Rocky Knob Fest Recap

One new trail, four new skills areas, 100 people, guided rides, skills clinics, demo bikes, coffee, cookies, BBQ, and burritos. If you missed it, you really missed out on a grand time. If you did miss out, the good news is that the new stuff is waiting for you.

Enjoy the slideshow. Photos by Paul Stahlschmidt and Ross Landino.

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Big thanks to our outstanding supporters for this event:

Boone Bike and Touring, Magic Cycles, and Dave Frye for the demos and products; Boone Area Cyclists; Black Cat Burritos for the veggie goodies; ASU Recreation Management Faculty and Kansas City Certified BBQ Judge Roachel Laney for the BBQ; Bald Guy Brew for the joe; Stick Boy = cookies!; exploreboonearea.com; Mast General Store; Food Lion, Harris Teeter, and Ingles; ASU Recreation Management students for planning and organization; clinic leaders Alex Dawson, Michael Thomas, Paul Stahlschmidt, Melissa Weddell, Jason Hightower, and Craig Folsum; and Rocky Knob for the win.

Ride safe and have fun.

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Skills Area Preview

Rocky Knob’s one-of-a-kind Skills Areas are about to open for your riding pleasure. Here’s a preview of the test riding. Please remember: these trails will not be open until Saturday at 1:00. We have hand-shaped and polished much of the new stuff and it needs to set up. Until then enjoy the photos and this quick video edit.

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Join us tomorrow (Saturday, April 28) at 1:00 for Rocky Knob Fest.

 

Working Hard to Bring You More Fun: Skills Area 4

The beginning of Skills Area 4 aka the Moto Mike Skillz Area

Last night almost 40 volunteers helped hand finish the skills areas. These helping hands made light work of finishing new trails. We will be working this weekend on Saturday from 1-5 and Sunday from 10-1.

Work wraps up today with all of the new skills areas. The latest addition includes a pump-track style area with a few low log rides and rock gardens. This area is located on Rocky Branch Trail in the second power line break.

Landscape Arch: a 50 foot long, 3 foot high, and 12 inch wide feature in "The Promised Land."

This area completes Trail Dynamics work at Rocky Knob for the moment. The new additions will provide more high quality experiences designed for riders to develop their skills. None of the new areas, trails, or features are signed or marked yet. The features range from easy to expert only. For this reason we are asking everyone to stay off all the trails and features. We are aiming for an opening of these trails for Rocky Knob Fest on April 28. With all of this going on, it’s easy to forget about the rest of the mountain. But don’t forget: there is much more to come. We are aiming to open the next loop soon. Stay tuned for more updates about North Carolina’s premier Mountain Bike Park.

Dirty Thursday 4/12

Today’s your chance for a preview of what’s happening in the skills areas at Rocky Knob. Tonight at 5:30 we will be working in the main skills area and the newest (number 4) area. Work teams will leave the parking lot shortly after 5:30. Feel free to come out before then. If you are heading out to work before 5:30 head to the saddle and follow signs in to the work zone. We have the tools on site. Just bring yourself in proper work clothes. Also please remember the new trails are not open. They look inviting but will remain closed. Please respect the building process.

Clockwise from left: creating the exit to the 5 Chili Pepper line in the main skills area. Top right: the exit trail to the Roman Road: a masterpiece of stone. Bottom right: the end of the 25 foot long skinny to the boulder drop.

Also: we will be working this Saturday, April 14 from 1-5 and Sunday, April 15 from 10-1.

See you on the trail.

Rocky Knob’s Got Skills (and what you should know about the park this spring)

When we were dreaming up Rocky Knob, the park was to be a union of ideas. Accessibility and sustainability drove one side of the equation, while progressiveness drove the other. Already, the park has provided mountain bikers in Boone (and those who travel to Boone) with high-quality, sustainable trails just minutes from downtown. The existing trails provide a little of everything (except truly beginner trails) for riders: singletrack, rocks, jumps, flow, you name it. We have yet to deliver on the authentic “progressive side;” that is, a Mountain Bike Park where riders can gain technical riding skills up to expert level in controlled, stepping-stone ways. That is, until now.

If you’ve ridden at the park this week, you have undoubtedly seen the signs of something new happening. We are in full-swing of constructing the Skills Phase of the park. Trail Dynamics (the professional company that brought us the Rocky Branch Trail and The Middle Earth Trail) are back in full force to design and build a series of new areas and trails that are “feature-rich.”

Clockwise from top left: The step down into the powerlines; Chuck gets old school on the saw; Ed and Bill apply the power to the PBJ flagline.

The first area you will see when riding Middle Earth is at the top of the lower knob. Here, two trails leave the high point. One is a half-loop full of skinny log rides and pumpy sections. This trail features “Logzilla” an 84-foot long, 12-inch wide log ride with options and serves as preparation for the larger skills area.

Logzilla under construction.

The second trail is known by the working name PBJ: Pump, Berms, and Jumps. This is an A-Line style trail that departs the lower knob and runs over a half mile and is full of the biggest berms, jumps, stepdowns, gaps, and booters ever seen in NC. All features on this trail have go-arounds and are rollable.

The trail by which all jump trails are measured: Chad Oliver airs Lower A Line: Whislter, BC.

The main skills area is located just past the “Saddle.” It features a wealth of technical features to train on and hone your skills. Rock gardens, ladder bridges, skinnies, and drops adorn this beautiful area.

Left: Flat Shovels on the first lander; Right: Logzilla.

These additions will provide challenge and interest to our park and allow users to “choose their own adventure” and develop their skills at their own pace. Several folks have asked, “Do I need a downhill bike for the new trails?” The answer is no. Most any bike ridden at Rocky Knob now will be appropriate on the new trails.

The Green Monster in the lower skills area.

We do have a very important request: Please respect the building process by not riding any of the trails yet. This is especially true of the PBJ trail. This trail is soft and will take a while to harden into riding shape. Traffic now will rut out the features and set us back. Also, many features are incomplete and unsafe at this point. Do yourself and your community a favor by staying off these trails. If you are interested in seeing them, consider volunteering to complete the trails. We still have much work to do. Contact me directly if you’d like to help.

Exit of the Green Monster.

 

Canadian Bill eyes the plank for Field Fitting.

 

If the skills areasĀ  do not satisfy your need for new stuff at the park, you still have much to anticipate. The “Boat Rock Loop” is nearly ready to open. Construction of the Kid’s Adventure Playground will start in May and the parking lot will receive professional hardscaping. Stay tuned for more updates.

 

 

 

 

Finally, here are some dates to keep in mind:

Saturday, April 14: Trailwork Day from 1:00-5:00

Sunday, April 15: Trailwork Day from 10:00-1:00

Saturday, April 28: 1:00-5:00 Rocky Knob Fest with demo bikes from Magic Cycles and Boone Bike and Touring, skills clinics, and good food.

Plans for the park.