|Clank, clank, clank clank!!|
|Matt G. Braappp!!|
It was an interesting experience. There is no doubt that this is an awesome new direction for the sport of MTB in our region. This bike playground was designed and constructed by Gravity Logic, the builders behind the Whistler Bike Park. Just looking at the layout you could tell the job was done by a crew that had a lot of experience. Every inch of the little ski hill was planned for and utilized. The construction was obviously well done as well. I was especially impressed by the pre-made free ride features and hope to see more of those popping up in the region for sure.
|Pair of thirty weight ball bearings and some chewing gum|
|Get some meat cause its loose.|
All that said The Rock has its share of challenges as well. It is a short ride down the hill for sure, however despite the short length the ski lift that is hauling folks back to the top is extremely slow. Case in point I rode to the top nearly as fast as my buddy who rode the lift and with minimal exertion. Obviously I had a lighter trail bike, and with anything bigger I would not have cared, but the lift is a handicap for the area.
Secondly, The Rock is cursed with bad soil. The surface is really loose and really dusty. Granted it had not rained in some time and that might have an effect, but I was constantly wondering what the place would have been like had it been built with better material.
Lastly, I was surprised at the lack of Blue Runs. It really seemed to have a solid amount of Green Runs, then it went right to Black and Double Black. Although I will admit that at least one of the Black runs I did, could have also been called a Dark Blue as it was really fun and not as advanced as some of the other Blacks I ventured down. All the guys that were riding the bigger and harder trails, really loved them. I cant hit that kind of level so I have to leave it to them for the critique, but they seemed really pleased with the lines.
|You will get to know your buddies on the ride up|
|The dark side of the hill|
Again, all in all I think that The Rock has a bright future in Southern, WI and that it will spur more riding of its type in the region. It is a good step forward for our sport that is for sure. Riders who are looking at more gravity oriented experiences will be happy.
I was also impressed by the Risk Management that The Rock has invested in. That being Bike Patrol, instruction and body armor rental.
Overall I had a great time in the two sessions I pulled at The Rock. I did find by the end though, that I was stoked at the quality of riding we are seeing across the region and that our indigenous builders are most certainly starting to build at the quality level (both riding wise and sustainability wise) as the folks we are deeming the bench mark from Canada. It especially made me realize how lucky we really are at Spirit Mountain with soils, terrain and length of runs....and of course the phat lines we have on the ground too!