The experience of mountain biking — rolling through a scenic landscape while challenging the body and stimulating the mind — has inspired millions of trail lovers. As the sport continues to grow, it promises to do the same for millions more. The International Mountain Biking Association has developed models for inspiring trail systems that can be replicated all over the globe. The IMBA model trail designations include Epics, Flow Country Trails, Gateway Trails and Ride Centers.
The 2010 Epics were selected from nominations provided by IMBA clubs, chapters and patrols, along with individual members. Our field staff and regional directors weighed the nominations and worked with local advocates to create the ride descriptions below. Many thanks to everyone who participated in nominating, selecting and creating the descriptions for the 2010 Epics.
The six new Epic rides include plenty of variety — from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to the deserts of west Texas, they provide something for everyone:
Black Rock/Falls City, Oregon
The Black Rock Epic offers gravity-oriented mountain bikers a dream area, set in a classic Northwest forest. After a quick spin up the 3-mile access road (closed to vehicles), riders find themselves faced with a difficult decision: Which ridiculously fun trail to take? Choices range from the beginner-friendly Bonzai line to the gaps, drops and wooden features (milled from local trees) on Granny’s Kitchen.
Fresno-Sauceda Loop/Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas
“A huge day in the saddle and super challenging,” says IMBA board member and Mountain Bike Hall of fame inductee Hill Abell. “Even the most accomplished 4-wheeler would have second thoughts about traversing the rugged double track segments, and you’ll witness incredible geography throughout the ride.”
Hurricane Cliffs/Hurricane, Utah
Grand mesas, vertical rock formations and deep canyons combine with extinct volcanoes and vast rolling arroyos, bringing together a taste of all that southwest Utah’s Color Country has to offer. The Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network strings together a 21-mile loop, formed by four segments: the Hurricane Rim, JEM, Gould and Gould Rim trails.
MoCo Loop/Montgomery County, Maryland
The 40-mile MoCo Epic reveals the possibilities for great riding in suburban landscapes. A common refrain from participants on a recent tour was, “I felt like I was actually going somewhere.” They were, of course, even if the riding was just outside their own backyards.
Oak Mountain/Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama
This mountainous trail winds around a large lake, offering stunning vistas. The suggested route begins with a challenging, technical climb that gains 600 feet in a little less than 3 miles to reach one of several ridges in the park. The payoff is twofold: magnificent views and a demanding descent that challenges riders to navigate a series of rocky, often-slippery turns.
Rock Lake/Cable, Wisconsin
The deep-forest North Woods riding creates a memorable experience that any mountain biker will savor. Mostly high-quality singletrack, with just a handful of wider sections and brief double track interludes, this route provides one of the longest skinny-trail journeys in the Upper Midwest.
Visit imba.com/epics for additional ride info, including online maps, logistical planning materials and links to IMBA-affiliated clubs and business associated with each of the Epic rides. To suggest edits and updates to the 60 Epic ride descriptions, send a note to [email protected], or use our contact form.
For Immediate Release 11-2-2010
Contact: Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115
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