A wild ride: bike trails cleared for opening | SierraSun.com

A wild ride: bike trails cleared for opening

The largest mountain biking park in Northern California will open tomorrow for a free day of lift access to over 100 miles of intermediate and challenging terrain. Northstar-at-Tahoe’s summer season begins this weekend as the Echo and Vista lifts carry riders to the top.

To prepare for downhillers, the Northstar mountain bike park staff have been on the trails, clearing hazards and controlling erosion for the last two weeks. Saturday will mark the first full- price day ($25 adults/$17 children for an all-day pass) of the season which extends into early fall.

“We work on keeping the trails as natural as possible by not altering the mountain’s landscape,” said Northstar Communications Manager Erin Bernall. “Of course, the crews will remove anything that could be dangerous or block the trails; but other than that, they are left as they are.”

Riders at Northstar can explore the intricate loops and trails on the mountain that are often not accessible during the ski season. An old fire access road known by locals as the “Fibreboard Freeway,” can also be reached via lift service. The “Fibreboard Freeway” deposits riders into Tahoe City.

Preparations for a June 29 opening are also underway at Squaw Valley USA, as a crew of seven or eight workers has been raking trails and clearing away debris after the ski season. During the 1999 summer season, Squaw Valley closed its mountain bike park, leaving a significant amount of work for last year’s crew after nearly two summers of relative inactivity.

This year, however, the five main trails require minimal work before the first day of operation.

“It is pretty rugged terrain, and we leave it as such. This makes our mountain less of a park and more natural,” said Squaw Public Relations Director Katja Dahl. “It is a wild experience.”

The Cable Car will run throughout the summer and provides unlimited mountain access for $27 a day. Riders can cruise down the long Mountain Run from High Camp to the base of the hill or explore the many trails through the trees.

Lifts at both resorts are maintained regularly and will undergo thorough inspection before beginning service to the mountain biking terrain. Full suspension mountain bikes and helmets are also available for day rental at the parks.

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