Have you thought to yourself that you could use a little adrenaline in your life? Maybe your not dreaming of doing backflips but you like the idea of getting your heart pumping. You likely have seen some Red Bull bike video’s where men go hurling down a mountain where the climax is an epic crash. Although that’s what my Mom might think I do… its definitely NOT what I do.
I grew up riding bikes around the farm, on gravel roads and through the fields. I was not a “biker” and definitely was not competing in all the glorious kid races offered today. When my bike broke, I didn’t get new one… I just moved on to different hobbies. Then, after college was over and it was time to start “adulting” my snowboard buddies started buying bikes. They quickly became addicted. A year later, my friend Alex said “you know, I think I like biking more then snowboarding”. I was in shock. Snowboarding WAS our favorite sport – ever! How could my friends be “moving on”?
I went to Whistler on a conference for work back a few years ago. As I wandered around, I saw all the energy in the bike park. Adrenaline pumping, high-fives, bros everywhere, big hits on the jumps… it was like they were all pro’s. But after a closer look there were kids all over the place doing exactly the same, and it looked like a lot of fun! I decided to skip a few sessions at the conference and signed up for a lesson, rented a bike and suited up with my full face helmet, elbow and knee pads. The instructor told us about all the “basics” of riding a bike and showed us how to load the bikes on the chairlift. Then we were off, into the sky and up the mountain… with our bikes.
If you are at all familiar with skiing, the runs in the bike park are rated for different levels of riders- green, blue, black and double black. If you are looking at a trail map, the runs are listed from easiest at the top to hardest at the bottom- knowing this you know where to start as you tackle the mountain for the first time. Our favorite bike parks Panorama, Silver Star and Whistler all have excellent beginner runs. Did you know there are kids as young as 4 years old loading their bikes and cruising down the trails? If a four year old that just lost her training wheels can hit the trails in the bike park, so can you!
Here are a few tips for your first visit to a bike park…
Make the most out of your summer, go get out there. This is one adventure that can cater to all abilities… and your selfies will be epic, I promise!
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