The summer is here and we can't think of anything we would rather do than ride bike parks. This year we’ll will hit up ten different bike parks in three states while on on The Heavy Pedal Tour. We are headed back to bike parks we rode last year to see what is new and different and we will also be visiting two new bike parks; Big Bear in California and Aspen in Colorado. We are super stoked to share our adventures with you as we shred the best bike parks of the Western United States this summer.
Stop #1 Trestle Bike Park, Winter Park, Colorado
Our first stop on the tour was at Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado. This stop was essential because the Colorado Freeride Festival was underway and we wanted to rub elbows with the true acrobats of the sport and provide More Cowbell when needed. We rode Trestle last year on the Heavy Pedal Tour 2012 and deemed it high on our list of best bike parks in the United States.
Our time spent at Winter Park was off to a rough start as we were trying to change the cleats out on a pair of riding shoes. The bolts were so badly stripped that we had to take them to Bike Source in the village so Adam "tool-time" Ziegler could drill them out. We restrained our tongues to avoid the on going argument between the two of us about clipless vs. flats (Natty is clipped, Trey runs flats).
After our shoe debacle, we finally headed up the lift only to get stuck in a thunderstorm. We made one soggy run down the mountain before the lifts were shut down, and we were shut out. We pouted and headed back under the awning of our camper. There, we waited out the storm.
Basically, here's how it works at Trestle: if there is any lightning within a five-mile radius , the resort has to shut down the lifts. They reset a timer for thirty minutes every time lightning strikes. Once thirty minutes has passed without any lightning strikes, the lifts start up again. So, we sat at the camper for almost three hours!
Once the storm cleared, we finally got to hit the trails again. It is amazing how quickly the trails dry at Trestle. The dirt is sparkling crushed-granite. After your muddy kit dries it looks like a glitter fairy has doused you just before a midnight rave. With only a couple hours to ride,on our first day back at Trestle, we stuck to familiar trails without any wooden features. Rain, mud, and wood are not always good company. Our motto this summer is: Stay Healthy…No Face Plants-Lawn Darts-Augers-or Yard Sales After a few laps down some trusted trails, we quickly remembered that Trestle is incredibly blessed with tacky dirt following their daily thunderstorms.
The next morning we were stoked at the thought of a full day of riding ahead of us. As we were gearing up we noticed the chair lift was not running. We asked a fellow mountain biker what was going on and he said the chair lift had been struck by lightning the night before. There was no ETA on when it would be back online again. However, there was a short lift that would take us up for a quick rip back down. We decided to go up the short lift a few times as a warm-up; with high hopes that the big chair would be running again soon.
As we finagled our bikes onto this lift, we began to have doubts that we would ever see the big lift run again. We were a little grumpy as we rode the short lift up, but to our amazement, we saw the most mouth-watering, terrifying, trail beneath our feet. It's a new trail, one that should be up and running soon. This trail makes Whistler look like a little girl. The new trail's name is Hot Wheels! and it's hard to describe the thing without using expletives. We didn't get a chance to ride Hot Wheels, although views from the chair lift cast doubts that we will ever be skilled enough or have the balls to truly give'r!
Space Ape, on the other hand, was open for business (and it means it). It's a black diamond trail with multiple jumps and rocky sections. The Ape is short, but it will not let down the air junkies. Some people were even saying that Space Ape is the best trail on the mountain. It's hard to argue with that statement, but there are some really amazing trails at Trestle. The big lift never opened that day, but they did manage to open a mid-mountain lift later in the afternoon. We made one trek up from the mid-mountain lift and rode another one of our favorite trails called, Trestle Downhill. This is a double black diamond, tech-gnar trail. It's considered a double black, mostly for the massive wooden drop-in (squirrel catcher) at the beginning. Most people see the drop in and put their tail between their legs, or they send it huge, and call it butter.
Trestle Bike Park, remains at the top of our list. They have an amazing trail crew that works hard to keep this place on the podium among bike parks in the US. Trestle is a place we will come back to every year. Even with our frustrations while there, we still had an amazing time!
Hot Wheels (In my dreams)
Beer bottles broken: 3 (Never open your car door with beer bottles leaning against said door)