This past weekend my c2d honchos dispatched me to check out Highland Bike Park, all the way the hell up in Tilton, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, Curt snagged the official c2d point and shoot camera for his Diablo trip, and since my company-issued beeper does not take pictures (or, you know, make fucking phone calls), you have to make due with words and some creatively placed links. By the way, you know who else loves going to New Hampshire in early October? Leaf peepers. No shit. People who like to look at colored leaves. There are a shitload of these people. Every hotel around Tilton was jam packed with New England-y types in hiking boots and LL Bean ensembl├ęs rarin' to get out there and dry hump a few golden- and amber- leaf hued maples and elms.

My crew was able to procure a room at a delightful Super 8 motel and we jammed 4 of us along with all our gear and bikes into a room about the size of your average NYC studio apartment, after a godawful 8-hour crawl from NYC to that selfsame room, marled in a traffic jam filled with subarus and minvans packed with the aforementioned leaflovers spread bewteen hither and thither. We arrived late Friday night to meet a pissy, foggy rain which promised soggy muddy conditions the next morning at Highland. After a fitful, snore- and fart-filled night's sleep we gathered our bikes and gear, chucked it all in the back of the c2d limo, hit the diner for a pile of eggs and sausages and coffee and whatnot, and headed to the mountain.

The rain had stopped and it was clearing up by the time we rolled out of the parking lot, grabbed lift passes and headed to the lift. In the interest of not leaving you slack-jawed with tedium and/or bored and moving onto Donde's latest vid dump, how about a quick rundown of the trails at Highland?

Fancy Feast/Cat Scratch Fever/Meadows End: Muddy and super slick early on Saturday but drying up toward the end of the day and ass-haulingly fast by Sunday. These 3 trails are the easier runs on the mountain as far as technicality goes, just berms. Sweeping berms, tight berms, downhill berms, uphill berms, ess berms, tall berms, short berms, well, you get the idea. You can just lay off the brakes, lean the bike over and FOOM you're off. Faster and faster every run until you are pretty much shitting yourself.

Threshold: True DH fun for the whole family to get fucked up on. Straight in to a gnarly rock shoot with a few line options, but basically unweight the front and bounce your way through. Then through a berm, over a double, and line up for the big wooden step up onto a rockface about 1o feet up. Another tech rock line, into yet another tech rock line to line up for the first big drop out of that rock section. Off the brakes into a huge sweeping berm and boost over a long road gap, handful of brake, through 2 more berms and off another rock drop to berm and high speed your way through a twisty tree section.

Maiden Voyage: Tech-y DH line packed with features. You barely have time to recover from one before you are on the next. Best not to think about it and just go.

Shillelagh & Eastern Hemlock: Manlier versions of Cat Scratch and its ilk. More tech, sloppier, but fun to try and go faster and faster on as you learn the trails.

NE Style: A feature packed slope stylish run. Within 50 feet of entering, you have already gone over a teeter, off a small drop to a wood bridge made a hard right and hit a 10 foot drop to a huge berm. From there you hit a table, a jump on/off wallride, anotehr table, a wooden step up to platform to drop and woosh, off through a cornucopia of berms and hips and tables for a while. Moving along you head back into the woods on a wooden rollercoaster, drop off more stuff, jump more stuff, rail a few more berms, get on another bridge with a bunch of drops on it before ejecting yourself out on one last big drop to a hip.

Hellion: Yes. It is worth driving all this way to ride one trail. And I probably would have were it not for my duty of returning with a complete ride report for c2d. I wish it were drier when we hit it Saturday, but by Sunday it was almost flowing perfectly. Top to bottom run of jumps and berms. Nothing to do but lay off the brakes and clear everything.

That's the short of it. There's also an amazing slopestyle course, 2 jump parks, a dual slalom track and a pump track, so if you can fit 'em, bring the DH rig and the DJ bike. You'll find me up there more than once next year for sure.

I guess no post is complete with out some kind of visual representation, so enjoy this vid repost below. C2d Holds no responsibilty for the choice of soundtrack.

More Mountain Biking >>


Accatone Becchino said...

WOW! that looks morbidly ill! i gotta find something like that on my side of the world....

Curtis Chorizali said...

beyond official!!!
the same way i couldn't afford this trip, i can't afford to miss the next one!

AB - there is def stuff like this around your way in AZ, perhaps not ski lift type, but jumps and trails... get a bouncy FR bike!

Or perhaps you can fly out with your bike to Ohio and meet us at Rays MTB Park this December - look it up.

Retardo, u're on board for that, right?

Anonymous said...

leaf peepers? u serious? what a hell?