08
Jul
2016
0

Summer

Baldy Beckons Mountain Bikers

There once was a time when mountain biking was just a fringe sport, something practiced and beloved by few, but little known to the masses. Slowly but surely, Sun Valley has helped change that.

One of the first ski resorts in the country to offer lift-access for mountain bikes back in the late-1990s, Baldy has long been on the forefront on the sport’s growing popularity. It’s a tradition that is continuing with the popular new Flow Trails. So the fact that Sun Valley has finally become a mecca for mountain bike riders is a dream-com-true for lots of folks like Eric Chizum.


Eric Chizum at Ride Sun Valley

Eric grew up riding the dirt roads and trails of the valley long before the sport was popular. He is now one of the top mountain bike racers in the region, including being the top overall local finisher at the recent Ride Sun Valley races. 

“We were fairly progressive back in the day, but mountain biking didn’t really blow up here until recently,” said Eric, who guides mountain bike trips and helps run the bike shop at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports at River Run Lodge. “At the turn of the century, we started to build trails and everything started changing.”

Over the last decade and half, things really started to pick up speed with the local mountain biking community. More trails were built, access was expanded, events like the extremely popular Ride Sun Valley and Crosstoberfest were born. Sun Valley has now become a part of just about every mountain biker’s Bucket List.


Courtesy of Mountain Sports International, Inc.

“It’s been fun to watch the mountain biking scene grow here. This is just an awesome place to be if you like to ride,” said Eric. “There are over 400 miles of single track that can be linked together and we’re always trying to improve the downhill experience.”

While Baldy’s two classic Downhill or Perimeter Trails, Warm Springs and Cold Springs, have long been popular, the new Flow Trails have upped the game and the appeal of bombing down Idaho’s most famous ski hill.

“The goal is to offer something a little different and to appeal to more folks. If you’re into enduro riding you’re getting more options here now. That’s why we built those Flow Trails,” Eric said.

Courtesy of Mountain Sports International, Inc.

Eric explained that unlike traditional Downhill Trails, which are usually “single track, fast and fun,” Flow Trails include more manmade elements like banked-out corners, jumps and more technical terrain. “They’re super fun, like high-speed Pump Tracks,” he said.

There are now two Flow Trails on Baldy, both accessible from the Christmas Lift via the gondola, where riders can bomb easy/intermediate or advanced laps all day long. While the riding isn’t easy or recommended for everyone, just about everybody who rides Baldy enjoys it.

“Even when people come back with war wounds from their rides, they’re usually pretty stoked about it,” said Eric, who enjoys spending time with his young son and wife when he’s not working or racing.


Courtesy of Mountain Sports International, Inc.

Eric and the team at Pete Lane’s have everything you need to ride safely, from top-of-the-line-gear and bikes to plenty of knowledge and advice. They’ve even built a Skills Track at the base of Baldy along the river to assess riders’ abilities before sending them out on the trails.

Eric said they’ve geared up and guided everyone from advanced 6 and 7 year olds to folks in their early 60s. “We’ve got everything you need to get you out there having fun,” he said.


Courtesy of Mountain Sports International, Inc.

Mountain Biking Baldy Basics:
Sun Valley offers lift-access to two styles of mountain biking trails, Perimeter and Flow.
           
There are two Perimeter (Downhill) Trails, both accessible from the top of the mountain. Warm Springs is more advanced and covers about 11 miles from top to bottom. Cold Springs is intermediate and covers about 8 miles from the top of Baldy to the trail’s end by St. Luke’s Hospital.

There are two Flow Trails both are about 4 miles long and accessible from the Christmas Chair Lift at the top of the gondola. Lupine is for beginner and intermediate riders. Saddle Up is for advanced riders.

Sun Valley offers half, full and multiple days lift ticket options. They also rent bikes of all kinds and all the gear necessary for any type of riding. Mountain bike rentals even include lift tickets.

Mountain Bike Instruction and wide-variety of Guided Mountain Bike Rides are also available. For more information call 208.622. 2281 or check out https://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/biking.


05
Jul
2016

Summer

Swing and Splash Into Summer

Although there are innumerable ways to get outside during the 17 hours of daylight on any given summer day in Sun Valley, some of the most fun ones might be closest...

Read More
01
Jul
2016

Events

Prepare for a Sparkling Fourth

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is upon us and there is so much to do. Starting tomorrow, July 2, and running through the 4th, there are endless ways to enjoy...

Read More

28
Jun
2016

Events

The Hottest Show on Ice

Get ready to see sparks fly as Sun Valley on Ice makes its debut for the 2016 season this coming Saturday night, July 2. This spectacular show will be part of a...

Read More
24
Jun
2016

Events

Let the Season Begin!

On Saturday, June 25, the lifts on the River Run side of Bald Mountain will kick into gear, signaling the true start of the glorious Sun Valley summer season. The weather...

Read More

Can’t-Miss Spring Packages


0

Whether you want to get in the final turns of the season on Baldy or to swing into spring on Sun Valley’s storied golf courses, now is the time to take advantage of some terrific stay and play packages. If you were on the fence about a visit in the spring or early summer, with these deals, you won’t be for long! This is the last official week of skiing on Baldy and what a season it’s been! Record snowfall and cool temperatures have made spring skiing conditions pretty unbelievable. Reports from the weekend deemed Sunday...