Last week my husband Vashek and I headed for Bryce to try some downhill biking. The lift is open from 9am to 5pm for max 8 hours. The lift tickets are sold as all day or 4 hour Flex (starting from time of purchase up to 4 hours). We got the 4 hour flex lift tickets package with rental. The rental included the downhill bikes with body armor protection gear including full face helmet. I rented a 27.5″ trail bike Trek Slash. Vašek went for 26″ Trek Session DH.
We learned how to load the bikes on the lift right after we learned how to put on a full face helmet, the knee & elbow pads. BTW.. It was a bit goofy to ride the lift without skis in 90F temps
First ride- green trail .. Realizing it was a boring trail, we are moving level up to the blue trail. The blue trail called “SCREWDRIVER” was fun! We rode that few more times and also tried SNAKEBITE trail. Our most favorite trail become “BREW THRU” intermediate jump trail soon after we rode it. This trail had lots of pump track features with fun turns, jumps and some bridges.
At the end of the Lower Brew Thru trail was a small bridge with a jump at the end continuing into a U-turn looking bridge/wall. The wall seemed to be an easy feature but it was a true challenge especially because as we rode over it was important to stay mentally focused and fully engaged during execution. We rode these two obstacles several times during our many descents and gained amazing skills in bike handling, improved our riding technique and learned to trust the momentum and to the gravity.
After about 3 hours of practicing we gained courage to try the black diamond trail called CAR BOMB. We rode it carefully, expecting some advanced obstacles, but we really needed to walk only one of the very steep bridges, otherwise we were able to ride around couple of more advanced jump features. Bryce also has couple of double diamond trails, but we were intimidated to try them since this was my first time DH. The 4 hour ticket to ride was perfectly long enough for the day. My arms were tired and my legs sore as the 4th hour ended.
I will definitely want to ride more DH, because this type of mountain biking extremely improved my bike handling skills, my speed, my confidence on steep terrain and endurance. My XC riding has become faster and surprisingly I would jump more during my rides than ever before