The quest for the Rolly-Grail

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The quest for the Rolly-Grail

Sending the final drop on Jester.

Sending the final drop on Jester.

A group of friends and I headed to Burke Bike Park for a day of adrenaline-packed downhill (DH) mountain biking on Sep. 25. Burke Bike Park is located in East Burke at Burke Mountain Resort. Burke Mountain is a traditional ski area by winter and one of the few lift-served MTB destinations in New England during the summer and early fall months. There are many aspects in mountain biking, and DH mountain biking is described as one of the funnest forms. However, the risk of injury can be a little higher if you are launching your bike off of the machine-built jumps or charging down steep technical single track. Downhill mountain biking often involves little pedaling compared to its close relative, cross country mountain biking. Along with the difference in riding, there is a good chance you are going to want to have a bike with full suspension, as opposed to a traditional hardtail mountain bike with only front suspension. There is a good chance you will be traveling at higher speeds over rough terrain. The machine-built trails are similar to a dirt bike track, with jumps and big berm banked turns. With this in mind, many riders look into using full-faced helmets and additional knee, shin and elbow pads, along with a neck brace. The weather was one of the first signs that fall mountain biking was upon us. Skies were clear and temperatures hovered around the 60 degrees Fahrenheit mark. After gearing up and purchasing tickets, we headed to the lifts. We handed the lifties our bikes and jumped on a chair. While scoping out the dirt from the lift, we discussed what run we should take first. We agreed to do a warmup run on the trail Rolly-Grail. This is one of the four excavated trails at Burke, and it can be looked at as an intro to downhill mountain biking trail. It consists of long gradual berms, small jumps and very flowy terrain where you can pick up a lot of speed. For our second run we headed straight for our favorite trail, Jester. This is easily an all-around favorite at the resort since it was built a few years ago. It is also an excavated trail, consisting of many moderate jumps and many lines to take throughout the trail. It also has long berms and several wooden features, like a massive wall ride, a cannon feature, a rollercoaster feature, a big bridge jump and two big wooden bridge drops. Our next run was down the trail Merlin. This trail is very similar to Jester, but it has jumps on a slightly larger scale. The trail also starts and ends with single track sections, but getting to the excavated portion of the trail between these two sections is the real thrill of the run. Knightslayer was the next trail on our list. This trail is one of the more challenging trails in the bike park; it is filled with several wooden features and large tabletop jumps and drops. Knightslayer often appears to be more intimidating than it actually is due to the scale of the features. The trail has the steepest and largest tabletops at the resort and a big 20 foot-by-40 foot vertical wall ride. Throughout the day we focused on these four runs. The resort has several other trails like Black Forest, Enchanted Forest and Drawbridge that are all single-track DH trails, similar to a cross-country mountain bike trail but consisting of a steeper slope. Burke also offers a variety of more challenging freeride terrain trails from the summit of the mountain. These can only be accessed by taking a shuttle up the toll road to the top of the mountain. When the day was coming to an end, we could feel the lactic acids build up in our hands. After each run we would have to almost pry our hands from our handlebars in minor pain, but with one of the usual post-DH riding tastes and feeling of grinding dust in our teeth, we were all stoked about another great day of biking. For more information regarding Burke Bike Park, you can call (802) 626-7300 or visit www.skiburke.com.

Sending the final drop on Jester.

A group of friends and I headed to Burke Bike Park for a day of adrenaline-packed downhill (DH) mountain biking on Sep. 25. Burke Bike Park is located in East Burke at Burke Mountain Resort. Burke Mountain is a traditional ski area by winter and one of the few lift-served MTB destinations in New England during the summer and early fall months. There are many aspects in mountain biking, and DH mountain biking is described as one of the funnest forms. However, the risk of injury can be a little higher if you are launching your bike off of the machine-built jumps or charging down steep technical single track. Downhill mountain biking often involves little pedaling compared to its close relative, cross country mountain biking. Along with the difference in riding, there is a good chance you are going to want to have a bike with full suspension, as opposed to a traditional hardtail mountain bike with only front suspension. There is a good chance you will be traveling at higher speeds over rough terrain. The machine-built trails are similar to a dirt bike track, with jumps and big berm banked turns. With this in mind, many riders look into using full-faced helmets and additional knee, shin and elbow pads, along with a neck brace. The weather was one of the first signs that fall mountain biking was upon us. Skies were clear and temperatures hovered around the 60 degrees Fahrenheit mark. After gearing up and purchasing tickets, we headed to the lifts. We handed the lifties our bikes and jumped on a chair. While scoping out the dirt from the lift, we discussed what run we should take first. We agreed to do a warmup run on the trail Rolly-Grail. This is one of the four excavated trails at Burke, and it can be looked at as an intro to downhill mountain biking trail. It consists of long gradual berms, small jumps and very flowy terrain where you can pick up a lot of speed. For our second run we headed straight for our favorite trail, Jester. This is easily an all-around favorite at the resort since it was built a few years ago. It is also an excavated trail, consisting of many moderate jumps and many lines to take throughout the trail. It also has long berms and several wooden features, like a massive wall ride, a cannon feature, a rollercoaster feature, a big bridge jump and two big wooden bridge drops. Our next run was down the trail Merlin. This trail is very similar to Jester, but it has jumps on a slightly larger scale. The trail also starts and ends with single track sections, but getting to the excavated portion of the trail between these two sections is the real thrill of the run. Knightslayer was the next trail on our list. This trail is one of the more challenging trails in the bike park; it is filled with several wooden features and large tabletop jumps and drops. Knightslayer often appears to be more intimidating than it actually is due to the scale of the features. The trail has the steepest and largest tabletops at the resort and a big 20 foot-by-40 foot vertical wall ride. Throughout the day we focused on these four runs. The resort has several other trails like Black Forest, Enchanted Forest and Drawbridge that are all single-track DH trails, similar to a cross-country mountain bike trail but consisting of a steeper slope. Burke also offers a variety of more challenging freeride terrain trails from the summit of the mountain. These can only be accessed by taking a shuttle up the toll road to the top of the mountain. When the day was coming to an end, we could feel the lactic acids build up in our hands. After each run we would have to almost pry our hands from our handlebars in minor pain, but with one of the usual post-DH riding tastes and feeling of grinding dust in our teeth, we were all stoked about another great day of biking. For more information regarding Burke Bike Park, you can call (802) 626-7300 or visit www.skiburke.com.

A group of friends and I headed to Burke Bike Park for a day of adrenaline-packed downhill (DH) mountain biking on Sep. 25. Burke Bike Park is located in East Burke at Burke Mountain Resort. Burke Mountain is a traditional ski area by winter and one of the few lift-served MTB destinations in New England during the summer and early fall months. There are many aspects in mountain biking, and DH mountain biking is described as one of the funnest forms. However, the risk of injury can be a little higher if you are launching your bike off of the machine-built jumps or charging down steep technical single track. Downhill mountain biking often involves little pedaling compared to its close relative, cross country mountain biking. Along with the difference in riding, there is a good chance you are going to want to have a bike with full suspension, as opposed to a traditional hardtail mountain bike with only front suspension. There is a good chance you will be traveling at higher speeds over rough terrain. The machine-built trails are similar to a dirt bike track, with jumps and big berm banked turns. With this in mind, many riders look into using full-faced helmets and additional knee, shin and elbow pads, along with a neck brace. The weather was one of the first signs that fall mountain biking was upon us. Skies were clear and temperatures hovered around the 60 degrees Fahrenheit mark. After gearing up and purchasing tickets, we headed to the lifts. We handed the lifties our bikes and jumped on a chair. While scoping out the dirt from the lift, we discussed what run we should take first. We agreed to do a warmup run on the trail Rolly-Grail. This is one of the four excavated trails at Burke, and it can be looked at as an intro to downhill mountain biking trail. It consists of long gradual berms, small jumps and very flowy terrain where you can pick up a lot of speed. For our second run we headed straight for our favorite trail, Jester. This is easily an all-around favorite at the resort since it was built a few years ago. It is also an excavated trail, consisting of many moderate jumps and many lines to take throughout the trail. It also has long berms and several wooden features, like a massive wall ride, a cannon feature, a rollercoaster feature, a big bridge jump and two big wooden bridge drops. Our next run was down the trail Merlin. This trail is very similar to Jester, but it has jumps on a slightly larger scale. The trail also starts and ends with single track sections, but getting to the excavated portion of the trail between these two sections is the real thrill of the run. Knightslayer was the next trail on our list. This trail is one of the more challenging trails in the bike park; it is filled with several wooden features and large tabletop jumps and drops. Knightslayer often appears to be more intimidating than it actually is due to the scale of the features. The trail has the steepest and largest tabletops at the resort and a big 20 foot-by-40 foot vertical wall ride. Throughout the day we focused on these four runs. The resort has several other trails like Black Forest, Enchanted Forest and Drawbridge that are all single-track DH trails, similar to a cross-country mountain bike trail but consisting of a steeper slope. Burke also offers a variety of more challenging freeride terrain trails from the summit of the mountain. These can only be accessed by taking a shuttle up the toll road to the top of the mountain. When the day was coming to an end, we could feel the lactic acids build up in our hands. After each run we would have to almost pry our hands from our handlebars in minor pain, but with one of the usual post-DH riding tastes and feeling of grinding dust in our teeth, we were all stoked about another great day of biking. For more information regarding Burke Bike Park, you can call (802) 626-7300 or visit www.skiburke.com.

Sending the final drop on Jester.

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A group of friends and I headed to Burke Bike Park for a day of adrenaline-packed downhill (DH) mountain biking on Sep. 25.

 
Burke Bike Park is located in East Burke at Burke Mountain Resort. Burke Mountain is a traditional ski area by winter and one of the few lift-served MTB destinations in New England during the summer and early fall months.

 
There are many aspects in mountain biking, and DH mountain biking is described as one of the funnest forms. However, the risk of injury can be a little higher if you are launching your bike off of the machine-built jumps or charging down steep technical single track.

 
Downhill mountain biking often involves little pedaling compared to its close relative, cross country mountain biking. Along with the difference in riding, there is a good chance you are going to want to have a bike with full suspension, as opposed to a traditional hardtail mountain bike with only front suspension.

 
There is a good chance you will be traveling at higher speeds over rough terrain. The machine-built trails are similar to a dirt bike track, with jumps and big berm banked turns. With this in mind, many riders look into using full-faced helmets and additional knee, shin and elbow pads, along with a neck brace.

 
The weather was one of the first signs that fall mountain biking was upon us. Skies were clear and temperatures hovered around the 60 degrees Fahrenheit mark.

 
After gearing up and purchasing tickets, we headed to the lifts. We handed the lifties our bikes and jumped on a chair. While scoping out the dirt from the lift, we discussed what run we should take first.

 
We agreed to do a warmup run on the trail Rolly-Grail. This is one of the four excavated trails at Burke, and it can be looked at as an intro to downhill mountain biking trail. It consists of long gradual berms, small jumps and very flowy terrain where you can pick up a lot of speed.

 
For our second run we headed straight for our favorite trail, Jester. This is easily an all-around favorite at the resort since it was built a few years ago. It is also an excavated trail, consisting of many moderate jumps and many lines to take throughout the trail. It also has long berms and several wooden features, like a massive wall ride, a cannon feature, a rollercoaster feature, a big bridge jump and two big wooden bridge drops.

 
Our next run was down the trail Merlin. This trail is very similar to Jester, but it has jumps on a slightly larger scale. The trail also starts and ends with single track sections, but getting to the excavated portion of the trail between these two sections is the real thrill of the run.

 
Knightslayer was the next trail on our list. This trail is one of the more challenging trails in the bike park; it is filled with several wooden features and large tabletop jumps and drops. Knightslayer often appears to be more intimidating than it actually is due to the scale of the features. The trail has the steepest and largest tabletops at the resort and a big 20 foot-by-40 foot vertical wall ride.

 
Throughout the day we focused on these four runs. The resort has several other trails like Black Forest, Enchanted Forest and Drawbridge that are all single-track DH trails, similar to a cross-country mountain bike trail but consisting of a steeper slope.

 
Burke also offers a variety of more challenging freeride terrain trails from the summit of the mountain. These can only be accessed by taking a shuttle up the toll road to the top of the mountain.

 
When the day was coming to an end, we could feel the lactic acids build up in our hands. After each run we would have to almost pry our hands from our handlebars in minor pain, but with one of the usual post-DH riding tastes and feeling of grinding dust in our teeth, we were all stoked about another great day of biking.

 
For more information regarding Burke Bike Park, you can call (802) 626-7300 or visit www.skiburke.com.