Basin and Jumping – Day 2 & 3
Day 2 instruction began with some warm up runs down the Basin side of the mountain to warm up and refresh our skills training from yesterday. We began by running down another access road called Hootenanny and turn left on to Flume. This led us to the first of the days runs called Lucid.
Lucid is an intermediate machined trail that is fairly short but has some fun flowing turns, a small wood walled chicane, and a couple of rollers that you can get some air off if you have the steam (See GPS track and Video). The trail dumps back out on to Flume for the next short run down to Raging Bull.
Raging Bull is another intermediate machined trail with nice flowing berms, some expert doubles, walls, and steep wood ramp drop at the end (See GPS track and Video). In terms of the trails we rode on Basin side (and we did not ride them all) this was the funnest run we rode. We did not attempt the expert jumps but did have some fun traversing the walls and challenging each other to get higher on the walls. The run ends with a steep wood ramp drop and dumps right there at the ski lift.
Advanced Skills – Day 2
Following our warm up runs Trevyn began some instructions on jumping techniques. As with everything we learn it was a progression. We first started out by working a wood feature in the skills area that rose about 2 feet. Our goal was to display proper body position as the bike rolled over the feature at slow speeds. Again, the first day skills came into play. Next we practiced pulling the front end of the bike up as a progression to begin to bunny hop. The technique as explained to us was that we were going to learn to bunny hop the bike and then apply that to jumping. We practiced for about 45 minutes and then head back out to the Western Territory where the flying fun began.
We ended up back at the entrance to Ball-n-Jack where are 15’ table top jump was to be our training ground. Our Instructor Trevyn explained the technique this way. We enter the face of the jump and preload the suspension. As we hit the apex of the take-off we would bunny hop, pull the bike into attack position while in flight and then extend the front end as we approached the landing only extending the rear as contact was nearly made, simple, right? Well, we took many runs at this before we even began to come close. We obviously videoed this session looking for both successes and failures (See Video). Our 2nd day session was coming to an end but we had one more thrill to enjoy. Trevyn took us down a trail we had not ridden before called Magic Link. Holy shit, this was the funnest run yet with lots of Yee Haw moments (See GPS track and Video). Missing Link had huge berms, big table tops, step up jumps and huge elevation drops.
Day 2 instruction was complete and Trevyn was kind enough to indulge us with a little wrap up video:
Following lunch we ventured back to Western Territory to practice our new found skills. We must have run down Magic Link at least two more times increasing our speed and potential for massive yard sales each time.
Day two ended with a bit of exhaustion but the adrenaline was still pumping. We ended up back in Snowshoe village for desert and more frosty beverages (do you see a pattern here?). We finished out the evening review the game tape and laughing about how pathetic our jumps looked compared to Trevyn’s. Next up, day 3 – were on our own…..
Day three began with me needing to have my front brake bled. It was feeling quite spongy and in fact the mechanic said the fluid that came out was nearly black (not good). While waiting mi amigos decided to have some fun on the drop park. They actual had some great launches off of the various tiers. I joined them for one drop and then we were off to explore some new trails. We head back into Basin to find a black diamond run named “Trail C”. The trail was challenging to say the least. Near the top was a section with two consecutive 24” drops with a 45 degree turn between them. We had a fairly good rainstorm the night before so the trail conditions were slick to say the least. But we had two confidence building days previous and we were ready, or so we thought (see Video). The trail definitely humbled us a little as well as the wet conditions. Next we traversed down flume to the entrance to Trail H, another black diamond where the crashing began. Zack was first with a spectacular crash coming off of a 6 foot jump and smacking the bike head on into a tree. I was next with a pathetic looking crash down a wood banked chicane but it definitely rattled the noggin and left a nice strawberry that traversed my entire right arm. We ended up on “Trail I” an Expert only trail which has an impressive looking skinny running through a boulder garden and finishing with a 20’ roll down a 4×4. Following that was a nice long skinny and out a three and five foot jump. Following this run a fairly fast moving storm rolled over the mountain and made conditions every slicker. The following video should show some of the more exciting portions of these runs.
We walked away from our Snowshoe weekend injury free and will some great video and memories. We finished up the weekend enjoying some of the local microbrews at the Fox Den, met some fellow enthusiast, swapped some stories, and took some video. We have a new appreciation for the downhill/freeride sport and hope to continue to develop our skills at the local area in Eastern TN called Windrock. We have developed a fun video of the weekend which can be seen here. Until next time, keep the rubber side down and always remember to replenish those vital nutrients after your ride with the mother of all sports drinks, Beer!!!!