In September of 2018, I took a 3-week road trip around the western states with my camera and my mountain bike. While on that trip, I randomly drove through the Rocky Mountains and, like many before me, fell in love with Colorado. On the advice of a friend, and while looking for a place to ride for the day, I stopped in Winter Park to ride my first ever bike park.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Don’t get me wrong – we have some of the most amazing bike trails in the world right here in our backyard. We are as blessed as an old dirt hound can possibly feel being able to ride all this sweet singletrack. But the concept of a “bike park” is foreign to us. We don’t have anything like that around here. The most we can hope for is a local pump track in terms of commercially-maintained dirt. Our local Cunningham Bike Park is a prime example of this; super fun, but not very exciting after about 45 minutes.
I arrived at Trestle Bike Park, Winter Park’s Summer mountain bike resort name, at about 7:00 a.m. I walked around the place a bit before it opened and liked what I saw. When I returned to my 4Runner, I saw another dude pulling his bike out of his truck so I asked him if he knew the trails and what to expect from this “bike park” thing. He offered to ride with me all day.
If you ski, then this isn’t much different. You pay for a ticket, make sure your equipment is up to snuff, take a lift to the top, and let gravity do the rest. It’s pretty simple, except that sometimes the signage isn’t as clear as you might like. I was confused a few times coming down the mountain and, if Chet had not been there to direct me, I probably would have ended up on some trails that were above my pay grade.
Cheston was a life saver and a true friend.
Well, the day was an incredible one. Trestle Bike Park was filled with all sorts of interesting flow, features, drops, and sweet singletrack. It was the perfect primer for an experienced rider who is a little bit advanced in years but still wants to ride hard and enjoy a great day on a big mountain.
I have fallen in love with the Mountain Bike Park concept. I’ll definitely be riding more parks in the future, and you can bet that Trestle will be one of them.