First ride: Rhyolite Bike Park

On my way home yesterday from USA Cycling in Colorado Springs, CO, I stopped by Rhyolite Bike Park in Castle Rock.

One hour. Eight laps. Rock!

Conditions: Windy!

Where is everyone? Local middle and high schools are on spring break, yet I was the only person out there. Was it the wind? Doubtful; kids don’t care. Was it access? Maybe kids can’t ride to the park from home.

Up: A mellow singletrack makes its way to the top. At cruise pace into a brutal headwind, I was doing the climb in 5:30 — a fine interval length for DH and XC, if you ask me. Once you get to the top, you can choose from three routes down:

Green: Mellow turny trail that makes the most of the elevation. A turnoff leads to the basic pump track.

Blue: Steeper/tighter trail with berms and various rollers.

Black: Peel off the blue trail. Rip a wall ride and several non-rollable jumps. It was too windy to try this business.

Protocol: Ride up the access trail, lower the seat, rip the DH, raise the seat, repeat. I was turning a lap every seven minutes. Eight laps in less than an hour equals a nice little sesh.

Ideal bike: Whatever you normally ride, especially if it’s a trail bike with seat adjustment or a DJ/slalom bike. My Enduro with Butcher DH tires was way too much (but it did hook up in the loose corners).

If I lived nearby: I’d put knobby tires and the Hilo seatpost on Captain America, and I’d rip out laps for time. That would be great training for fitness and skills.

Congratulations to the team who got this park built. This sort of thing is a lot of work — more political and procedural than physical.

This excellent sign is worth a read. Especially the part about this being an interim use until an elementary school is built here.

View from the bottom of the one-way climb. The downhills are one-way as well. Smart.

Choices … view from the top. This layout is clever.

The jumps are made with steel frames and wooden decks. This seems like a great way to maintain consistency and reduce maintenance. As a park builder, I wonder how much of the budget/effort went into these ramps, and what percentage of Castle Rock park users are hitting these gaps.

Check out the Rhyolite Bike Park page at the Town of Castle Rock site.

Know more. Have more fun!

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6 replies
  1. Justin Brown says:

    WOW…this looks like tons of fun. What do I have to do to get people in the NE excited about bikes like this?! Please help. I have come up with short and sweet proposals for pump tracks (nothing close to a bike park) and I can’t get anyone to talk to me. Anyone have any ideas?

  2. Chris Cowan says:

    @Justin Do you have a local mountain bike club/organization? Most cities and land managers are more interested in starting something like this with an organized group instead of a lone individual (of course that’s just based on my experience).

  3. Justin Brown says:

    Yeah, I have spoken to them and the majority of them are XC guys/gals. Not to say that they weren’t into it, but not to say that they were. I’ll keep pressing though as this is a great thing for the community…and for me to have another place to ride. Thanks for the input.

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Get some kids to present the idea to the city. Municipal decision makers are all about the kids.

    Superior Bike Park started with a high school kid who said he wanted a legal place to ride. Now that the park is ready, he’s off to college, but it’s still a win — for kids of all ages.

  5. Simcik says:

    Hey Lee,

    Alpine Bike parks built that park. I helped with the final touches with the steel lips and the entire wallride. This was the place where Alpine did the test fitting of the steel structures to make sure they were perfect and would be sick when putting them in at the Valmont park here in Boulder. The one downside to the Rhyolite park is it is frequently windy, but otherwise a cool park!

  6. Rob says:


    Thanks for rubbing it in. Us northerns (Ontario Canada) are still under some snow. LOL

    Cold road rides is all I get right know.

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