There have been a lot of cool urban mountain bike parks popping up across the US over the past ten or so years. The fun thing that I have been finding when jumping in to a local park, is they all have their own unique qualities and flavor. They all flow different. Usually that depicts who the actual construction crew was, which includes there own personal likes and dislikes. This has made for some awesome mountain bike park terrain features out there.
I have made a goal for myself to explore a new urban mountain bike park every year. Just to get out there and experience first hand what super sweet flow line I might be missing out on. I am not a big hitter, I am very content with big tables, wood ramps to dirt etc., I dig technical single track and medium jump lines, which is why I think I have taken such interest to the urban mountain bike parks. There is so much emphasis put into the different ranges of skill level. So it has fit my skill set. Which in turn sucks me in to want to” rip that new line I found”.
Mountain bike parks really make me envious of the youth today. There is so much opportunity for them now a days, right out the front door. I think these mountain bike parks will help over time to elevate the sport of cycling into the mainstream media, similar to what euro countries have now. It would be huge to have more emphasis toward cycling, which populates money, to keep funding flowing to support simple upkeep and upgrades annually to urban mountain bike parks.
One of my Favorites:
Duthie Hill Park is 120 acres of dense evergreen forest located on the Sammamish Plateau. It is connected to more than 2,000 acres of public open space that includes Grand Ridge Park, Mitchell Hill Forest and Preston Ridge Park.
The lush forest of Douglas firs and western hemlocks provides an excellent backdrop for a mountain bike park, which is a CPG project currently under development by Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
Hiking, mountain biking
From I-90 east, take Exit 18, East Sunset Way – Highlands Drive. Stay left on Highlands Drive and follow for 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Issaquah-Fall City Road and follow for 2 miles. At Endeavor Elementary School, the road becomes Duthie Hill Road. Follow it for one mile and turn right into the park. There is a small parking lot next to the maintenance shop.
New For 2012: This is on my list for late summer.
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park will be opening its first lift-accessed alpine mountain bike trail to riders this summer. The alpine trail named “Top of the World” will be accessible from the Peak Chair at the summit of the Mountain and will lead riders into the Garbanzo Zone of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. The opening of the new trail will increase the Mountain Bike Park’s vertical by 1,091 feet bringing the total vertical to 4,946 feet. With over 60 trails and 4,946 feet of vertical the Mountain Bike Park offers a ton of trails.
Beginning at the top of the Peak Chair on Whistler Mountain, Top of the World takes riders through one of the most visually spectacular alpine environments on the planet. A layer of soft tacky dirt covers the alpine trail as it winds its way through three climate zones including Whistler’s Alpine Tundra and Mountain Hemlock zones before finishing in a coastal rainforest. Riding in the alpine is a unique experience and Whistler’s expansive and vast mountains make it a visually spectacular setting.
“Top of the World will blow your mind,” says Whistler Mountain Bike Park Manager Brian Finestone. ”It takes the flow Whistler Mountain Bike Park is famous for and drops it on the peak of Whistler Mountain. With some of the world’s best riding set against the granite spires of the Coast Range Top of the World is the pinnacle of alpine riding.”
One hundred riders each day will be granted access to this special trail.
Riding the Peak Chair will require a separate lift ticket which will cost riders $15 in addition to their Bike Park pass. The Peak Zone ticket will be valid for one upload of the Peak Chair and
is recommended for advanced riders.
“Top of the World is a technical downhill single-track trail and is suitable for advanced all-mountain, free-ride and downhill mountain bikers.”
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is scheduled to open for the 2012 bike season on May 18, with the Peak Zone likely opening in mid -July.