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Summer fun on the mountain

There’s no secret to the new trail at the Angel Fire Bike Park, DaVinci Code, but it is a pretty cool ride.

“It’s going to be one of the easier blue trails,” said Hogan Koesis, bike park manager. “It connects the summit to the main area of the bike park so it’s pretty unique.”

The new trail, which covers more than 1.5 miles, is one of 37 trails in the bike park, covering more than 60 miles, he said. It draws its name from bike manufacturer DaVinci, which sponsored the construction of the new trail.

The park, which is the largest in the Rocky Mountains, opens for the season this weekend. It was ranked No. 1 in the Southwest by Decline Magazine and MTBparks.com. Accessed by the ski resort’s chair lifts, the park offers terrain for downhill, cross-country and all-mountain styles of mountain bike riding, including beginner, intermediate and advanced and expert trails, Koesis said.

A cyclist rides down a trail at the Angel Fire Bike Park.

A cyclist rides down a trail at the Angel Fire Bike Park.

“It’s the biggest bike park from Canada to Mexico,” he said. “We try to cater to a lot of different people. You don’t have to be a gravity rider to enjoy it. You can be a normal bike enthusiast.”

The park includes “jumps and stuff,” Koesis said. “Ultimately, the bike park is like skiing, rated with greens, blues and black trails. There are berms and features, but the general nature of the bike park is super similar to skiing or snowboarding. It can be flowing if that’s what you want and there are jump trails, slow trails, technical trails, natural trails. All types of things.”

A new trail also has been completed crossing the town of Angel Fire, he said.

“It connects the new part of town with the old part of town,” Koesis said. “There’s more access and more opportunity for cross-country riders. We’re trying to cater to cross-country riders a lot more.”

It’s the start of a summer of fun for cyclists in the mountains, particularly with the annual Demo Daze coming up May 27-28.

“If you’ve had your eye on a new downhill or cross-country bike but want to try it out before you commit to buying one, Angel Fire Bike Park Demo Daze is a perfect weekend to try the latest bikes on our trails to see which suspension works best for your style of riding,” Koesis said.

Manufacturers like Yetoi, Santa Cruz, Specialized and many others will have their gear available for free tryouts, although riders will need to buy a lift ticket to use the bike park, he said.

A cyclist leans on a turn at the Angel Fire Bike Park.

A cyclist leans on a turn at the Angel Fire Bike Park.

“While some mountains charge riders entrance fees, what’s great about this demo is our riders can come up and try out the gear all day long for the cost of a bike park lift ticket,” Loesis said. “The lift ticket will also include access to live music, tastings at the Brewfest tent and entrance to the Red Bull movie premiere that night that takes place outside under the stars,”

The event will include an appearance by cycling legend Brett Tippie, who will be signing autographs and telling tall tales of his extreme riding.

“Having Brett Tippie, also known as the Director of Good Times, here at our Demo Daze is a great way to kick off our summer mountain biking season,” Koesis said. “He always offers riders expert advice and entertains all of us with his crazy stories and jokes. He’s the perfect addition to our Memorial Day Weekend event.”

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