I heard these words a little over a year ago and I was quite offended. Cross country riding is how I cut my teeth in mountain biking, it’s still what I ride the most…at least until a couple of weeks ago.
Gravity riding has never been a part of my two-wheeled life for one reason or another. Too crazy, too dangerous, not enough riding uphill…. Not sure why
Besides, it’s about time that I learned to ride a ski lift.
Just up the road from Eagle is a town called Vail and they have some downhill trails. The good news is they’re building some new ones and they’re waaaaay better than what is there now. The week before last we hauled our rigs up the valley to preview the new stuff and ride the current routes for comparison. After a few trips up the lift and down the mountain I wasn’t so impressed with the trails, but I was hooked on the experience.
A week later I was doing it all over again at Winter Park, the crown jewel of downhill riding in Colorado. Working as part of the media for the Crankworx Freeride Festival, I knew I had to spend some time previewing the events from the seat of a ‘big’ bike. Equipped with a Trek Session, a full complement of gear, and one run down the Rainmaker, I confirmed my future as a downhiller. I’m not ashamed, not at all. In fact, I’m proud that I finally came to my senses and expanded the breadth of my riding opportunities.
During the rest of my stay in Winter Park I was blown away by not only the sheer amount of people riding the Trestle Bike Park, but also by the presence of the most women I’ve ever seen riding bikes. These folks are on to something. The most obvious thing is that they’re having so much fun.
I’m quite aware that I will never reach the ‘rad’ stage in my new found love for riding downhill. It doesn’t matter, I’m just looking forward to those fleeting moments of weightlessness, the kind that scare me just a little bit…in a good way of course.