Park City touring

How much of the 400 miles of trails that Park City claims can you cover in two days? Not much really, but we made a valiant effort for sure! After landing in the only campground even close to Park City, we made tentative plans for a big day Wednesday. Two rides on the Park City mountain, one just the two of us and the other a little later with Cam.

The first ride we climbed up Armstrong - and kept climbing up until we hit the Mid-Mountain Trail. So nice having a dedicated climbing trail - just being able to ride without worrying about people coming down at you. We don't have any directional trails here in COS - even if a few should be directional! The Mid-Mountain Trail seemed like a good place to start heading down, or in this case traversing the slopes. So we turned left and started winding in and out of tree and ski slopes. The trail was well manicured, if just a tad dusty. I wasn't able to follow Nick that close because of all the dust. Short little climbs, fast swtichbacked descents. A fun trail and we just kept riding. Eventually, Nick had to pull out the map - we didn't want to end up in Deer Valley! We picked a trail to ride down - missed that one and hopped on another. I think it was John99 or something like that. After a few turns, we found ourselves on a very steep, super dusty trail with some fun little features and tight switchback. It didn't get us back into the resort, but we did pop out just outside of Historic Main street.

We had thought about doing some lift riding - but the lift was moving so slow it would have been faster to just climb back up on our bikes! So we had lunch and waited. When Cam arrived, it was time for another climb up to the Mid-Mountain. This time we took Spiro up - and while Spiro wasn't a one way trail, we were late enough in the afternoon to not really have to worry about riders coming down. Since we'd taken Mid-Mountain to the south last time, we turn right this time. To Canyons resort we were headed. The warning sign as we left Park City ski slopes was funny - no access off the trail for 11 miles, be prepared. And we were.. Mostly! Mid Mountain between Park City and Canyon was fun. Definitely not the smooth, manicured trails on the ski resorts - there were some good rock gardens and techy, traversing riding. All with a view of the million dollar mansions dotting the hillsides. Again, it was so dusty that I couldn't follow the boys close at all. I had to fall back, make my own lines and keep my distance if I wanted to be able to see and breath. We took Mid-Mountain all the way across to Red Coat on the Canyons Resort. Time for some down hill! Red Coat - Insurgent - Ricochet - all the way down to the base of the Canyons. Some of those features on Insurgent were a little interesting! After a quick stop for some sodas, it was an easy pedal on the bike paths back to the vans. One thing Park City does right - it's so easy to get around on the bike paths. The connectivity is out standing.

Thursday was supposed to be an off the bike day for me. So what did we do instead? Went and rode the lifts at Deer Valley! Neither one of us had ever done any lift served biking, so might as well! I will admit to feeling just slightly out of place as we started riding with my "little" bike, spandex and braid. It was definitely a "bro zone" at times between the 7" bikes, coil suspension DH rigs, baggies every where, free flowing testosterone and such. But after the first run, I got over it. The camber can handle almost anything provided the rider is in the right state of mind. Again, super dusty and I was getting some good practice at making my own lines on the slalom-like trails. It was different then we've ridden before - no traversing, no rock gardens. Just slalom switchbacks, jumps, berms and more switchbacks. We alternated between black and blue runs, trying to get a sense of the entire park. But there were two blacks (double black) on the far side that nobody was riding. Why not? Thieves Forest - down hill bike and full armor recommended. Umm - we had neither. Just the camber and the stumpy and light knee and elbow pads. What could go wrong? Nothing on Thieves - I did walk a few of the steeper, rocky switchbacks - I think if I rode it a few more times, I'd be able to get it cleanly. So back up we went - let's try Fireswamp! This time I saw the B-line around the squirrelcage and went for it. Made the b-line and was back in the trail, riding well and pretty happy with myself. Too happy too soon as the rocks decided I needed a reminder of who was in charge! Mental note - if you think you shouldn't wear a watch riding, you probably shouldn't. I was lucky to find all the pieces to put my watch back together later! We did a few more easier runs, then called it a day. Downhilling might not have the effort of trail riding, but it was still pretty hard! I was tired for sure - and we still had a few more days of our Utah trip.

The weather looked good - time to see what fun we could have at the next destination.

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