Windham Mountain

Windham Mountain /
United States

#ECRT 2017: Windham Mountain ECRT 2017 Windham

After leaving the steep, raw, terrain at Plattekill Bike Park, we were headed to our fourth stop on our summer long bike park tour.  Much anticipated—Windham Mountain Bike Park was our next stop!  The last time we visited Windham, New York was back in 2014 and just one year before Windham starting circulating their chairlifts for mere mortals like ourselves.  For many years, they had only seen the likes of top, professional, mountain bike athletes and racers.  Windham has played host to multiple World Cup DH/XCO Races, and PRO GRT/XCT race events.  Since the summer of 2015, they have begun firing up their chairlifts and building trails for everyday park riders, lucky us!  We were ready to shred some gnar, pump the flow, and get to know some of the Gravity Logic team that was onsite and actively building while we were there.  We got a behind the scenes look at the new green trail and our guide was an 11 year-old ripper from Washington State, who was visiting with his dad for the summer!  Nothing better than shredding with a kid who— it seems like there’s a good chance that he was born with pedals for feet.

2014 visit

Because Windham only began building trails for the bike park back in 2015, we fully expected the bike park to be on the smaller side.  To us, it’s more about the quality of trails.  When trails are built well, it makes you want more, but quantity comes with time and only when you have a resort that wants to see its bike park operations grow.  One really great thing that Windham has going for them is the sizeable length and grade of each trail.  To make one lap, top-to-bottom, without stopping, is a definite feat!  We had to stop at least once with each lap, just to let the hands shake out and to catch our breath.  Jayce, our 11-year old guide* was on a mission to show us all the trail goods, but first, we needed to meet his dad.  Gregg Winter is a Gravity Logic builder!  He and Seth Gehman, also a Gravity Logic trail builder, were busy making dirt magic, expanding on the only green trail that Windham has, known as Kaaterskill Cruise.  As we ripped our way down Kaaterskill Cruise, we experienced a familiar feeling.  It’s the feeling we get any time we ride something Gravity Logic has built.  Gravity Logic has a silent code, a mathematical equation to everything they create.  Although, the green trail was simple and beautiful, it had a flow to it that was all too familiar, but in a good way, like coming home.  We had the opportunity to stop and take a look at what Gregg and Seth were working on.  Of course, it was all dirt, rocks, and roots with heavy equipment, but we could see their vision as the trail-marking flags ran down the hillside.

Later in the day, we were able to meet up and ride with Gregg, Seth, and Jayce to make some hot laps down Wilderness Roll—a blue flow trail, Batavia Skill—a blue tech trail, and Citizens Downhill—a single black diamond tech trail.  All three of these trails are long, top-to-bottom runs.  Wilderness Roll is a string of jumps perfect for an intermediate jumper.  All the jumps have well built takeoffs with rounded landings, great for those who are learning what to do with their bikes while in the air.  If Windham were to invest in another trail, we would suggest a top to bottom black diamond jump line!  That would be transformative for the mountain.  It was kind of a sleepy resort with lots of beginner riders on rental bikes and in rental gear. Windham definitely has the right terrain and amount of vertical descent that park riders crave.  We really hope to see them expand by putting in more trails.  Batavia Skill and Citizens Downhill were a lot of fun!  Batavia is the total package; it offers a little bit of everything.  It’s technical, fast, and flowy!  Citizens Downhill is an old racecourse.  It’s steep, rocky, and definitely technical, especially at race speeds. However, it’s a wide trail, so you can make the trail easier or harder, depending on your line choice.  Having lots of line options is good, but it can make things more challenging at speed...having to quickly make a line choice on a trail that’s not familiar.  Fair to say, we stopped a lot to scope out our preferred route.

Our experience at Windham was definitely very different compared to our visit back in 2014 at the UCI World Cup Race.  Without hoards of spectators, concerts, and a gigantic podium stage, it’s a pretty quiet resort.  We look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future of the bike park.  We haven’t heard any rumors that they plan to expand more, but we’ll keep you posted on that if we hear anything.  On a side-note, if you like trail riding, make sure to check-out the Elm Ridge trail system that is just down the road; eventually, we’ll have an article about our experiences riding there, ‘From The Mouth Of Maurice’.

*Happy Birthday to Jayce Winter who is now 12!

Having fun, looking good and feeling protected all because of these guys!


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