The goal of a bucket list is to help you dream bigger. Go farther. Explore different places, and see different things. And since Dylan doesn’t like but lives, breathes, and pedals mountain biking, a list of the places he wants to ride should pique your interest. Here’s Dylan’s top seven destinations that he wants to go on a mountain bike trip.
Christchurch New Zealand
How could you NOT want to ride your bike in the same place as where they shot the Lord Of The Rings movie series. Alongside the scenery, as of 2016, Christchurch has opened up a $20 MILLION-dollar 900 acre bike park offering up 365 days / year of lift accessed mountain biking. Combine that with hundreds of miles of hand built varied singletrack and you got yourself one killer destination for a mountain bike trip.
Whistler / Squamish
If there’s one place any two wheeled fiend will automatically know about regardless of language or riding style, it will be “Whistler.” Every summer the “Superbowl of mountain biking” Crankworx is held on these hallowed grounds. The lift accessed bike park offers up 70 trails that span across 50 miles and descend over 4,900 vertical feet. And just outside Whistler is the town of Squamish. If there’s a place that has too much of a good thing, it’s here. With 500+ trails accessing 350+ miles of varied terrain, a week-long trip may not be long enough.
As snow begins to fall on places like Whistler, cycling junkies still need to get their fix. A newcomer on the block, Bentonville is a great option in the chilly winter months when it’s like a freezer up north or soggy out West. Self-proclaimed “mountain biking capital of the world”, they’re doing their best to back it up by continuing to expand their network and gathering awards from all the bike mags. Featuring two main networks: Slaughter Pen and Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, their network has a bit of everything built by people who know what they’re doing. From flowy hardpack to bike parks, you’ll find it here.
Kingdom Trails Vermont
They may nickname the East Coast the “Ice Coast” for skiing, but the trail networks available to you are no slouch. Not a newcomer, the Kingdom Trail association has spent more than two plus decades evolving into what it is today. We’re not talking one style but the whole kit and caboodle of two wheeled heaven. Across its hundred plus miles of goodness, you’ll find XC terrain, excavated flow trails, skills parks, nasty downhill goodness, and even pump tracks. And the best part? This quilted patchwork all connects to each other. Um…. Yes please!
Copper Harbor Michigan
There’s good mountain biking in Michigan? You betcha! Tucked way north in the Upper Peninsula in the ancient Porcupine Mountains you’ll find Copper Harbor. It’s 38+ miles of singletrack and counting are considered among the top 20 ride centers in the world by the International Mountain Biking Association. Putting it on par with places like Oak Ridge and Sun Valley. The consistent elevation changes, quality dirt, and variety of trails to ride has this place dubbed the “the BC of the Midwest.” With such a moniker, it has us drooling at the thought of what this place has to offer.
There’s more to Scotland than Scotch and Haggis. If there’s a place in this world that’s perfectly suited for gravity fed pursuits on a bike, it’s Scotland. Just look at the hills, glens, forests, and mountains! Imagine yourself riding a bike on trails that are thousands of years old. Testing your skills on rough and wild terrain on the Isle of Arran. If freedom along with a heaping spoon of history sounds like fun, Scotland will be on your list too.
Outside of Whistler, a majority of the major professional tour stops are in Europe. Especially the Alps. The lift network that exists in Europe for skiing translates to HUGE vertical descents in the summer for mountain biking. This easy uplift approach gives you access to not just a couple of specific DH trails, but a steppingstone into the backcountry. Although the US is home to some amazing technical terrain, the Alps on average are much steeper leading to some of the most hardcore freeride goodness in the world. The list of reasons to visit the Alps could go on and on. If you like cycling of any kind, this is THE place to go.
Now that you have a peek into where Dylan will be over the coming years… where do YOU want to go on a mountain bike trip?