Tough choices on a downhill bike

Although winter is approaching fast, and snow is on the forefront of everyone’s mind, I still can’t seem to shake the sweet memories of this past summer riding the Sun Peaks Bike Park. The epic days with the Newfs and a Brit were definitely some to remember, as were the Flow Zone jump sessions, but my summer riding wouldn’t be without many late afternoon runs. Picture a beautiful July/August weekday, the sun is still high in the sky, and I’m cruising by the Day Lodge in my truck.

I look up the mountain. Do I have enough time? It’s almost four o’clock. Damn it. Why bother? The lift is about to shut down for the day. I quickly fade into a daydream that’s dropping into Steam Shovel. Gripping the steering wheel tighter, I focus again on the clock. Go ride. You’ll be glad you had. I jump out of my truck with intent focus.

Pedalling towards the lift, no line in sight, I’m greeted by a friendly liftie. It’s 10 past four. I’ll get at least one run in, probably two. Passing above the Broadway pitch I’m still unsure of my run selection. I want to go jump! I want to do a bit everything . . . in two runs. Did it rain? Maybe some tacky steeps then? Hmmm, maybe some fun single track first to warm up? Some jumping followed by some shady single track? Or a bit of jumping followed by some blue run madness and then go send it in the Flow Zone? Let’s just go shred!

At any one time this summer, the runs listed below are the first on my mind:
Run 1: Gummy Bear, lower Mach, Spicy Taco to Sweet One.
Run 2: Upper Insanity One, Smitty’s Steeps to Arm Pump.
Run 3: Upper Insanity One to DH to Sweet One.
Run 4: Steam Shovel until the Road 04, then Lever Lovers, Creeper, lower Steam Shovel, Flow Zone to Biker X.
Run 5: Sugar, Arm Pump with a short Home Run finish.
Run 6: Barn Burner, Hi Octane, DH, Wagon Wheel to Flow Zone and the Biker Cross Course.
Run 7: Barn Burner, Mach, Spicy Taco, Wagon Wheel to Flow Zone and the Biker Cross Course.
Run 8: Steam Shovel, Creeper, lower Steam Shovel to Flow Zone and the Biker Cross Course.

Popping off the lift tower lip with all my might, I ride past the bottom of the lift, two runs in the bag, smiling ear to ear, any thoughts or stress of the workday a distant memory. In one hour, over 2,400 vertical feet of pure downhill madness. What runs did I choose? Which runs would you choose?

Thanks to all the lifties and patrollers for keeping the lift running, the trails safe and a smile on your face.

The biggest thanks to Toby and the trail crew, who worked day-in and day-out to keep the trails looking so sweet. We owe it all to you!

Last but not least, thanks to all those Fall Line repair shop for helping us keep our bikes rolling!

Matt Reid

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