Want a Lift?
It’s no wonder Crested Butte is littered with athletes – with over 750 miles of singletrack in the Gunnison valley, the temptation to get longer days in riding, running or hiking is around every corner. Let’s face it—we are a mecca for all types of athletes! But what about the kiddos? With so many different summer programs for kids of every age (that includes those kids 40 and up!) it’s easy to think that they can ride, run and ski all day like an adult. However, in order for all of us kids to stay fresh on our bikes, avoid injury and efficiently sharpen our mountain biking skills, lift-served mountain biking is the way to gO.
The thought of ‘downhill mountain biking’ can be a bit scary, especially for kids. However, with a trail like Hot Dogger at CBMR, your kiddo (or the kid in you) will certainly be begging for more after you realize what a hoot it is to hone your skills without having to worry about getting back up there to do it again. With so many skills that need to be learned at an early age to avoid bad habits in the future, kids can really benefit from lift-served riding while they don’t have to worry about expending their energy on a big uphill. Instead, they can focus on what their coaches are teaching them, especially during the 10-minute ride to the top, right before they start heading down! Here are a few reasons that we think that downhilling can be hugely beneficial for all of us.
Balance. Technique. Cornering.
The three essentials for mountain biking! Concentrating on body positioning on your bike is probably the single most important part of mountain biking. A solid stance and balance on a bike will only allow for more technical riding in the future. Teaching this early on is essential to avoiding bad habits in the future. With learned balance and technique, cornering comes along very nicely!
Coach, how long to the top?
With so many essential skills that need to be learned at an early age, kids don’t need to expend their energy on a huge uphill. In relation to the downhill, the uphill portion of a certain ride or trail can be much, much longer. With lift-served riding, coaches can concentrate on relaying important skills that won’t be forgotten because of fatigue. And let’s face it.. what kid wants to spend their day on one big uphill when they can go downhill all day?
The need for speed!
For newer riders, speed is the most intimidating factor, especially when you’re learning about balance and how to control your speed. You can’t necessarily learn to go faster until you actually start getting accustomed to speed itself. With lots of trails on CBMR that allow downhill-only traffic, kids can practice their skills and slowly begin to get comfortable with a speed that suits them. Eventually they’ll be confident enough to really enjoy some fast, flowy turns!
Again... again... again!
Repetition builds muscle memory, even at a young age. When you learn certain skills, one would hope that those skills will last a lifetime. Learning bad habits so young can lead to injury and therefore less time on our bikes. We need to be sure to instill good habits as early as possible.. with lift-served riding kids are able to focus on these skills and repeat them over and over, so that the next year they will pick up right where they left..
With only a handful of weeks left to take advantage of these long days, twilight rides, and an easy ride to the top, it's time to get out there and get on a lift with your mountain bike! This year gO partnered with CBMR to offer the gOgirl Mountain Sports Team- if you see them out on the trails watch out, they've learned quite a bit this summer. We hope to see you out there!