It's now time to get down and dirty on the Smithfield trails for Gravitate
THE trails have been prepped, the jumps smoothed and the dirt bowl tweaked.
The annual festival, now in its second year, was officially launched at Cable Ski Cairns last night and will continue at Smithfield today with the start of the downhill competition.
Hundreds of riders from Australia and New Zealand have come to Cairns for the event, which has grown massively this year thanks to word of mouth.
For Luke Lanza (pictured), it is a welcome return home after working in the IT industry recently in London and Sydney.
"There is nothing like this to do anywhere else," he said.
"I grew up riding tracks near Kuranda and just used to ride my bike all through my childhood. It’s a different kind of fun."
Luke was among a group of riders getting some last-minute practice on the downhill trail yesterday morning and he said the trails were in mint condition for the week ahead.
All the trails in the Smithfield area have been revamped in recent months and have had a massive increase in traffic.
Last week more than 2000 bikes used the facility, a staggering statistic that confirms its popularity in the region. Cairns Mountain Bike club president Frank Falappi hoped more than 1000 people would watch or compete this week.
"This weekend and next weekend are our big events, but there are things on all week that suit any and all riders," he said.
"And hopefully some of the BMX guys here for Queensland titles want to come and show their stuff as well."
Sunday’s downhill finals and next Saturday’s Jungle Bowl Dirt Jam will feature, but for a full schedule of events, visit www.cairnsmtb.com
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Nice ride: Luke Lanza prepares for the Gravitate Mountain Bike Festival at the revitalised Smithfield trail.