Pajarito Could See Big Changes
28 Apr 2014
Q&A: Pajarito Bike Park!!
Who are you and what do you do at Pajarito Bike Park?
My name is Neal Pederson, I’ve organized the volunteer construction of the bike trails at Pajarito Bike Park since the beginning. My family and I also race downhill. I’ve won USA Nationals two times (Cat1 40-44 in 2010 and Cat1 45-49 in 2013), my daughter won Jr Women’s Nationals in 2013, and my son and I won the Redbull Final Descent 12 hour downhill race open team division twice.
How long ago was Pajarito Bike Park developed? Who or what was the driving force?
We built our first downhill trail, Muy Loco, in 2003 for the Pajarito Punishment race. Rich Strang and I built the course and continued building more each year until we had enough to run lifts on a regular basis.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season at the bike park?
We typically get around 50 people per day that we are open. We are only open one day every couple weeks in the summer but that will probably increase to more days in 2015.
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
Mother’s Milk is by far the most popular trail in the park. It has numerous log rides, wooden drops, a large teeter-totter, and ends into “Red Dog” which has a corkscrew.
Will there been any new trails added this season or will yoube re-developing any existing trails?
We just finished one new trail last summer and completed bringing back all of the trails that were damaged during the 2011 Los Conchas Fire. Our mountain is now in better shape than ever but we will continue to improve all trails as needed.
Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)…
The predominant style of riding at Pajarito is Northshore wooden features and steep technical terrain. This includes numerous elevated log rides, log drops, teeter-totters, and the Red Dog corkscrew. We also have a lot of natural rock gardens and rock features as well as some great jump trails.
What is the mountain bike scene/culture like at your bike park?
Pajarito is known as a rider’s mountain. We don’t get huge crowds of inexperienced riders but the true downhill and freeriders come back as often as they can. Our scene is very laid back with most riders hanging out together in the parking lot after hours enjoying a beer or two at the end of the day.
Tell me a little bit about Pajarito’s closest town. Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to spend their time?
Pajarito is located just ten minutes above Los Alamos, NM. Los Alamos is famous for the Los Alamos National Laboratories where the atomic bomb was created during WWII. Los Alamos has a handful of small restaurants and several inexpensive hotels. The most popular place to eat and grab a beer is the Pajarito Brew Pub. Chili Works makes one of the best breakfast burritos around. Both places are located on the main Trinity Drive that runs through town.
Tell us about any big events that are happening this summer at the bike park?
On June 7th Pajarito will be hosting the very first downhill race of the new Central States Cup series. This will be on the same day as Summer Fest, which hosts multiple local microbreweries and live music.
When is your typical season? Do you have an opening date yet?
Below is our schedule for the 2014 schedule:
June 7, 2014 Summerfest, 12 local microbreweries, band, lift serviced bike-and-hike, Pajarito Punishment downhill race
June 14, 2014 lift serviced bike-and-hike
July 12, 2014 lift serviced bike-and-hike
July 26, 2014 lift serviced bike-and-hike
Aug 2, 2014 lift serviced bike-and-hike
Aug 23, 2014 lift serviced bike-and-hike
Sept 6, 2014 lift serviced bike-and-hike
Sept 20, 2014 Ullrfest, 12 local microbreweries, band, lift serviced bike-and-hike
What does the future hold for PajaritoBike Park?
There are a lot of big things going on right now that could have a big impact on Pajarito. The Los Alamos County may take over the ski area and if they do they plan to invest heavily in the summer mountain biking activities. They may hire a large trail building company like Gravity Logic to build multiple flow trails, something that is difficult for us volunteer builders to do without heavy equipment. If this happens the number of open days per summer should increase significantly.