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May 2-4 - Riding in Bike Park Winterberg
Due to the late spring, we the season opening in Winterberg was postponed at least by two weeks. The bike park had just opened on April 27. Upon our arrival, all trails were not open.

According to Winterberg’s trail map, the bike park has a total of 9 trails. Our Suunto Ambit indicated that the vertical descent from the top to the bottom of the hill was 175m. Not huge in absolute terms but clearly more than an around 100-120m vertical in bike parks of the Southern Finland. More than the vertical, we were impressed by the good profile of the hill which did not involve flat parts as many hills in FInland, for example.

We started by riding “Giro Free Cross”, a 1300m long track with 33 banked turns (according to the trail map) and a few tables. This trail utilised very effectively every meter of the 175m descent with no speed-killing flat sections except in the very beginning. We found this track very effective for training high speed cornering on a smooth and hard surface. This trail is very accessible also for beginners.

Another nice trail was “iXS Downhill”, a natural trail with the same 175m decent and a length of 1000m. We found this trail very entertaining with number of gaps, rock gardens and banked turns. All more difficult sections had chicken ways for beginners, making the track accessible also for less experienced riders.

While some some other tracks were open as well, some were still closed at this time. We ride almost solely the two already mentioned trails. We would have liked to spend some time on “4X” track but it was unfortunately closed expect on the day of our arrival, when we didn’t ride.

Bottlenecks
At the time of our visit, there were two lifts running, a chair and a drag lift. May 2 and 3 (Thursday and Friday) were great days for riding with practically no queues at all. On Saturday, the park started to get packed after 11 am. By noon, waiting times to the chair lift were easily 15min. This felt really depressing considering that tracks themselves are relatively short and fast to ride from top to bottom. While we spent loads of time in the bike park on Thursday and Friday, we didn’t tolerate waiting times on Saturday for more than two or three hours worth of riding.

WinterbergBikePark
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