July 2017 - MOUNTAIN BIKING
Whiteface Mountain Bike Park
By Mike Scheur and Elias Ingraham
When many riders think of cycling in the Lake Placid and Whiteface region in the summer they think of High Peaks Cyclery. They’ve been operating both the cross-country mountain bike center at Mount Van Hoevenberg and the downhill mountain bike park at Whiteface Mountain for nearly 20 years. With HPC’s expertise in road and cross-country mountain bikes, they brought on the team of “Downhill Mike” and “Evil Elias” to run the Whiteface Mountain Bike Park.
Do not worry if you are not an expert mountain biker! Most of the trails at the bike park are also accessed by shuttle vehicles and are very user friendly. With the shuttle vehicle’s you have the choice of easy, intermediate or expert trails, as the Cloudsplitter Gondola accesses expert trails only. Lift passes are good for unlimited runs from the gondola and shuttles, so we always recommend starting off on the shuttles, then hit the top only when you are ready.
We pride ourselves on customer service offering trail suggestions before and after each run. With a total of 27 different trails, we hope you ride them all as each trail has its own unique character. Trails are well-marked using the same difficulty rating used in the winter for skiing and snowboarding with green circles, blue squares or black diamonds. Most of the trails are hand-built singletrack, but we are using some ski trails and service roads to connect. Expect to be riding in the woods between your favorite ski trails. Some of the trails cross rivers and streams and go in-between waterfalls.
If you do not have your own bike, you will find a full shop with rentals, service and sales. All bikes have 27.5” wheels and hydraulic disc brakes. Rental bike packages also include a full-face helmet, knee/shin pads, elbow forearm pads and your lift pass.
One of the trail choices from the shuttle is the new flow trail, True Blue. It’s a machine-built trail for all ability levels. Packed with berms and table-top jumps, the trail has already become a new local favorite.
A phrase sticks out as people come here to ride each summer, “It looks weird without snow.” Questions from non-biking visitors on the summit, such as “How long did it take you to ride up here?” can also add to your Whiteface Mountain Bike Park experience.
With mountain bikes getting more capable each year, it really is amazing where your bike can take you. If Whiteface has been on your bucket list, there is no reason to wait any longer. Come visit and experience the mountain on two wheels this summer or fall. With disc golf, the Adventure Zone or 4x4 Alpine Expedition, there in an adventure for everyone in your family or group. Hours are daily from 10am-5pm. You can learn more at downhillmike.com, facebook.com/downhill.mike.9, or (518) 524-9805. It’s time to ride!
Downhill Mike Scheur (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Evil Elias Ingraham live and breathe downhill, and have been running the bike park for High Peaks Cyclery for 14 years. In the winter months they live in Boulder City, Nev., and run the DVO Winter Gravity Series at Bootleg Canyon.