even for experts. These are often a great
warm-up for even advanced riders and can
be fun trails for beginners to ride all day.
These trails are typically free of jumps, but
will thrill riders with fast berms and lots
of flow. Towards the end of the day, when
you are starting to get tired, it can be a
good idea to finish on an easier trail since
you are less likely to make a major mistake
resulting in injury.
Never stop on a feature: Some Joeys
love to stop and tinker with their equipment
mid-trail. This can be extremely dangerous. At our local bike parks, we have seen
riders stop right next to the landing of a
jump so they can adjust their rebound or
reposition their kneepads. It’s important to
remember that riders sometimes can’t see
over the lip of a take-off ramp until it’s too
late. If you’re standing on the landing ramp,
you’re flirting with disaster. It’s best to continue riding to an opening where it’s safe
to bring your bike to a stop and then adjust
your bike or take a quick breather.
Never ride over your head: Downhill
bikes and protective gear can make a rider
feel like a superhero right out of the gate.
It’s important to remember your skill level
when you go to a bike park. If you have
never hit big jumps before, don’t expect
to be throwing whips like the pros off of
them. Start small and work your way up.
Tabletop-style jumps with no gap are great
for coming up short. It’s more than okay
to land in the middle and then try to go a
little bigger the next time around until you
can successfully clear the jump. The most
crashed jump at Whistler is the first jump
on A-Line, the one that’s right below the
chairlift. It’s not at all uncommon on a busy
day to see several Joeys being scraped
off that jump by the medical staff because
they felt invincible on a long-travel bike
while wearing protection.
Be polite and courteous: At the bike
park you will see riders of all skill levels
riding around. At our local bike park we
often see first-time riders, as well as World
Cup pros like Aaron Gwin. It’s best to be
courteous to faster riders and let them go
around you if they are riding your tail. Fast
riders should also be polite to slower riders
and not breathe down their necks when
they are already riding as fast as they are
comfortable with. The best thing to do is
ride at a comfortable pace and give space
before dropping in on a run.
Have fun! Last but not least, go out
and have fun. Bike parks are like hopping
aboard a roller coaster with you in control.
Make sure your equipment is working properly, you’re well protected and you’re riding
within your comfort zone. Avoid looking
like a Joey by following these tips, and be
sure to give your buddies a big high five
after a successful day of shredding the bike
Gear up: A wicked-fast descent like this
one can drive some riders to wear more
protective gear. If a rider feels the need
to wear extra gear, then they should wear
it under a baggy jersey like this rider did.
Ride within your limits: A Joey will commonly ride out of his comfort zone, resulting in a gnarly crash. It’s best to enjoy the day at
the bike park by riding within your limits and calling it a day before you’re too tired to safely ride down the mountain.