Mountain Biking is the greatest of all human sports. It utilizes some of the most complex and technical industrial wizardry ever designed by mankind, designed by some of the the best brains the world has to offer.
It does this in order to allow a lone human body to perform at it's ultimate best, combining balance, strength, forethought, fitness, training, and good sense.
It returns to the rider the real ultimate 'driving' experience. No motor. No hard shell. No noise. Two wheels. No daydreaming. You never think about your 9-5 when you're mountain biking.
You ride as though you, your bike and the mountain are all one, like a feather falling through a cloud.
You do this at thirty or forty miles an hour down the side of a steep rocky mountain. You are at peace. Yet you must remain constantly, ultimately, utterly and totally in control.
Mountain biking is a sport with incredibly low environmental impact and our lift wouldn't substantially change that.
It is more fun than any rollercoaster--it's like a rollercoaster, buy you get to design your own track (or rather, you get to decide what forces and what speeds the track is safe for, today.)
It's like pool--you have to study the angles and think about the flow of kenetic energy through the system.
It's like a race where you can pick a good line and maintain an easy lead on your buddy, or you can pick a bad one and he ends up going first. (Buddies are people that like to ride with you, not people that like to race you. But still, the fastest guy goes first in a group. He then stays just out of reach of the next person, and so on.)
It's like flying an airplane since you have to think in three dimensions and you are constantly trading speed for altitude and vice-versa, and it's like flying a helicopter because you have to use all your arms (and fingers) and feet virtually all the time, and you have to keep your head on a swivel to read all the terrain information you're getting, and keep a proper distance between your fellow riders in front and behind, and so on.
Mountain biking is the greatest sport ever because it encourages you to give up all alcohol, all excess weight, and all sorts of other things that are bad for you, because cleaning up your act makes you ride better. Baseball players don't have much to worry about if they can hit the ball. Football players often want to gain weight. Bikers tend towards veggie sandwiches and coffee.
Mountain biking is much more accessible than Hang Gliding, Rock Climbing, Parachuting, and Bungee Jumping. Nearly everyone knows how to ride a bike. (These hills, of course, would not be the best place to learn!)
Mountain biking is hot now because technology has made it possible. I know there are still a lot of people out there riding hard tails.
But the facts are: Great minds have made modern bicycles that are awesome, and that make this sport phenomenally fun. 24 gears really are nice. $600 wheels really handle much better. Those guys that took the financial risks and designed and manufactured great suspension systems, great brakes, great rims, great skewers for gosh sakes--the people that make these things are our heros! I see it as only fitting that we should take these joyous toys they gave us, and thrash them against the gnarliest hillside we can design!
Bearing the things in the Pre-ramble in mind, our goal is to design the ultimate set of singletrack courses. We want to be able to observe the world's greatest riders riding the world's greatest trails, and then ride those same trails ourselves. We want trails that were built for the tremendous kenetic energy control you get on your bike. Great Whoop-dee-doos, great banked curves, great everything. Trails that force you to shift like crazy. Trails you can go down the entire trail and neither pedal nor brake (mathematically at least, such a think is possible.) Great stuff you could NEVER get on a trail built for hikers, horses, skiers or fire trucks.
For example, imagine a parabolic hill that curves up over the top in a parabolic shape, if viewed from the side.
It would feel nearly weightless--or even weightless--for what will seem like an eternity. What is a parabolic hill good for?
When I was a young boy we had a bump like that, which my mom would drive over at speed, and we would all be nearly weightless for a second. She would actually slow down when we were behind a car when we approached the bump, so that she could speed up and take the hill at the proper speed to have fun.
We called it "The Gaa Bump" because that's what it made us say when it happened. And that was a small asphalt one that just crossed a little stream, maybe just one or two carlengths from beginning to end. Just a nicely designed bump that the whole family could--and did--love.
Anyway, this is what a parabolic hill can do--but in 1996, picture one that is four or five times bigger than the one I just described, and made of singletrack, and that in order to do it at the right speed, you come down a long speed-gaining straight decent on a full suspension mountain bike, instead of in 1960 when you're 5 years old, sitting in the back of your parent's 1950 Ford sedan? Cool rides are hard to find. The best ones are thoroughly memorable.
The purpose of the park is cool rides. It's not training, it's not renting, it's not that it's a mecca for racing, though it should have all those things. It's cool rides. Trails designed by expert mountain bikers, for all mountain bikers.
Trails with logs. Trails with rocks. Trails without logs and rocks. Trails which knock your socks off. Trails that twist. Trails that climb. Trails with twists you never imagined, because all you ever saw before were fire roads, and hiker's trails, and maybe a few coyote trails (those were nice, weren't they?)
Aerial lifts have one of the lowest impacts on the environment, worse only than tunneling might be (theoretically). Once the lift system is in place, one of the beauties is that it does not obstruct wildlife from crossing underneath it. That means wildlife corridors can be maintained.
This idea REALLY needs your support. Please send us email and tell us you like the idea and would visit such a park if the prices were fair. We're going to try to do the rest, and we'll let you know what happens--whatever happens--on these web pages. THANKS FOR READING THIS!
The Animated Software Company
First presented online May 30th, 1996.
Last modified July 10th, 1998.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman