Mini Documentary: Dragon Trail MTB Stage Race - Tasmania
Tassie, it's off the charts, you've gotta get here My name's Tash, I did the race last year and I absolutely loved it. I decided to sign up because it was advertised not just for, you know, pro riders to race it out, it was also a social aspect. It was about getting out there and having fun and I thought well you know if I can't be at the top of Dragon Trail well I'll certainly chase for the lantern rouge at the Dragon Trail and have some fun in the in the in the moments along the way.
I'm Luke Webster a local from St Helens. Dragon Trail last year inspired me to get training and give it a go. I'm really looking forward to three days of pedalling through some fantastic trails. Yeah I don't think being a local is going to be too big an advantage to be honest, maybe the descents might be a bit of an advantage but there's so much climbing out there that those guys who have the big engines are really going to do well and there is so much time to be made on the climbs. Yes I've been here in the area for 15 years riding mountain bikes and it's been great to see the progression of the trails. The old blue tier track that we're actually riding up on day two that used to be the descent that we'd come and ride down. It's going to
be a super super challenge to get up there and I will be off the bike a bit, but it's really good to see the mix of trails between the single track and the old school in there and there's definitely lots for everyone. My name's Michael Milton. I am here at the Dragon Trail start just about to watch one of the groups go past and I'm here to ride mountain bikes and have fun. So I grew up and went to school in Canberra and I guess you know on old school Majura mountain bike trails. I started riding in about 1990 on a fully rigid thing with cantilever brakes
and thought V brakes were great when they came out, but I'm a little bit old school I love riding a hard tail. One of the bad parts about having one leg when you're riding is that one leg going up and down just bobbles the suspension the whole time which i don't like the feel of, so yeah that's me. I love riding my trek hardtail, gotta drop a post on it and things and a little bit old school.
SONG LYRICS Hello world, wake me up to Another good, good morning Time to go Got that smile upon my face Cause there's excitement in the chase This I know Yeah I'm going for the ride And find myself, I am alive, And I soar Still I run towards the wind and let the challenge draw me in Cause I want more Oh We are all looking for adventure [x8] As you can see for me it's uh it's pretty wet and slippery. That climb up Frome was brutal very brutal very brutal about 10 k's of fire road climbing that took sting out of me. Probably slowest run down there I've had for a long time. I was really struggling to get up on the on the pedals because every time I stood I'd cramp in my quads and then I'd sit down, I'd cramp in the hammies, then hip flexors would go so yeah well done day one. The end of day one Dragon Trail. An amazing trail out there some beautiful scenery. Some cool quirky bits, the tunnel was super cool. Yeah a couple of couple of killer climbs today
for me. Up Frome road wasn't too bad up on fire trail but then we hit this, oh, kind of old eroded 4WD drive track that I couldn't ride and uh yeah I was a bit over the hopping to be honest. You know you're up there and and there's people just walking up with their bikes and they're just dropping you like a bomb. And I thought I might just tell a few stories and about having one leg, but I want to turn it around a little bit and have a look at it in a different way to perhaps the way most people might look at having disability. Because I've had one leg now for nearly 35 years and I have a pretty good understanding that there are negatives to having one leg but there are also positives, there are good parts to having one leg. Number one, you don't have
to carry pairs of shoes and for somebody with a shoe fetish like myself, that usually means I get twice the variety in my bag. Number two, rockstar parking outside of every building in the country. We're at a bike event so number three might be, it's easier to get on and off a bike if you don't have to throw your other leg over, you just lift your stump up and you're on the seat ready to go on off on off quick and easy. This is a stressful moment of trying to get everything onto the bike that I can, so that I don't have to carry a backpack and I can carry the compulsory jacket and thermal for the day. So uh it's not usual for me to ride with a thermal and a jacket and but here we are, race compulsory items. Tough recovery lots
and lots of drinking um (outside voice "what beers"). No no no no beers no beers It was actually really tough, I, I struggled with not being hungry. I knew I needed to eat, knew I needed to drink but I just didn't want to do either of them.
I'm just setting up the bike for me to go down the mountain and take photos of the guys. Try to not get too much weight on my back, because it's a long way. So I try to put everything on the bike and even the camera, a big lens My name is Keith Conley and today I'm looking after the first aid station on day two. So we're on top of Blue Tier which is the start of the two big rides back to Weldborough and also to St Helens. So today the riders have a really big climb and as you can probably
see in the background it's pretty cold and foggy at the moment. The conditions aren't too bad, the riders should be okay, the track conditions are probably going to be pretty icky and slippery coming up, but we've got a big southerly (wind) coming through so I think this cloud should clear and they should have a a fairly decent descent down. Oh it's so rocky out there, so wet, fell over in a couple of rivers, it's insane out there, a lot of walking, running, it's just like it goes forever. Because the rocks are slippery,
if you get your front on the wrong place it'll slip out, back in the wrong place will slip out so it's kind of hard to judge. Just the front of the buckle. So we just had a situation where someone's shoe buckle failed. So that can be a key difference between keeping a place in the race or dropping back and that guy lost maybe two or three places just then simply because a little buckle on his shoe failed. So we had to have some gaffer tape which fortunately we had and just wrapped it up real quick and sent him on his way.
I've had ones where someone's left their shoes behind and someone who's pulled out has given another person their shoes. We've actually had to cut the entire top of the shoe off, so their foot can fit in and then we've duct taped it up and it's been like that for the rest of the race. I went over the hangers already. Reply oh mate, keep it on two. SONG LYRICS Hello world, wake me up to Another good, good morning Time to go Got that smile upon my face Cause there's excitement in the chase This I know Yeah I'm going for the ride And find myself, I am alive And I soar Still I run towards the wind And let the challenge draw me in Cause I want more We are all looking for adventure [x8] Good morning, I'm Jess. I'm at the Ansons Bay midway aid station and this morning we're
providing snacks, nutrition and energy for the riders as they come through. Apples, pears and bananas but banana is always handy to take on a ride because it's just one of those items you can just chuck in the back of your pack and ready to go. Yeah it was hard Yeah pretty good, I'm glad I was able to get on that flatter section. I'mm more of a morale officer actually, and Zega here is uh also there for support. So she'll bark along and tell you to keep riding hard So far, so good. The cool water in the Blue Tier ascent that was was nice and refreshing for
them. Like an ice bath, keeps you going. We've got lots to go. How good was that! That descent was epic! I'm not sure whether the tyre choice was the best for that, but we got through, kept it upright and dodged all the rocks and roots that are popping their heads up. Now, yeah, I had to, had to play within myself for that, I knew I'd cook myself if I went too hard, so it was a pretty mental game for that one. Riding up the riverbed, I tell you, that was hard and some of the rivers I went straight through but there were two sides. I went off the left, I thought that looks a little bit shorter than the other way, and, it just, I went straight in and totally submerged. Winner of the women's, yeow! It was definitely a good adventure out there today.
The creek crossings were definitely a lot deeper than last year, laughter Straight into the water, Swimcart beach for a lovely cool off and get the mud off Stage racing is such a fun way just to go camping for a few days and ride bikes and you know, you always meet new people and have fun and the trails here are so awesome. I'm really going to take the time to enjoy it and definitely going to have a swim in the Dreaming Pools no matter how cold it is. Looking forward to today actually it's uh last of the three days it's been a big couple of days but this has been my training ground so it'll be nice to have some trails that I know and just get out there and do what I can do. Today we are at the start of day three. A little bit less gas in the tank each day and certainly feeling it after Blue Tier yesterday. But uh you know, uh yesterday was some hard work but you know what a reward with the descents and the finish and everything. So looking
forward to a bit more riding today and looking forward to a couple days, I don't know if I want to see my bike for a couple of days. SONG LYRICS Hello world, wake me up to Another good, good morning Time to go Got that smile upon my face Cause there's excitement in the chase This I know Yeah I'm going for the ride And find myself, I am alive And I soar Still I run towards the wind And let the challenge draw me in Cause I want more We are all looking for adventure [x8] Oh, wake up heart, and wake up mind And see the world is yours to find, and know With every passing day there's more Calling you out, out to explore, get up and go There is joy found in the race And I feel it in the place, where I'm free And I simply can't deny it That I feel adventure calling out to me We are all looking for adventure [x8] And I'm livin' free, livin' free, livin' free, and I was meant to be I'm livin' free, livin' free, livin' free and I was meant to be free, meant to be free Yeah I got a bit lucky Smashing the descents, these guys were just monstering me on all the climbs, but managed to peg back on the descents and keep with them on the flying single track. So a little bit of local knowledge come in a little bit handy then.
Our overall first Male rider, Jon Odams Our first overall female, Karen Hill Laughter, if it's not a strava it never happened, So today was just amazing, flowy, everything that I wanted out of today. Stopped and had a swim at the Dreaming Pools, just lost myself in the flow of the trails and just loved every single moment. Just took things one step at a time, you went to the aid stations had a nice little you know lunch and then a second lunch, yeah it was just fantastic. Loved every
moment. So we're in camp here, end of day three in St Helens. I've had a shower, um I don't feel like moving very much and I don't feel like I need to see my bike for the next few days.
But uh you know I mean it's been, it's been a great experience. I guess I've done a lot of mountain biking, I've done a lot of different events and stage races and adventure races and riding with mates and, and stuff. I guess for me what I learned from this experience was just the way mountain biking is evolving. I guess from riding in the 90s and original trail build and obviously that's progressed and, and now into a bit more machine built trail. I guess I live in Canberra and I see a lot of hand-built trail pretty traditional stuff but it's certainly very different here. The, the flow, the swoopiness the kind of I guess I'd call it the roller coaster feel, you go down through a dip and you make it corner and then you're up and over and yeah. And uh you know it's riding down hills, lots
and lots of fun and you know there's no doubt you earn it in a race like this. When you're in an event and you're riding up, you kind of get an idea of why there's so many e-bikes and shuttles around this place. But you know it's it's been a been a pretty, pretty tough but, but a really rewarding ride for me. Now's probably not the right time to start thinking about talking about doing it again, but you know yeah maybe, we'll see.
I guess for me personally, I notice other people, men and women, you know they go out and they have like a wellness retreat, they do a hiking retreat, they do a yoga retreat, all just to escape for a little while and for me this was my wellness retreat. It was just to go out there and have some nice little adventures but in a very safe environment so I could go out, I could ride my heart's content, I could know that no matter how long I stayed out there everyone would be here waiting for me. They'd be looking after me if I had any issues so I really had a retreat where I had no real worries about what could or would happen. All I had to worry about was to just keep pedalling and enjoy the ride and take photos and have my little breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, second lunch along the ride and just enjoy it! That's, that's my retreat and I go back at the end of the day and I feel refreshed and recharged from it Thank you so much, I will be buying you one of these