Downhill mountain biking is a sport that the entire family can enjoy. However, the downhill mountain bike park experience is far different experience than road biking, trail biking, and cross-country single track mountain biking.
Downhill Mountain Biking Trails:
Downhill mountain biking requires a certain level of physical and mental effort to navigate the trails safely and maintain control of the bike.
All of the trails at Welch Village are machine-built, gravity flow-trails which require a specific set of skills and technique.
Similar to our ski/snowboard trails, we classify downhill mountain bike trails in the following way based on their level of difficulty:
Green DH = Easiest. Attention! Green DH trails at Welch Village should not be considered "beginner trails mountain bike trails". Green DH trails are beginner DOWNHILL mountain bike trails. In order to ride beginner downhill trails, a fair amount of off-road, cross-country mountain bike experience on single track is highly recommended.
What to Wear:
Helmet (MANDATORY) - A helmet is required for all riders in the bike park. We strongly recommend a full-face helmet to provide the greatest range of protection.
Sunglasses or goggles - These will help with eye protection against dirt, branches, and other obstacles you'll encounter on the trails or in the event of a crash.
Elbow and Knee Pads - Provide protection from cuts, scrapes, and any impact to these parts of your body that are most common to be injured in a crash.
Closed-Toe Shoes - Shoes with a durable toe box and high ankle support are important to manage the tougher terrain and impact.
Long Sleeve shirt and shorts - Cover up with proper clothing to limit the amount of bare skin showing in the event that you experience a crash.
Full Finger Gloves - Use these to keep your hands on your bars with secure grip on your brakes. Your hands are typically the first to support you in the event of a crash, so you want them covered.
Body Armour and neck brace - Optional for anyone who wants extra protection for your back, chest, and neck.
What Bike to Ride:
Not just any old mountain bike will do. Mountain bikes with full suspension and the right geometry and components with help make your day in the bike park safe and fun. If you purchased your bike in a department store like Walmart or Target, it may not be suitable for downhill mountain biking. Also, BMX type bikes without proper brakes are not allowed.
All-Mountain - All mountain bikes combine full suspension in the front and rear with a more upright design allowing riders to descend yet ascend when needed. At the minimum, we recommend bike park riders to have an all-mountain bike to access the intermediate (blue) and advanced (black) trails at the Welch MTB Park.
Downhill - Downhill specific bikes are intended for all level of riders who want to enjoy the most out of the bike park. A full suspension, downhill specific bike is specifically designed for descending, not ascending. We recommend this type of bike for any level of rider in the bike park.
Cross-Country - Cross country bikes generally have less suspension (front only) than most mountain bikes, making them ideal for pedaling long distances versus descending. Cross-country bikes are not recommended for the intermediate (blue) and advanced (black) trails in the Welch MTB Park.
Mountain Bike Lessons
We will be offering a limited amount of mountain bike instruction this summer and fall. More information including dates and pricing coming soon!