8-9-19 Basch-Loon’s new mountain bike park

Ground broke in May on Loon’s new mountain bike park. (LOON MOUNTAIN PHOTO)

Nearly 40 people turned out late last month to give a few popular trails off Hurricane Mountain Road some general maintenance during a White Mountains chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association trail work day.

Three of the trails — Kandagnar, Sendero and Pinball — are downhill trails that are seeing an uptick in usage and needed some drainage and rock armor work.

According to Mike LeBlanc, a chapter vice president, the work was long overdue.

“A lot of people are traveling to ride here,” he said. “We are seeing a lot more traffic on the trails.”

The labor-intensive work on a hot July 28 included digging, placing rocks and refinishing berms done with tools like pick axes and pulaskis.

The classic Redtail Trail also saw some sprucing up, largely having some brush cleared back.

“The plan was to ride after it was over, but most people went to the river instead because it was really hot,” he said.

More trail work days are planned this month and next.

In Gorham, the Coos Cycling Club completed work on a new trail above the Gorham Airport on the Pine Mountain side of the Coos trail network.

“We recently finished “carry on” which is an intermediate trail that accesses a couple of downhill only trails,” said club officer Jason Hunter.

That club is looking forward to hosting the final leg of the Tour de Borderlands series Sept. 21.

Work continues on Loon Mountain’s new multi-phase mountain bike park. Ground broke in May on more that 15 miles of downhill mountain bike trails designed and being built by Highland Trails which is affiliated with the Highland Mountain Bike Park.

Phase One calls for 5 miles of trails, including a green-circle free-ride trail, a green-circle technical trail, a blue-square free-ride trail and a blue-square technical trail serviced by the Seven Brothers triple chair.

When the entire project is complete, Loon will have more than 25 miles of downhill and cross-country bike trails.

“We haven’t announced an opening date yet, but our goal is to open a portion of Phase One trails soon after Labor Day,” said communications manager Greg Kwasnik.

After the first phase, Loon plans to move on to building technical and free-ride trails for advanced riders. Bike rentals, lessons, a bike shop, learn-to-ride area and lift service using the Kancamagus Express Quad.

Bretton Woods has a new fleet of Scott downhill bikes sized small through large that can be rented by the day, half-day or two hours for its lift-serviced trails.

Attitash is hosting its Megabowl Enduro this weekend with practice on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Great Glen Trails’ Tuesday Mason & Mason Insurance Summer Mountain Bike Race Series has been well-attended with some 95 people competing in one or more of the weekly races.

“It’s pretty much the same mix of participants we’ve had in previous years, as we design three courses so there’s one geared for every riding ability,” Great Glen Trails’ Crispin Battles said. “We have a lot of families and novice bikers who are doing our Mini Course — 1.6 miles of the easiest trails — and Short Course — 3.2 miles, including some slightly harder trails. We also lay out our Long Course — 4.6 miles, including some of the harder single track trails in our trail system — for more avid mountain bikers, many of whom take it pretty seriously and are setting some amazingly fast times.”

The eight-week series runs through Aug. 27 and bikers can still enter individual races even if they missed the first weeks.

Rock the Rec, a fundraiser for the Mount Washington Valley Rec Path, is Aug. 22 at Cranmore. Live music from local artists, raffles and food trucks highlight the event from 6 to 9 p.m. Volunteers are needed. Get more information at mwvrecpath.org.

The town of Shelburne is offering three group rides on Aug. 11 to help celebrate the town’s 250th anniversary. Each ride uses bucolic North Road. There’s a 20- and 34-mile ride with a meet-up at 9:30 a.m. at Chester Hayes Memorial Park on Village Road and a short 4-mile family ride from the same place that meets at noon. North Road is part of the Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail.

More information can be found at townofshelburnenh.com.

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