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Wildside MTB race 2010

Posted on 5 Feb 2010 | 0 comments

The Wildside mountain bike race is a bi-annual event in the west of Tasmania, it is held over 4 days and several stages and the organisers set up tents and bring in the catering for each day of riding. You ride a total of 152km of competitive stages and 62km of connecting, cruising stages. In 2010 there were 450 riders at the start.

map of Wildside 2010 with the route and different stage for days 1 and 2

map of Wildside 2010 with the route and different stage for days 1 and 2

map of Wildside 2010 with the route and different stage for days 3 and 4

map of Wildside 2010 with the route and different stage for days 3 and 4

We decided to fly over to Tassie from Perth for two weeks and first ride Wildside, and then hike the Overland track. We had contacted the organisers and they were happy to drop us off at the Cradle Mountain area after the race as they were transferring people and bikes back to Launceston anyway, and the route goes straight past there.

We ended up with 99kg of gear that we had to try and get on the plane without paying for access luggage, and with the help of some tracksuit pants and pockets, we managed to bring the checked-in weight down to 64kg (the maximum allowed for two people with gold status). The Qantas lady at the check-in counter was not happy and tried to catch us out at the boarding gate, but staff there were happy to let us on board.

Ian F was also riding and Marie followed with a big motorhome. It was fun to catch up with them on each day. When we arrived at the start area we registered ourselves and got our starting numbers to put on our bikes.

As we are writing this 14 years later we can’t quite remember the details, but we do remember that it is usually a very, very muddy ride. In 2010 however, it had been very dry in the months leading up to the race and whilst there were still a few puddles and mud on the route, we enjoyed a relatively mud-free race and glorious sunshine during the four days of riding.

Some of our memories are a bit hazy, but we remember riding across the beach at Strahan on the last day, having a shower at Tullah in a small tent cubicle around the fire hose and a time-trial on one of the days where you were set off in pairs based on your riding times until then. There was also a tunnel at some point, a very narrow swing bridge past the Montezuma Falls which was challenging walking across with a bike, and Jude got stung by a bee and her leg swelled up like a balloon. Luckily there were medics at the race and they gave her some strong anti-histamines so she could continue the race.

It was a stunning area of Tasmania to ride through and we were super happy we had made the effort to go. Here are some photos from that race:

Day 1 – Cradle Valley to Tullah (competition 36km, cruising 35km)

  • Cruise stage Pencil Pine 4km (tarmac)
  • Competition stage Cradle 16km (20% single track, 20% gravel road, 60% 4WD) grass dirt gravel mud rocks creek crossings (Jon 18.37, Jude 24.05)
  • Cruise stage The Vale 14km (tarmac)
  • Lunch
  • Competition stage Que River 20km (40% gravel road, 60% 4WD) gravel dirt mud (Jon 27.19, Jude 37.49)
  • Cruise stage Boco 15km (tarmac)
  • Camp in Tullah
route day 1 Wildside 2010

route day 1 Wildside 2010

Day 2 – Tullah to Zeehan (competition 52km, cruising 12km)

  • Cruise stage Murchison 5km (tarmac)
  • Competition stage Sterling Valley 14km (15% gravel road, 15% 4WD, 70% single/quad track) gravel dirt mud (Jon 28.37, Jude 40.03) – a lot of rocky climbing and a wild, descent with lots of tree roots
  • Lunch
  • Competition stage Montezuma Falls 38km (20% bitumen, 50% 4WD, 30% tramway) bitumen gravel dirt mud creek crossings (Jon 49.59, Jude 1.04.48)
  • Cruise stage Dundas 6.5km (99% tarmac)
  • Camp in Zeehan
route day 2 Wildside 2010

route day 2 Wildside 2010

Day 3 – Granville Harbour to Zeehan (competition 28km, cruising 15km)

  • Competition stage (time trial) Spray Tunnel 6km (30% gravel road, 50% single track, 20% fire track) gravel dirt mud creek crossings (Jon 9.47, Jude 12.20)
  • Cruise stage Trial Harbour 15km (white gravel road)
  • Lunch
  • Competition stage Granville Harbour 22km (10% gravel road, 90% rough 4WD track) gravel, dirt, mud, creek crossings, severe washouts (Jon 38.46, Jude 53.17) – some steep climbs and fast, rocky and rutted descents
  • Camp in Strahan
route day 3 Wildside 2010

route day 3 Wildside 2010

Day 4 – Strahan to Strahan (competition 36km)

  • Competition stage Hells Gates 36km (25% tarmac, 20% gravel road, 25% 4WD track, 10% single track, 20% beach) bitumen gravel sand soft in places (Jon 28.59, Jude 34.33) – includes riding on Ocean Beach, taking in Hell’s Gates and the gateway to Macquarie Harbour. From the beach it’s soft sandy trails up and down until you reach the finish line in Strahan
  • Lunch / finish
route day 4 Wildside 2010

route day 4 Wildside 2010

General classification 3.22.01 for Jon (109 out of 153 men veteran), 4.26.37 for Jude (22 out of 27 women veteran)

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