The Mountain Bike Life

I seem to make the trip to lift accessed trails about once a year. This year there happened to be a race in the California Enduro Series, which I have been writing about her on the blog, at Northstar Resort. This time, instead of a race report, I thought that I would discuss my thoughts on bike park trails.

One of the trails that we raced on last weekend was Northstar’s signature trail, Livewire. Livewire, like many bike park trails, is a jump trail. It is packed with sweeping corners and table top jumps ranging from small to large. The popularity of trails like this is not a surprise, with trails like Whistler’s A­Line gaining worldwide fame.


Ski lifts are amazingly practical | Photo: Ryan Simonovich

Jump trails like these definitely have their benefits. After riding this trail well over 10 times over the course of the weekend, I feel like a better jumper. This is especially interesting since I was on a 29er. I was not sure how my long travel enduro 29er would handle all of the jumps, but I actually felt really confident on the bike.

The fun factor at bike parks is endless. Who doesn’t like dropping down a mountain multiple times with practically no uphill? That is of course if you don’t mind the cost of a lift ticket, which is well worth it in my opinion. There are only a couple of negatives that I can think of. The first being how rough they are. I love rough trails, but you must pay a price to ride them. Bikes are broken extremely easily. Spokes loosen, suspension is pushed to the limits, and dérailleurs are torn off. The other negative is how easy it is to get hurt. With lift serviced trails, you are constantly being fed trail. Sooner or later you will get fatigued and crash. Instead of flying off of a jump you are flying off of your bike.

Twisting single track through the forest is always refreshing. | Photo: Ryan Simonovich

Twisting single track through the forest is always refreshing.
| Photo: Ryan Simonovich

Everybody loves bike parks. I love riding bike parks as well. They are some of the best riding memories that I have. However there are a few downsides. Everything has a time and place. Bike parks are fun, but you also can not beat a 12 inch ribbon of singletrack in a secluded area. Fun is all about balance.

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