Words by Jessee Maule
Photos/Film: Colt & Jessee Maule

Bike parks…feet dangling, the gentle swaying of the lift as it carries you upward. There is just something about being sky high, surveying the runs below from a bird’s eye view that gives my heart a little extra flutter. It’s almost as if my senses are heightened with anticipation, just knowing the moment I hop off the lift, it’s time to shred.

The month of June found us in New Mexico and Arizona, exploring a couple of bike parks nestled in the mountains of these southwestern states.

The journey to Angel Fire Mountain Resort gave us a bit of a sense of pseudo-isolation. Absent was the feeling of the hustle and bustle, the rush that mainstream cities can often inflict you with. In its place, the solitary town of Angel Fire welcomed us with relaxed vibes and a small town feel.

Angel Fire’s slopes offer numerous run options. Divergent terrain gives the resort a unique characteristic, as well as providing any rider with a choice of numerous trails and varying levels of technical riding to challenge themselves with.

Remnants of volcanic activity from eons past are present still to this day in the form of porous rocks littering many of the trails across the mountain. A call of an elk resonates periodically through the air. The austere beauty of the surroundings and contented atmosphere of Sunrise Mountain Resort makes for a prime riding area to escape the searing heat characteristic of the low-lying Arizona cities in the summer months.

Dense patches of forest had us dodging and weaving through the pines, opening up from time to time into high speed, chunky ribbons of singletrack.

In some ways, we found riding at Sunrise akin to taking a step back in time. The trails are raw, and generally seem to follow a natural course of their own down the mountain.

For the most part, Sunrise Resort lets the natural grade of the mountain challenge the rider, only helping to complete or enhance the existing terrain with manmade additions when the need calls for it.

As is common with any lift-accessed area that nixes arduous climbs and provides ample gravity-fed terrain to explore and tear up, we were hesitant to leave, but satisfied to know these diverse resorts await our (hopefully) eventual return. For, like any good trail or riding location, we departed with that intense desire for more.

Projekt Roam was founded by husband and wife, Colt and Jessee Maule in 2010. It has been their mission to travel North America in search of places that celebrate the unparalleled beauty and freedom of not only the bike, but the terrain we ride as well. Plan your own trip to Angel Fire, NM or Sunrise, AZ and check out more photos, film, and riding locations throughout North America at www.gravityrideguide.com

Thanks to our sponsors for some great product and to all of our new friends who have helped us out along the way, ride on.