Going into its fourth year, the Bike Buller mountain bike festival has shifted to a long weekend on March 10-12. The three-day celebration of singletrack will coincide with the popular "Picnic in the Park" food, wine and music festival held at the base of Mt. Buller in Australia.
For the first time, the new Copperhead Trail, freshly built by trail building guru Glen Jacobs, will be incorporated into the activities. It is a mix between a beginner downhill and a cross country trail, and it will be ridden top-to-tail as part of the stage 3 Cornhill Cranker race. Sixty percent of it will also feature in the stage 2 Brakeburner Enduro.
"Copperhead is a unique concept, incorporating a flow country style but with a downhill edge," said Jacobs in announcing the trail's creation recently. "We've incorporated a few of our innovations from over the years to create a trail that will suit both downhill and cross country bikes and all types of riders."
Other changes to the line-up include the addition of a 30km option for riders wanting to take things easier than the tough 50km cross country course demands, while those riding the five-hour Brakeburner Enduro will now finish among the throngs enjoying the party atmosphere of the food, wine and music festival at the bottom of the mountain.
The festival is designed to cater for riders of all abilities. It will also include a Bike Expo and the Merrijig Rodeo.
"New trails, bigger parties, more fun for everyone, riders and non-riders - it's shaping up to be a big long weekend," said event organiser Sam Maffet of Rapid Ascent. "We're pretty excited that ours will be the first event to get stuck into the new Copperhead Trail, and we're planning a few tweaks to really make sure Bike Buller cements its place as the biggest mountain bike party on the calendar."
For more information, visit www.bikebuller.com.
2012 Bike Buller
Stage 1 - A Stirling Circuit: 30km or 50km cross country over Mt Stirling and back again on the new "Stonefly" singletrack and other flowing trails in an alpine setting.
Stage 101 - The Kids Race: 10km: held on the singletrack around the village
Stage 2 - The 5hr Brakeburner Enduro: a five-hour multi-lap enduro down a flowing cross country-downhill course where you catch the lift up as part of each 6km lap including part of the new Copperhead trail, until the final 12km descent Super D Mt Buller to the food and music festival at the bottom of the mountain. Suitable for cross country bikes.
Stage 2b - The Mt Buller Super D: a friendly 12km top to bottom race down a flowing 1,100m vertical descent to festival at the base of the hill. Suitable for cross country bikes.
Stage 3 - Cornhill cranker: 25km cross country on the flowing singletrack around the Mt Buller village and neighbouring Corn Hill, taking in the new Copperhead trail top to bottom.