My husband and I checked off an item from our summer bucket list, riding Evolution Bike Park in Crested Butte. We had been itching for another go since our first experience at Thunder Mountain Bike Park in Charlemont, Mass., last year. We absolutely loved it, had way more fun than expected and did it on super spendy-rented bikes.
This time, we rode our own bikes. And while the bike I rode last year was much nicer, my bike is a blast to ride downhill. My Specialized Enduro 29er is a perfect park bike. It handled perfectly, jumped like a gazelle and was everything I wanted. I felt like a bunny. Until this day, I improved my jumping skills and confidence 10-fold at the park. I now feel much more comfortable jumping, hopping and landing.
I cased some of the big jumps (which means I didn’t clear them smoothly). But overall I felt GoPro-worthy – and that’s a pretty solid accomplishment.
Our favorite run of the day was Frequency. It is a blue – the trials are rated like ski runs, so green, blue and black. Frequency had great winding berms, fun step-ups and one super fun bridge that I cleared the bottom of. We rode it twice. The second time I nearly had an accident when my bike pump freed itself from its holder. I was able to safely reconnect it, but it made me miss a few fun features.
Near the bottom of that run André got a flat tire. We pulled over to fix it and several people stopped to see how we were doing, and three offered to help. (I like that.)
The “groomers choice” run was Luge, another blue. Luge was pretty fun, but not quite as challenging as Frequency.
We rode the lower part of a black run, Avery. I think we couldn’t have totally ridden the whole thing, but the jumps were just big enough that we weren’t going as hard – or feeling as confident.
We did ride a black diamond run back to town that was quite technical, but nothing scary.
André is a much faster downhill rider. I tried, as always, to keep up, and actually I did quite well. At one point he let me lead for a bit, and he said he was trying to keep up with me – what?! It made my day. I felt like I was reading the trail well. The whole day was a real confidence booster. We wore our mountain biking clothing – no full-face helmets or padding. Another reason to stay off the black diamonds. Most of the other riders were in full downhill gear. We did ask ourselves – should we invest? Because that’s how much fun we were having.
I don’t think we’re ready for a big downhill investment, but pads might be a good idea for our next time out.
At the end of the day (3-ish hours), we clocked 18 miles.
They have a twilight deal in the summer for $9. For all-day adventure we paid $47 per person. A bit spendy, but that said, we had no regrets, and we can’t wait to go back.