From California to the New York Island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters, the International Mountain Bike Association has laid down sweet trails called “Epics.”
And for 2010, six new Epic rides from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to the deserts of west Texas have been added to the 60 already in existence from sea to shining sea.
The new Epics are:
Black Rock/Falls City, Oregon — The Black Rock Epic offers gravity-oriented mountain bikers a dream area, set in a classic Northwest forest. After a quick spin up the 3-mile access road (closed to vehicles), riders find themselves faced with a difficult decision: Which ridiculously fun trail to take? Choices range from the beginner-friendly Bonzai line to the gaps, drops and wooden features (milled from local trees) on Granny’s Kitchen.
Fresno-Saucedo Loop/Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas — ”A huge day in the saddle and super challenging,” says IMBA board member and Mountain Bike Hall of fame inductee Hill Abell. “Even the most accomplished 4-wheeler would have second thoughts about traversing the rugged double track segments, and you’ll witness incredible geography throughout the ride.” Hurricane Cliffs/Hurricane, Utah — Grand mesas, vertical rock formations and deep canyons combine with extinct volcanoes and vast rolling arroyos, bringing together a taste of all that southwest Utah’s Color Country has to offer. The Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network strings together a 21-mile loop, formed by four segments: the Hurricane Rim, JEM, Gould and Gould Rim trails. http://www.imba.com/epics/hurricane-cliffs
MoCo Loop/Montgomery County, Maryland — The 40-mile MoCo Epic reveals the possibilities for great riding in suburban landscapes. A common refrain from participants on a recent tour was, “I felt like I was actually going somewhere.” They were, of course, even if the riding was just outside their own backyards.
Oak Mountain/Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama — This mountainous trail winds around a large lake, offering stunning vistas. The suggested route begins with a challenging, technical climb that gains 600 feet in a little less than 3 miles to reach one of several ridges in the park. The payoff is twofold: magnificent views and a demanding descent that challenges riders to navigate a series of rocky, often-slippery turns.
Rock Lake/Cable, Wisconsin — The deep-forest North Woods riding creates a memorable experience that any mountain biker will savor. Mostly high-quality singletrack, with just a handful of wider sections and brief dirt road interludes, this route provides one of the longest skinny-trail journeys in the Upper Midwest.
Hurricane Cliffs/Hurricane, Utah — Grand mesas, vertical rock formations and deep canyons combine with extinct volcanoes and vast rolling arroyos, bringing together a taste of all that southwest Utah’s Color Country has to offer. The Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network strings together a 21-mile loop, formed by four segments: the Hurricane Rim, JEM, Gould and Gould Rim trails.