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  1. #1
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    Beech Mountain DH

    Anyone ride Beech during the summer? I know it opens up in June, wife and I are looking to head that way over the summer and do some riding.

    Any advice?

    This would be our first time on a lift assisted DH trail, we're n00bs. We'll probably stick to the greens, maybe blues later in the trip, this time around.

    Wife rides a Rumor Expert and I have a Bronson. I assume the Bronson is sufficient, but will she be able to keep up on the Rumor or should we look at renting?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You should be fine on the greens with both those bikes. Even the blues, depending on skill level and weather conditions. I've ridden my 4" Enduro SX on all the trails up there. Just take it slow at first.
    And you could always swap out the Rumor and rent if ya feel its necessary.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice, we'll work our way up. I have no hesitation about renting a DH bike if we have to do so, I just figured it'd be more comfortable on something we know and the greens didn't look too intense.

    I read somewhere that the occasionally have clinics or instructors out on the trails there, is there any truth to that?

    I saw Sugar is shut down this summer I was bummed out. I always wanted to ride Sugar since I went to the Showdown at Sugar in 1996 as a kid.

  4. #4
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    I'd call the bike shop once they open and asks about the lessons. Sugar was still only one main trail running down with a 20 plus minute lift ride. I don't think you'll miss it once you ride beech. I'm just hoping they add another blue trail or a jump line trail this year. The lift at Beech is about 5 minutes. You can get in a bunch off runs.
    There's also a new place opening just out side Asheville call Baileys MTB Park but it will be a shuttle system at first from what I've heard.

  5. #5
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    Just want to throw this out there, I'm not going to be doing the trail work at Beech this year. Moving on to take on some other trail projects this summer, but I'll see you guys on the trails riding for sure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    Just want to throw this out there, I'm not going to be doing the trail work at Beech this year. Moving on to take on some other trail projects this summer, but I'll see you guys on the trails riding for sure!
    Hope to see ya around this summer on one of my trips. Good luck on what ever your working on. Has Beech added anything new, that you know of?

  7. #7
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    Another question, I noticed that the hours on the Beech website are only on weekends. The bike shop I called up there said lift service only ran Fri/Sat/Sun during the listed hours, but he wasn't sure if the trails were open.

    Are the trails open during the week or are we limited to riding only on the days with lift service?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Only Fri, Sat, Sun.

    Here ya go.
    Summer Hours and Pricing - Beech Mountain Resort

    The Emerald Outback XC/Enduro trails on the back side of the mountain are open.

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    That was close I almost booked Mon-Sat at the place we're staying.

    Thanks again for the info.

    The Emerald Outback trails look fun too, we're gonna stay July 8-12 so we should be able to hit it all a few times

  10. #10
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    You could also check out Rocky Knob in Boone. I've never been but suppose to be fantastic.

  11. #11
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    I was looking into that, we may check it out. We're actually staying on Beech (AirBnB ftw!), so that puts us at about 45min from Boone.

    I have the entire week off, so I may just rent a place closer to Boone for the days the park isn't open and hang out there, which would put us closer to Rocky Knob.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I was looking into that, we may check it out. We're actually staying on Beech (AirBnB ftw!), so that puts us at about 45min from Boone.

    I have the entire week off, so I may just rent a place closer to Boone for the days the park isn't open and hang out there, which would put us closer to Rocky Knob.

    Thanks again!
    Stay on Beech if you have a cool spot. Boone really is 45 minutes from the top of Beech, but its not far away in a straight line. It just takes a lot of time getting off of Beech and through Banner Elk. There is also some great riding in Banner Elk at Lees-McCrae College. Park at the Mill Pond (you can't miss it) off Hickory Nut Gap Rd then ride down by the dam and you will see a trail on the left. Just start exploring, you can't really get lost but the trails and terrain are very cool.

  13. #13
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    Both LMC and Rocky Knob are good when it rains. Looks like an hour or so of t storms every day for a couple weeks.

  14. #14
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    That's good to know, I wasn't sure what to expect as far as the weather goes.

    Is the Lees-McRae trail open to the public? I saw a video of it a little while ago and it looked like there were signs up indicating it was only for the college.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Both LMC and Rocky Knob are good when it rains. Looks like an hour or so of t storms every day for a couple weeks.
    Yeah, im looking at the weather trying to guess what it means for the region since I have basically the next 4 days to ride and was planning to hit Beech for part of it.

    Wonder what it will be like at Beech?

  16. #16
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    Wonder no more... Beech Mountain Parkway WebCam

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    Thanks man! Between that and calling around...Im definitely coming up.

    But I need to dirt bag it this weekend since my local friends have a newborn...can anyone recommend nice and comfortable campsites in the general area? doesnt need to be on mountain, I dont mind a little drive

  18. #18
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    Does Rocky Knob close due to weather? Thinking about hitting it this weekend and didn't want to ride that way if it was closed due to the rain.

  19. #19
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    Rocky Knob stays open all year besides winter. It handles rain really well. Grandfather campground in Foscoe is a good choice if you want some ammenities. Good location because you are pretty much in the center of the high country there easy drive to Banner Elk, Boone or Blowing Rock if you want. Grandfather Mountain Campground RV Resort & Cabins

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    Grandfather campground in Foscoe is a good choice if you want some ammenities. Good location because you are pretty much in the center of the high country there easy drive to Banner Elk, Boone or Blowing Rock if you want. Grandfather Mountain Campground RV Resort & Cabins
    looking into that, thanks!

  21. #21
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    Did anyone ride Beech today? How were the conditions?
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  22. #22
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    I rode in the afternoon. Conditions and weather were great.

    Prime opening day!

  23. #23
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    A little soft first thing but the weather cooperated for the most part. There are a couple soft spots here and there but they were getting packed in every run. If you are riding today make sure to come see us at town hall for the grand reopening of the Emerald Outback xc trails. Between Boone Bike and Magic Cycles we will have you covered on demo trail bikes. We will be doing demos from 10-2 so come on out!

  24. #24
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    Any new trails at Beech? Probably heading up for a day next weekend if the weather permits.

  25. #25
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    DH or XC? No new DH, a couple slight changes but no new trails. There are some new stuff on Emerald outback along with re working of old stuff.

  26. #26
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    I rode Beech DH for the first time yesterday. I really liked the trails and had a good time. Heart Breaker was a bit too wet for my liking and skill level but the others were great. Even the green trail was fun and I typically find that level of trail boring.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  27. #27
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    How are the wait times for the lift, usually?

    Has anyone taken the half day or full day lessons that Beech provides?

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    This past Friday and Saturday I waited for 3 chairs of riders (6 chairs total with bikes) one time. Every other time it was max wait of one group in front of the line. So basically lines were non existent.

    I took a half day lesson on Friday. It was 4 hours for $90+tip and worth it for me overall. I was solo and it was my first time with DH. So it was great to get a lesson and also have someone there to show the trails. I had some mental block with berms that the instructor got me completely over. Was even able to apply it today at Warrior's Creek on the XC bike.

  29. #29
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    Awesome, thanks for the info!

  30. #30
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    Did anyone ride Sunday? I was thinking about it but then we got a ton of rain Sunday morning not too far from Beech so I bailed.

  31. #31
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    Beech would be a much better destination with 3-4 or 10 more trails.
    Given the quick ups and downs, one day at Beech gives you plenty of time to get bored of every trail. That's not to say the trails aren't really well made. Hats off to the trail work there. It is superb for sure.
    And by "you" I mean "me". It was fun but ever so limited. Definitely not Snowshoe. My $0.02 worth. Take it or leave it.

    I rode up the road to the top of Sugar to check out the trail last fall. I can't imagine anyone will ever miss that place. It felt like a single trail that was put in specifically for racers to charge down and not really to be fun for anyone else. Then they seem to have just abandoned it. "Closing" this year seems like a formality.
    Knolly Chilcotin
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Beech would be a much better destination with 3-4 or 10 more trails.
    Given the quick ups and downs, one day at Beech gives you plenty of time to get bored of every trail. That's not to say the trails aren't really well made. Hats off to the trail work there. It is superb for sure.
    And by "you" I mean "me". It was fun but ever so limited. Definitely not Snowshoe. My $0.02 worth. Take it or leave it.
    I agree with you but I still think it's a fun day. Wouldn't consider doing 2 days there, but a full rope drop to closing day is a blast IMO.

    Can't wait to see how Bailey turns out and if it becomes another Snowshoe, albeit closer to home!! Fingers crossed.



    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    I rode up the road to the top of Sugar to check out the trail last fall. I can't imagine anyone will ever miss that place. It felt like a single trail that was put in specifically for racers to charge down and not really to be fun for anyone else.
    Isn't that exactly what they did back in the 1990's for this trail?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Beech would be a much better destination with 3-4 or 10 more trails.
    Given the quick ups and downs, one day at Beech gives you plenty of time to get bored of every trail. That's not to say the trails aren't really well made. Hats off to the trail work there. It is superb for sure.
    And by "you" I mean "me". It was fun but ever so limited. Definitely not Snowshoe. My $0.02 worth. Take it or leave it.

    I rode up the road to the top of Sugar to check out the trail last fall. I can't imagine anyone will ever miss that place. It felt like a single trail that was put in specifically for racers to charge down and not really to be fun for anyone else. Then they seem to have just abandoned it. "Closing" this year seems like a formality.
    Sugar is installing 2 lifts so there will be equipment everywhere until ski season. Both of Sugar's trails are awesome and I can't wait until next year to build another trail with the land that was acquired.

    It is unfair to compare Beech or Sugar to Snowshoe. There is only so much you can do with 800 ft of vert and limited space. I ride at Beech from opening day to closing day two days a week and never get board or feel hindered that there are only four trails. We used to not have anything to ride so I will take it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Sugar is installing 2 lifts so there will be equipment everywhere until ski season. Both of Sugar's trails are awesome and I can't wait until next year to build another trail with the land that was acquired.

    It is unfair to compare Beech or Sugar to Snowshoe. There is only so much you can do with 800 ft of vert and limited space. I ride at Beech from opening day to closing day two days a week and never get board or feel hindered that there are only four trails. We used to not have anything to ride so I will take it.
    Brad, I agree with you that Beech is great. I was there on Saturday and had a blast but they could use a dedicated jump line trail and another fun blue trail, maybe with some stunts. This, IMO is what separates the better resorts from the rest.

  35. #35
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    Fair enough, there just isn't room for it. Maybe a small section of jumps similar to the beginner detour. We/they can't really put a jump line down the ski runs so options are limited.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffCamber View Post
    Brad, I agree with you that Beech is great. I was there on Saturday and had a blast but they could use a dedicated jump line trail and another fun blue trail, maybe with some stunts. This, IMO is what separates the better resorts from the rest.
    If I got a nickel every time I heard that, I'd have enough to buy the land to build this jump trail everyone wants! That mountain just isn't cut out for it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    If I got a nickel every time I heard that, I'd have enough to buy the land to build this jump trail everyone wants! That mountain just isn't cut out for it...
    How about using the beginner trail? Seems to me that might work... throw in a few tabletops and bigger berms. Tabletops are still beginner friendly but that would also give another trail to those who find the beginner trail too easy. Also wasn't there talk of using the dual slalom course?

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    Oh I guess a lot of the beginner trail is on the slope... nevermind

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    It would be nice if there was a separate trail just above Heartbreaker. Something which breaks off left in the woods and ends across from Heartbreaker. I'm not sure if that's feasible but it would make for nice continuity. Also maybe some wooden jumps in the slope at the top like SS used to have. They could be moved during ski season. Yes it's not fair to compare Beech to SS but a bit more variety would make it more worth the drive from the Durham area for me.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackFromNC View Post
    It would be nice if there was a separate trail just above Heartbreaker. Something which breaks off left in the woods and ends across from Heartbreaker. I'm not sure if that's feasible but it would make for nice continuity. Also maybe some wooden jumps in the slope at the top like SS used to have. They could be moved during ski season. Yes it's not fair to compare Beech to SS but a bit more variety would make it more worth the drive from the Durham area for me.
    Unfortunately most of the land above Heartbreaker is private property. The owners do not want trails cut or their land used for bikes. Like Mike said, the mountain is not cut out for it. I understand where you are coming from. However, after being around this industry for a long time we are extremely lucky to have the trails we have. Both Mike Thomas and Christopher Herndon have done an amazing job with what little they had to work with. Not to mention the countless hours they put in that they were not compensated for.

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    Understood, thanks. I'm not knocking Beech... I truly enjoy it and am glad for what's there and am glad it's within day trip distance from Raleigh.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  42. #42
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    I hear ya. It's nice not having to drive all the way to SS to get your gravity fix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    I hear ya. It's nice not having to drive all the way to SS to get your gravity fix.
    No doubt. Super thankful for the builders and management for pushing to get the DH bikes a place to play!!!!

    I am moving soon and will be 2hrs away instead of 3.5....and I am so stoked for that. Love Beech.

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    Had a great ride at Beech on Saturday, the first of the year. Was nice to see lots of little improvements here and there. Also rode Heartbreaker for the first time.... It felt a little tight for a DH bike, probably would ride better on a trail bike IMO but maybe I just need to give it another chance.

  45. #45
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    What's the verdict about this weekend? I was planning on riding today, but with the forecast I'm thinking tomorrow or Sunday. If anyone is close and could say whats going on with the weather and trails, that would help. Thanks

  46. #46
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    We're booked for next weekend (10 & 11). Pretty stoked, hope the weather holds out!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    What's the verdict about this weekend? I was planning on riding today, but with the forecast I'm thinking tomorrow or Sunday. If anyone is close and could say whats going on with the weather and trails, that would help. Thanks
    Pretty dry around lately, its just that normal late afternoon chance of scattered thunderstorms each day that makes the forecast look bad. I would take the chance on riding if I were you, I'll be there Saturday as well I believe.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    Pretty dry around lately, its just that normal late afternoon chance of scattered thunderstorms each day that makes the forecast look bad. I would take the chance on riding if I were you, I'll be there Saturday as well I believe.
    yeah. ive had really incredible weather luck up there so far this year. Im gonna chance it again

  49. #49
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    Hey folks, we're coming up from Atlanta to try Beech Mountain for the first time this weekend. Dedicating Saturday to Beech and wanted to try something else in the area on Sunday morning before heading back in the afternoon. Someone suggested Warrior Creek but that appears to be a haul from the ski area. Is Rocky Knob your recommendation? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamint View Post
    Hey folks, we're coming up from Atlanta to try Beech Mountain for the first time this weekend. Dedicating Saturday to Beech and wanted to try something else in the area on Sunday morning before heading back in the afternoon. Someone suggested Warrior Creek but that appears to be a haul from the ski area. Is Rocky Knob your recommendation? Thanks!

    You also have Emerald Outback at the top of Beech that is about 8mi and has recently had a lot of work to improve it (invalidates some of the older reviews)

    Warrior Creek is an awesome trail but does take you out of your way.

    Rocky Knob is a cool place but also out of your way having to goto Boone then backtrack back to Atl.

    Lots of reviews of both those trails online (They are very different from eachother) to decide if it worth the detour. Both are on my way home from Beech to the Raleigh area. I stop at Warrior Creek everytime.

    You also pass close to Lake James on the return which has nice trails from what I have heard (have not been there). Another option to consider that won't cost you much extra drive time.

  51. #51
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    My wife and I will be riding Beech on Saturday, 7/11. Will be on a couple black Knolly Endorphins...feel free to say hi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dba4life View Post
    You also have Emerald Outback at the top of Beech that is about 8mi and has recently had a lot of work to improve it (invalidates some of the older reviews)
    Interesting--that trail isn't mentioned on Beech's trail map. We'll give it a try, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    My wife and I will be riding Beech on Saturday, 7/11. Will be on a couple black Knolly Endorphins...feel free to say hi!
    Will do, see you there!

  53. #53
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    We will be there Friday and Saturday, most likely. I ride a black Bronson and have red hair. We'll also be the slow ones

  54. #54
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    Just to avoid any confusion:

    Emerald Outback is more xc oriented and not part of the DH trails run by the resort. There is no lift access for Emerald Outback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamint View Post
    Is Rocky Knob your recommendation? Thanks!
    Yes it absolutely is. You're driving what 6+ hrs from ATL? The 30 min out of the way is a paltry price to pay for this killer trail. You will get so much pre-lunch stoke that you'll be buzzing all the way home.

    I drive 3hrs one way to ride this trail a few times each year. Top 5 favorite trail for me, hands down. Have fun!!!!

  56. #56
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    We missed Rocky Knob this trip, unless we get bored of the park and go out tomorrow (I expect this is unlikely). We did ride Emerald Outback, though.

    We did a few loops of Oz Forest Run and Wizard's Way, which were fun. The first ride took a little getting used to the terrain and trail features, but both were fun and the climbs weren't unmanageable.

    I personally found South Ridge pretty hairy. It gets really tight in sections and the ground is still really soft from the trails being so new, so you slide around everywhere. There are a few really steep climbs, also, and I got myself pretty winded trying to get up most of them.

    I ended up hiking my bike around most of the back sections, I just couldn't manage the climbs. My fitness level is not that great to begin with (improving lots though!) and I'm definitely not used to the 5500ft of elevation up here. The trail was beautiful and I enjoyed it a fair bit, despite having to hike-a-bike for a while. The guy I was with has a much better fitness level and more experience at high altitudes, he said he was struggling on a few areas, but rode almost all of it.

    It's obviously a new trail, though. The ground is still really soft on a lot of them and there doesn't appear to be a lot of traffic there. I'm not sure if this is just the norm there or if it's because of the new trails, but we were both sliding around on a few sections.

    In all, definitely worth a visit if you want some XC trails while you come to visit the park. You can really tell they put a lot of work into it and it was built with purpose.

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    Just a quick note about Rocky...I assume you are taking 321 on your way out of town back to ATL? If so, Rocky is only about a 10 minute detour. It is *right* outside of town...around 2 miles past city limits, if that.

    On the somewhat soft ground: Rocky will be better simply due to the amount of traffic it sees, but welcome to the Appalachian mountains in the summer

  58. #58
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    I just finished my second day and did a lesson with Derrick (sp?).

    The half day clinic was probably the best thing I did for my riding, the instructor I had was really awesome and my ability to ride grew immensely in just that 4 hours. Highly recommend it!

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    Well, we just got home from our trip. We spent a few days in Asheville riding Bent Creek and several staying at Beech.

    I figured I'd answer my own question, now that we've gone, in case it helps someone else out later on.

    To give a little background, my wife and I have been riding for about 6 months, 5 of which were spent riding in a very flat area of FL with mediocre trails. We obviously don't have a lot of experience with downhill, as a result. We recently moved to Atlanta, which gave us a slight improvement, but not much.

    We basically took a biking vacation, spending 3 days in Asheville riding Bent Creek, then 4 at Beech.

    As I mentioned in the OP, I ride a Bronson and my wife rides a Rumor Elite.

    We did our first runs on Friday, this was our first time doing any kind of downhill riding, so we stuck to the greens. I had "prepared" myself by watching as many YouTube videos as possible to understand what I was getting myself into. That wasn't worth squat and probably did more harm than good, but I couldn't help myself.

    I did my first run solo and found the trail to be a lot steeper than I expected, braking was almost constant the entire way down and I really struggled to stay in control of the bike. I don't have a lot of experience riding at higher speeds, so getting used to going fast and handling features at speed took some real adjustment. I more or less found myself riding the brakes down the entire time and skidding around everywhere (sorry, guys that built the trail). I never felt that I was at risk of hurting myself, but it was definitely uncomfortable for a while.

    Eventually, I started to ease off the brakes and remember what I had worked on before. I was still dragging my rear tire around, but not nearly as bad by the end of the day.

    On day 1, I managed to get in 8 or 9 runs. I was hoping for a lot more, but I was surprised at how demanding riding DH can be. I found my arms and legs were really tired by the end of the day, getting down a full run and staying in the right position was really hard after 6 or 7 runs. I'm not in the greatest shape (200lbs), but I'm not horrible either. I'd say this was the biggest surprise, I did not expect it to be so physically demanding.

    I found most of the riders really helpful and friendly. I mention this, because I was nervous about getting in people's way and being a bother since I was so new. I found that there were almost no attitudes, everyone was really helpful, and folks looked out for each other. There was a moment where my wife stopped and a group of guys stopped their run to make sure she was ok. No one seemed to mind me being a n00b and doing n00bie things.

    I also frequently passed folks that had pulled over to the side of the trail to rest or evaluate the trail ahead. There was plenty of space for this on the greens (not so much on the blues), but it seemed common and no one seemed to mind, as long as you were out of the way and not posing a hazard. There were definitely plenty of riders out there that were very new, even moreso than I was. I was surprised how many people I saw riding most of the run sitting on their saddle.

    My wife got in 3 runs and decided to call it a day. I later found out that a lot of the "big talk" folks had told us earlier in the month scared her, she said her knees were shaking most of the first ride down out of fear. It wasn't so much being there or riding the trail, just that people had hyped it up so big that she was really scared going into it. She told me that she had been sweating it out for weeks prior, being really nervous. She did her runs well, though, and enjoyed herself. I think she'll give it a go again, now that she knows what to expect.

    I ended the first day with an OK run, nothing crazy, but I survived it and did better than the first day. I think learning what to expect and becoming familiar with the trails was really valuable that first day, then getting some rest to let it settle in.

    Somewhere around the middle of the first day, I decided to take a half-day lesson the next day. I was nervous about this, because I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a really good decision.

    The lesson took up the rest of my time on Beech, starting first thing Saturday morning. I worked with Derek, who started off with pre-ride checks on the bike, body positioning, and braking technique. I learned an immense amount just in that 30 minutes, finding my body position was not nearly aggressive or low enough, something that had a massive impact on the rest of my riding there. My braking technique was all wrong, too.

    From there, we did some riding, stopping to work on various features and skills along the way. I dramatically improved, as a result, and the rides I did late in the day on Saturday were a dramatic improvement over those on Friday. I really wish I had done this Fri afternoon instead of the second day. I conquered a lot of my fears (jumps) and learned skills I had struggled with before (berms, pumping)

    Unfortunately, I was on a run near the end of my time on Saturday and got a little too bold on a section, crashing pretty badly. I more or less decided to jump a section that I shouldn't have, going a little too fast. Nothing broke, but I flew off and tumbled a good ways (feet over head) and twisted my ankle up. My full face helmet saved the day. After another 2 runs, I couldn't hold myself up off the bike. I was able to finish the lesson, but was not able to go do a few solo runs with the stuff I had learned, which was a bummer. I should have taken it easier and let the skills set in, before trying anything too crazy or bold.

    That 4 hour lesson was probably the best 4 hours I ever spent on a bike, I felt massive improvements. I just hope they set in enough We'll find out when my ankle recovers.

    In summary, we all had a great time. I think we'll both be back and we'll probably do the lessons again, but go in with a better expectation of ourselves and the trail. I'd also be more inclined to take it a little easier, rather than wear myself out and be worthless by day 2.

    TL;DR, for n00bs like me:

    1. Wear a full face helmet
    2. Take a lesson
    3. Everyone is super cool
    4. It's nothing like the videos
    5. It's awesome
    6. It's exhausting
    7. I learned a lot

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    I'm glad you had a good time. Didn't realize you had only been riding for such a short time or I would have suggested a lesson. Between the 2 bikes you had and saying you where at the Sugar Showdown, I just assumed (my fault) you'd been riding longer. Go back with the lessons you learned and enjoy really enjoy your self. Videos alway lie 😀 and people are always surprise when you tell them how tough DHing is. Heal up quickly.

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    Also a very good review for anyone wanting to try. Good advise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffCamber View Post
    I'm glad you had a good time. Didn't realize you had only been riding for such a short time or I would have suggested a lesson. Between the 2 bikes you had and saying you where at the Sugar Showdown, I just assumed (my fault) you'd been riding longer.
    No worries! I failed to clarify.

    I watched the Sugar race in 1996, still have the shirt around here somewhere, but I stopped riding a little while after that. I was a youngin then

    Thanks, I'm stoked about going back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    1. Wear a full face helmet
    2. Take a lesson
    3. Everyone is super cool
    4. It's nothing like the videos
    5. It's awesome
    6. It's exhausting
    7. I learned a lot
    I just came back from Beech Mountain as well. Adodero's description for a first-timer's trip to this ski area is spot on. I arrived and made a few attempts on my own and struggled. I quickly learned DH is a much different riding style than XC/all mountain. The descents are long, fast and there are no breaks. Having much more advanced riders flying by you doesn't help either!

    I decided to take a four-hour lesson and learned about ideal positions on the bike (much different from XC) and foot positioning. The lesson was $90 but well worth it. We focused on the green trails initially. The instructor would take me to a basic feature, we'd run it a few times and then progress to something more advanced. Further on, we worked our way into the blue trails and then black. By the end of the day, my control vastly improved and I was gaining enough confidence to ride faster. I rode my own bike, my friend rented a DH rig for about $100. I don't own a full face helmet, I rented one here for $20. They also rent knee and elbow pads. You'll want to reserve a bike ahead of time because I'm told they ran out a couple of hours after opening.

    The great thing about Beech is that nearly all of the features on the beginner and intermediate trails are rollable. The $35 all-day lift ticket is a great bargain too. The lift had no wait time, the lift ride to the top is about 10 minutes so you can cram a lot of riding into a day.

    After the lifts closed, we decided to check out the Emerald Outback trails on the other side of the mountain. These are traditional XC trails with some rocky features but very flowey. The Southern Ridge trail is the most technical one with some nice climbs, but you'll be rewarded with some amazing photo ops of the surrounding mountains range.

    Lithified, you're so right about Rocky Knob--thanks for the recommendation. We visited that system on Sunday morning and it was a blast. I really appreciate all of the hard work that went into developing those trails. They're filled with so many cool features--wood platforms, beams, bridges, drop offs, jumps, etc. The PBJ skills trail was a perfect place to try out some of those lunging and jumping skills I worked on at Beech. We finished up on the enormous pump track near the entrance. The amenities at this place are awesome--lots of parking, well marked trails, full color trail maps, bathrooms, drinking fountains. For those of you coming from the Atlanta area, Rocky Knob is about 35 minutes from the Beech Mountain area. You were right Vettevert, the trip from Rocky Knob back to Atlanta is about the same as it is from Beech, so there is no reason to skip this place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamint View Post
    Lithified, you're so right about Rocky Knob--thanks for the recommendation. We visited that system on Sunday morning and it was a blast. I really appreciate all of the hard work that went into developing those trails. They're filled with so many cool features--wood platforms, beams, bridges, drop offs, jumps, etc. The PBJ skills trail was a perfect place to try out some of those lunging and jumping skills I worked on at Beech. We finished up on the enormous pump track near the entrance. The amenities at this place are awesome--lots of parking, well marked trails, full color trail maps, bathrooms, drinking fountains. For those of you coming from the Atlanta area, Rocky Knob is about 35 minutes from the Beech Mountain area. You were right Vettevert, the trip from Rocky Knob back to Atlanta is about the same as it is from Beech, so there is no reason to skip this place.
    I'm bummed out that I missed Rocky Knob. I think I'm going back in a few weeks, so hopefully I can catch it then.

    Out of curiosity, since you are in Atlanta, have you been to the Big Creek freeride/DH trails? Any idea how they compare to Beech feature-wise?

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    Im in South Fl. but my parents are out side Atlanta (Winder) so I ride up there a lot. Big Creek would be a great place to work on your skills. They have a gulley run and a bunch of other trails that run downhill with different stuff to practice on. It's a push back up (at least for me) but I alway enjoy my time out there.

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    It's great you guys returned to the thread to give lots of additional info.

    My first time at Beech and first time ever DH was their opening weekend this year. I think you guys wrote lots of first timer info here that is super valuable. I will just add a few pieces from my experience.

    I have been riding mountain bikes for about 4 years now. 42 years old. Riding the trails around Raleigh, NC. I like the more all mountain stuff vs XC. I knew I would like DH so I bought an 8in travel bike (Diamondback DB8) and all the equipment before going up to Beech. But heed what these guys are saying, reserve a bike before you go as they run out of them.

    My advice (trying to not repeat earlier info which was all good):

    1) If you think you are going to ride even the intermediate trail and plan to hit the jumps in the bottom section, I would ride a long travel DH bike. I saw a bunch of people using the resorts all mountain travel bike rentals and getting bucked when coming up short on the long tabletop on the bottom. If you are going to stay green and roll jumps then less travel is OK. Just my opinion. I took my 4in cross country FS down the green and it was fine. But if you plan to be aggressive, get the DH bike, they let you do so much more than I was ever expecting vs a regular trail bike.

    2) The lessons are good. 4 hours is a long time to learn. I was solo and didn't know the trails so wanted someone to "show me around" and I got a lesson. I was happy as they really helped me to ride the berms properly. I also got to tour the place with someone else who was there to show me all the interesting features. (IE - Look out here...)

    3) The step from green to blue isn't that significant at Beech. The blue trail there is very different though as I wanted my 5in travel bike on it vs the DH machine. But there is one steep section about 2/3 the way down that will make the less confident pucker. It looks worse than it is. Then you get access to the bermed lower sections with jumps that you can see from the lift and you know what is coming there (fun). I only did the blue a couple of times. Just didn't do it for me and I hated riding up the road to it with my bike which is geared to go down, not up.

    4) The jump from blue to black is significant. The amateur black is a totally different animal and you will need to commit due to all the rocks. It is awesome but I wouldn't be touching it without full face and pads (I am also old). There is one mandatory small drop in the rocks that you need to look out for. There may have been a line to miss it but it was right where I wanted to be everytime. You just need to hit it and make a quick turn. Not too bad.

    5) The pro black to me was in some ways easier than the amateur. There is a mandatory drop in the rocky section but the landing is wide open. The black course comes out and there is a small mandatory fast gap jump (easy) and then you have what I called the hip jump next to the small building at the top of the beginners old school 2 man lift. I think that was rollable if you are slow but way more fun to hit it. I would not half ass this jump. Either hit it or don't.

    6) Personally the videos online really helped to prepare me for Beech. Not saying it is just like the videos, but they certainly helped me.

    7) The people are cool. I asked a couple of guys if they would take me down the pro course the first time and they had no problem doing it and making sure I was aware of what was coming up. Your results may vary The only semi uncool thing was a dude literally passed me in the air on the long tabletop. This guy was an amazing rider as I saw him earlier. I had no idea he was there. I was trying to make it across the tabletop and coming up just short. I was in the air and he just went cruising past me in the air. I am sure cool to those who saw it....not super cool to a 42 year old guy just tying to relive his youth. No harm no foul I guess.

    Overall a very fun place and looking to return this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    Out of curiosity, since you are in Atlanta, have you been to the Big Creek freeride/DH trails? Any idea how they compare to Beech feature-wise?
    I live about 15 minutes north of Big Creek. I've ridden the "enduro" area many times and I love it--I'll probably be there after work tomorrow. Like Offcamber said, it's more of a training area and hard to compare to a long DH course at Beech. Your ride down takes 5 minutes and you'll then ride your bike back up the hill (I actually enjoy the climbs too). That said, I don't know of another trail system in the area that has the tabletops and drops like Big Creek. There is a very dedicated volunteer crew who continue working to make this place better. Blankets Creek has a smaller skills area and some new trails with some new trails with smaller skills features just opened at Rope Mill. Until last weekend, I'd always avoided the tabletops and big jumps but now I'll start practicing at Big Creek!

    If you tried Heartbreaker, Ramble On & Misty Mountain Hop at Beech and enjoyed the the rocky features, you'll need to drive north to find those. Check out Dug Gap and Raccoon Mountain. Raccoon Mountain is my favorite place to ride in the south.

    For berms and longer descents visit Coldwater Mountain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamint View Post
    I live about 15 minutes north of Big Creek. I've ridden the "enduro" area many times and I love it--I'll probably be there after work tomorrow. Like Offcamber said, it's more of a training area and hard to compare to a long DH course at Beech. Your ride down takes 5 minutes and you'll then ride your bike back up the hill (I actually enjoy the climbs too). That said, I don't know of another trail system in the area that has the tabletops and drops like Big Creek. There is a very dedicated volunteer crew who continue working to make this place better. Blankets Creek has a smaller skills area and some new trails with some new trails with smaller skills features just opened at Rope Mill. Until last weekend, I'd always avoided the tabletops and big jumps but now I'll start practicing at Big Creek!

    If you tried Heartbreaker, Ramble On & Misty Mountain Hop at Beech and enjoyed the the rocky features, you'll need to drive north to find those. Check out Dug Gap and Raccoon Mountain. Raccoon Mountain is my favorite place to ride in the south.

    For berms and longer descents visit Coldwater Mountain.
    I actually live in the appt complex next door to Big Creek, so I can ride right over there and hit the XC trails. I'm also a RAMBO member, figuring I would get more than my money's worth out of supporting them I usually ride the XC trails ~5 times a week, weather permitting.

    I have not ventured to the freeride area, because I had no experience riding jumps/drops prior to this past weekend. I was mainly looking for a place where I could gear up and spend some time working on the things I picked up at Beech and try to steadily progress them. The pump track is obvious, but I wasn't entirely sure about the freeride area.

    Because of my fall, I didn't get a whole lot of time to practice stuff I learned and try to get more comfortable. I guess I was wondering if Big Creek would be a good place for that, but it sounds like it's as good as it's gonna get in the area.

    On the other trails, good advice, thanks! I haven't had a lot of time to explore the other trails in the area, yet, but hopefully I will soon. We just moved about 3 weeks ago.

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    Glad you had a good time dba4life. I'm up there two days a week, feel free to hit me up anytime. Red vest with a cross and goofy bird legs, can't miss me.

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    Thanks Brad - Ended up at Snowshoe this past weekend but will get to Beech again soon.

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    Thanks for the followup info in this thread. It sounds like the DH options in WNC are finally starting to come together, which is good - the public XC trails we all know and love just can't take the kind of abuse this type of riding puts on them (and the shuttle runs have only been increasing in recent years).

    I'm really hoping these venues start to relieve some of that pressure.

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    I'm not going to stop skidding down Pisgah xc trails because some bike parks are open

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbwnc View Post
    Thanks for the followup info in this thread. It sounds like the DH options in WNC are finally starting to come together, which is good - the public XC trails we all know and love just can't take the kind of abuse this type of riding puts on them (and the shuttle runs have only been increasing in recent years).

    I'm really hoping these venues start to relieve some of that pressure.
    I've never ridden the area you speak of, but it's my opinion shuttler's may do some damage, but "weather related erosion" is your biggest "abuser" to the trails, at least in the areas I ride. ALL bikes/riders do some damage, some more than most, but inexperience is the biggest issue.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbwnc View Post
    It sounds like the DH options in WNC are finally starting to come together, which is good
    +1. Haven't been to Bailey yet, but it is starting to dawn on me what it will mean to be able to get out the DH bike about any weekend of the year and go play. Holy crap.

    This year Beech extended their hours (mega props on that). A 10am-7pm DH day is huge. Did that last weekend and was hurting the day after. Ha. Thanks Beech!!!

    Would love to see Beech open earlier next year (seem to recall even Snowshoe opened earlier than Beech this year).

    I think that rounds out WNC's DH options unless Sugar actually does something.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand View Post
    I've never ridden the area you speak of, but it's my opinion shuttler's may do some damage, but "weather related erosion" is your biggest "abuser" to the trails, at least in the areas I ride. ALL bikes/riders do some damage, some more than most, but inexperience is the biggest issue.
    Agreed. Heavy shuttle traffic certainly plays a roll, but it's more of a mentality and lack of skills/experience that's the issue.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Agreed. Heavy shuttle traffic certainly plays a roll, but it's more of a mentality and lack of skills/experience that's the issue.
    Agreed, but to be fair, it isn't just DH'ers that have this "mentality & lack of skills experience issue".

    Fair....what ever that means in this day in time.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand View Post
    Agreed, but to be fair, it isn't just DH'ers that have this "mentality & lack of skills experience issue".

    Fair....what ever that means in this day in time.
    Agreed some more. I did not intend to infer as much. It seems to be pretty well spread across the gamut. Fair still means fair, I think. Add a y and it gets confusing.

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    I rode Beech for the first time ever this past weekend and by far the worse park I've ever ridden. Won't find myself going back there again.

    First off it's definitely not a park for first time park riders as it's less forgiving and very demanding, even the green trails. I think it may steer some folks from trying parks again, especially our more trail/XC oriented riders.

    My biggest issues with the park was 1) the folks running the lifts, mainly at the bottom were extremely rude. 2) The trails need to be better maintained at all the breaking points, due to the speed people brake really hard and it creates all those ruts everywhere. And finally and this is what pisses me off the most. Since people are paying to ride here, spend a little time and money to put better signage at some of the features for their safety. Something that's at least somewhat readable. My biggest issue was at the gap jump at on the black trail after you come out of the woods. It's not clearly visible that it's a gap jump, or even a jump at all. It looks like a simple roll over and the sign before that barely readable. Maybe about 8" big at most with small lettering. There's no way you can read that sign going by it at 20+ miles per hour. I didn't see that sign going by, didn't notice the gap jump, thought it was just a roll over and did just that, rolled over it and focused on the upcoming hip jump. Then I noticed that gap when I was right on top of it and went right in. That pissed me off. If I wrecked due to a mistake I made no issues, but I had no idea it was there.

    Sorry about the rant, still pissed at that. I've ridden a lot of parks and none of them had any of those issues.

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    While I'll be the first to say I don't love beech as much as I wish I could.... Jumpline...
    But the green trails are so easy it's laughable. My 9 year old daughter would be bored with them....
    THIS IS A DH BIKE PARK.... Not an xc trail system with a lift... We have plenty of xc locally and we don't need our bike parks poisoned with that Crap.
    And if you are complaining about braking bumps in a bike park ... Then I am also
    Calling you a giant liar as they are at all 10 bike parks I've been too.... The great whistler being the worst culprit of all...
    HTFU

    That said the gap jump out of the woods isn't signed great I'll agree

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    Quote Originally Posted by pphan13 View Post
    I rode Beech for the first time ever this past weekend and by far the worse park I've ever ridden. Won't find myself going back there again.

    First off it's definitely not a park for first time park riders as it's less forgiving and very demanding, even the green trails. I think it may steer some folks from trying parks again, especially our more trail/XC oriented riders.

    My biggest issues with the park was 1) the folks running the lifts, mainly at the bottom were extremely rude. 2) The trails need to be better maintained at all the breaking points, due to the speed people brake really hard and it creates all those ruts everywhere. And finally and this is what pisses me off the most. Since people are paying to ride here, spend a little time and money to put better signage at some of the features for their safety. Something that's at least somewhat readable. My biggest issue was at the gap jump at on the black trail after you come out of the woods. It's not clearly visible that it's a gap jump, or even a jump at all. It looks like a simple roll over and the sign before that barely readable. Maybe about 8" big at most with small lettering. There's no way you can read that sign going by it at 20+ miles per hour. I didn't see that sign going by, didn't notice the gap jump, thought it was just a roll over and did just that, rolled over it and focused on the upcoming hip jump. Then I noticed that gap when I was right on top of it and went right in. That pissed me off. If I wrecked due to a mistake I made no issues, but I had no idea it was there.

    Sorry about the rant, still pissed at that. I've ridden a lot of parks and none of them had any of those issues.
    Really dude? That's all you have to say is negative things? You really didn't have fun? Well maybe stick to the XC trails and not the DH parks. I have been to DH parks all over the world, every single one has braking bumps...get used to it.

    You want signs for every feature? You were on a black diamond trail, therefore you should expect black diamond terrain. That is your sign. Don't be pissed at the park for your lack of skills. Ever heard of "look before you leap?" Especially a new to you park, you should spend several laps just checking things out before going 20 mph (i doubt) and blindly launching into things. 20mph easily puts you over that gap with no additional input to your bike....like literally keep going 20mph and nothing else and you clear it.

    C'mon man, just put your ego aside and admit it, you had fun.

    Edit: What type of bike were you on? XC bike?

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    If he was going 20 he probably would have made the triple...
    More lies

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    I rode Beech for the first time on Friday. It was a good time and great weather, I wish there was a little more variety of the intermediate level but whatever, it's a small park.

    Now about that gap jump this guy is talking about.... One of the guys I was riding with didn't know it was coming, plowed into it, and ended up with a pretty serious injury. He's going to have to get surgery and be off the bike for a long while I would imagine.

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    Beech is a "smaller park", but it will hand you your ass if you don't respect it. Why no initial slow run before going big? If your running 20 mph you'll easily clear the afore mentioned gap....at least I do.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

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    I ride there a couple times a year. And like every park I go to, the first runs are always slower than normal speed so I know what's coming or changed. Like said above, always look before you leap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuhlman View Post

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    I rode up there a few weeks back. I'm not really experienced on DH, but I didn't think it was too terribly hard using logic and the look before you leap mentality. Anyone flying down an unknown trail at 20+ MPH is just asking to get broke up IMO.

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    Signs on the pro track are minimal because it is designed to be ridden at a high speed. If you can't handle the top of the pro track then dropping in from the beginner track is probably not a good idea. It is unfortunate that a rider was injured but injury is a risk to mountain biking. Especially when you ride the trail without a scouting run. Anything with a blind lander/lip should be looked at first.
    As for the braking bumps: Riding downhill on a short travel bike is probably pretty rough over the braking bumps. However, I jump on my 135mm travel trail bike when I get tired and don't really have an issue with the braking bumps. I would consider having a tech service your suspension or assist in setting it up to properly to handle the high frequency bumps.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that the green trail is a beginner downhill trail, not a beginner mountain bike trail. This is a common misconception at any bike park.
    Regarding the lift staff: I wasn't there when whatever altercation you are referring to happened. However, the lift is deceptively loud so the lift attendants have to raise their voice when people load the trays wrong, get on with backpacks, lower restraining bar etc. The attendants also have to deal with unloading people on foot so they often don't have time to be overly polite.
    Sorry you didn't have a good time. If you give it another shot I would consider taking a lesson and maybe renting a longer travel bike.

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    I think the trails at Beech are running really well. They have changed very little since a few years ago. There have been a few changes here and there but I am not sure what "huge holes" you are referring to.The whole point of having a pro trail is to have a trail that is steep and difficult. A jump line is most likely not going to happen at Beech. If you want to only ride groomed bike park jumps then Beech probably isn't for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    I think the trails at Beech are running really well. They have changed very little since a few years ago. There have been a few changes here and there but I am not sure what "huge holes" you are referring to.The whole point of having a pro trail is to have a trail that is steep and difficult. A jump line is most likely not going to happen at Beech. If you want to only ride groomed bike park jumps then Beech probably isn't for you.
    Totally agree! I love the trails at Beech. The rock gap coming out of the woods is hella fun. Haven't garnered the cajones to triple it (yet) but I hope to soon!!!

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    All the staff I met at Beech were extremely friendly and helpful, I can't imagine anyone being rude.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    As for the braking bumps: Riding downhill on a short travel bike is probably pretty rough over the braking bumps. However, I jump on my 135mm travel trail bike when I get tired and don't really have an issue with the braking bumps. I would consider having a tech service your suspension or assist in setting it up to properly to handle the high frequency bumps.
    I have a pretty plush setup (Pike, DBInline) and there were two sections on the green trail that pretty much shook my entire body, painfully in a few cases. I certainly could have done a better job riding loose, but they were unlike anything I had experienced before. I don't have the skill to jump them and wasn't sure if riding around them was taboo or not.

    That said, I'm not really sure what you can do about it aside from lay asphalt down, which isn't really practical. It seems like any fixes applied would be rapidly destroyed and you are back to where you started. There were a lot of people dragging their rear tire around going down the course, myself included, so I doubt any fixes would last long.

    The bumps weren't nearly as bad on the blues. I didn't ride the blacks to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by DHFREERIDER View Post
    It could easily do that by adding a little more height to the jumps along the current but tiny jumpline that looks like a jumpline for little kids (you know, those six or so dinky jumps off to the left of the green trail up near the snowboard freestyle slope).
    I don't really think that's the best place for it. I know where you are referring to and it seems like inappropriate placement for larger jumps, considering the size of the area and the fact it branches off and back into the green trail. Would you really be able to get up the speed necessary to clear the larger jumps, not to mention have more than two or three large jumps before branching onto the green trail again? I also doubt most riders would want to take the tame green trail down just to ride a 75yd jump line with 3 or 4 jumps.

    Personally, those were the first jumps (aside from the practice area I worked on a few times in my lesson) that I comfortably took. Sure, they are small, but it's a blue trail, after all, and was a good place to learn. The other jumps were in bad areas for noobs, like myself, to practice, either too high traffic or the jumps were impractically large for beginners.

    It seems like your complaint is exactly what Brad pointed out, maybe Beech isn't the place for you. That's perfectly acceptable. It was very accommodating to me as a new rider and I'd hate to see it lose that. I'd love to go ride Bailey Mtn, but I know it isn't the place for me, because it's well above my skill level. If Beech doesn't have the terrain and type of riding you want, maybe it isn't the place for you. The changes you propose make it more accommodating for advanced riders, but would lose some of the accommodations for newbies, so you have to decide what is more important. They really don't seem to have the room to do it all.

    In other words, in theory, you could convert major portions of the green line into a jump line with tons of jumps and other features, but you'd lose the ability for newer riders to go there. It's a compromise and you have to find a balance.

    That doesn't mean it can't improve. I'd really like to see a berm after that second "dinky" jump in the blue area you mentioned. I skidded out a few times trying to make that corner and judging by the knocked out tape laying on the ground, I wasn't the only one

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    To Adodero-

    Have you contacted Malcolm at Cane Creek regarding your rear shock? He is super helpful and would be happy to assist you with adjusting your rear shock to better handle high frequency braking bumps. Regarding your fork-Kevin at suspension experts can rearrange your shim stack to better handle the same braking bumps. Based on the sensation you describe it sounds like a setup issue. Either too much compression damping and/or rebound damping. Hope that helps-Brad

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    To DHfreerider-

    Perhaps you are misunderstanding me or I am not explaining myself so let's try again shall we? I will keep it short to prevent cluttering a thread that is supposed to be informative for tourists/newer riders.

    The management and owners at Beech have no plans to build a jump/flow trail in the near future. While your input is appreciated I think it would be better to direct your opinions to the management at Beech. Email would probably be best.

    Although myself and the rest of the internet appreciate your lecture on sustainability and erosion, the trails at Beech were built by highly skilled professional builders and riders. The trails were constructed with longevity and durability in mind. I spent four years building and maintaining trails on Grandfather for a living so I also grasp the concept.

    Please keep in mind that Beech is a ski area first. They are limited on space to build trails without interfering with winter operations.

    Obviously the type of riding you like to do is more flow/jump trail oriented. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you come to Beech expecting Crab Apple or A line. Like I said before, maybe Beech isn't for you. However, it is currently the only lift assisted DH park in NC and a lot of us enjoy it. We used to not have any gravity riding aside from two trails at Sugar so I am very grateful to have trails to ride at Beech regardless of the volume of jumps.

    Regarding my maple leaf-My Grandfather flew Halifax MKII bombers in WW2 for the Royal Canadian air force. He deployed three times and earned a distinguished flying cross for many successful bombing missions on German factories and oil fields while avoiding being shot down by the Luftwaffe. My mother is Canadian and I spent a lot of my childhood growing up in Victoria, BC. My Grandfather passed away when I was three. I didn't grasp the concept of what he did for the Allies until later in life so the maple leaf is my way of honoring him.

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    First timer questions for riding at Beech Mountain

    Looking to make a trip to Beech Mnt. this weekend with a friend to ride. This would be our first trip to a place with a lift for Mnt. bikes. We both ride aggressive all Mountain in East Tennessee and are used to pedaling up and around vs taking a lift to the top and trying to bomb what little hills we have around here compared to out West. We both race dirtbikes so this is kind of a crossover/training sport. I have a few general questions for riding at a place like beech or a resort like this in general.

    I assume Beech has both “downhill” and regular trails. I have a spare set of flat pedals and would assume it’s better to throw those on while we solely go downhill. If we planned to ride XC just throw my clip ins back on?

    What kind of helmets are recommended? We both just have the typical XC/all mountain helmets. Full face helmets would be obviously safer but I didn’t know if they required them for downhill or not?

    Are there any other requirements? We snowboard a lot and some places require you to have a lanyard others don’t and it’s a PITA when you get there ready to load and they ask for your lanyard or some other piece of equipment you think it irrelevant but a requirement at that resort. Thanks for the help

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    I am assuming this is about Beech Mountain in North Carolina, so I moved this to the Carolina's section where more locals can help you.

    If this is a different Beech Mountain send me a PM and I will move accordingly.
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  101. #101
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    There is another big thread already on Beech.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/north-south-c...dh-969371.html

    I was at Beech last weekend, but being an old guy who doesn't like to break bones, I was at the dog park with my pups. I did my riding at Rocky Knob and Warrior Creek.
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    @idsmokeu2

    this is the main thread for Beech Mountain. Reading through it will probably answer many of your questions. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMtBiker View Post
    @idsmokeu2

    this is the main thread for Beech Mountain. Reading through it will probably answer many of your questions. Good luck.


    Thanks for the help.


    If a full face recommended/required at the downhill beech trails?

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    Required!


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    It's most certainly not required I've seen people wearing xc lids tons...
    I would want one personally

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    It is not required, but there is no way I'd go there without full face. Both my wife and I ate it face first during our trip (our fault both times, obviously) and would have had serious facial injuries without the chin bar.

    You have the opportunity be going really fast and jaw injuries are not fun, they will really disrupt your life or worse. It's worth the $20 or whatever it is to rent a helmet, if you don't want to buy one (I bought my Transfer 9 for $90 off Amazon). I decided to just buy one, figuring that at $90, I'll get my money's worth before the season ends.

    We're actually heading back the weekend of the 18th before everything closes up. Super stoked

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    It is not required, but there is no way I'd go there without full face. Both my wife and I ate it face first during our trip (our fault both times, obviously) and would have had serious facial injuries without the chin bar.

    You have the opportunity be going really fast and jaw injuries are not fun, they will really disrupt your life or worse. It's worth the $20 or whatever it is to rent a helmet, if you don't want to buy one (I bought my Transfer 9 for $90 off Amazon). I decided to just buy one, figuring that at $90, I'll get my money's worth before the season ends.

    We're actually heading back the weekend of the 18th before everything closes up. Super stoked
    I ride snowshoe & beech w/ a 1st gen. bell super.
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    Well, one more weekend till Beech closes up. I made our last trip of the season this past weekend, it was fun until I wiped out and got pretty beat up. That crash, combined with another injury I was nursing from two weeks prior, put me out about 3/4ths of the way through the day. It was still fun and I look forward to next June.

    I did have a few questions, though.

    I noticed it felt like the brake bumps were worse this time, much larger and deeper than they were earlier in the season. Is it normal for them to become larger and then settle down in the off season? In early July, it seemed like it was just jarring, now it seemed like my entire tire was settling into the bumps.

    I also noticed it felt like there was a lot more gravel and loose rock on the green trail than last time. In some cases, they were large enough that I had to move around them to keep from wiping out on the lone loose rock (the berm exiting the woods at the top has a pile of them on the inside of the berm). I also found myself sliding around on gravel a lot more than I remember in some areas. Anyone else notice this or is it in my head? Is this normal for bike parks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I also noticed it felt like there was a lot more gravel and loose rock...Anyone else notice this or is it in my head? Is this normal for bike parks?
    I've only been to Beech once and Snowshoe once so I can compare these two parks only. But I too was very surprised with the amount of sand and gravel at Beech. Snowshoe's trails were sticky and felt much safer to me.

    Of course the terrain and geology of these two locations are very dissimilar but I can't help but think that Beech could add some different dirt or even moisten some of the looser areas to make it more fun and safe.

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    When it doesn't rain for a couple weeks it gets very loose. We can't exactly transplant dirt so you just have to be careful when it gets loose and drifty. It's much better when it rains. As for the braking bumps: lay off the brakes and smash it! Just kidding. The beginner trail gets a lot of traffic. Magic goes through brake pads like crazy. I have been doing a lot of laps on my 650B+ bike. It helps a lot with high frequency bumps and hand/arm fatigue. Give one a try they are awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    When it doesn't rain for a couple weeks it gets very loose. We can't exactly transplant dirt so you just have to be careful when it gets loose and drifty. It's much better when it rains. As for the braking bumps: lay off the brakes and smash it! Just kidding. The beginner trail gets a lot of traffic. Magic goes through brake pads like crazy. I have been doing a lot of laps on my 650B+ bike. It helps a lot with high frequency bumps and hand/arm fatigue. Give one a try they are awesome!
    Maybe it was my suspension setup, I recently went to a 160mm up front and got a new frame with a DBAir, but the brake bumps were much less of a bother this time around. Last time, it felt like my teeth were rattling out of my head, but they didn't bug me as much this time around. I also noticed the trail had widened some in areas where they were particularly bad, I assume from people riding around them, so there were a few areas they were particularly bad before that you could get around this time without rolling in the grass.

    The loose dirt didn't really bother me, either. I slid around some, but it was controllable, the rocks are another story.

    Brad, were you out there on Saturday? One of the guys I was with commented on a 650+ someone had that he really liked.

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    Yep I'm on an orange Demo8 and a white 6Fattie FSR. I will be working this Saturday and Sunday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMtBiker View Post
    Let's take a chill pill and remain respectful.


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    So, you're the moderator here? Since you're new, and heavy handed, how's about you introduce yourself? I for one, have no clue who you are. And since you're editing posts here, there , and everywhere, perhaps an introduction is in order? Thanks! Looking forward meeting you.

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    Beech Mountain DH

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    So, you're the moderator here? Since you're new, and heavy handed, how's about you introduce yourself? I for one, have no clue who you are. And since you're editing posts here, there , and everywhere, perhaps an introduction is in order? Thanks! Looking forward meeting you.
    I wouldn't call it here, there, and everywhere. But I try to edit disrespectful or rude posts instead of deleting them, as I'm sure you've noticed. Sometimes add a little humor to lighten people up too.

    Since you asked for a little bio, I'm Vlad and I've been riding bikes since a was a little kid. Been in Asheville for about 12 years and so far enjoy it here, except the traffic on the weekends and 5 o'clock.

    Let me know if I you ever need help. And if you disagree with some of my edits, feel free to provide feedback


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  115. #115
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    Beech Mountain DH

    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMtBiker View Post
    I wouldn't call it here, there, and everywhere. But I try to edit disrespectful or rude posts instead of deleting them, as I'm sure you've noticed. Sometimes add a little humor to lighten people up too.

    Since you asked for a little bio, I'm Vlad and I've been riding bikes since a was a little kid. Been in Asheville for about 12 years and so far enjoy it here, except the traffic on the weekends and 5 o'clock.

    Let me know if I you ever need help. And if you disagree with some of my edits, feel free to provide feedback


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    Hah! Yeah, I've noticed. For better or worse, we've never really been moderated. It is a bit different. And nice to meet you.

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