Ride Report: Sol Vista Bike Park, Granby CO 07/17/09 – 07/18/09

Downhill Mountain Biking Ride Reports

Though Tony, Tim and I went to the U.S. Nationals in support of Kim Finch on her XC efforts, you didn’t think we weren’t gonna ride did you? Oh, also Johnny D was in attendance for a bit of work/play. Sol Vista is a lift accessed mountain bike park with several DH and XC routes available. They use the same Murray-Latta bike trays as found in Whistler, so you know they’re good! Though they only have a single-chair lift, the “Sheriff” does a good job of packing everybody on and keeping the line moving. If you take into account the fact we were there during the weekend of nationals and still got plenty of rides, so you know the line is not an issue.

The Trails: Sol Vista has a variety of terrain, from rocky descents to fast flowing DH with a couple drop descents thrown in. Unfortunately due to Nationals, Cougar was closed as was a section of Drifter. As far as difficulty is concerned, there was plenty to be enjoyed by a beginner and to push an average expert rider. Beyond that skill level, I figure you’re going/gone/ or at Whistler while reading this.  Check out videos of the Sol Vista Trails!

A clip of Tony, followed (filmed) by Tim

The Location: Granby CO (2 hours NE of Denver) is idyllic, with beautiful scenery around every turn.

It was actually a little difficult to sleep at night due to the quiet! Granby and the surrounding communities all have a small town feel and are a wonderful escape from city life. You’re surrounded by streams, lakes, ponds and trees. It really makes you feel at one with nature.

Things to do: Eat! Seriously though, being a small town, the night life is not strong. You don’t come here to go hit the clubs, that’s for sure. Instead this has more of a circle of friends around a camp fire, sharing stories and brews feel. Besides, you’ll have plenty to talk about. In addition to mountain biking, there is a plethora of fishing, camping and white water rafting nearby to fill your days. Don’t forget, Crankworx CO at Winterpark is also nearby, though I didn’t get to sample the trails there, Johnny D vouches for them being pretty good and worth the trip.

Gear: There are several full-service bike shops nearby ready to fulfill your needs. It’s funny going from So Cal to CO. In So Cal you’ll find huge Specialized, Giant and Intense presence in most shops. In the three shops I visited in CO, the strongly represented brands were Yeti and Rocky Mountain with a little of everything else sprinkled in. Sol Vista itself has a basic service bike shop with a large rental fleet. I took advantage of a Santa Cruz V-10 the first day and moved to the lighter Bullit the next. Tim tried the Yeti 303RDH and Tony rode a Commencal Racing Supreme DH. All the DH bikes run Fox 40 forks and a variety of quality builds, everyone with a bashguard/chain guide and crank bros 50/50 pedals. If you run clipless, bring your pedals!

A clip of me on the Bullit, I’m not mad!  I’m looking at the camera thinking “did the red light turn on or not?”

Would I do it again? Yes, but only if I was going to mix in more than just riding Sol Vista. If I go again (and I’m sure I will eventually), I’m going to make sure my trip includes an event like the U.S. Nationals or Crankworx. Perhaps some fishing or camping. If I lived within an eight hour drive of Sol Vista, I’d be there regularly; flying from LA makes this trip prohibitively expensive for a just for fun weekend getaway. But hey, your budget is your budget and if you want to check out a great bike park in a great place to visit, Sol Vista could be right for you.

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