Day in the life | Tracey Hannah part 2
In case you missed part 1, catch up here as we joined Tracey Hannah for a look into her life during the off-season of racing World Cup Downhill.
Last time we explored rainforest creeks, hit the trails in the Smithfield Mountain Bike Park, soaked in the sun at Palm Cove and hung out with friends during an evening Pump track session.
With the World Championship Mountain Bike Trials coming to Cairns in September 2017, now seems like the perfect time to check out just why the area is so well received, and loved by those who live here, and those who visit. We pick up with Tracey again, as we roll into the heart of Cairns CBD, along the Esplanade.
Cairns is a thriving and bustling tourism destination. On any day while moving about the Esplanade, you can spot thousands upon thousands of tourists (or locals) enjoying some sun and and possibly taking a dip into the ocean-front lagoon.
Lined with restaurants and hotels as far as the eye can see, the Esplanade also boasts a smooth, wide footpath dedicated to cyclists. Or in our case, Tracey on her skateboard – a perfectly acceptable form of transport for moving about under the palms and past the tourists.
Noted as the first true Downhill trail in Australia, the legend of the Kuranda DH Trail has spread world-wide over the last 30 years and is a must-do for any Mountain Biking enthusiast visiting Cairns. Case in point, come the World-Championships you will find not only Tracey, but a host of athletes getting some last minute ride time in (acclimatising to the Cairns climate most likely) down the rough, technical descent guided by locals happy to show off their trails.
With probably more runs down this trail than most person on Earth (bar her older brother Mick), Tracey knows the track like the back of her hand. But the trail will still always serve as a perfect source of training for her on the bike, with its array of technical features and proximity to home.
Great Ocean Motorbike Rides
When you are a top athlete in Mountain Biking – it is almost guaranteed you will enjoy some time on a motorbike. Tracey is no exception, with herself and dad being motorbike enthusiasts. When the sun is out and the oceans calm, the Captain Cook Highway is an absolutely perfect route for a cruise on the motorbikes.
It’s no wonder Cairns was picked as a host destination for the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship. The cycle leg of the race leaves Palm Cove, heads to Port Douglas along the Great Barrier Reef Drive and comes back into Cairns along the same road. It’s not hard to see why it was touted as one of the best drives in Australia! Towering mountain ranges fall dramatically to the ocean, with the highway carving its way along the fringes of the shore, and ducking in and out of ridge lines and over small ranges – all creating a fun, flowing and stunningly picturesque ride.
Another toy in the garage for her time off at home, Tracey loves a good session on the jetski. The ability to launch just around the corner from home – Tracey has access to the Great Barrier Reef right at her fingertips. Buzzing along the coast on a calm day brings no end of excitement, tucking around the rocky points that separate the coconut tree lined suburbs of the Northern Beaches before zipping across to Double Island.
It certainly provides another perspective on the place she calls home. Out on the water, the vantage point is breathtaking as the entire Great Dividing Range fills the view from north to south, soaring over the city and suburbs with beaches lined with people enjoying the views outward towards the reef.
Cairns boasts a wide array of options for those seeking adventure in the rainforest or on the reef, either for locals or tourists alike with white water rafting, diving, hot air ballooning, fly boarding, sky diving, bungy jumping, cable ski, jet boating, and of course Mountain Biking all on tap.
It’s not hard to see why Tracey still calls Cairns home. With a gruelling work schedule, travelling the World Cup circuit overseas, Tracey always looks forward to coming back to Cairns for the opportunity to unwind and enjoy time for her own adventures. The region has shaped her lifestyle and how she has grown as an athlete at the top of her sport, and continues to establish itself as a breeding ground for the next generation of riders following in her footsteps.