Bike: Ride the Beast. Killington Bike Park 25 years old

Philpug

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July 06, 2016 By Bike Words and photos: Ryan Thibault

Now in its 25th year of lift-serviced riding, Vermont’s Killington Resort is poised to lead the Northeast’s downhill community into the future.
But before we go there, let’s take a step back.

Many New England ski resorts have dabbled in mountain biking. Since the early 90’s, many have boasted “downhill” trails–which usually consisted of open-slope fire roads with massive water bars–and offered Gen’ Y elastomer-suspended rental bikes that simply weren’t up to the challenge. Many mainstream resorts jumped ship early on, but Killington weathered the storm.

Previously known for its advanced steep and rocky terrain, the resort now offers a spectrum of evolved trails accessed by three lifts. From beginner and intermediate runs to raw, expert-level tech and flowy offerings designed by Gravity Logic, Killington’s three mountain areas have it all–and the expansion continues.

Last week I met up with a crew of local riders that agreed to take me on a grand tour of the gravity playground. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Beast,’ Killington is nestled smack dab in the center of the Green Mountains. And though the mountain’s gradual slopes appear mellow from afar, I was immediately struck by the scale of the place. Rising up over 2000 feet from its base lodge, the sprawling topography makes for an optimal foundation for a bike park....

Read more at: Bike Magazine
 

Erik Timmerman

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I was just down there on Saturday. It was fun, but as Mike Thomas said it is "just so Killington". Meaning that to do the trail you want, you have to ride up a huge lift, across the mountain on a fireroad, down some kind of muddy hell and push up another fire road only to finally ride the trail you want to ride. It is good and getting better, but I'd ride Bromont or Highland first any day, and although I haven't been yet, I think Berkshire East is gonna kill Killington.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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I first rode Killington back in the 90's..I think with @epic and @Mike Thomas at another point. Which was my first experience with any riding of this sort, for a point of reference, I was on a Trek Y bike, forget if it was an 11 or a 22. More recent, Lola and I went up for a day, maybe about 2005 or so and I will say she was a trooper because it was not her cup of herbal tea. Most of the riding that I did at that point was off of K1, fireroads to single track to fire roads.
 

Superbman

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Berkshire East/ Thunder Mountain is already killing Killington. ALL of T-Mountain's trails are built and designed by Gravity Logic, all are accessible from the Top heading down. Yes, Killing uses Gravity to design their newer trails, BUT they use local labor to actually build them. T-mountain has a full Gravity crew on site that builds and maintains (and it is the constant going back and reworking by well-paid, knowledgeable pros that makes the biggest difference) the trails as well as designs them. It makes a difference. A really big difference.

Killington, just like in skiing, serves up a ton of trail 'mileage' that so far is hard to match. But miles of quality and diverse trails??? Come check out the T-Mountain scene and decide for yourself.

Highland is still Highland-great grass roots vibe and will remain the leader in edgy slope style trails of consequence. They're offering a different general experience than K-ton or Thunder Mountain, which is great. Different products for different riders.

I do know that there is a growing contingent of NJ and downstate NY riders who are opting for the longer drive to Berkshire East/ Thunder Mountain over Mountain Creek. I haven't ridden Vernon Valley since it was called Diablo Mountain Bike park, so I can't comment on Mountain Creek vs. Thunder…I hear good things about mountain creek and it was certainly the first resort in the east to get the whole cohesive 'Bike Park' experience.

Honestly, Bike Parks are the next frontier in mountain biking, and the East has a lot going on and is the Region of progression at the moment.
 
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