Trestle Bike Park, Winter Park, Colorado – July 5-6, 2013

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Mountain biking at Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado has been on my “to do” list for a few years.  Winter Park is considered the “Mountain Bike Capital” of the United States.  There are approximately 600 miles of bike trails in the Winter Park/Fraser Valley area.  Trestle Bike Park consists of over 40 miles of downhill trails that are served by three lifts.  The trails were designed by Gravity Logic, the same company that designed the world famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park in Whistler, BC, Canada.  The trails at Trestle are rated just like the ski runs on the mountain, with green being the easiest, blue intermediate, and black expert.

My Mom accompanied me on my trip to keep me company on my drive (and keep me awake).  I enjoyed being able to spend time with her………we had some good laughs together.  While I rode, she hung out in the Village at the base of the mountain and people watched.  There are several activities for kids at the base……zip line, alpine slide, rock climbing wall, miniature golf, maze, bouncy house, etc.  There are also several shops and restaurants in the complex.  She didn’t have any problem finding people to watch………along with all their dogs they brought.  I stopped for lunch both days and we ate together at the Pizza Pedal’r.  It is the #1 rated restaurant in Winter Park and we liked it so much we ate there twice.  Different sized bicycle tires on the wall indicated the pizza sizes offered.

I started off by riding a trail called “Green World” which ran from the top of the mountain clear to the bottom.  It was the only green rated trail I rode.  I mainly rode blue intermediate trails as they were a little more challenging and fun.  I rode one rated blue/black (and ended up black and blue after a crash) and I did ride one black trail.  Most of the riders on the mountain were decked out in full body armor…….full face helmets, chest/back protector, elbow and knee pads, shin guards, even neck braces.  I invested in elbow and knee pads and called that good.  Most riders were also riding true “downhill bikes”.  I rode my Gary Fisher Cake 2, which although it is full-suspension, is really considered a cross country mountain bike.  I’d probably consider renting a downhill bike if I ride here again……….more travel on the suspension would’ve smoothed the ride out a bit.

Riding on these trails demanded your complete attention…….no gawking around.  I looked down at my front sprocket for just a second and nearly hit a tree.  A young man riding in a group ahead of me missed the landing on a double jump and crashed hard.  His friends had called for medical assistance for him.  He had blood running down both elbows and kept asking his friends what happened.  I also noticed that several of the resort employees were sporting casts or bandages.  I ended up with a total of 69 miles and I descended 20,082 feet in elevation.  My max speed was just over 27 mph which is surprising since I was braking 95% of the time to stay in control.

Here are three videos I put together from the footage I shot with my GoPro camera.

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