Take a look at one of the longest dedicated beginner rides in the world!
Words: Mike Blewitt Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith
Maydena Bike Park has continued to grow since it first opened in early 2018. And while Maydena's key focus is gravity riding, that's not to say there aren't beginner and intermediate trails. In fact, most of the runs down the mountain are blue or green trails.
Last visit we took a closer look at the Wilderness Trail, which is a long descent that wraps around the side of Maydena Bike Park, with few trail crossings for a descending experience that really makes you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. And while the Wilderness Trail is the longest trial in Maydena Bike Park, when Regnans Ride opened at the start of last summer, it set a new benchmark globally. The Regnans Ride is the highest elevation, purpose-built beginner mountain bike ride in the world, and Maydena Bike Park said it would offer a stunning, gently descending trail ride through sub-alpine areas and world heritage rainforests above the town of Maydena. Aptly named, The Regnans Ride shares the name of the eucalyptus regnans, the world’s tallest flowering plant, which are abundant across the Maydena Bike Park site.
Having visited Maydena Bike Park ahead of opening in late 2017, visiting again and riding Regnans Ride in autumn was a good opportunity to really see how broad the appeal of Maydena Bike Park could be.
The trail utilises Skyline, Pandani, Green Room, Mid line, Evergreen, Scandinavia, Tyenna and Homeward. So while the Regnans Ride isn't a long, continuous trail that stands apart from the network in the way the Wilderness Trail does, it instead links beginner (or green) trails to make a trail that covers the whole range of ecosystems that the 820m descent passes through.
Skyline sends you into the network right from the top building, whereas Pandani puts you into the trees on some of the armoured sections that help the top trails in good condition in wet weather. You'll enjoy a bit of a reprieve on Midline as you traverse the front side of the mountain, before ducking into some of the most iconic sections of Maydena Bike Park through Evergreen. The finish down Tyenna has a few really basic table tops where you can even practice some jumps if you get confident after a few runs.
This is a beginner trail, but not in the same way a wide path around a lake is. Maydena Bike Park is a gravity focused bike park, and Regnans Ride is the perfect introduction to it – but maybe not the place to bring someone who is brand new to riding offroad. Maydena Bike Park do offer introductory skills courses on the trail though – which would be a great place to start for someone venturing into the fun world of mountain biking.
Maydena Bike Park is a bit over an hour out of Hobart. If you fly to Hobart, expect to drive up to one and a half hours. Take the A1 past Glenorchy and then follow the signs. New Norfolk is a good spot for grocery shopping on the way if you're staying in Maydena for a couple of days.
Maydena Bike Park is a World class facility that has received praise from leading gravity riders. The Regnan's Ride is designed for the widest range of riders. We've heard of kids under 5 going down it, and people well over 70. It's still a mountain bike park and a big hill, so the steeper sections have some tighter corners, and the rocks and roots do get pretty slippery in the wet.
It is still work taking some knee-shin guards. Most riders at Maydena wear a fullface helmet – you might not find it necessary for Regnan's Ride. If you're hiring a bike and helmet, you might as well go for full coverage as you're not doing any climbing anyway! The bike park has everything you need but it's a big hill – carry basic spares, a phone for emergencies, and a jacket because it's Tasmania.
Some sides of the hill deal with wetter conditions better than others. If you're not sure on any trail conditions just speak to the staff, or even check their Instagram profile (@maydenabikepark) for updates before booking your shuttle ticket.
Best time of the year
Winter is cold and wet. Summer can also be cold and wet on a bad day. But September through to late May is typically the best.
While in the area
There is lots to do. Whether you take a trip down to Lake Pedder and go canoeing, go for a drive (or ride!) up to Mt Field National Park, or just take a day off to let your arms recover, there are a number of ways to enjoy the surrounding areas in the Derwent Valley.
A day of shuttling costs $80 for an adult, and buses stop at 4pm. There are discounts for multi-day visits and children and seniors. If you just want access to the park to use the climbing trail, it's just $15 for the day. You can access every trail from Midline down. Find out more information on the Maydena website HERE
There are lots of mountain bike specific AirBNB options in Maydena, but Left of Field Caravan Park is just down the road in National Park, right next to the pub. It's quirky, has piping hot showers, and is a good spot to park a campervan or pitch a tent.
Local bike shops
The shop and workshop at Maydena Bike Park will keep you going. If you have any boutique parts – take your own spares. Maydena is hard on brake pads and wheels, so pack accordingly.
Drinking Water: Yes
Trails Signposted: Yes, trail maps at major junctions.
Mobile Reception: Telstra and Optus
Shelter: At the bottom and the top.
BBQ Facilities: Not in the park, but they do put some on.
Accommodation: Plenty in Maydena.
Regnan's Ride ratings
Fitness level 2/5