When the snow melts in Colorado ski country, it’s time to hang up the skis and get out the mountain bike. In Breckenridge mountain biking is as popular in the summer as skiing is in the winter. But just like skiing, it takes some practice.
To give guests the skills they need for a great day on the mountain bike trail, several Vail resorts offer mountain biking schools. Similar to the ski school, Breckenridge mountain biking classes are taught by skill levels and include a guided run down the mountain.
I would never have considered mountain bike school before our trip, after all, my family knows how to ride a bike. However, after spending a few hours with Eric Zerowin, who at the time was the Ski & Ride Supervisor and Instructor at Breckenridge Ski Resort, I can’t imagine heading up the mountain without a lesson.
Here’s why we think taking mountain biking classes at this Colorado resort is a must!
Note: Mountain Biking School will not be offered in 2023.
WHY GO TO MOUNTAIN BIKE SCHOOL?
Note: Mountain Biking School will not be offered in 2023.
You may be thinking, “I don’t need bike lessons, my family knows how to ride a bike.” Honestly, before our trip, I would never have thought about Mountain Bike School. But for those of us who aren’t regularly on a bike, much less a mountain bike, and kids who are used to riding on asphalt roads or sidewalks, looking over the handlebars down a 12,000+ ft. Colorado mountain can be scary. If you fall, it’s a rocky landing.
That said, a trip to Colorado wouldn’t be complete without doing a bit of mountain biking, especially when you can get a lift UP the mountain. Here’s why you should consider Mountain Bike School before biking trails in Breckenridge.
Read More: 23+ EPIC THINGS TO DO IN BRECKENRIDGE IN SUMMER
MOUNTAIN BIKE SCHOOL TRAINING PARK
The mountain bike school at Breckenridge Ski Resort starts at a training park. Instructors check everyone’s gear, making sure helmets fit correctly and, if you are bringing your own bikes, checking them out for a safe a comfortable ride. Once the gear is set, instructors watch as students attempt a series of elements present on the mountain such as rock paths, tight spaces, and bridges.
Students learn how to steer through often rocky switchback turns both up and down the mountain. Once basic skills are mastered, students run through two different courses, in the open and through the trees.
WHY HIRE A MOUNTAIN BIKE GUIDE AT BRECKENRIDGE SKI RESORT
If students are ready, it’s time to head up the mountain where instructors lead the way down the dirt road, set the pace, and guide the group through the trail. Even if you skip the training school, consider a guide for the first couple trips down the mountain. The guide knows the trail, so bikers can concentrate on obstacles rather than wayfinding. Plus, by setting the pace, the guide ensures no one gets out of control or goes too fast.
My three children are at very different ability levels on a bike. Normally the instructor would have split us into two groups, but we opted to stay together. My youngest isn’t overly confident on flat ground yet, the middle is a good biker, but has never attempted mountain biking and the oldest is familiar with mountain biking having done Beaver Creek Mountain a few years ago.
WHY MOUNTAIN BIKE SCHOOL IS GOOD FOR ALL LEVELS
All three got something out of the school. My youngest improved by leaps and bounds. Although he didn’t attempt riding down the mountain yet, he rides with a lot more confidence and I feel a lot better just watching him on the steep mountain paths around town.
My middle son thought the paths were going to be a smooth, fast ride on dirt. He wasn’t expecting the rocky loose terrain and the need to go slower to stay in control and was surprised to find his arms hurt at the end of the run. The oldest felt the school gave him more confidence and made the ride more enjoyable. My husband echoed that sentiment too.
7 TIPS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING WITH KIDS IN BRECKENRIDGE
- The Breckenridge mountain bike training park is located at the top of the Rip’s Ride chair lift and is open to all mountain bikers, not just those staying at the resort. Visit whenever you need a refresher or as a warm-up to heading up for a ride down Peak 8.
- There is a beginner trail off Rip’s Ride called Whirl, which is good for those who are just getting their wheels under them. (Note: Due to construction work to upgrade Rip’s Ride, there will be no beginner mountain biking trail access at the resort during the summer of 2023.)
- If you are bringing your own bikes, make sure they have front suspension. Just because you are riding a ‘mountain bike’ doesn’t mean it’s suitable for the rugged and rocky terrain of a mountain like Peak 8.
- Reservations are recommended, but they will take walk-ups if space allows. Breckenridge has clinics daily at 10:30 am.
- Ratios for mountain bike school are 4 to 1. Exceptions can be made for families or groups. If a group has different abilities, they’ll split them up.
- You don’t have to go up the mountain, if you’d rather use your 2.5 hours in the training park learning skills, that’s fine. The bike haul pass is good for the rest of the day, so after instruction, students can take a break and attempt the mountain later on their own.
- Instructors tailor the lesson to student abilities. They’ll spend more or less time on skills and head up the mountain when students feel ready. It may be that you spend 10 minutes in the training park and then do several guided rides down the mountain.
BRECKENRIDGE MOUNTAIN BIKING
After our mountain biking school, we were more confident riding the many bike paths around town. We even participated in Breck Bike Week in July. My husband and older kids did a poker ride, while the youngest and I did a go fish ride along the Blue River Trail.
The longest Breck bike trail is the Blue level Swinger trail at 4.2 miles long. The shortest is the Blue level Edge Trail at 0.4 miles long.
On our list for our next visit is biking from Breckenridge to Frisco, and Breckenridge to Dillon. (You can also go from Frisco to Breckenridge and Dillon to Breckenridge.) Although this isn’t necessarily what you would consider mountain biking, I still think it fits. Best part, you can take the Summit County bus back, so you only have to bike one way.
Don’t have your own bike? Don’t worry. You can rent a bike from several Breckenridge bike rental places. Here is a list we found to get you started.
BRECKENRIDGE MOUNTAIN BIKING FAQ
Does Breckenridge have good mountain biking?
Breckenridge has miles and miles of mountain biking trails for all different skill levels, making it a great place for mountain biking.
Can you take bikes on the Breckenridge gondola?
Yes, you can take your bike on a gondola in Breckenridge. Load your bike onto the Colorado SuperChair at the base of Peak 8 and then ride your downhill mountain bike across any of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s awesome trails.
Is Breckenridge bike friendly?
Yes, Breckenridge is very bike friendly. The Town of Breckenridge is honored to be designated a Gold level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO COLORADO
- YOUR COLORADO VACATION
- BRECK HIKES: Our 5 Favorite Breckenridge Hikes (That You’ll Love Too!)
- HAPPY HOUR: 14 Best Breckenridge Happy Hour Deals For Families (+ Fav Restaurants)
- ALPINE SLIDE: Have Fun At Breckenridge Alpine Slide & Epic Discovery (Sort Of) Theme Park
- BRECKENRIDGE SKI RESORT: Why We Love Breckenridge Ski Resort (+ 25 More Things To Do In Winter)
WHERE TO STAY IN BRECKENRIDGE
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