What did you do over the Holiday? Indoor MTB and Hot New Gear for Me!

Hi folks, I hope you enjoyed the Holiday Season. I also hope Santa was good to you as well. So… what did you do over the break? Anything interesting show up under the tree for ya? I ended spending some time over the break at Joyride 150, an indoor bike park up in Toronto, Canada much like the two Ray’s down in the States. I gotta say, indoor bike parks are a good idea for the whole family because there’s something for everyone.

I ended up riding indoors 4 times in 2 weeks, taking my XC, trail and DJ bikes out for spins. I rode just about everything they had to offer from the two pump tracks on my DJ bike to the challenging skinnies on my trail bike to the XC track with my XC bike. Joyride also has progressive jumps and a vert park for those who dare to enjoy air. Believe it or not, indoor riding is a great way to stay in shape and sharpen up your riding skills during the “off season.” I spent a ton of time learning a sweet new tail whip move on the progressive jumps, something I always wanted to do on the slopes but was a bit too shy to try. The idea of sucking dirt and rocks just doesn’t appeal to me so a controlled environment like the one at Joyride (high skill, low consequence) is perfect for building skills.

During some of my visits to Joyride 150 there up to 280 riders, not to mention families hanging around and watching everything from a few folks honing their trials skills to others nailing 360-degree backflips and tail whips into the foam pit. The great thing about many indoor parks is that they’re usually close enough to a hotel and other attractions that can add to the experience of your mini vacation if you have to travel. Fortunately I live very close by so I get to ride pretty much whenever I like!

Mark Summers, one of the owners at Joyride 150, explained how he got the idea to open the place after taking his own mini vacation a few years back with his family. He said he loved the idea so much they had to do it here (Toronto) and it was just a matter of finding a location big enough to do it (Joyride is 80,000 sq ft). These days Joyride is well established and has partnered with local hotels for deals and family packages. This, in turn, has lured more and more out of state visitors.

Well needless to say I continue to have a great time at Joyride and find that I use the facilities often when testing new products as well. I can always count on some of the key features to be there so I can evaluate products without second guessing if it’s the product or the terrain that is making a difference.

New MTB Gear

The photos below show a sneak peak of some hotly anticipated skid lids I just received. The new T2 from THE is for the gravity park folks and the new XAR is for all of you who want a lightweight XC / AM lid with superior protection and fit.

Speaking of products and parts and stuff – Santa (and his manufacturing reps) recently sent out some of the new 2011 items for product review. Look for product tests from Giro, POC, THE, Mavic, Fox and more to help you gear up for the upcoming riding season!

Looking further into 2011, we also have more cool contests on tap as well. Thanks to your word of mouth, singletracks has been growing and with growth comes notoriety (which helps us get great prizes for giveaways). Just above is my Opus Nelson FR bike which this year is sporting the all new Fox 36 Talas 180 FIT RC2 and a SRAM XO 9spd drivetrain in red.

My DH project bike, the Banshee Legend II, has been coming along nicely as well. Here is a glory shot of the bike just waiting to hit the slopes! The build now comes in at just a hair over 36lbs. with dual ply rubbers from ITS. The new Mavic Deemax Ultimate wheels, in case you’re wondering, are under 2,000 grams (1,965).

We’re stoked for mountain biking in 2011 and hope you are too! Stay tuned and stay well everyone.

Happy New Year.

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