

Maydena Bike Park’s opening weekend went off; we were there with bells on, we rode the trails, tested out the whole operation (including the bike patrol and medics). We rode their bikes, drank their beer, swam in the river, and got a proper feel for what this place is all about.
Oh, Tasmania, you’re spoiling us, it’s all just too good!


Watch our full road trip video below!


What, where, how?

In a nutshell, Maydena Bike Park is a brand new privately run gravity mountain bike park with some massive amount of elevation for trail builders Dirt Art to carve out a vast network from scratch. Think Australia’s own version of Queenstown or Whistler with uplift services running all-year long.

It’s one hour drive from Hobart in Tasmania, and it is now open with all systems go. It’s more than just trails though, Maydena Bike Park is a pretty sweet place to hang out!

SO MUCH VERT, 820m of it!

We’ve been harping on about this place for a while now so that we won’t repeat ourselves on the known facts, all the details are right here – Tell me all about Maydena!


Flow loves a road trip, so, how was the road trip?

Getting to Maydena has all the right ingredients of a cracking road trip, for the mainlanders a flight to Hobart or taking the car on the ferry to Tasmania is a fabulous travel experience and a great escape from the major cities. Travelling about or to Tasmania is terrific, its natural beauty, fascinating and well-preserved history, and healthy tourism industry make it worthwhile over an overseas trip any day.

Those who’ve travelled around the Apple Isle would know how much fun can be had, it’s a kooky place with its free-and-easy flavour, it’s another world.

Beautiful Hobart, there’s so much to do in this city, we love wandering the old town of Battery Point, the historical port area and the majestic Mount Wellington.

For residents of Tasmania, and especially lucky locals of Hobart, Maydena is a worthy day-trip or weekender to fill your boots with loads of time descending great trails. We expect a fast new generation of gravity racers to come out of this place; it’s going to foster talent into big names, for sure.

Jumping in the car from Hobart the drive to Maydena is a beautiful one, while it’s around 1-1.25 hour journey, we’d suggest slowing it down a little, take in the surrounds. Check out the old town of Hobart, swim in the River Derwent on the way, explore the historical sights like Australia’s first asylum – Willow Court – in the historical and unique town of New Norfolk. The drive takes you through some seriously epic scenery too, past rows of hop farms that smell like the best beer ever, and along picture-perfect rivers begging for a swim.

En-route to Gordon Dam.
Eye-boggling sights of the South West Tassie region.

For the ultimate South-West-Tassie experience, take an afternoon and drive past Maydena to Gordon’s Dam which holds back Lake Gordon which at full capacity is the largest lake in the country, the spectacle of the dam and the incredible story behind its history and application makes it one of the most iconic developments in the country.

Just 15 minutes short of Maydena is one of Tasmania’s most popular day-trip tourist spot – Russell Falls – a postcard-perfect waterfall in the National Park with many walks and sights amongst classic Tasmanian Wilderness.

A 20-minute drive from the bike park is sights like these – Russell Falls.

See, there’s plenty to do!


Anything happening in the town of Maydena?

Hmmm, well, yes, sort of. Maydena is a tiny town that time forgot, a stop for fuel and a sandwich on the way into the deep south-west, en-route to Strathgordon and Gordon Dam. There’s a pub up the road at National Park which looks pretty authentic when we passed by, and there’s a small milk bar that provides an essential service and a service station that makes a good lunch, breaky and coffee too.

The road to Maydena is a pretty one.
A dip in the River Derwent is hard to pass up.

But don’t get caught out with no dinner plans, it’s pretty quiet around town when the riding is done, for now.


A bike park with a restaurant and bar next to a pumptrack…?

Part of the Bike Park’s appeal is that not only will the town benefit from hoards of hungry mountain bikers coming from all over the place, with no doubt more food and accommodation sprouting up, but they have also launched a new cafe and bar at the bottom that is set to expand.

So, right now you can roll out from the trails, rack your bike and take just five paces to the bar to order pizza, burgers, rolls, beer, cider, drinks and coffee.

Pizza in the bike park!
The re-purposed school is a perfect place for a bike park, the undercover beer garden and bike rack area was cranking with good vibes all day long.

Take a seat in the beer garden, watch the pump track and fuel the stoke for more runs. Pretty bloody sweet!

Yeooo, pump track!

The repurposed school now hosts the Maydena Bike Park HQ.

Bike hire, test ride a Canyon, bike school, complete workshop and retail store, the whole lot.

It’s the complete package of this place that impresses us, like the way you can go to Thredbo with no gear and hire everything you need Maydena also has you covered. There are currently ten Canyon Senders, and ten Canyon Strives in the hire fleet. A full complement of Canyon Torques and Spectrals are on their way soon, too. We rode a Strive on the first day and scored a lucky first ride on the Torque (oh, yes, it’s perfect for Maydena).

Maydena has partnered with Canyon for their hire fleet, this in itself is appealing to a potential Canyon customer as they are sold only online, a demo or test ride is not as simple as regular retail brands. Maydena will provide that opportunity to hire one to test out properly.

Canyons for hire, the best place to actually try one out on legit trails!

The workshop is manned by a fulltime mechanic operating like a proper bike shop with spares and loads of trick stock from the likes of Deity, Maxxis, FOX, Dharco, SRAM, Rockshox, 100%, FIST, Krush and much more.


What’s at the summit?

It’s pretty hard to tear your eyes away from the view of the summit and get riding; it’s a massive view that lies below you, stretching as far as the eye can see. The Eagle Eyrie building is a striking structure and currently hosts a cafe and plans are to lift the capabilities of the building to host sunset functions, as well as more food and drink options for everyone, not just mountain bikers.

Sunset summit beers with trail builder and absolute shredder, Brad Segda.
A meal with one of the best views in Tasmania?
Breathtaking stuff, this view won’t ever grow old.

What did we think of the trails?

Yes, it’s nice to drive there, there are pizza and beer, but that’s not what you’re there for, how are the trails!??

We’re not going to beat around the bush; we were pretty blown away by the trails, everyone was. Partly due to the amount of trail that was finished and ready to ride for the open day, the flow and feel of them, the variety on offer, and the fact we can’t remember going to a destination in Australia and having our asses handed to us like we did that day, Maydena is legit!

Spot the human. This is the final jump on Maydena Hits, the big jump line that scared the daylights out of us but was amazing to watch riders soaring overhead.
Shelly Flood going large.
Trail builder – Jai Motherwell – brings his wild riding skills to the build crew.

Mark our words, this is a gravity park, and the trails are fast, steep and very long. While there are plenty of blue-grade trails they err on the darker side of blue, it’s the daunting gradients and how you need to manage your speed well to avoid exploding on a simple piece of track that turns a trail with simple features into something more tricky. The jumps are epic, from small-ish to enormous they are the biggest jumps we’ve seen in this country! The jumps are safe though, well designed and never a nasty surprise as you rip down the descents, visibility is excellent and it makes you push your comfort zone. Spend some time here, and you’ll come away a better rider and jumping bigger than before, guaranteed.

There’s a real mixture too, one run you could take in insanely fast bike-park style runs with superbly constructed berms that catch you and send you hurtling into the next one if you’re committed and hundreds of jumps. Then on another lap down, you could be sinking your tyres into a lush and loamy wonderland on one of the natural hand-built trails that dart and weave through the dense and ever-changing bush.

You think you’ve seen steep trails…? We walked away from this one, it was practically vertical!

Diving into ‘Zen Garden’ one of our favourites, a natural hand-built run with some seriously lush loam and natural technical sections.
Connor Fearon in deep.

We could have ridden on that dirt for weeks; it’s so nice to shred hand-built trails that are designed to drift and roost soil everywhere.

Because the whole project is privately run, there are billions of benefits over a public facility most notable is that trail builders are freed of any ‘sanitising’ influences – steeper, wilder trails, with more challenging lines than you’ll find on public lands are in abundance in Maydena.


How many runs can you do in one day?

Bike park laps, yesssss!

The uplift is around 20 minutes long with a new more direct route up the mountain and in the new turbo diesel bus fleet (unfortunately red tape got in the way of us experiencing the turbo vans this weekend) will provide a rapid and comfortable uplift.

On average five runs (totalling about 5km of vertical descent) in one day would be comfortable, it takes a long time to get down! Though if you are mad keen and quick seven-eight runs (a whopping 6.5km of vert earnt) in one day is also achievable.


How many runs to do them all?

There are currently 34 trails open, totalling a mighty 32km, it would take you 14 runs to do each track right now. The challenge is set!


Shred hard in safe hands.

As Tasmania doesn’t have significant ski resorts like NSW or VIC, the safety program is second to none, and they have had to write their own state code practically. The fees to uplift and use the park go toward a full-time bike patrol medical team. They have already put in the time to work on a comprehensive safety and extraction system that covers the whole park.

Trust us on this one, we personally tested this out, though an unfortunate accident, we were indeed in safe hands.


What bike to bring?

We started on a Canyon Strive, their burly enduro race bike with 160mm travel forks and found it to be quite ample. The park is varied, but a long-travel (150mm and up) bike is highly recommended. Make sure you have plenty of meat on your tyres and have brakes that bite and are not prone to fading on longer descents, if there was a place to test out brakes, Maydena would be on our list.

After the Strive we stepped it up a notch to the new Canyon Torque, their recently released 180mm travel ‘park bike’ which gave us a lot more confidence to let the speeds trickle up and commit harder to the turns and let it hang out on the natural tech lines.

Team builder and phenomenal rider, Baxter Maiwald on the new Canyon Torque.

Even a downhill bike would be great there, we’d just recommend that whatever you bring, make sure you can control it on long and steep descents!


The bike park is big, the riding level is advanced, so what is next?

We expect a lot of experienced riders to rock up to Maydena and find the trails a bit daunting, but that was the plan from the outset, Maydena is its own place, setting it apart from other hot spots in Tassie like Derby. Right now the park will appeal to the more experienced riders, but the next six months will see the place exploding with variety as they embark on construction and continue to introduce more trails to maintain interest. We won’t get bored!

  • A climbing trail is under construction which will take riders up to Midline Trail, (not to the top, that’d be too brutal to climb) where you’ll have 13 trails to choose from to descend back down.
  • ‘Flow’ and ‘technical’ intermediate level tracks are in the works, designed to provide a stepping stone for riders, an introduction to more blue grade trails.
  • An intermediate jump line will be under construction soon, a contouring track with multiple table top jumps, like B-line or Crank it Up in Whistler.
  • Green/beginner 15km Flow Trail, early summer season 2018/19.
  • A 25km wilderness trail, like Blue Tier Derby with twice the vertical. Contouring, short climbs, a proper wilderness adventure. Taking you to beautiful rivers and viewpoints. Completion early 2019.

Oh, and there are events!

Yep, alternating fortnightly there will be a Fat Friday social, for $20 the crew will provide an evening uplift with a beer after, with a new track to be raced selected before the day.

And alternating each Sunday, a Turn Earner event, $5 with a beer a 10km trail ride/race up the climbing trail and down again, a social affair, and sounds pretty good fun to us.


Maydena Gravity Fest!

But the big news is this coming April 2018 is the inaugural Maydena Gravity Fest! 

  • Ultimate Flow Challenge

Race to find your flow down 820m vertical of incredible flow trails! We’ve pieced together the ultimate combination of trails to find Maydena’s Queen and King of flow!

  • Air DH

Australia’s first ever full-scale Air DH Event! This event will test riders ability to rail corners, scrub jumps and maintain momentum through the absolute best selection of the park’s jumps trails.

  • Tech Assault

Rocks, roots, loam and hand-built trail goodness, the Tech Assault is a top-to-bottom race through some of the park’s most technical trails.

  • Pump Track Challenge

Race a series of laps around the park’s mega pump track, or simply spectate from our trackside beer garden!

  • Dual Slalom

Dual slalom is back! And we’re not sure why it ever left. Side by side racing down our ‘old school’ dual slalom course, with a mix of flat turns and built features.

  • Whip off (invite only)

A collection of jump legends sessioning our whip off jump for the battle of who can get most sideways!


See, it’s big!

Visit the Maydena Bike Park site or their Facebook page for more.

Or want to see really good riders riding Maydena? Click here.


Photos supplied by Flow, Jasper da Seymour and Ryan Finlay/Maydena Bike Park.

Enduro World Series 2019: Derby is Back

After a hugely successful event in 2017 that well and truly put the region in the top tier of Mountain Biking destinations worldwide, it was an easy decision to return for the next Australian visit by the EWS.

Event Management Solutions Australia will again deliver the event that will attract 500 riders, thousands of spectators and a strong contingent of international media.  Event Director Ian Harwood said that return of the Enduro World Series, as well as the second tier Continental Series to be held in November of 2018, would not have been possible without the support of the Tasmanian Government and the community in Derby.  Everyone had so much fun, despite some challenging weather, I am sure that this news will be welcomed by all of the teams and riders that make up the Enduro World Series.

It is expected that the event will continue to grow with the addition of a kid’s event as well as an expanded Challenger race for amateur riders.

The 2017 event saw an economic impact to the area well more than $1.5 million with visitor numbers almost doubling since the announcement of the 2017 event as well as winning the coveted “Specialized Trail of the Year award” for stage 2 Detonate.

What’s so good about Blue Derby? Let us show you.

About Enduro World Series

The Enduro World Series is about finding the best Mountain Biker in the world.  Riders will tackle a range of stages, similar to a car rally with combined times determining the overall winner.  To be successful, riders must be able to manage their bikes with limited outside assistance, be physically fit enough for 7 hours of riding, whilst having a high level of technical skills.

About Event Management Solutions Australia.

Event Management Solutions Australia is a Brisbane based event delivery company that has been working in the Mountain Bike and Charity sector for 10 years.   In 2017 in addition to delivering the first ever visit of the EWS to Australia, they also acted as Race Director for the Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns.

For additional information check      www.enduroworldseries.com

Video: Farewell Justin Leov

Justin is one of the good blokes. Always approachable with his inviting goofy smile. We’ve really enjoyed watching our brother from across the ditch racing the World Cup DH circuit and then transitioning to the top level of the Enduro World Series. We captured him ripping through the trails of Blue Derby ahead of the 2017 EWS season; watch, enjoy, crack a smile and perhaps a tear as Justin shares his personal farewell. 


Coming to Whistler this year I knew it would be the last roll out here for me. It’s been one hell of a ride but the time is now right for me to hang up my boots. Finale Ligure in October will be my last official race and then I plan to be at home a lot more next year to get into a few projects and more time spent with my family and kids.

My wife and I have just purchased a block of land which used to hold National Downhill and Cross Country races when I was in my DH career. It’s been many years since the tracks were used and with the trees cut from the land two years ago, a lot of work needs to be done to get them reinstated. We have just replanted 28 hectares in trees so now it’s time to get the tracks back in. We plan to have accommodation on the property so anyone wanting to come visit NZ and do some trail building get in contact!

I’ll also be coaching next year so I won’t be completely removed from the industry; two wheels once in the blood stays for life I believe!



I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have influenced my racing career. My manager Martin Whiteley, the guidance, professionalism and friendship, thank you.

Jason Marsh for the first years of help while in Europe. Teaching me to sneak into hotels in Switzerland to get free showers haha!

Gery Peyer for the two seasons on the Suspension Center team when I got my first World Cup podium, and for putting me up in Bern, Switzerland, for the summer.

Chris Conroy, Hoog and the Yeti Cycles crew for signing me up. Damion Smith for coming and getting me when I broke my collarbone at a race while he was on vacation. The Trek crew, Ray Waxham and the awesome engineers especially Dylan Howes . Mark Fitzsimmons from Fox, many years and some really good times. The Go-Karting and Fitzy’s block moves on the Frenchies will always be burned into my mind! Justin Frey for the tuning, awesome years.

My mechanics over the years especially the late Chris “Monk Dawg” Vazquez, thanks for keeping the bikes running sweet. Ben Arnott for being rad, and soigneur Paul Schlitz you are awesome! Never knew anyone who brought a keyboard to a race and played in the pits while we were practising.

The Canyon crew, Flo ( RIP), Larry for being an incredible mechanic and then stepping up to being Team Manager. Fabien Barel for advice and belief.



To all my team mates over the years, these are the people who really make the races good times. Sharing lines and setups and good mates! Thank you. My coach Steve, cheers for keeping me fit and on track.

Adidas Sport eyewear, David and Reini thank you for the support with this diary and everything else you do for our sport.

Théâtre des Opérations, Jean-Pierre Coupé for advice help and getting these Diaries translated into five languages.

Lastly my awesome wife Victoria and all the #teamleov family. You can’t do this game without a strong support network at home!

To all the fans. Thank you very much. One last outing, see you all in Finale Ligure!

Justin.

Pinching Yourself – The Canyon Dream Weekender, Derby

In conjunction with Canyon Bikes Australia, we ran a competition last year, we drew the winners, booked it all in and here is how it went down. Garth from Rockhampton, QLD, got real lucky and his name came out of the hat. His mate Joel was the lucky bugger that got the invite to come along, and joining us all the way from New Zealand was National Enduro Champion, Justin Leov from the Canyon Factory Racing Team.

Canyon Australia’s Darryll Moliere had to be there to supervise, of course, and pick up the bar tab. So we had a great crew, ready to descend on the tiny town of Derby in Tasmania’s North East for a dream weekend of riding sweet trails on sweet bikes.

They see us rollin, the stealth Canyon van dripping with Canyon carbon mountain bikes.
They see us rollin into Derby, the stealth Canyon van dripping with Canyon carbon mountain bikes.
Canyon Dream Weekender, Derby-003-_LOW2901
Froth levels beginning to get very high.
Canyon Dream Weekender, Derby-014-_LOW2946
Prize winner Garth, checking out the iconic Devil Wolf trail which crosses the bare rock canyon (get it…) created after the huge dam burst upstream in 1929 sending a raging torrent into town, wiping out anything in its path.
Joel, stoked he's mates with Garth right now, scoring the invite to Derby.
Joel, stoked he’s mates with Garth right now, scoring the invite to Derby.
Justin Leov, en-route from NZ to France for his pre-season team camp was keen to punch out loads of trails.
Justin Leov, en-route from NZ to France for his pre-season team camp was keen to punch out loads of trail time.
Turns out Joel and Garth are complete shredders, coming from Rockhampton their technical trail game is strong!
Turns out Joel and Garth are complete shredders, coming from Rockhampton their technical trail game is strong!
Boosting big kickers on the new trail - Return to Sender.
Boosting big kickers on the new trail – Return to Sender.
Back to town for a sundowner debrief from a great first day riding.
Back to town for a sundowner debrief from a great first day riding.

Fresh out of the box was a pair of new Canyon Strives for the guys to ride, these things are amazing to ride with excellent suspension and versatility. We have one on long term test.

And Darryll had his Canyon Spectral with him, the smaller 140mm travel brother of the Strive. We got along with that bike quite well too, take a look here.


Branxholm pub, the epitome of home cooked pub grub and hospitality.

There is no trip to Derby without a meal at one of the iconic small town pubs like the Weldborough Hotel or Branxholm Hotel, serving up a good dose of classic Tasmanian atmosphere and a chance to meet some locals over a Little Rivers beer or two.

Carbon bikes from Germany outside a classic Tassie pub, who would have thought this would happen?
Carbon bikes from Germany outside a classic Tassie pub, who would have thought this would happen?
No shirt, no shoes, no service, nobody's watching.
No shirt, no shoes, no service, nobody’s watching.
Now that is what you call a home cooked style meal!
Now that is what you call a home cooked style meal!

Blue Tier, Weldborough Pub, Atlas with shuttles. Best day eveeeeeeeerrrr!

One pro, two temporary.
One pro, two temporary.
Yeoooo, Jussoooo!
Yeoooo, Jussoooo!
Darryll had a moment in the blissful greenery of Blue Tier, almost saw a tier on his cheek (get it...) this place does that to anyone.
Darryll had a moment in the blissful greenery of Blue Tier, almost saw a tier on his cheek (get it…) this place does that to anyone.
Thinking tree. Look at this place!!
Thinking tree. Look at this place!!
Young Matt Staggs ride a bike damn well, here he makes us feel old with his casual care-free approach to the bigger jumps on Blue Tier descent.
Young Matt Staggs our video/photo freelancer squid ride a bike damn well, here he makes us feel old with his casual care-free approach to the bigger jumps on Blue Tier descent.
This is what it's all about. A complete mind explosion of green and lush Tassie wilderness.
This is what it’s all about. A complete mind explosion of green and lush Tassie wilderness.
Yes, this is real.
Yes, this is real.
Dreamy Tasmania.
Dreamy Tasmania.
There was big tree down on the Big Chook descent. Lucky nobody got squashed. We wondered what it sounded like?
There was big old tree down on the Big Chook descent covering a big chunk of trail. Lucky nobody got squashed. But we did wonder what noise it made when it fell?
No ride down the Blue Tier is complete without a beer at the Weldborough Pub, best beer garden in the world!
No ride down the Blue Tier is complete without a beer at the Weldborough Pub, best beer garden in the world!
It was particularly hard to find a park that day too.
It was particularly hard to find a park that day too.
Craft beer from all over Tasmania on tap, now you're talking!
Craft beer from all over Tasmania on tap, now you’re talking!
Friendly legends Sam and Siofra the new-ish managers at Weldborough Hotel are there for the thirst quenching good times.
Friendly legends Sam and Siofra the new-ish managers at Weldborough Hotel are there for the thirst quenching good times.
Joel at the top of Atlas Trail, the highest point in the Derby trail network. An AMAZING descent to come.
Joel at the top of Atlas Trail, the highest point in the Derby trail network. An AMAZING descent to come.
Atlas has trail features like nowhere else, amazing rock features and really flowing yet quite challenging descents.
Atlas has trail features like nowhere else, amazing rock features and really flowing yet quite challenging descents.
Darryll squeezes his Canyon Spectral through a big leafy boulder.
Darryll squeezes his Canyon Spectral through a big leafy boulder.
Garth on the hunt for speed on the lower section.
Garth on the hunt for speed on the lower section.

One last shred, please don’t send us home!

After a run down the Bule Tier, lunch at the pub and back up the other side to Atlas you’d think the guys would have had their fill, but no. With Justin foaming for more it was time to squeeze in another shuttle up to Black Stump for one more run down Return To Sender, the unanimous favourite of the local loops.

Miles, Vertigo MTB's bike washing elf keeping the Vertigo business running efficiently.
Miles, Vertigo MTB’s bike washing elf keeping the Vertigo business running efficiently.
Berms from your dreams.
Berms from your dreams.
Matt Staggs nose-tapping away.
Matt Staggs nose-tapping away.
Getting the jumps dialled, if only the trip was for a whole week.
Getting the jumps dialled, if only the trip was for a whole week.
Dusty drifts back to town.
Dusty drifts back to town.
Traffic watch in busy Derby.
Traffic watch in busy Derby.
The gang! Joel. Garth, Justin, Mick, Buck the Shuttle Commander, and Razzle Dazzle from Canyon.
The gang! Joel. Garth, Justin, Mick, Buck the Shuttle Commander, and Razzle Dazzle from Canyon.

Now if that is not a dream weekender, we don’t know what is. Cheers to Joel and Garth for being complete legends, awesome company and great riders too. Justin Leov for taking the time out his busy pre-season schedule to join us punters on the trails, Buck and Jude, Darren and Josh, Minnie Jessop and Reuben at Vertigo MTB for the laughs, riding itinerary, and uplift shuttles. And a huge cheers to Darryll at Canyon for pulling it all together like a guru, bringing great new bikes to ride, cold beers, a rad Canyon van to cruise about it, and keeping the stoke levels high.

It sure pays to enter in a prize competition, lucky buggers!


Want more Derby?

Blue Tier:

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

Shear Pin & 23 Stitches:

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

Return To Sender:

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

Atlas:

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

More more more Derby!

Must-Ride: Derby, Tasmania

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 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 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 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 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.

_LOW2045 DSC01944_LOW1693_LOW1689 _LOW1664 DSC01573 _LOW1652 _LOW1647

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

Johnston Prevails for Back to Back Titles

While Olympic selection is his focus, Brendan Johnston proved he still is a force in the marathon discipline taking out his second straight Elite Men’s Australian Marathon Championship at Derby, Tasmania on Sunday.

 

The Canberra rider had too much class at the end of the 90km race to claim back-to-back green and gold jerseys ahead of Tasman Nankervis (VIC) and Scott Bowden (TAS).

Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens
Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens

“I was super nervous coming into the race. I didn’t expect to win it once let alone twice so really happy with how I’m going with my form,” an elated Johnston said.

 

“Had great amount of power which I didn’t think I would have in the last lap and pretty thankful for that and really enjoyed it to the finish.”

 

After a early shower before the start, which would ensure a muddy day out for the riders, it would be a pack of four that would take up the challenge with local hope Bowden, Nankervis, Johnston and XCM National Series leader Andy Blair having broken away from the pack.

 

For Bowden, who had only recently returned from a bronze medal performance at the Oceania Championships in Queenstown, it was his maiden voyage over the long distance.

Scott Bowden
Scott Bowden

 

“That’s my first ever marathon on the mountain bike but it was super good fun out there and I think the muddy conditions made it much harder but it was great.”

 

As Blair dropped off the pack by lap three, the trio would wage a mini war heading into the final climb of the race, before three soon turned into two, Bowden succumbing.

 

“On the climb, we all kind of put in a few little surges but it was Tas put the hammer down on bit of a rough section on the climb and I didn’t quite have the legs and I didn’t feel to bad but thought of might have been able to bridge across but in the end they were just two strong,” the 21 year old said.

 

That left Bendigo’s Nankervis and the defending champ, who at one stage thought he’d be batting to make the podium.

 

Tasman Nankervis
Tasman Nankervis

“I was struggling and I didn’t know how to play it with these guys climbing so well,” said Johnston.

 

But, having conquered the course last year, and with a green and gold jersey on the line, the Trek rider found that extra push and made the break from the 20 year old Nankervis.

 

“After the river crossing Trekky was just too strong. It was a bloody hard race.”

 

Johnston conquered the distance in a time of 4:34:17 more than a minute ahead of Nankervis.

 

“They are really good riders and I was not expecting to ever beat them easy or at all.”

 

Blair would finish fourth with fellow Specialized team-mate Shaun Lewis in fifth.

 

Full results: http://my6.raceresult.com/51401/?lang+#1_2FCCD2

Mullens Marathon Joy in Derby

A late decision to compete at the Australian Marathon Championships has paid off for Peta Mullens, with the Victorian claiming the Elite Women’s title at Derby, Tasmania.

Jenny King
Jenny King

It is the second time the Bendigo rider has taken out the XCM National title, the last back in 2012.

“I was originally going to race and after Oceanias I had a rough run and thought I probably need to have a big break into Cairns. But was feeling good in training and couple of ergo sessions and really had the itch to race.”

 

Mullens would finish right on four hours.

Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens
Brendan Johnston & Peta Mullens

 

“All I had to think about was getting to the top of the climb in the last lap and last hour was great fun.”

 

It was an intriguing battle for the minor placing’s with Jenni King (VIC) silver and Briony Mattocks (NSW) bronze.

 

An overcast sky and some light drizzle greeted riders ahead of their 70km journey around the famed Blue Derby trail in Tasmania’s North-East.

 

For Mullens, it would be a cautious start despite coming into the course blind.

 

“Wasn’t sure what my tactic was today and didn’t know whether I’d sit with the girls for a lap to see what Atlas was like cause I hadn’t ridden it.”

 

But the confidence grew and from there, and the former Australian road champion put the hammer down on what riders described as a technical and challenging course.

 

“I felt good on the first climb and thought I’ll try and dishearten them and go out and hurt myself.”

 

While it was only a battle with the clock for the Victorian Mullens, King had to overcome an ordinary first lap where she was sitting in fifth.

 

“I felt terrible at the start but really lucky on the technical descent and those other girls were climbing really well. And I had to put everything in to get second today.”

 

Briony Mattocks, who finished second at the recent National XCM Series in Alice Springs, would produce a gut busting performance.

Briony Mattocks
Briony Mattocks

The Sydney rider, dropped more than a minute on the third and final lap to over-take Eliza Kwan (ACT) and Anna Beck (QLD) to snatch bronze.

 

“I would’ve thought top 5 for me would’ve been exceptional so third I’m beyond happy.”

 

It wasn’t a happy hunting ground for National XCM Series leader Imogen Smith who suffered a technical on the final lap to finish back of the pack.

 

Results: http://my6.raceresult.com/51401/?lang+#12_FA6F0E

Destination Trail – Tasmania

In this episode of Destination Trail, we follow Troy Brosnan to the remote island wilderness of Derby, Tasmania.

Jungles, pine forests—this corner of the world checks all of the terrain and flora boxes, and with only a handful of cafes and pubs to keep the isolated locals occupied, an epic trail network seemed only natural. 

Join Troy and Specialized Australia employee, Patrick Young, as they leave the stress of the professional DH circuit behind in pursuit of loose singletrack, insights into trail building, and all-around good times.

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Welcome to the second season of Destination Trail. This year, we’ll continue to follow riders as they travel the globe, hunting for its greatest trails.

Some of what they’ll find might be renowned, some undiscovered, but that’s the point.

After all, when expectations and attitudes are stripped away, only the essence of mountain biking remains. This where adventure continues to thrive, and it’s here that memories are made.

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.

 

Gold for Blair and Johnston at the Mountain Bike Marathon Championships in Blue Derby

ACT riders Brendan Johnston and Jenny Blair claimed maiden Australian titles today, winning gold at the 2015 Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Championships in Derby, Tasmania, presented by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

The weekend saw two days of exciting mountain bike racing, with age-group riders competing on the Saturday and Elite riders battling for gold on the Sunday, resulting in hundreds of riders and spectators descending on the picturesque riverside town of DerbyMark Tupalski (ACT) and Brendan Johsnton (ACT) led the Elite Men’s race after lap one, with 2014 champion Andy Blair (ACT) sitting in third.

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Johnston leads Tupalski.
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Elite Men Winner Brendan Johnston crosses the line.

In what may mark a handover to the next generation of marathon riders, young guns Tupalski and Johnston sat neck and neck for the first two laps.

Descending hard on the final lap, Johnston built an insurmountable lead and rode away with the win.

“I wasn’t overly confident coming in to today,” said Johnston. “I’ve been on it for awhile, since the beginning of the National Series, so I’m getting towards the end of my peak I think and I was worried I might be over the hill but I was able to pull this one out so I’m really happy.

Tupalski and Blair finished in second and third respectively. 

Mens podium. Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships.
Mens podium. Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships.

In the Elite Women’s race, Jenny Blair (ACT) led the pack from the get go, securing herself a two minute lead by the second lap, which she extended to almost 10 minutes on her way to the title. 

“I took advantage of the climb at the start and got away,” Blair explained.  “The girls got back to me a bit but I knew that I’d been training with a change of pace recently so if I could just keep changing the pace I’d wear them out and keep going on my own and that’s exactly what happened.” Irish-born Blair spoke highly of the Blue Derby trails and said she was happy to now have jerseys from both Australia and Ireland.

Elite womens winner Jenny Blair and elite mens winner Brendan Johnston at the podium_Credit_Heath_Holden
Elite women winner Jenny Blair and elite mens winner Brendan Johnston at the podium.

“It is hard racing on them [the Blue Derby Trails] but for the everyday person who wants to come here for the weekend, it’s just amazing.  “The trails are just so manicured – you can really rail it or you can just enjoy it.”

Eliza Kwan (ACT) and Rebecca Locke (VIC) rounded out the podium in second and third. 

Elite women winner, Jenny Blair finishes the Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships at Derby on Sunday.
Elite women winner, Jenny Blair finishes the Australian 2015 MTB XC Marathon Championships at Derby on Sunday.
Elite women second place getter, Eliza Kwan is congratulated by third place getter Rebecca Locke.
Elite women second place getter, Eliza Kwan is congratulated by third place getter Rebecca Locke.

In Saturday’s action, local favourite Alex Lack (TAS) dealt well with the pressure of riding at home, taking out the Junior Men’s Marathon title, while Mikayla Wolfe (VIC) won the Under 17 Women’s title.  Spectators were treated to a variety of entertainment over the weekend, including local food stalls and live music.

This is the first time a National race has been held on the Blue Derby trails, with the former mining town enjoying a resurgence, forming a new identity around an ever-expanding mountain bike trail network.

This weekend’s Championship race was also Round 7 of the World Mountain Bike Marathon Series, presented by the UCI, and is a key qualifying criteria for riders to be named on the Australian team for the annual UCI Marathon World Championships.

The Dance with the Devil – XCM National Championships was delivered by a joint partnership between MTBA, Dorset Council and Launceston Mountain Bike Club and MTBA will be returning to Derby next year for the 2016 XCM National Championships. 

Full results can be found at onlineresults.com.au.

Get more info on Derby’s amazing new mountain bike trails here – Flow Nation, Derby, Tasmania.