Steamboat Bike Park's New Flying Diamond Trail Exclusive
1 Nov 2014
by Natty G and Trey Clay
All amazing road trips must come to an end. Unless, your life is lived in a triple-slid truck camper and road tripping is your full time gig. Natty and Trey were not happy to see the East Coast Road Trip come to an end. But the end of the ECRT only meant the beginning of another big haul across the United States. They left the southeast. Their first stop was at the future Underground (Mega Cavern) Bike Park in Louisville Kentucky, for a sneak peek at what can only be described as crazy awesome. Then they set their sights on Colorado. They knew if weather permitted they could make a beeline back to the western states and be able to ride at least one bike park before the snows began. Natty and Trey have ridden all but one bike-park in Colorado, and so it only seemed fitting that they check Steamboat Bike Park off the list. There was only one problem though…this is not a bike park to be checked off any old list. This bike park causes people to make new lists. Lists that go something like this: Real-estate booklet thingy (check), good grocery store, known by the locals as Natty-Gs (fitting) (check), swimming holes and hot springs (check), dog friendly (check), good eats (check), and good beer (double check)!
(Fish Creek Falls)
The drive from the east coast was much safer than the drive they previously took to get from the west to the east. Natty and Trey decided to take a different route home this time by passing through Illinois (to visit family) and Nebraska (to visit with a good friend). They saw A LOT of corn and soy. But no tornadoes or lightening strikes got in the way of this drive. They didn’t realize until they hit the aspen tree line that it was fall! The aspens were in their full golden glory. Do not die before making it to Colorado during the fall. They stopped many times to take it all in, and they even went for an XC ride just to remind their legs that driving was not the only thing they know how to do.
(The aspens in full!)
Arriving at Steamboat was a bit of a shock. Neither one of them realized just how large the resort is. They have huge hotels, condos and homes nestled everywhere on the mountain slopes. Everything looks new, clean and elegant. There were people walking around with their kids and pets. They saw mountain bikes and kayaks on cars and all of a sudden, like so many times before, they felt a sense of home. Steamboat gives off a presence of welcoming charm. Trey and Natty often have conversations about where they would settle down, if they had to, and Steamboat Springs was rising to the top of that short-list in both of their minds. All they needed to do next was ride the bike park to know for sure…
(Parking lot view.)
(Dude's eye view of the base.)
The next morning they met with Trevyn Newpher, Bike Park Manager at Steamboat. Natty originally met Trevyn on the shuttle bus at the dirt demo (part of Interbike) at Boot Leg canyon just outside of Las Vegas. Natty was rightly explaining to Trevyn that when you are a female and you ask to demo a bike that is “the most aggressive”, you should be more specific when asking, as she was handed a 6 inch travel bike. What she really wanted to ride was the Giant Glory. Back to the story, Trevyn is a badass world cup racer and all around good guy. He had us all lined up for the closing weekend at Steamboat with a plan that was dialed. The weekend involved riding their newest trail, which the trail crew and Gravity Logic had just finished building over the summer. It’s a black diamond jump trail appropriately called Flying Diamond. There was also going to be a concert and party in the main square to celebrate the bike park season. Trevyn was stoked for them to rally up and check it out. After a warm up lap on Rustlers Ridge, a progressive intermediate flow trail, they were ready to step it up and get in a good rip down Flying Diamond. It did not disappoint!
(Rider: Nate Bowman, final feature on Flying Diamond)
(Is that table big enough for you?)
(Black and white: art.)
(The end of Flying Diamond, the crew was all smiles.)
Next up, and another must-do trail at ‘the boat’ is their signature DH run down the mountain called Rawhide. Riding and filming with Trevyn and Nate Bowman (local young ripper) made for great footage, as they know the fast lines and ‘gang-starr’ moves off the features. Rawhide has a great balance of steep, rocky, and rooty terrain mixed in with some well-placed jumps and drops. With over 2,100 ft. of elevation descent, the trails at Steamboat will leave your brake rotors sizzling and forearms cramping. Top off a full run down Rawhide with some advanced wood features and ‘for real’ gap jump options on Buckin’Bronc-to-Bull Rider.
(Rider: Trevyn Newpher on Raw Hide.)
(Yeah that's hot)
(Aspen in the foreground, rider in the background: more art.)
(Could you get any higher?)
While our crew was out filming and photographing, there was a chainless race going down on the mountain. With over 5 miles of descent, it has got to be a real burner. What Steamboat lacks in shear numbers of trails on the mountain, it makes up for it with excellent quality, variety and length of its trails. After an awesome day of riding, the closing party in the square was underway with music, games and free beer (and wine)! The night continued with pizza and more beer at the Slopeside Grill. One can’t go through Steamboat Springs without a soak in one of the many natural hot springs that dot the area. After a long day of riding, filming, and partying at the resort, our recommendation for a great soak is the Strawberry Park Hot Springs just about 7 miles north from Steamboat. Natty and Trey had an awesome time there and they will be adding Steamboat to their list of places they would love to live someday.
(Water in the bike shop.)
(Bike shop with a view.)