Mountain bike trails and MTB events you don’t want to miss in 2017
Pump up your tyres, test out those brakes and get excited for 2017 because mountain biking in Queensland is going off the hook.
Five massive MTB events to watch, countless trails to ride and some crazy awesome mountain bike tours are going to have your butt numb and your arms like noodles.
Check out these options and see how you can best turn mountains into giant playgrounds.
2017 Oceania Continental MTB Championships & XCO and DHI National Series
When: 10-12 March
Where: Jubilee MTB Park, Toowoomba
Toowoomba’s Jubilee MTB Park hosts the Oceania Continental MTB Championships, which also includes the final rounds of the 2017 XCO National Series and 2017 DHI National Series.
Watch these athletes fly down, over and through some insane terrain thanks to the course designers at Jubilee MTB Park.
Why not bring the caravan down and make a holiday out of it?
2017 Mountain Bike Australia National Championships
When: 16-19 March
Staying on the Gold Coast and want to watch some wheels and gears fly over your head? Then head 30 minutes west to Canungra in the Scenic Rim to the MTB Australia National Championships.
This track is spectator friendly and the last rock section is supposed to test the riders to their limits. That’s a nice way of saying it’s going to be a rough ride for the competitors. Get your best “that’s gotta hurt” face ready.
2017 Townsville MTB Festival
When: 29 April – 5 May
The Townsville MTB Festival is set to become an institution. This is the first time Townsville has hosted a National MTB event and the entire city will get involved. From the cliffs of Pallarenda Park to Castle Hill you’ll be tripping over things to do.
Castle Hill is a Queensland icon with a rich history. During World War II the Americans wanted to turn the hill into gravel to make a land bridge to Magnetic Island… the MTB Festival organisers decided to turn it into a mountain bike funhouse instead. Good idea.
But this festival, much like Townsville itself, has more than just events for the pros. Castle Hill might be a bit steep for a family ride but the Explore Townsville Adventure Rides will be hosted around the city and its surrounding areas. These are family friendly and a great way to experience the beauty of Townsville. Get amongst it!
2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
When: 5-10 September
Where: Smithfield, Cairns
When all of the best mountain bikers in the world converge it’s kind of a big deal.
The 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships bring 300 riders from 35 countries all ripping it up at Smithfield MTB Park and then slapping some scuba on and heading out to the reef. Sounds like they have it made.
The Crocodile Trophy 2017
When: 16-23 September
Where: Cairns to Atherton and everywhere in between
Where do we start with The Crocodile Trophy? It’s the oldest mountain bike stage race in the world? It covers more than 650km? Competitors gain more than 13,000 metres of elevation?
Competitors will race across every terrain Tropical North Queensland can muster. It’s got dust, crocs, rocks and the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef behind it.
Jubilee Park, Toowoomba
Park your car at the Amos Rd end of things and enjoy the benefits of the Toowoomba Mountain Biking Club’s hard work.
The trails range from “Oh wow! This is comfortable and really easy! I love mountain biking!” to “If I fall off my bike now I’m probably going to die”, which is exactly what is expected from a really good MTB park. A little bit of everything.
Hennessey Hill, Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast
Clean your spokes and grab some folks. Brisbane’s closest downhill mountain biking hill is a full-speed, rocky adventure and you need to go there ASAP. It’s about 1.3km toward Beerburrum on the Beerburrum to Woodford Road.
This is a downhill-only trail and is pretty crazy. So if you want a leisurely ride then this isn’t for you.
Hennessey Hill in the Glass House Mountains boasts jumps, REALLY fast turns and is spoiling you by being only an hour away from Brissy.
Mount Tamborine, Gold Coast
Just when you thought the Gold Coast had it all, it sneaks up and gives you some excellent cross-country mountain biking trails courtesy of Mount Tamborine.
The “Old Tambo” trail is best for intermediate riders and is the perfect way to familiarise yourself with how beautiful the Gold Coast Hinterland can be.
To get here just head to the top of Mount Tamborine at the end of Wongawallan Road.
Illinbah is on private property and you’ll need to get in touch with the Gold Coast Mountain Biking Club to find out when they’re heading out for a scheduled ride. If you can make it, you’ll get onto one of the most advanced tracks in Australia… and a former National Championship trail.
Pretty much everywhere, Cairns
Grab your downhill, cross-country, road bike, scooter and pretty much anything else with wheels and get to Cairns.
Not only is Smithfield Mountain Biking Park so good it hosts the UCI World Championships, it’s also the tip of the iceberg.
Glen may make a nicely manicured and technically sexy track but what if you want to get a bit wild? The Cassowary Coast offers up…
The Gorrell Track, Mena Creek
Inland from Mission Beach (see: “heaven” or “why haven’t I moved here”) there is a hidden trail deep, deep, deep in the forest.
Head to Mena Creek, by taking the Silkwood-Japoon Rd turnoff from the Bruce Highway, it will turn into the Innisfail-Japoon Rd and then turn left down Mena Creek Rd.
Eventually, it will turn into the Gorrell Track, an old fire service road that is now home to snakes, pythons, snakes and other snakes. It’s literally The Jungle Book condensed into a 24km bike ride. Plan your day properly and make like Bilbo Baggins so you leave lots of time to go there and back again.
Spicers Scenic Rim Trail Bike
Whenever the Spicers group does anything it’s worth checking out. But mountain biking is a stretch from degustations and hotels with amazing views…
Don’t worry they know what they’re doing.
From 18 February to 28 November Spicers is bringing you the rugged sport of mountain biking, mixed with the sensual delights of everything else Spicers does best. Over four days and three nights, you’ll fly through trails, tackle tight berms, weave easily through S-bends and all the while, be pampered like a king.
The tour includes bike hire, three nights in purpose-built eco-accommodation and all your food (which will be delicious) and drinks (to ease those sore legs) for $2,290.
They even include a “Comfort Pack” of mossie spray, wet wipes, hand sanitiser, sunscreen and of course a thermal water facial mist. The question is, how will you ever go riding without thermal water facial mist again?
Fantasea Destination Adventure Mountain Bike Retreat
If you’re thinking you need to increase your mountain biking skills, get better at freediving, play some golf and do it surrounded by like-minded people then we maybe have found EXACTLY what you need.
The Fantasea Destination Adventure Mountain Bike Retreat is the trip you never knew you needed, running from 2-5 March 2017 on Magnetic Island.
Over the three days, there are seminars to learn new skills, workshops to practice those skills, strength training to make those skills faster, higher and more muscular.
Then they throw in a freediving workshop and a snorkelling trip around the Moltke shipwreck AND an Ambrose Golf round (pretty much super fast golf) and craft beer.
Most of your meals are included and for $375 per person, it’s a steal. They also offer accommodation in dorms for $25 per night.
Fantasea Destination also offers a women’s mountain bike retreat, which includes all of the aforementioned activities but instead of golf, you do yoga on one of the sexiest beaches on Maggie – Horseshoe Bay – for a grand total of $355 per person, with accommodation in a dorm for $25 per night.