WBP Review: Following Up With Keystone
1 Sep 2015
WBP Review: A Follow Up With Keystone “The New TNT” (Part ONE here)
After leaving Angel Fire N.M., it wasn’t difficult to point our RV North and continue our journey back to the land of many bike parks (i.e. Colorado). We had gotten the word that the trail crew at Keystone Bike Park was nearly ready to unveil to the world, the newly remodeled upper part of “TNT”, a black trail that used to be an old logging road. The one thing Keystone had been missing was a genuine bonafide flow trail. So there was no chance that we would be missing out on that!
Upon arriving at the base of the mountain, the first thing we said while gearing up in the parking lot was, “Damn! It’s Hot!” Colorado had finally dried out and the temps went up. Smoke, from wildfires in Washington and California, filled the air and reduced visibility. However, this didn’t deter our excitement to check out the new “TNT”! We rolled up to the lift, started our BikeParkPRO app and up the lift we went with huge smiles on our faces, happy to be back!
The "itchell" brothers build and shred the mountain! These 'gangstars' style out on the final feature of the new "Upper TNT". If you build it, then you get to name it. We heard this one's called the "Holy Diver". (Riders: Tyler Mitchell & Eric Hitchell)
Riding the lift up to the airy summit at 11,640ft, the most direct route to connect with “Upper TNT” had us descending on “Cowboy Up”, which is a great combo of jumps and gnar. Jeff Lehmann (trail crew supervisor) took us on a walking tour down the new TNT into a land of dirt-art! Sculpted, bermed s-turns, table top jumps, hip jumps, step-downs and the pièce-de-résistance—step-up, step-off (monster) wood feature! In addition to the obligatory features, the trail crew have hand picked and placed tons of boulders along the trail to form a masterful trail-scape, worthy of a spread in Landscape Architecture Magazine.
Just another day at the office for these guys. Making Keystone a better bike park one day at a time! (From left to right: Boss Man—Jeff Lehmann, Tyler Mitchell, Eric Hitchell, Steve Mesinger, Sol McLellan)
Spoiled by the tacky (hero) dirt on our previous visit, we returned to Keystone only to find bone-dry conditions that presented some serious challenge for hacks like us. We seemed to lose some of our mojo after a couple of crashes, but soon warmed up to the dry and dusty terrain.
Cooling down after hot-laps in the park!
Other notable trail improvements worth mentioning include a re-working of the rock “stairway” on the upper section of the trail called “High Speed Dirt”. Also, on the intermediate rated “Mosquito Coast” trail is a new-banked wall enabling riders to carry speed through the turn. A much-appreciated addition!
"Mosquito Coast" is our favorite intermediate trail; gets a new wallride, allowing for max speed through the turn.
Keystone Bike Park is in desperate need of an intermediate trail off the top of the mountain, and they are due to break ground on one next season—along with plans for 7 new trails in total!!! With that, we can’t wait to make a visit in 2016!
Tyler Mitchell getting flat on the new "TNT" and soaring over the rock-art that exists throughout this zone.
Bike whip to the right...hair whip to the left. Tyler Mitchell boosting the 1st table like no other.