Freeride park seeks partners

Healthy, fun-loving New Hampshire playground seeks industry partners and local diggers. I have 154 acres, and I’m looking for passionate people to share them with.

Hey Lee, Love Your Site! Best in the industry. I’m contacting you because I am in need of some help. I have been working with the new Whaleback Mountain in Lebanon, New Hampshire on their summer bike park and DH trails, and we need some support for our dream of making our 154 acre mountain into the best XC, DH and skatepark riding on the east coast.

Whaleback is a true 4 season action sports arena. Besides our winter ski and snowboard operations, this summer we’ll have brand new 10,000 square foot INDOOR and 20,000 square foot OUTDOOR Zero Gravity skate parks, plus our 154 acres with a lift, lights, technical natural terrain and trails up to a 55% grade.

Our winter program has a strong youth focus, and the summer will be no different. We will offer camps for all ages in the disciplines of Inline, Skate, MTB and BMX, and hope to develop complete athletes in all disciplines. In addition we will host weekly races, rides, jump jams and pro appearances.

We are looking to partner with brands to secure demo bikes, equipment and prizes. This is an opportunity for the industry to support the youth and progression of all areas of MTB, while gaining valuable exposure and selling product.

If you could pass this along to the greater MTB community it would be great! And if anyone out there is local and they want to help cut trails or build the pump track, they can get in touch with me and earn some free riding.

Thanks Lee,

John DeMasi


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11 replies
  1. Steve C says:

    I sure hope you have more success that I have had.
    I live in Southern AZ, and have 45 acres that I have built a myriad of trails and freeride challenges on. Bridges, teeter-totters, ramps through the trees, jumps, pump track, short tracks etc. I have yet to have one person step up and help. plans have been made in the past for work events and rides, and they always have falllen through.
    I am persistent and hopefully it will eventually pan out.
    I actually have a great time playing, riding , and digging at my place, but it sure would be fun to share it with people. I sometimes wonder if it’s the distance ( one hour from town since we are in the mountains)
    Someone said I should offer free beer and they would come. I can guarantee that won’t happen. First I don’t drink at all, and second I could probably just tear up my liabilty release waiver.
    Regardless though, good luck to you, and I wish I lived closer to New Hamshire. I actually couldn’t be further away.
    Final thought is ” BE PERSISTENT” it might help. Then again I wouldn’t know for sure , but hope to in the future.

  2. Justin Brown says:

    I’d love to help you. I live in NY (about 20 Min north of NYC). Hopefully I’ll be able to get up there some time and do a little digging. Here’s an idea, make people work for their “admission” to the park. Give me an idea of how far you are from NYC or better yet Boston (I have family on Cape Cod). Good Luck

  3. John DeMasi says:

    Steve, thanks for the tips. It always helps to hear from someone who has been there before. We happen to have very good drive-by exposure because we are situated right off I-89 in Lebanon/Hanover NH, so about 19,000 vehicles a day drive by out mountain. We are near town and so near the highway, in fact, that if you rolled your SUV over the guard rail you would end up in our parking lot. We are also at an established ski mountain. We feel very lucky.
    I was thinking though, you wouldn’t necessarily have to offer free beer to attract attention. Perhaps you’ve done this before, but if you host a really great event, complete with digging, a barbecue and a jump jam, you might get some people up there. If you got in touch with all the shops, hit the streets with a staple gun and told everyone you know, I’m sure you could do it. Even try going to other races/ride events and pass out flyers (with permission) to people while they’re still high on the riding/gathering there. If you can put together a really great event (really great, as in probably spend some money on it) then it will attract people to drive a little bit, but also get them emotionally attached to the trails they built and the great time they had at your place. That will bring them back-with their friends. It’s the same reason McDonald’s gives you a toy when you’re a kid. It brings you back.
    Either way, it’s nice to know there are other people in the same boat. If we run into trouble I will surely remember to be persistent. Thanks.
    As for you Justin, we are exactly 2.5 hours north of boston. Once you hit I-89 it’s a straight shot to the mountain. We would love yo have your input/help anytime. Contact me at the e-mail address above if you make it to our neck of the woods!

  4. Steve C says:

    Well aside from the flyers and what not we have our club which has 150+ members with a wide range of intersts from xc, downhill, freeride, etc.
    I have sent emails to our list serve ( all 150 members) with times set up for build/ bbq/ jump and pump track sessions. It never flies. Not sure why. A few have come up and ridden the pump track, but it was pretty much because they were in the area or passing through. The trails we have built can be used for time trials and XC training, short tracks are great for speed and cornering, tons of challenges with ladder bridges , teetertotters ets,
    One thing is since I am a private entity ( not a ski area which you are inded lucky) I am not in this to make money. I cannot necesarily send out flyers and have everbody and their brother show up. I need to be a bit selective. I also can’t have people up here while I am not here.
    Just to get folks up for a weekend morning of riding and cameraderie is what I seek.
    I’ll keep trying though.

  5. leelikesbikes says:


    It’s really hard to get people to dig. Everyone is busy with other things. Most don’t enjoy digging. Many just expect trails to be there. That’s a key cultural difference between the 20″ and 26″ crews — BMXers have always had to build their own jumps; MTBers tend to show up and ride existing trails.

    I’m guilty here. I know I don’t dig as much as I should. I try to justify it with my other involvements in the sport, but the fact is I’d rather do other things with my energy. I’m not unique. I dig when 1) It’s my yard. 2) There’s a compelling reason to dig (like when we had to move the roll-in at The Fix). 3. The guilt overwhelms me.

    Every riding spot in the history of mankind has been the product of a very few highly motivated builders. Maybe they’re unemployed, or they just love building. I think the key is to find these guys and reward them for ther work. Keep them feeling good about what they’re doing, or else they’ll end up resenting everyone else.

    Just some thoughts …

  6. Tim Brown says:

    As a resident of the upper valley, and a friend of Jason from Claremont Cycle Depot, I can’t wait for you to get up and running. My new bike is in neew of a good workout! I always felt sad when I would drive by on 89 and see the empty mountain just sitting there. I am very glad someone has taken the initiative to get it running again.

  7. WaveDude says:

    Man, I wish I had even 2 acres of “legal” land to build on here, I’d go freekin’ crazy with 45 or, holy cow, 154 (and terrain) to work with. Move to Houston and bring your hill with you and I’ll gladly help 🙂 My experience doesn’t show any difference between 20″ or 26″ riders–most won’t/don’t dig. But there are 100’s of them that will gladly “poach” the jumps and not do a thing to help out. Being an hour from town probably doesn’t help because that’s a weekend-only spot for most people. It’s nice to be able to toss the bike in the car and stop for a couple hours on the way home from work.

  8. John DeMasi says:

    I keep hearing about people living in the south-west who are interested in helping. Are you people just super nice, or what? I’ve looked into moving the mountain to your neck of the woods. Despite my best efforts, the trucking company insists the load won’t fit under most overpasses… We would also have to disassemble the lift. Did I mention that we have a 2500′ ski lift?

  9. Luke Labendz says:

    I’ll be up in N.H. during the first week in august, and will gladly volunteer a day of work for a day of riding. looks like i’ll be skipping rye airfield this year…i have been dying to get up to whaleback and check it out….couldnt get there this winter too many ,”prior obligations”….anyway i’ll fire you an e-mail when i get up to NH.
    check ya lates, and remember:

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