Keystone downhill bike parks opens to the public June 10 | SummitDaily.com

Keystone downhill bike parks opens to the public June 10

Summi Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Downhill junkies, it's time again to crash boulders and berms and everything in between.

Mountain adventures aren't just limited to the winter season at Keystone Resort, where the Keystone Bike Park is set to open for the summer season on Friday, June 10. Easily accessible from Denver, and, yet, somehow always less crowded than the Trestle trails at Winter Park, Keystone Bike Park gives mountain bikers access to downhill thrills on 56 maintained trails with lift access, making it one of the most renowned bike parks in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Early this summer, a trail crew dedicated to maintaining and improving the park has brought a variety of new upgrades and additions to the 2016 park. These additions include new features, re-worked trails, increased bike haul capacity and a free skills park to promote progression.

Also new for 2016, the Keystone Bike Academy caters to riders of all levels with beginner clinics, private lessons and downhill guides. Whether you take a clinic or ride solo, bike and full downhill gear rentals are available at several outlets in River Run Village, including Keystone Sports and Norski Sports.

Trail love

The Keystone Bike Park trail crew and bike patrol are responsible for trail maintenance and upgrades, providing downhill mountain bikers with a challenging and rewarding ride. These dedicated teams are responsible for recent upgrades, including: a natural wood log feature on the expert trail Cowboy Up, a wall ride feature on the expert trail Paid-In-Full, a rhythm section to the intermediate trail Mosquito Cost and a flow trail with rollers and berms to the beginner trail Girl Scouts.

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In 2015, the bike park crew created a new expert trail, Holy Diver, that is accessible from the popular expert trail TNT. Holy Diver features new jumps, berms and a large wooden feature known as the "The Yacht."

Academy for all The brand-new Keystone Bike Academy caters to riders of all levels, with beginner and intermediate clinics, private lessons and downhill guides. Instructors are all certified by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), which provides professional instruction on the proper downhill techniques.

The entry-level clinic, Bike 101, is the ideal way to learn how to navigate the mountain on two wheels. Guests learn balance, maneuvering and proper mountain biking technique while becoming more familiar with the beefy DH equipment and bike park protocols.

The next step, Bike 201, is a perfect way to build on riding skills from Bike 101 and become more comfortable navigating sharp corners and riding on loose dirt. Both the 101 and 201 packages include instruction, bike rental, protective gear and a bike haul pass.

Private clinics are also available in two-, four- and six-hour intervals. These are recommended for families, friends and experienced riders who want to learn more about the trails. Groups fit up to four people and fees include all equipment.

Welcome to Women's Wednesday

Every Wednesday this summer, beginning with June 15, the Keystone Bike Park offers the Women's Wednesday Mountain Bike Clinics, where a female coach leads a guided tour down the mountain. This clinic includes a bike haul pass, bike rental and protective gear, as well as the chance to meet new like-minded friends ready to enter the downhilling world.

IMBA clinics at Key

Keystone hosts two IMBA clinics this summer for the Instructor Certification Program (ICP), which was designed to establish global standards for mountain bike instructor training.

The multi-day courses are open to the public, with one in June and the final in July. Keystone hosts the Level 1 certification course from June 7-9 and the Level 2 course from July 21-24. For more info, see http://www.imba.com.

Return of the Enduro

A big mountain enduro is best described as an epic trail ride in an amazing location, where riders put their fitness and technical skills to the ultimate test on a variety of mountain biking terrain.

From July 9-10, Keystone hosts a stop on the nationwide Big Mountain Enduro circuit, offering riders some of the most raw and rugged lift-accessed terrain in the country, featuring rock gardens, drops and high-speed features.

The Freshly designed 2016 courses highlights some of the mountain's best trails, along with unique track designs never before seen at Keystone. The event is open to all riders — as in, no pre-qualification events are required — and spectators can watch all six stages of racing for free, plus a weekend-long festival with vendors, food and more.

Keystone Bike Park

What: A lift-accessed downhill bike park for riders of all abilities, featuring 55 miles of trail spread across the front side of Dercum Mountain at Keystone Resort

Features: 56 green, blue and black trails with boulders, berms, log bridges and more, plus a dirt skills park and jump line at the base of Summit Express lift

Where: River Run Village, Keystone Mountain

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends

Season: Daily until Sept. 18

Cost: $44 (13 and older) or $25 (12 and younger) for single-day pass

A single-day pass includes unlimited bike haul on the Summit Express lift, located next to the skills park and jump line. All equipment is available from rental shops in the River Run base area. Season passes for unlimited access to Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Park City, Northstar and Kirkwood is $389. A Keystone-only local pass is $309. For more info on the bike park, including special events, races and season passes, see http://www.keystoneresort.com.

Keystone highlights

— 56 trails

— 2,360 feet of vertical drop

— Skills park — A free progressive area at the base of River Run that includes three lines (beginner, intermediate and advanced) with berms, rollers and jumps

— Drop Zone — An expert-only terrain park consisting of a series of ridgeline drops transformed into free falls, located off the expert trail Paid-In-Full