Keith Sanders
Mountain Biking with Keith

Check out fun trail features near Winter Park

September is just around the corner. I’m wondering, where did the summer go? I still have quite a few rides on my list of things to do.

Some of those are High Lonesome to Caribou, Rogers Pass (on a clear day), Tipperary to Upper Elk Creek and more as weather allows. I hope that I can get them all in before the snow flies.

Sometimes time just doesn’t allow for that long ride. Life, work and recently weather conspire to interrupt my grand adventures. When that happens I like to mix up my rides a bit by adding a some fun. Fortunately this can be done with whatever time you have available.

Part of the design of many of our new trails and reroutes is taking natural features of the trail and using those to create an optional play feature on the trail. These are most commonly rocks but can be ladders, skinnys (narrow feature), berms or others. These type of features can create a whole new experience. It also allows a variety of riders to have different experiences on the same trail.

The reroutes of WTB and Sunset Pink in the D4 area just west of Winter Park have many of those features. This is a great place to have some fun or to practice and improve your skills. There are a variety of rocks to roll over both up and down and a fun skinny to test your balance. These trails are close to town, which allows you to easily access them for a quick ride or incorporate them into a longer adventure. It’s also a great place to ride with someone of a different skill level as there is something for everyone.

Tips about features

• If the feature is challenging, take a minute to look it over and analyze what you will do.

• Look ahead. Your balance is better when looking forward.

• Judge your speed properly. Too fast can end poorly. Too slow and you are pedaling too much, which may cause you to struggle to get over the obstacle.

• When going over a challenge your weight should be light on your hands. This transfers weight and balance to your feet. It also moves your center of gravity back without being a conscious thought.

• Try the feature in reverse. Often it is an entirely different experience.

• There are “inner kids” inside of all of us. Be sure to let them out on a regular basis.

Group rides

Beavers Sports Shop at the Best Western in Winter Park does a weekly group ride on Fridays at 6 p.m. Intermediate and above skill level. Come join in! 970-726-5988.

Trail work day

Aug. 30, to address some areas of the Chainsaw trail. Mark your calendar. Meet at the St. Louis Creek Campground at 8:45 a.m. Email me for more info on what to bring etc.

Looking for more information? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. Great site by the Winter Park Chamber!

Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach him at keith@winterparkskirental.com


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Sep 2, 2014 02:20PM Published Aug 28, 2014 09:45AM Copyright 2014 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.