Blue Derby

With advice and tips, and some yummy tomatoes from Rob and Emily’s garden, we headed east, timing the weather perfectly. A storm rolled in and branches were falling all over the place in the sideways wind and rain. We stopped for lunch at a park area just outside Launceston, which ironically turned out to be the Hollybank MTB reserve, and home to the Juggernaut trail. With the aggressive weather, we made the call not to get the bikes out and continued to Derby in time for an evening ride.

The weather passed once we got to Derby, so we kitted up, popped into Vertigo Bikes to get the 411 on the shuttles and trails, and bumped into Muffin, Buzz and the World Trail crew as they finished work for the day.

Shane so fast (so blurred) riding passed the famous touty painted rock
Shane so fast (so blurred) riding passed the famous touty painted rock


We got a nice evening ride in, with some laps of Flikity Sticks – fast, flowing machine build, similar to B-line in Whistler, but with more and longer berms and playful side-hits, and then Krushka’s –a long climb through the forest with some nice views, to Trouty – starting with some great charging, then onto some shit-eating-grin-worthy challenging granite rock features – now one of my favorite trails.

The next day we did the Blue Tier/Atlas shuttle – a must do if you visit the area. The weather was still brutal at the shuttle drop-off at the top of Blue Tier, and even more so when we climbed to the viewpoint and nearly got blown over. The Blue Tier trail starts with a pedal through the alpine (no views for us sadly) and then descends through the forest on a fast, buff mellow descent. Then after a short climb, we joined Big Chook – a fast flowing berm-fest and a great way to end the ride, before heading to the old school Weldborough Pub for lunch. Blue Tier was more about the experience than the actual trail. The trail is still really fun, but the adventure aspect comes more into play.

Kate at the view point at the top of Blue Tier getting blown over
Kate at the viewpoint at the top of Blue Tier getting blown over

After lunch, we were shuttled up to the top of Atlas, similarly never-ending berms, but a little more technical then Blue Tier. Atlas fed us back into the Blue Derby trail area, onto the Dambuster’s descent, and then we headed down the rock roll and jank of Black Dragon – nothing crazy gnar by itself, but the whole trail requires some commitment to piece it together, and is an easy place to get some battle scars on your bike (and hopefully not yourself).

rock features on Black Dragon
Keep rollin, rollin, rollin…just one of the many rock features on Black Dragon


After an epic and long day on the bike, we caught up with Muffin and Buzz for beers at The Hub that evening.

Day 3 in Derby, we took advantage of the shuttles of the Blue Derby Park put on by Vertigo Bikes. We started the day with Return to Sender – starting with a fast, straight charge, and then some climbing and more traversing mid-trail. Once the trail starts it’s descent again towards the town, that’s when the party starts, and it’s an awesome party; Big berms, jumps and steeper features. Next lap we split, Kate blasted the classic fun for all Flickity Sticks, Shane went and paid his skin tax on Detonator – I’m sure you’ve seen the photos of ‘the shoot’, it really is as tight as it looks, and the rest of the trail is as challenging with some rock features.

For the final shuttle of the day we hit up Black Stump – a technical, traversing descend, which led into 23 Stitches – Derby’s answer to A-line, but more rugged and quite committing numerous gap jumps (read near-death experience for Kate). We finished the day by climbing back up for an ever pleasing run of Touty, did I say I liked that trail, not sure if it was clear…

Another big day on the bikes, so after an apres of blackberries, camp-life called for pizza at The Hub for dinner with beers.

Blackberry apres!

For the last morning in Derby, we pedalled up to get some final laps in. First up Shearpin and to check out that ‘rock garden’ – the never-ending, wheel eater rock garden made famous by the EWS, which was a lot of fun to ride, and then onto 23 Stitches to get the glory shot on the booter jump. Next, we headed back up for another rip on the always fun Flikity Sticks, and then back up again to finish the day on a high with Return To Sender.

4 magical days in Derby, most of the trails ridden and loved. Derby really lives up to the hype. The ambitious investment into this quiet town seems to be paying off. World Trail has created an area that offers a great diversity of terrain and trails in the stunning temperate rainforest. There seems to be something for everyone on the 80km of trails to explore. The climbs are effortless, the natural landscape and features have been utilized so well. There is a mixture of manicured machine and quirky hand builds which make the most of the enormous Velcro-like granite rock slabs and nods to the area’s history with trails and checkpoints.

Once the car was packed up we hit the road east again to the coast and a night at the Bay of Fires area.


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