155 – Step Into The Wilderness with Dirt Art and Maydena Bike Park
On episode #155 we are chatting with Managing Director and Owner of Dirt Art and Maydena Bike Park Simon French, about building trails, surviving Covid, buying and developing a bike park, making mistakes, dealings with the government and having a blast while doing it.
Have you ever been to Tasmania? Have you had a look at their trail centres? Ever checked out MTB YouTube footage of Tasmania? If you have then you know where this is going, but if you haven’t be prepared to drool over your phone or PC, because Tasmania has it all, from the trails to the scenery to the awesome people, and Maydena Bike Park is one of those such places. So, it was awesome to get Simon on the show and chat not only about his trail building company, Dirt Art but how he came to design, build and ultimately own Maydena Bike Park.
Simon has years of experience in the mountain bike industry and chatting with him, owning a bike park seems to be the natural direction to broaden his passions and skills. It was great to chat to someone who both builds trails and runs a bike park, Simon gives us a real insight into what it takes to lease land, deal with government departments, design trails for all skill levels with environmental concerns in mind at every step and run a sustainable business. Simon is for sure keeping himself busy and has massive plans to develop the bike park into so much more over the next number of years, and I believe he will. Keep an eye on this space as they say.
Join me as I chat with Simon about running a trail building company, how he came to be the owner of a bike park and his future plans for more adventure!
Enjoy the show!
- When Simon started Dirt Art
- How that transitioned into buying Maydena Bike Park
- The process in opening a bike park
- Why Tasmania is a mecca for mountain biking
- Why the trails are so good
- How Simon and his Dirt Art team charge for building trail networks
- What Maydena Bike Park has to offer the visiting rider
- What to expect from the 100+ km of trail networks
- How the park has been extended since opening a few years ago
- The great facilities available at Maydena Bike Park
- The 9 day 2021 XCO and DH National Championships being held in March
- How bike parks have changed over the years
- How to find out more and get in contact
When chatting with Simon you can tell he is really passionate about what he does, even though he is maybe stuck behind the computer a little more these days than he would like. His Dirt Art business has normally a number of projects on the go at anyone time and Simon and his crew work all over the globe, doing everything from trail building to trail consultancy and design. Simon seems to spend a good bit of his time travelling on a plane, visiting potential clients and sorting out contracts, but the Covid pandemic has put a hold on all that and I think Simon is happy with the break. More time to spend on updating Maydena trails and getting himself back on the machinery, even cutting a few trails himself.
When Simon got the opportunity to purchase Maydena Bike Park he travelled quite a bit, visiting other trail centres and checking out how people were building different types of trail networks in other areas across the globe. His vision for Maydena was more than a gravity park, he wanted to incorporate an enduro feel to the network and give the rider a number of different options to explore from top to bottom. Yes you can hit the black lines with large jumps and loads of technical features but you can also jump on blue’s with more flow and make your way down the mountain choosing different trails with different features as you make your way down, it really has it all.
The trail network has almost 100 km, 70+ individual trails and 820 meters of vertical elevation. Simon and the Dirt Art crew have been busy working on a network of green trails as they have been noticing an increase in families visiting the park and wanted to offer them a more friendly user section, that they can build their confidence on and get the kids ripping in no time. The facilities at that park are always improving and come opening time on the 26th September 2020, they will be even better. They will have all your normal stuff like toilets, great bike hire etc…but they also have just built a new restaurant more aimed at families and fine dining and they also have the Summit Cafe & Bar which sits at 1100 meters above sea level and gives 360 degree views!
The park is always being updated with stuff like airbags, jump park, a dirt pump track and a tonne of different coaching lessons you can take to build your skill and confidence on the bike and on the trails. Simon and his crew are keeping busy and if all things go well in the near future, will have an awesome facility for not just mountain bikers, but families and anybody looking for a bit of fun and excitement.
So join us as we chat about building trails, buying bike parks and why you should visit Tasmania.
Thanks for being here. Enjoy the show!
To Connect with Simon, Dirt Art & Maydena Bike Park:
Maydena Website: www.maydenabikepark.com
Dirt Art Website: www.dirtart.com.au
Simon’s Instagram: simonfrench.mtb
Maydena YouTube: MaydenaBikePark
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Thanks to Simon for coming on the show and telling us all about Dirt Art & Maydena Bike Park!
And thanks to you for tuning in and being a part of the show!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.