Wow… I have been hearing about Duthie this and Duthie that for years now and finally made it out there. Duthie Hill is all it's cracked up to be. It's absolutely, positively one of those places you want to have a GoPro camera so you can shoot movies like this. Or this. Or this (just much higher resolution).
This mountain bike skills park is just that. Oh sure, you can get a workout in if you want but only the easy trails are suitable to extended efforts. The rest is all drops, burms, ramps, bridges, tight corners, etc. I guess there is a pump track if you wan to work your upper body…
I met Greg K and James B at the park. It was the first time for all of us and we are all committed to coming back ASAP.
DISCLAIMER - Greg sent directions to the mail parking lot. I did not follow them and instead just drove to where I knew one entrance was. This resulted in us not hooking with James for at least 30 minutes. To his credit he waited. I'm an idiot and will not make that same mistake again.
The trails are marked like ski runs with easy, medium, difficult and most difficult signs that are also color coded. After riding three 'easy' trails it is abundantly apparent that my skillz suck. Big time.
ASIDE - there was one time when I was chasing Greg and James and passed a guy on a full-suspension bike with platform pedals (the norm here) because he clipped out and dabbed and I managed to stay on. He noticed my fully rigid single speed bike and said, "Oh no, you're putting me to shame!" But that was just one time.
Here is just one example of what happened. We found this trail that descended down a ravine. The trail would ride up one side, send you around a banked corner and then off a ramp back down into the ravine. Repeat. You could almost coast up each side and the corners were banked and I was able to ride the drops and ramps on my rigid bike. It probably lasted 10 minutes. When we got to the bottom I was sporting a perma-grin and announced, "One more time!" So up we rode and did again. At the bottom of the trail James shouted, "And again!" Which of course we did. That could have gone on all night.
For all the descending there are of course equal amounts of climbing but the steep bits are short and the trails are VERY well designed so you get numerous respites and never blow yourself out. This park is designed to hone and refine, not wear you out.
At one point we found this line with BIG gaps and burms that were four feet tall! James and I had to ride/hike to the top and give it a go. No, we did not hit the gaps but we did roll through all the burms. One word: fun. FUN. F U N.
This is also where I had my one fall. Ironically enough it was trying to rude up something instead of down. I skinned my left knee but it was not any cause for concern.
To my delight I was able to ride way more ramps and drops than I thought! There was one section of trail where James was behind me and twice remarked how impressed he was that I was able to clear some drops on my fully rigid bike. I did scare myself once or twice but not too much. And I have never ridden wood ramps like this. It's the closest I have ever been to North Shore style riding.
There were a few times that I felt my tires bottom out and others where they were squirming quite a bit on the banked corners but I never got a flat so it was all good.
This was a blast. I recommend you grab your mountain bike and run, don't walk up to Duthie Hill and ride. Thank you Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance for making it happen.
|Time of Day||core - 6:00 AM|
ride - 7:15 PM
|Weather||upper 60s, mostly sunny, dry|
|Clothing||bib shorts, Craft short sleeve undershirt, short sleeve jersey, cap, long finger gloves|