“These trails are great because kids and beginners can do them over and over again without ever having to pedal uphill, an added convenience when coming up to 8,000 feet from sea level,” said Hendrickson.
Not only are these new additions to the bike park great for families to all learn mountain biking together, but they’re also fast, fun and flowing enough for advanced riders. And for even the smallest shredders, Pioneer Practice Loop circles around the lawn adjacent to the gondola complete with pavers and banked corners.
Just because there has been a focus on beginner riders doesn’t mean that Hendrickson and his crew have forgotten about advanced riders. There are several new trails since last year including an upper Twilight Zone section loaded with huge, paver-lined banked corners that build speed as you descend, new jumps, wall rides and ramps on Chain Smoke and the popular jump trail Recoil has been reworked since last year, adding a completely new lower section and changing the jump profiles of the upper section.
If you’re a hardtail rider and are looking for a real downhill skills challenge, take Follow Me, a technical black diamond trail loaded with loose, sandy drops, big rocks and exposed roots. Just make sure you don’t miss the entrance like we did and accidentally ride the Bullet Downhill, a double black diamond. While not complete suicide, you have to have at least a couple screws loose or be a knobby tire diety to ride a double black diamond trail with a hardtail. I attempted and failed in one section, thankfully without injury.
Looking for a serious workout with a ton of downhill mixed in? Take the gondola to the top of the mountain and start with Off the Top to Gravy Train, Brake Through, Lincoln Express, Skid Marks, Paper Route and then finish off with a personal favorite, Juniper. This is Hendrickson’s Super D course. At nearly an hour-and-a-half in duration with some extended climbing above 9,500 feet in elevation, it’s more like a SuperDuper D course.
And if you happen to be in Mammoth on a Friday and want to get your competitive juices flowing, the bike park holds weekly Friday evening downhill races. Signups start at 4PM at the Adventure Center, and all racing is free with a bike park pass. The course changes weekly, but it always features a trail that everyone can ride. Typically between 40 and 60 people show up every week, and a free raffle is held afterward.
Thanks to Mark Hendrickson’s all-inclusive trail building strategy and his hard working crew that makes it all happen, the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park is quickly becoming one of the top bike park destinations in North America. Not only does the mountain offer trails for all ages and skill levels, but its breathtaking vistas and unique volcanic soil make Mammoth a must-ride. August is quickly coming to a close, so make a trip to Mammoth with your friends or family before the snow starts to fall!
For more info: www.mammothmountain.com