Telluride’s new bike park is slated to open on July 5 with promises of continued expansion, upgraded amenities and a one-of-a-kind experience that checks all the boxes, according to Scott Pittenger, Telski’s director of mountain operations. “We’re trying to carry over the same experience that we give people in the wintertime into the summertime,” Pittenger said.
Plans for the new bike park were developed in 2015, when Telski teamed up with Gravity Logic, a premier trail building company based in Whistler, British Columbia.
“Gravity Logic is the preeminent bike park construction design build company,” Pittenger said. “They have helped build trails not only in the Whistler bike park but at Trestle in Winter Park, Aspen, Snowmass, and now they’re an international company building trails all over the world, from South America to eastern and western Europe to China.”
Construction on the park will be a slow and steady approach, he added, with plans for yearly expansion and improvements.
“This year, we’re going to add more trails and we’re going to be working on proposals to add more trails next year,” Pittenger said.
But don’t be mistaken; the bike park will have plenty for riders of all skill levels to enjoy this summer.
“Our goal is to have an all-encompassing trail network where you have free ride, flow, downhill trails, you have technical downhill trails, you have cross country single track, cross country dirt road riding; everything that you can find in Colorado, you can find off the top of the lift,” Pittenger explained.
That’s right, he said lift. “We’re going to be running Chair 4 this year. We’re actually in the process of putting bike racks on Chair 4 right now,” Pittenger explained. That means no waiting in long gondola lines to go for a ride this festival season.
“It’s going to be a totally different thing for biking this year,” Pittenger said.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What has the Telski crew been working on this summer? For starters, there is a brand new green trail, called Tommy Knocker.
“It’s a roller coaster that goes through the woods but keeps you at a really comfortable speed. It has big, wide turns to help everybody make it around and feel comfortable. It’s a blast,” Pittenger explained. “It’s going to be fun for folks that are advanced and intermediate riders that are just looking for something different and fun and flowy to ride.”
Then there is the new jump trail, named Ore Hopper, expected to open in August, that crews have been working on since last year.
“That trail is going to be like ‘the’ trail around the southwest for a while,” Pittenger said.
Ore Hopper will be a flow trail with almost no braking needed, as the trail is designed to accommodate for rider speed. “There’s up hills and things to help slow people down. And there are some downhill sections to get people ready to catch some air. All the jumps will be rollable,” Pittenger said. “You don’t necessarily have to catch air down this entire trail, it’s built so you can keep your tires on the ground … then slowly progress as you feel more and more comfortable.”
The crew is also working on a new training loop for beginner riders near the bottom of Chair 4.
“People can get a feel for the bike if it’s their first time or start a little bit of training with a bike instructor,” Pittenger said.
Telski is also working on a network of intermediate to advanced trails, as well as cross country trails.
“We still have the World Cup downhill trail, that was built for the best professional riders in the world,” Pittenger explained. “We have intermediate trails for everybody, from cross country and downhill gravity type trails.”
From a service standpoint, Telski aims to go above and beyond with a presence from guest services, bike repair stations, bike pumps, a bike wash and bike ranger staff.
“We’re also going to have pull-offs and benches and places where people can hang out and take in the views,” Pittenger said.
Instructor and bike guide services will be offered this summer as well.
“Our goal for the bike park guide program is to capture and engage with as many guests who are interested in exploring the mountain bike park … and show them a really great, fun, safe experience,” said Noah Sheedy, Telski’s director of ski school and director for the new guide program.
The guide program is not just for beginners. The team can also help bring more experienced riders to the next level.
“We want to help them achieve any goals they may have. Whether it’s riding the trail faster or more confidently on the same trail or maybe taking it to the next level of going from intermediate trails to advanced trails,” Sheedy explained.
No doubt, working around the lingering effects of winter has been a challenge, as crews plow, shovel and snow blow trails to get them ready.
“We are doing everything we can to try to get these things open to the public,” Pittenger said.
Whenever the trails do open, conditions are expected to be pristine.
“Everything is machine built and hand finished, so everything is just in absolute primo shape. I mean, you won’t find a rock bigger than your thumb on this trail,” Pittenger added.
For more information on the bike park, admission pricing and updates, visit tellurideskiresort.com/events-activities/activities/telluride-bike-park/