Mountain bike-led recovery on track for Tasmania’s tiny town of Maydena
Tasmania’s newest mountain bike park has been creating a buzz amongst thrill-seekers around the country, with some finding it more of a challenge than they anticipated.
The Maydena Bike Park in the Derwent Valley opened late January.
The park features 820 metres of vertical elevation, with one of the most commonly used words riders are using to describe it being “steep”.
For Hobart rider Nicholas Elson, that forms part of the fun.
“The steep stuff was definitely a challenge but it was good, it was really good,” he said.
“The steepness adds to it.”
He is one of many riders to crash at the park.
“I come off my bike all the time,” he said.
“I broke a few bits [of my bike], ripped my visor off my helmet, got up and came back to ride another day so it was cool.”
There have been several broken bones at Maydena since it opened just six weeks ago.
One person had to be airlifted to hospital last week.
By road, Hobart is almost 90 minutes away.
While townsfolk are happy for the extra visitors, some wonder if money is being spent in the community. (TBS Photography/Tim Bardsley-Smith)
Maydena Bike Park management said it has a full-time specialist bike patrol and medical team.
In a Facebook post, the operators said its bike patrol spent weeks working on site and with the Tasmanian Health Department “preparing comprehensive safety and extraction systems to respond to any incident scenario in our park”.
It is also advertising for volunteers with “medical or first-aid qualifications” to patrol the trails.
Jacky and her neighbour Margaret have seen Maydena’s numbers swell on the weekends. (ABC News: Selina Ross)
The small town of Maydena has largely embraced the new attraction, which has taken over the former school site.
Resident Jacky Van Beukering said it was already bringing more people to the area, including young people and families.
Australian rider Troy Brosnan helmet-cam vision from Maydena, Tasmania, from Instagram
“You’re getting people from all over the world coming in to a little tiny town that’s only got 200 people,” she said.
“We literally double our population, especially on the long weekends and things like that.”
Maydena’s mountain bike-led recovery is not unlike that of another Tasmanian town, Derby, where a community almost on its last legs has bounced back.
Maydena’s real estate prices are going up in response to the renewed activity, with many houses being bought and turned into accommodation.
“Prices have, I wouldn’t say doubled, but we’re getting pretty close to it,” Ms Van Beukering said.
“Where houses before really sat on the market for months, sometimes years, now they’re just being snapped up.”
Her neighbour Margaret Denny is concerned that the economic boost isn’t benefiting the town more broadly, with two food and drink outlets located within the park site.
“They’ve got their own food thing here and their own food thing at the top, the Eyrie, so no, not really,” she said.
“They (town businesses) probably sell a bit of petrol.”
The park already has 34 trails open and is in the process of building more, including beginner and wilderness trails.
Maydena, like Derby in the north east, is a hit with mountain bikers. (Facebook: Maydena Bike Park)