I heard stories of burmy trails winding through a forest in the sky where mountain bikers go to Heaven and come back. This turns out to be no lie. Sky Park in Arrowhead, CA is just that. Its actually located in Sky Forest, appropriately named. The trails are manicured every morning. Jumps, features and bridges are built with flow in mind and i was excited to test it all out on the green machine.
The gentle grade of the climb trail covers about a mile with about 250ft of elevation gain to access the nine miles of trails. Turns are earned here, but it's not going to kill you. Half a dozen or so trails branch out in all directions from the top, where bikers hang and chat, gaining their breath after the climb before plunging down the trail of their choice. 2 1/2 of these trails, i am told, are my choices given the equipment i'm on. The others will not be fun for me.
I had my doubts about my ability to navigate everything safely on my own, but found myself rubbers up only twice in three days of aggressive riding. Thats pretty good for me. The first was a slow rollover during the climb up, trying to experiment with a different line on one of the climb's tight turns. Experiment failed. The second was on the last day and due to the inability of my rear wheel to slide out in a tight off-camber turn on the freshly watered tacky dirt. Both crashes were minor with no injuries to me or my bike. Great success!
There was one bridge that scared me though. The top of it slanted down to the right, putting my left wheel way above my right at the apex. The steep ramp down the other side cambered to the right as well, making the wooden structure appear to kind of twist. Up high and off camber can spell the type of disaster that i have tasted too many times to chance, so i had a spotter every time. If you watch the video, the spotters don't touch me though. I was actually doing this thing myself but was just scared.
Just one other really tight turn stopped me from riding all my 2 1/2 trails completely solo. After a few runs, we figured that sending down a friend ahead of us, so they could be waiting to grab my rear wheel and point me in the right direction, was the best way to handle this thing. I had a hard time accepting this at first. The last thing i want is to disrupt someone's ride, but soon came to grips that its still fun for them, just a different kind of fun. Stopping to help your buddy is more like adventure biking with a friend than flowing a trail nonstop. Both are pretty damn fun.
One person in particular made these stops, to spot me on the twisty camber bridge and spin me in the right direction on the ultra tight turn, above and beyond the call of duty. Sean Murphy, husband to Susie Murphy (Head of San Diego Mountain Biking Association) stepped up as my Ultra Bruh this trip. Ya i'm coining a new term: Ultra Bruh. It means someone who steps up big time for a bro. In the videos, you can see him popping out of the trees, from seemingly nowhere, to help me over and over again. Thanks Sean!
Susie booked an AirBNB for the SDMBA crew, that sat on the edge of the mountain, above the clouds. It felt like Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back. The view left me feeling spellbound. Huge bay windows lined my room and I watched the stars at night. I woke up to the mountain peaks poking through the clouds in the morning. They looked like volcanic islands in a white ocean. We had coffee together in the morning and beers and dinner in the evening. What a fun crew!
Making the video was interesting. I didn't film anything but the actual runs, so i ended up with all this redundant POV footage and had to record the commentary and voice all at home later. The runs i feature are my final runs on the last day because those were the best. I'm one of those people that needs to really work at something to be good at it. My first runs were really slow and i got better and better each time. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the video. Be sure to like, comment and share. It really helps me get the word out. I am also searching for direction. Let me know what you want to see. Ask questions. We're all in this together right! Enjoy!