Hardline Tasmania: Jim Monro is half a World away

February 29th, 2024

The 10th Red Bull Hardline moved to Tasmania last weekend, for the latest evolution of the World’s most progressive Downhill race, pushing riders and their equipment to the very edge of what’s possible on 2 wheels.  

The Dyfi Dig Crew was well-represented with “Hardline Mastermind” Dan Atherton on hand to guide both the event and our riders, Hardline veteran Jim Monro and his Dig Crew buddy Dennis Luffman who took on the mind-blowing Australian course in his jeans and on Athy’s borrowed A200! 

Dan said “The course is long with a good mix of natural and man-made features, it’s the culmination of 10 years of progression. The sport has moved on so much; that first year back in 2014 we were all so nervous, there were so many crashes, so many equipment fails, this year’s riders aren’t batting an eyelid at 70-foot jumps…” 

We checked in with Jim to get his impressions of the first non- Welsh event and how the A200 performed in a very different world… 

JM: "Hardline is the whole reason I started to ride -  my mum brought me to watch the event in Dinas Mawddyd in 2015 and I was completely hooked. I finished up my GCSEs then moved to the Dyfi to work with Dan on the Dig Crew and ride my bike, anything I’ve done after that like riding World Cups comes second, Hardline is always going to be so sick for me – getting the call up again this year is unreal.

I got top ten last year in Wales so I was looking for a call-up, it’s an invitational event and kind of a big deal, at first it looked like it was off the cards so I put it out of my head but two weeks before we got the call! Me and Dennis were already in Queenstown so we hopped on a pretty short flight. We didn’t know what to expect but it was sick, we were stoked to be there and would definitely do it again.


So in terms of prep we were riding McGazza fest the other day which was sick but honestly for me it wasn’t so much the jumps I had to prepare for it was more putting together a full race run, keeping tyres on the ground on the technical bits. I’ve been riding a lot of big jumps so I feel that’s more my comfortable side at the moment, the loose blown out corners are something I don’t do as much but the A200 tracks so well that it makes it easier. This year I’ve just been riding as much as I can, hardly working, we live super cheap! I’m definitely getting more used to riding in the dust but nothing’s quite like riding at home!


The Welsh and Tassie tracks were really different – the Tassie one definitely had a more World Cup feel but with big features you’d never find on a World Cup track so that’s cool. The event itself still feels very much like Hardline with a lot of the same crew and a very similar vibe.  

I feel more confident in Wales even though I’d say the track is harder. I’m more used to the type of terrain; this event had more of a World Cup, kinda loose ground, feel where the Welsh  Hardline is more janky and slimy and slow and rainy, there’s a certain pace you can hit everything, you can’t be flat out everywhere … at this one you could keep pretty pinned, in Wales you have to chill on the gnarly bits. 

There was one straight section on the Maydena course felt like nothing I’d ever ridden before, it fully felt like you were going through the jungle with double over-head height bracken. You’re going super-fast but you wouldn’t want to come off the side ‘cos you’d probably get bitten by a snake or something! It was sick to ride somewhere so different.  

That rock garden at the start was really gnarly – super hard and technical – loads of riders had big crashes but I liked it better than having to do a really hectic run then do something really hard at the bottom, you do it all at the top while you’re fresh. 


People have definitely got to grips with this course faster than in Wales, Ronan’s bike was late so he didn’t get chance to practise – he went up there with one of the other lads and he stopped a few times of course but put in a full run first lap … mind you he is a madman!

I love the big jumps so I wasn’t that scared except to hit the bottom jumps in the wind, it’s just the unpredictability.  Hitting the Welsh road gap first time was definitely the scariest! Having said that I did have some loose moments in practice, there’s a video where I come in far too hot and do a full 360 … but I survived! I’m just so stoked to be here, it feels like a big progression step to have such a successful event in another location and it’s super good having Athy here – he’s pretty straight with us, turning into a full on series could be so sick – unreal.


It made it harder on all the riders that conditions were so changeable, when we first rode it was 30 degrees, no wind, so hot it was almost unbearable to ride in then day three the weather came in and it was really windy, wet and windy. Luckily I feel super comfortable on my DH bike, I’ve spent a lot of time on it in different weather on different terrains, I use it for lots of different things, big jumps and Bike Park laps and World Cup racing and it always feels so good, but I think it’s at Hardline that it feels  the very best,  it’s amazing on the jumps but when you’re trying to go fast and everything just feels like it’s working real good that’s when I love the bike the most. It’s a pretty tough bike the A200, it can go hard! 

Lots of people have asked about settings, it’s always a toss-up between running settings that work for grip in the tech section and the settings needed for the big jumps etc. Same with tyre pressure, there is a lot of G outs so need to keep pressure high but also want to keep them lower for the tech sections - 32 psi on the rear - 27 psi on the front. I was running the stiffest suspension I’ve ever run, 95 psi in the fork with 5 volume spacers and a 550lb spring – I really could’ve done with 600lb for this track there are some pretty big hits! The A200 is built around the DW6 linkage – its really adjustable and sensitive to the small bumps while giving you loads of support on the massive hits, so it feels very stable and planted, honestly I think people do a lot of faffing with their settings, I’m more of a get on the bike and go hard kind of rider – so my settings here aren’t that different to Wales; pump it up for the big stuff and then deal with the rest!  

When it came to racing I had a pretty grim time in quails, it was wetter than it had been through all of practise so I didn’t know what to expect, it was survival mode but we got through it and it was actually good fun! By race day practise was wet but it dried out by my race run, the track was tacky, there were real good conditions and the crowd was insane… still it felt awesome to cross the line!!  


Honestly I’m not that stoked with 17th, I was 7th in Wales last year, I know I can go faster. I made a few mistakes including a big crash just before my race run which blew my tyre off, getting that sorted and back to the top in time felt pretty hectic,  I guess I did feel a bit nervous with it being a new event and first race run in about 6 months but the minute I dropped in I felt the flow – I watched it back and maybe was too chill!

I’m still not sure where I want to go with my career, I just want to progress and ride my bike. Hardline falls into that so well, everyone is just supporting each other and stoked on bikes. It’s the most fun I can have, I’m not sure what racing I’m going to do this year but if there were to be a whole Hardline Series, I’d so be there! 

This week we’re at another event held by one of the Hardline riders, then back to Queenstown to ride as much as I can but also try to save up for a flight back home! I haven’t worked much this trip because I want to ride all the time but we can live pretty cheap! Soon as I save up it’s back to Wales for the Hardline build, live in the van, keep riding… it’s all about the riding.