You've heard the hype - but what's actually happening on the huge property Dirt Art are building on in Maydena?
You've seen the images, and the video clips. Maydena Bike Park is coming.
Tasmania is quickly becoming the mountain bike hot spot. While our attention has often turned east towards New Zealand for a mountain bike holiday, the likes of Hollybank, Blue Derby and now Maydena are moving the focus further south - to our island state.
The mountain bike boom in Tasmania was built on the foundation of Hollybank and Blue Derby, but it is clear the EWS round in Derby really brought the largest focus. The impact for the whole state is clear: make high-quality mountain bike trails, and riders will come.
With that logic in place, it is fair to say the progress in the small town of Maydena is rapid. People are convinced. Governments and councils are onside. And Dirt Art have a long lease on an immense mountain, offering 820m of vertical from top to bottom, with an all-weather shuttle road.
A day in Maydena
About an hour out of Hobart, Maydena is pretty handy to get to either for locals, or if you're planning a visit. It's not a hard drive from Hobart airport and it's a scenic drive too.
We met up with Simon French from Dirt Art who took us up the mountain. With Tim Bardsley-Smoth along to shoot, we also had Thomas Booth and Andy Butler along to test the trails for us.
"I think the images being pushed on social media were pretty flat out - but it has definitely lived up to the expectations and I'm really happy with what I rode and experienced today," said Andrew Butler who had made the trip down from Launceston to ride at Maydena with us.
I came to Maydena expecting a gravity park for the trail bros and downhill crowd. And they will be very, very happy. But the whole areas has a lot of potential and it's clear that is what Dirt Art are tapping in to, with a Wilderness Trail planned (think of the Blue Tier with twice as much elevation drop), cross-country climbing trails being built, and more choices to descend than in any mountain bike park I've been to here or abroad.
We rode steep flow trails, shaped trails in the trees, raw trails down fall lines, rugged trails with natural features, handbuilt trails, jump trails, and more. From a post-sunrise start to 4pm we rode about one third of what is built already. And Simon still had more to show us. The Dirt Art team have a lot going on down in Maydena and the town is getting ready.
The opening weekend in January is going to be epic, but it will just be the start. Don't miss our first issue in 2018 to find out a whole lot more about Maydena and what's to come.