Bigger, badder biking slated for Northstar | SierraSun.com

Bigger, badder biking slated for Northstar

Staff reports
Ryan Salm/File PhotoA mountain biker competes in one of Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort's downhill races. The resort's mountain bike park is set to reopen on June 29 after remaining closed last summer due to construction.
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The Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort mountain bike park is set for a grand return on June 29 after a one-year hiatus.

“This year is gonna truly be the biggest and baddest year of mountain bike riding at Northstar,” said Kyle Crezee, mountain bike park manager at Northstar. “We finally got the green light to make improvements and a staff totally dedicated to the park. It’s gonna be the best year yet.”

After remaining closed all of last summer due to construction, the park ” which ranks as the largest in Northern California, according to the resort ” will offer two new trails, five new trail segments, a new jump park, skills development areas and increased lift access with the addition of the Tahoe Zephyr Express chairlift this past winter.

The resort also will boast its first signature trail, called LiveWire.

Modeled after the A-line trail at Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia, the 6-foot wide, 1.5-mile long LiveWire will feature large, smooth berms and tabletop jumps built throughout, as well as a grade range between 6 and 9 percent that should allow bikers to take on the entire trail without pedaling or braking, Crezee said.

In addition, because of the dusty conditions that prevail during summer, LiveWire will be the first fully irrigated mountain bike trail of its kind that Crezee is aware of.

Northstar plans to pull that off by using its existing snowmaking system and the man power of its new full-time trail crew that will be dedicated to maintaining the park, Crezee said.

Along with the full-time crew, the resort purchased additional trail-building equipment, including a Sweco 480 bulldozer, which Crezee said will be a “huge, huge help.”

Also new this year, the skills development areas will allow riders who want to get started with log and ladder rides to master the highly technical style of riding while remaining close to the ground, thus maintaining a low level of consequence. A new jump park located at mid-mountain between the bases of the Vista Express and Tahoe Zephyr Express chairlifts will also provide riders with an opportunity to practice their tricks.

“Our goal is to continue to progress the sport of mountain biking and provide riders from intermediate to expert levels with rugged, technical terrain and challenging freestyle features that will keep them coming back for more,” Crezee said.

While Crezee expects more traffic on the mountain than in previous summers, he said the additional trails should effectively spread out the riders, creating a less-crowded atmosphere.

Helmets are required in the park for all riders and can be rented along with bikes and other equipment at the resort. Daily lift tickets are required for lift access and can be purchased for $39, with season passes running $229.

Northstar again will host its Downhill Race Series and the Cross-Country Race Series this summer, which is open to riders of all ages.

The park is scheduled to be open daily, weather and conditions permitting, through Sept. 3 and will be open Friday though Sunday until Oct. 7. Daily operating hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the Northstar Resort Mountain Bike Park visit http://www.northstarattahoe.com or call the Northstar Resort Bike Shop at 562-2268.