The summer vacation months saw two high-profile mountain bike stage races unfold in Tassie. The inaugural AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup took place in November half an hour east of Hobart, while January saw riders flock to the west coast for the Pure Tasmania Wildside.
One was almost completely rained out while the other, which almost always has a day or two of quality mud, turned on the sun (and the wind and a total fire ban by the final day).
The quick changes in weather are part and parcel of the unique Tasmanian landscape. To experience it in such extremes, on two wheels, surrounded by like minded people made both journeys exceptional experiences.
Having never visited the southernmost state before, I was excited by the new riding experiences, as well as the chance to cover both events for Flow Mountain Bike. I developed a series of race stories, interviews and destination content on two of the state’s must see trails as part of these trips.
Watching local riders respond with so much warmth and enthusiasm to this content was a thrill to witness. Seeing people from interstate and overseas share this content around grows the strong sense of pride Taswegians have in their community even further.
The story on Mt Wellington’s North-South Track had the biggest response in this way. I loved watching the social media trail as local riders shared their enthusiasm for this iconic, purpose built, locally funded project, with other keen mountain bikers from all over the world. So much positivity, all from a few carefully chosen words and images on a 10km section of dirt.
Links to content created from these trips are below.
Links to web articles for Flow Mountain Bike:
The AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup: Sharing the Holler (preview written with Duncan Giblin)
Come Hell or High Water: The AvantiPlus Hellfire Cup (event report)
Racing: Counting Down to Wildside 2014 (preview article)
Interview: Wildside Winners, Ben Mather and Rowena Fry
Images: Log ride, Simon Townsend. Others, Kath Bicknell.