What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Duthie Hill: small park, big fun.

Duthie Hill is a work-in-progress mountain bike park just north of Issaquah, WA. It isn't a very big park (see comparison chart to right), but it uses its space QUITE efficiently. The goals for Duthie Hill are this:

  • An awesome park for mountain bikers.
  • A great place for kids -- make it easier and more fun for kids to get into the sport.
  • A great place for events and competition.
  • 4-6 miles of flowy XC trails that are also a great XC race course.
  • Dirt jumps / Flowlines.
  • More technical freeride downhill.

While I haven't been to many such dedicated mountain bike parks like Duthie, I have to say-- Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has done a fabulous job of meeting these design goals, and they're not even done yet. Just take a look at how many trails will cram into this space:

Yeah, no kidding. CRAMMED with trails!

This is what the park looks like currently, as of March 8:

The quality of work is just amazing. I've worked for the Washington Trails Association, leading trail building work parties on Mt.Rainier, so I know what good trail looks like. This is not just GOOD trail, it's good MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL. The banking, the flow, the diversity, the creativity, the challenge options.. all of it.. wow. VERY GOOD WORK.

If you've heard mostly about the many of drops, stunts and downhill/freeride lines in the park, but you're a cross-country rider-- don't worry, this park is also for you! Five to six miles of flowy singletrack have been (or will be) crammed in, by means of three-leaf clover loops and an alternate loop. PLUS, the cross country trails feature optional challenges-- a skinny log to ride, small jumps, etc-- that can be easily and intuitively by-passed if you want to skip it and keep your flow.

This Boardwalk leads from the parking lot to the heart of the park.

Boot Camp is a trail where novices can learn and advanced riders can sharpen.
I rode it 4 times in a row before work on Wednesday.

An example of an alternate challenge on the trail.

Duthie does not shy away from seriously advanced trails.


And THIS what what you ride to get to the banking!
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