birthday challenge
September 3, 2011 posted by

For Mountain Biking “This Is The Place”

The Park City Point to Point race is going on right now. I’m not racing because I don’t have to. I can ride this terrain, without a crowd, any day I want to. Okay, in reality I’m more likely not racing because it filled up so fast that I didn’t have a chance (6 minutes) but, still, I don’t have to go out of my way to make a trip because I live here, which is absolutely awesome.

I’m adding a second psyche post this weekend because I leave for Europe soon and may not blog as much, so I’m stockpiling so you regulars will have stuff to read. Anyway, if you like riding dirt and haven’t been to Park City you’ve got to plan a trip. And if you’re type who likes mixing it up on hard terrain plan to register the second next year’s Point to Point race opens because there’s not another event on the circuit like it. Here’s what racer Sonya Looney, who’s done most of the “best” races, has to say.

80 miles, 14,000′ of elevation gain and almost ALL singletrack… and not just any singletrack, the kind that makes the butterflies in your stomach swirl to the point where you feel like you’re going to explode from happiness and you can do nothing by smile ear to ear and giggle out loud. Of course, it’s a race and it’ll also hurt like a mofo.

When I first moved here it was great, so much so that one of Google’s founders, who could live anywhere in the world, chose it specifically because “it’s my favorite place to mountain bike”. This included all the famous places I rattled off: Moab, Whistler, St. George, Durango, Flagstaff, Ketchum, Fruita, etc. For some reason, however, it wasn’t on the radar as a major biking destination.

This could have been because back then we had plenty of pristine single track but lacked a lot of the terrain some of my more adolescent friends enjoy, like rocks and jumps and such. Now we’ve got that too. A lot of it and more, it seems, every day. Yesterday I stumbled on another “grommet trail” as I call them, which are packed with “trail furniture”. It seems like every time I go out I find another.

sam on something i’ll never ride

some grommet hucking a 20’step up. there’s plenty more where this came from

there’s plenty of XC-style furniture as well

Officially there are around 400 miles of single track in the mountains around Park City. Unofficially you’ll find a few hundred more, which doesn’t include the trails systems one the entire west side of the Wasatch drainage, which include many locals’ favorite trails. You’ve absolutely got to check it out.

everything you see is covered with single track

You don’t need a race as an excuse to visit. It’s easy to make up your own adventure, like my friend Ben’s recent birthday challenge; a 10-hour ride that was supposed to feature part of every trail system circling Park City—essentially closing the loop of the Point to Point race to make it a circle (a much longer version of Sedona’s Big Friggin’ Loop). An injury kept us from finishing the circuit as planned but another beautiful thing about PC is that at almost any point, should you get hurt, hungry, thirsty, or just plain tired, you can point your bike down hill and be in a bar, restaurant, bike shop or hospital in a matter of minutes.

you needn’t descend, hydration options exist on the trails, too

finnegan is pretty sure this is the place

When I ride here I can’t help think that Brigham Young was right about one thing;” this is the place,” at least to ride a mountain bike.


  • Looks pretty dangerous…

  • You gotta hit more of them Grommet Trails. That way you'll know what they're all like if I make it out that way. Perhaps build a bike skills park in you back yard to help you ride the skinnies…Yea, the riding's great there. But I'm still not moving to Utah.

  • Can't argue that there's good riding in Utah. Don't think it outweighs the fact that there are 32 people per square mile, compared to Montana's 6. Of course, California is like 240 so . . . they lose.

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