The sound of chainsaws is not unusual in the forestry hotbed of the North-East.
However, it is customary for them to have chains.
This was not the case on Sunday when such doctored devices joined cowbells, air horns and all manner of other noisy devices to herald the arrival of the mountain bike Enduro World Series to Australian soil, or in this instance mud, for the first time.
If the sounds were a little strange, the sights were even more bizarre.
A somewhat deflated inflatable dinosaur stood next to a human-sized cuddly Minion while a blue fairy flitted between stages casting her spell over all except the weather gods.
A rock star, complete with early Bon Jovi hair and leopard-skin tights, was happy to take Guitar Hero requests, as long as they were for Stairway to Heaven.
A somewhat deflated inflatable dinosaur stood next to a human-sized cuddly Minion while a blue fairy flitted between stages casting her spell over all except the weather gods
And as for the number of people in pyjamas or onesies…
All the above was in the name of a sport where the fans are nearly as crazy as the riders that choose to descend down sheer rock faces at breakneck speeds.
Enduro mountain biking emerged as an alternative to the sport’s downhill discipline and in the five years since being set up by Scotsman Chris Ball, the world series has staged 32 events with Derby becoming its 22nd different host.
Since the 1990 rowing world championships at Lake Barrington, and aside from matches in the 2003 rugby and 2015 cricket world cups, it is difficult to think of Tasmania having a bigger role in a truly global sporting competition.
And even though the weather did its best to endorse mainland stereotypes, Tasmanians still turned out in their thousands to watch riders tackle seven stages involving 57 kilometres and 1500 metres of climbing.
Wandering through the sea of parked bikes at the Devil Wolf Live Site deep in the heart of the Blue Derby trail network, it was impossible to walk 10 metres without seeing a recognisable face.
Throw in an excellent barbecue and the splendid fare of Scottsdale’s Little Rivers Brewing Company and it was like Festivale with bikes.
Imagine what the turnout would have been had it not rained.
Few other sports allow spectators such intimate association with the performers, and both parties seemed to relish the interaction.
Spending some eight hours in the saddle, the 300-strong field from more than 20 countries welcomed a chance to chat and duly said “rad” a lot. And “sick”.
Spectating was a jaw-dropping experience and for all their teen-speak it was impossible not to marvel at the bikemanship of the riders.
Sheer cliff faces that people with an interest in survival would take time to abseil down were conquered in milliseconds while sections little smoother than the aftermath of a landslide were made to look like a billiard table.
It all made for such magnificent viewing that you barely noticed your shoes had taken on board the volume of an Olympic swimming pool.
At the same time, spectators were being treated to a tour of Derby’s many hidden secrets.
From the chute atop the Detonate trail, which looked as welcoming as the hot pools of the last round in Rotorua and accounted for almost as much lost skin, to the stunning views over the town from the top of the aptly-named Trouty, Derby wasn’t shy about showcasing itself.
Meanwhile the rock features of the Black Dragon are enough to give mortal riders nightmares.
In the words of course designer Glen Jacobs: “All trail networks have an iconic feature but in Derby we have about 10.”
Organisers made it abundantly clear that it was the combination of Jacobs’ mesmerising trails and the can-do approach of local government that made the event possible.
Demonstrating the same refusal to be stopped as the riders, local authorities saw no obstacle as insurmountable, overcoming such daunting hurdles as lack of internet coverage with apparent ease.
Showing commendable mastery of alliteration, Dorset Council Mayor Greg Howard said the three biggest tourism drawcards in the North-East were Bridestowe, Barnbougle and Blue Derby.
“Far from being the forgotten corner of Tasmania, the North-East is now a powerhouse of tourism activity,” he said.
It is difficult to disagree.
Whether it be a round of golf, mountain bike ride or sweet-smelling teddy bear that tickles your fancy, the region has got you covered.
And golfers, mountain bikers and teddy bear buyers are generally not short of a cent.