The cliché "just like riding a bike" holds true…unless you’re talking about the first time you go mountain biking. This ain’t like hopping on the Huffy of your youth. Not only are the bikes themselves considerably more complex (front and rear shocks, 29-inch wheels, disc brakes etc.), but the act of cycling on single-track introduces a whole host of new challenges for the newbie. Some adjustments (not hitting just the left brake, keeping your pedals parallel to the ground to avoid hitting rocks and roots) may become self-evident after ten minutes in the saddle. But bracing for some serious riding through mud, dirt, sand, root, and rocks can still leave your arms quivering.
And that’s why we love what Park City’s Deer Valley Mountain Resort has initiated: Throughout the summer (and for the weekend after Labor Day), you can enroll in the Mountain Bike School, where experienced instructors help you get your balance on the new downhill bikes, teach you basic technical skills, and then guide you on several of the mountain’s bike terrain. The trails themselves are accessible via three chairlifts, with routes that range in difficulty from beginner to expert-only, with such fun (and frantic) features as banked turns, sinewy switchbacks, and gentle rollers through groves of aspen and pines. The more experienced cyclist, meanwhile, can pick up a few tips that’ll drastically improve one’s riding ability.
But don’t take our word for it: Here’s a great blog entry by Amy Kersey of Park City Tourism about her first time on a mountain bike this summer.
And, to further whet your appetite, we also bring you our new photo gallery of the active side of Park City.
Private two-hour lessons run $55, while three-hour adult classes cost $48 (children eight to 12 get a three-hour class for $38). Lift ticket and bike rentals not included.
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