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  1. #1
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    Stevens Bike Park: Friendly for beginner girlfriend?

    Thinking about checking out Stevens Pass this weekend but I noticed there are only intermediate/advanced trails open. Bringing my girlfriend who has never ridden before. Any feedback on what those lines are like?

    Is everything rollable? Renting her a dh bike but she has not ridden before. Hoping we can just cruise down some flowy trails but I don't know what they are like!

  2. #2
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    I would say no. Everything on rock Crusher is rollable, but there are steep sections, high speed areas and HUGE berms that are sometimes loaded with rocks and brake bumps. With only 3 trails up there you do get a lot of people ripping down Rock Crusher at high speed, which can be intimidating for new riders.

    Most beginner riders will get freaked out and not want to ride more than one run. There is no easy cruiser run at the moment. You would probably end up spending $130+ for one run that wasn't fun for her.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  3. #3
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    +1..
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  4. #4
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    Definitely NOT beginner friendly.
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    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

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    Good to know thanks, we'll probably just head up to whistler instead.

  6. #6
    Just roll it......
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    IMO, if your girlfriend doesn't know some basics like braking, shifting, cornering, weight distribution, etc. then any bike park is going to be a very bad experience. At the very least, she should know how to ride on trails.

    If you want her to enjoy learning and you want to continue your relationship, I'd advise you buying her some personal lessons through Kat Sweet, Evergreen or other coaches. It will be the best money you've ever spent for both her biking skills and, most importantly, your relationship. Trust me.

    EB

  7. #7
    not your average bear
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    Stevens Bike Park: Friendly for beginner girlfriend?

    You can bring her, but you'll be sorry...

  8. #8
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    There is a race this weekend an the park will be closed to anyone who is not racing. Also, not the best for a total beginner. They really need a couple of green trails to help new riders get into downhill. Maybe next year after they finally finish the new jump line.

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    There's another race this weekend?
    Tarekith.com

    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

  10. #10
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    That's right there is a race this weekend. I believe it is the final leg of the NW Cup or whatever they call it.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  11. #11
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    Speaking as a woman (who also used to teach women's whitewater kayaking), before you go to Whistler, or Stevens, take her to Duthie and ride Bootcamp a bunch of times.

    If that goes well try Movin' On. But DO NOT push her to just step up and ride where you like to ride or you will both suffer.

    If, and that's a big IF, she is doing well AND having fun at Duthie, consider going up to Squamish and riding Alice Lake if you really want a road trip. Or go to Whistler but get her in a lesson ASAP so she learns some skills and gains confidence before freaking herself out, or hurting herself (or you).

    Have fun!
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  12. #12
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    No...unless you're looking to be single.

  13. #13
    NWS
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    For a novice, it would be a lot of work with little or no reward. The trails are extremely bumpy, and even with an 8" bike my hands were sore just from hanging on. I had fun with the jumps and the turns on Rock Crusher, but if I wasn't able to enjoy those, I would have considered it a wasted trip.

    See Stacy's message regarding more enjoyable ways to get into biking. Bootcamp is where I took my wife for her first trail riding experience as well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvergreenStacy View Post
    Speaking as a woman (who also used to teach women's whitewater kayaking), before you go to Whistler, or Stevens, take her to Duthie and ride Bootcamp a bunch of times.

    If that goes well try Movin' On. But DO NOT push her to just step up and ride where you like to ride or you will both suffer.

    If, and that's a big IF, she is doing well AND having fun at Duthie, consider going up to Squamish and riding Alice Lake if you really want a road trip. Or go to Whistler but get her in a lesson ASAP so she learns some skills and gains confidence before freaking herself out, or hurting herself (or you).

    Have fun!
    This x 1000! I didn't do this, and my wife hated our first outing, and that was just Japanese Gulch. Steven's would have been a wasted day.
    "My car of choice is a 12 year old civic that runs on the tears of my life choices." - redditor

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    For a novice, it would be a lot of work with little or no reward. The trails are extremely bumpy, and even with an 8" bike my hands were sore just from hanging on. I had fun with the jumps and the turns on Rock Crusher, but if I wasn't able to enjoy those, I would have considered it a wasted trip.
    .
    I'm the opposite...like the tech and gnar of the other two trails more vs the jumpy flow of RC.

  16. #16
    NWS
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    Weirdo.

    :P

  17. #17
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    Jumps are scary.

  18. #18
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    Properly built jumps can result in some of the best times you can every have with your pants on (off as well, but I like bikes more than the ladies at this current stage of my life which is probably a bit weird).

    The jumps on RC are not really that well built. The step-up and last 3 tables on Wookie are pretty good. On a trail like A-Line I can case the majority of the jumps with few consequences and improve over time. Hopefully the new trail will offer some A-Line/Dirt Merchant type goodness. If that trail opens I will be back up to lap the jumps over and over and over again.

  19. #19
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamsbry View Post
    On a trail like A-Line I can case the majority of the jumps with few consequences and improve over time. Hopefully the new trail will offer some A-Line/Dirt Merchant type goodness. If that trail opens I will be back up to lap the jumps over and over and over again.
    I'm really hoping the new line works out that way too... Jumps are the fun part. Riding is just a convenient way to travel between the jumps.

  20. #20
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    RE: Stevens Bike Park: Friendly for beginner girlfriend?

    I was soooo stoked for Stevens during construction and visited opening day. I knew I should have had low expectations, but I was incredibly disappointed nonetheless. It was such a muddy mess and the trails were so incomplete I couldn't imagine it being fun even in good conditions.... I was wrong! I didn't return until Labor Day this year and I was so stoked! No, RC isn't a Dirt Merchant, Freight Train or A-Line, but it's a blast! Lichen it is friggin awesome! I brought my three oldest sons (8, 11, 13) and they were shredding it and we all lamented that we "wasted" the entire summer season. We'll be back as regulars for sure next season.
    Sent from my RM-820_nam_att_100 using Board Express

  21. #21
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    What bike was your 8 year old riding?
    "My car of choice is a 12 year old civic that runs on the tears of my life choices." - redditor

  22. #22
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    Big Bikes for Little Dudes

    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post
    What bike was your 8 year old riding?
    8 year old: Kona Stinky 24 - swapped out the spring on the shock for the lightest Fox makes and dialed up the rebound damping, swapped out the coil fork for an air fork so we can run it at super low pressures (the coil fork is a joke on a bike that size, Kona shouldn't have spec'd that fork on the OEM)
    11 year old: Specialized GromHit 24 - it kills me that Specialized stopped making this bike, we got one of the last ones made a couple years ago, frame is slightly larger than the Kona, but still sized for 24" wheels
    13 year old: Santa Cruz Nickel (Small) - I was worried my oldest was going to suffer on a trail bike (the other two bikes are dedicated kid-DH rigs) with slightly steeper geometry but he loved it (he used to ride the GromHit). I was going to put some DH casing tires on the Nickel but ran out of time, trail conditions were primo, so no need for a bigger tire.

  23. #23
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    Our 16-y-o daughter rides the easy trails at Duthie (Boot Camp, Jabulani) and enjoyed some green + blue Whistler runs with a guide this season. She's been twice to Stevens. The first time she got 3 runs on RC, and was intimidated a bit. She still wants to ride Stevens but asks me to take her to Duthie more to "train"

    Definitely get her some lessons. If you have patience and a knack for teaching, and she is well-coordinated and a quick learner - you *may* be OK. You will have to go very slow in front of her and stop very very often. Having said this, it's more likely that things will turn ugly, as pointed out by many above.

  24. #24
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    I think Tiger is a good gauge. If you can't handle Preston RR and ride it at a decent pace, you're not ready for Stevens. I'm not saying you have to fly down Tiger, but if you can descend at a steady pace without stopping for techy spots or getting intimidated you will probably do fine at Stevens.

    Whistler on the other hand has stuff even beginners can enjoy. My wife rode a few laps of Easy-does-it and b-line her first time up and had a blast without getting scared. The Green circle trails up there really are beginner friendly, and it is one thing missing from Steven's.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  25. #25
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    @Fletch - that's awesome you've got a full line up of sons out riding!! I've got a 5yo son and hope he'll be into some DH in a couple years. I might have to keep my eye out for one of those gromHits.

    @lernr - I just can't think duthie is a good training ground for the stevensbikepark. Duthie is way too groomed. I'm willing to bet the places your daughter is intimidated are the bumpy, steep, rocky, loose sections. Those probably include all the big berms especially the middle section of berms in the trees then the exit out of those berms where it's steep and loose and you gotta stay on the left otherwise you're just skidding down the hill. Duthie doesn't have anything like that!!

  26. #26
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    @Eerie: somewhat. she's OK on the bumps but stays too low down in the berms, that's her problem. Doofie is not ideal, but it's 20 min from where we live, and there are some small berms there that she can use to get down the basics. I also have her try the pump track just to get a feel of the bike-body movements. Honestly, I think it's awesome that we have Duthie

    back to OP: it's a dangerous proposition, with big potential for trouble. I'm sure *some* beginner girls can be OK with the right coaching, but for the vast majority I'd say "Don't do it!"

  27. #27
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    FWIW I've got an almost 8yo that is still getting the hang of using her brakes and is totally freaked out with going down any big hills. Still way too early for the ridge, much less Stevens, lol.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  28. #28
    Just roll it......
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    Let me put it this way.

    Did most parents teach their kids to ski/snowboard or did they put them in lessons, so A. they both could have more fun on the slopes B. So they could learn with kids at their same ability and C. so the kid wasn't getting screamed at by dad and mom (and vice versa) during the tense times that always take place?

    Look at some of the bigger and more effective ski schools in our area like Powder pigs or Komo Kulshan. Those kids are in those programs for years and by the time they're 12 and 13, they're often better skiers/boarders than their parents.

    Lessons or camps on mt. bikes are exactly the same. That said, I feel like a kid or beginner needs a base level of skills to really get a lot out of lessons. Taking a kid to a bike park that can't ride normal trails is a recipe for disaster.

    One other comment I'll make as the husband of an instructor (I've helped on at least a dozen camps in Whistler, North Shore, Park City, Washington). I've seen beginner women and kids on terrible bike setups - all the while dad has a $6k bike with everything totally dialed. I'm not even getting into the quality of the bikes, but rather the bikes are often too big or too small and bikes that aren't set up for them at all. Basic stuff like brake levers being positioned for 1 finger braking, proper stem length and bar widths, suspension set up for the persons weight, seat height adjusted for the proper riding (ascending or descending). Would dad put their kid on a pair of 183 skis and just tell them to give'r??

    EB

  29. #29
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    What he said. ^^^^^^

    'cept for the Powder Pigs part. Don't know anything about Kulshan.

    We often talk about ability here but not about the equipment. many here know I have a story for just about everything and here's the one for this:
    Eastside mom puts "Johnny" into ski school. Johnny fails miserably. Mom blames the instructor for not doing thier job because some sales guy at Sturtevent's sold her the "best setup money can buy". Johnny weighs all of about 90 pounds soaking wet and has the same setup Phil and Steve Mahre just used to win gold and silver in the olympics. Yeah, Johnny is going to do great on that professional level gear.....

  30. #30
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    Quick note to defend Sturtevants - most of them do care and generally sell you stuff that fits and is appropriate for you. Yes, I remember one salesman that was ridiculous (several years ago) but other than this I have had many good experiences there!

  31. #31
    Just roll it......
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    Ooh, come on Borneo....don't be a powder pigs hater! I know you've got your own school affiliation and are some kind of master instructor, blah, blah, blah. I have several friends that loved it and now have their kids in the PP program.

    Komo Kulshan is one of the big schools/clubs at Baker....very well regarded as well.

  32. #32
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    Hehehe. A: this was a loong time ago as noted by the Mahre reference. And: B, yes, there are good references in any school. Depends on who you get...unfortunately.

    Coming back around to the original thread of sorts. Instruction is important as are the tools you are given. I'm sure many of us have seen experienced bikers kill it on "crappy" bikes and some newbie strutting around Duthie but not really riding anything on a 6K bike without any tools or even a helmet. Hand me down or hand me up bikes can really have an adverse effect on the riding experience.

  33. #33
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    At a company Christmas party in the 90s I was called out by my gal for being sanctimoniously helpful to helping strangers ride a mountain bike but I couldn't help her get over a 10-12" log across on the volunteer trail at st. Eds.

    A manager at work pointed out that as a ski instructor they deliberately kept couples from helping each other through the curriculum. That said 10-12 years later I figured out how to show her a trick for riding switchbacks.

    So my .02 is its complicated and takes more time than a day at Stevens.

  34. #34
    6'4"-6'9" with the afro
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    Totally, man. People who live on the Eastside think they can buy anything.

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