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

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.

_LOW2045 DSC01944_LOW1693_LOW1689 _LOW1664 DSC01573 _LOW1652 _LOW1647

www.ridebluederby.com.au

World Trail Release New Trail Building Tools to the Public

The World Trail Kuranda.
The World Trail Kuranda.

Developed and tested in the harshest trail destinations throughout Australia, both the “Kuranda”and “Singletracker” Trail Tools have stood the test of time: being used to shape and construct the 2017 MTB World Championship courses, along with the unique and aggressive Tasmanian terrain for the upcoming Enduro World Series round in Blue-Derby.

The Singletracker and the Kuranda have helped sculpt some of Australia's finest trails.
The Singletracker and the Kuranda have helped sculpt some of Australia’s finest trails.

World Trail’s international team of trail builders have collaborated in the design and development of these final iterations, rigorously testing and developing the products you see released today. Both the Kuranda and Singletracker tools feature a world first in patent pending internal bladed stepped tines, which compliment the external dual angled blades.

The blades make quick work of small shrubs, vines, lantana, roots and ferns, by collating and cutting all nearby foliage. While the external blades make light work of the in-ground roots and other organic problems commonly associated in trail building.

The two sides of the Singletracker and Kuranda cover a variety of trail building situations.
The two sides of the Singletracker and Kuranda cover a variety of trail building situations.

100% hand made in Australia, both the Kuranda and smaller Singletracker trail tools are manufactured using state of the art cold cut water jetting technology, intricately cut from of 3.2mm Hardox 450 steel, producing a lightweight, yet powerfully strong head unit to tackle the rigors of trail building abuse day in, day out.

The World Trail signature is a nice touch.
The World Trail signature is a nice touch.

Available to the public March 1, World Trail are taking pre-orders of both the 6 finger Kuranda and 4 finger Singletracker tools exclusively via their website at http://www.world-trail.com/shop/.

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.


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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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Trails: Falls Creek opens new downhill flow trail

For the past 2 years Falls Creek Resort Management has been busy at work bringing to life a dream shared by those who love the resort. In 2014 this dream is realised with the opening of the first 2 of 4 brand new mountain bike trails.

Under the commission of World Trail – the best bike trail builders in the business, months of development has joined years of planning to bring the new trails to completion.

The 2 intermediate cross country trials now open can be ridden as one big loop, the network consists of one riding uphill and one downhill. The trails are intersected by the Aqueduct trail which means you can ride each as a separate loop. Whilst classified as cross country, there are some great downhill features and corners to navigate at speed. There are some spectacular viewpoints along the way to stop and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

An intermediate downhill trail will open by the Australia Day long weekend. Starting at the top of the Summit Chair (those familiar with Falls Creek in Winter, will know this well), the trail winds down under the Poma line before zig-zagging down Grand Coer ski run and cutting through Short & Curly to the base of the Summit Chair.

The 4th trail coming on line this summer is a 3rd intermediate cross country trail connecting the popular ‘Wishing Well’ spot to the Gully region at the base of the International Poma and Gully Chairlift at the entrance to the Resort.

A third party operator will shortly be commencing a downhill shuttle service, to take riders to the top of the trails together with offering bike hire options.

At this stage, Falls Creek Resort Management is two years into a four year mountain bike development project funded by the State Government of Victoria. Construction for stage three will commence this summer and be ready for us in 2014/15, ending in stage four operational by 2015/16. In total, 3 downhill and 11 cross country trails will be built in and amongst the Resorts ski runs.

Flow Nation: Mt Buller, Day 2

On day 1 in Mt Buller, we got chatting with Norm Douglas, a fella who spends a lot of time up here. His favourite ride? “The Delatite River Trail,” he said, “it’s got something for everybody.” And so taking that recommendation on board, that’s where we pointed ourselves for our second day on the Buller trails.

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The Buller team have developed a great smart phone app to help you get the most out of your time on the trails. It has trail maps, trail info and loads more – definitely worth the download (it’s free).

As you begin the long, winding drive up the mountain to the peak of Buller, you pass a beautiful park and camping ground at Mirimbah; this is where the Delatite River Trail exits, right at the very base of the hill. And its start? Well that’s way, way, way up the mountain – this is a long, generous run, the likes of which are almost unknown in Australia.

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The sky-high eucalypts that surround the Delatite River trail are beautiful, just don’t hit one.

There are many, many aspects that make the Delatite a ride that is guaranteed to stick in your memory. There’s the sheer speeds you reach, fast enough to leave you short of gears; the lingering threat of potential carnage should you stray off the ride line in the rubble strewn fireroad fringe; the towering gums that stretch out of the gullies; the thirteen bridges that span the bubbling waters of the Delatite River… But for us, it’s the way the Delatite Trail just keeps on giving which really stands out. Just when you’re 100% certain you’ve reached bottom, the trail begins descending once again, and you’ve just got to laugh – “it’s still going!”

A dip in the river and a coffee at the excellent Mirimbah store is the perfect way to finish it all off before jumping in the shuttle bus back to the village. Paradise, or what?

Our afternoon was spent on a very different trail, Copperhead. Where the Delatite is raw and natural, Copperhead is a manmade, sculpted flow trail that snakes its way down the ski runs. It’s the ideal trail bike friendly accompaniment to International, Buller’s downhill race track. Berms aplenty, massive corners and a surface that keeps you on your toes, Copperhead doesn’t need a bike with lots of travel for you to have a good time. it’s also the ideal trail for when your legs are blown and the thought of riding back up is enough to send you to the pub.

Tomorrow, we’re taking on Stonefly, a trail we’d have to rate as one of the best in the country.

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World Trail’s Ryan De La Rue joined us on the trails again today. He carries a telescoping fishing rod in his pack – what a legend! He normally bags a trout or two on every outing, but they weren’t biting today.
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There are 13 of these bridges that span the Delatite as you hammer towards Mirimbah. Talk about iconic.
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A quick foot spa in the refreshing (cold) waters of the river before jumping into the shuttle bus.
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Copperhead lets you make the most of the chairlift for some quick vertical, even if you’re not riding a downhill bike.

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MAGICMAGICMAGICMAGIC!


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Flow Nation: Mt Buller, Day 1

It’s been a good half dozen years now since the Mt Buller team embarked on mission to become Australia’s leading alpine mountain bike destination. No doubt, it’s a mission well accomplished.

We’ve been coming to Mt Buller, making the solid drive down the Hume, for a long while now. Originally, back in the nineties and early two-thousands, it was the downhill track that drew us here. But now it’s the staggering quality and quantity of the Buller cross country trails that keeps us coming back.

Every time we’ve returned to Buller since 2007, we’ve been surprised by the pace of the trail development. And we’re not just talking a few new sections of trail here and there, but massive projects – huge, beautiful loops like Stonefly, or lifted flow trails like Copperhead. This time around, Buller’s embarking on an even bigger undertaking, a 40km IMBA-recognised ‘epic’ trail. The IMBA Epic tag isn’t one that’s given out lightly, and when this trail is completed it’ll be the first of its kind in Australia.

But that’s in the future, and for now we’ve got three days to soak up everything that Buller has to offer. Here’s a taste of our first day on the trails; come back tomorrow for more, and hold tight for a Flow Nation video soon too.

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The scrappy fireroad descent that once linked the village to the rest of the Buller trail network is long gone. In its place is the new Split Rock trail, a punchy, rocky, bermed trail. Fantastic stuff.
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If you’re ever looking for a reason to stay the night in Buller after a day on the trails, this is it. The sunsets from the summit will blow your mind.
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With the wild flowers out at the moment, Buller is prettier than ever. Pity about the rider.

 

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Trail builder Ryan De La Rue showed us around the trails this afternoon, as we tried to keep up. This is the view we saw a lot of.

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Climbing back up the village was once a serious mission, but a new, mellow singletrack now makes the ascent a pleasure. In places where the terrain is impassable, bridges have been brought in to get you through.

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Warm days, dusty trails. Feels like summer!
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Norm and Jess Douglas, of Forrest fame, have recently opened up The Corner Store in the Buller village. It’s a great little hangout, with excellent coffee and food, and really fun vibe. It’s cool to have a place like this in town.

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World Trail’s Ryan De La Rue, a super relaxed mountain man. When he’s not building trails, he’s planning his next backcountry adventure or making the most of the mountain lifestyle.
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Misty Twist is looking, and riding, better than ever. The trail has formed into a perfect flow line, 12-inches wide, carving through the wildflowers.
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Hooking in at the peak of the Cornhill descent.

Must-Ride: Atherton, day 4 in paradise

Our trip to Atherton could not have been planned any better; our final day of riding took place under blue skies, but the very next day the rains rolled in. For the next few months, that relentless pattern of morning mugginess followed by afternoon downpours will be the norm – the wet has arrived.

The tremendous rainfall in this part of the world is the reason it all feels so alive and vibrant, but it does present a challenge for trail building. Everywhere we looked, clever drainage and armouring solutions had been employed to preserve the trails. We were fortunate enough to grab a chat with Glen Jacobs from World Trail, the man who developed the Atherton mountain bike master plan, and he explained some of the techniques the team had used in weatherproofing. Glen cut his trail building teeth in Cairns, an area that can get over seven meters of rain a year, so he knows a thing or to about drainage.

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There are numerous junctions in the Atherton network, allowing you to put together loads of different loops. It’s not like you come here and just ride in a circle.
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Top: Pepper the cattle dog practices her skills, rounding up this chook. The resulting Mexican standoff was priceless. Bottom: Arty the horse comes in for some muesli.

There’s more rock armouring in Atherton than just about anywhere we’ve seen, no more so than on the magical Waterfall track. This was the final trail we rode in Atherton and it’s spectacular. It climbs deep into a gully, traversing across two waterfalls along the way. These weren’t running when we rode, but we’d love to come back to this track after a decent rain as you’d literally be riding through the cascading sheets of water.

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The signage in Atherton is spot on. Numbering the trails makes it easy for out-of-towners to find their way around, while the locals tend to use trail names instead.

We guess we’ll just have to make another trip back up to Atherton soon for that experience. It won’t be difficult to woo us back; the trail network in Atherton is growing like lantana in February, and with Cairns and its trail just down the road too, there’s more than enough riding on offer here to keep you in a singletrack daze for a few days.

We’ll have our full Flow Nation video from Atherton up very soon.

 

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Climbing up the Waterfall track – note the rock armouring across the gullies.
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The Crocodile Belly berm on Waterfall.
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The pay off – ripping back down Waterfall. The perfect grade reversals surf the hillside.
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Glen Jacobs has been involved in the Atherton development process for almost a decade now.