Mountain biking at Woodward is judgment-free and safety first

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PARK CITY, Utah – Park City has approximately 400 miles of non-motorized trails and is one of only six Gold Level Riding Centers, making it a must-visit destination for mountain bikers. But what if you’re new to mountain biking or want to take it to the next level and learn new tricks or hone your technical skills? Woodward Park City Sports Programs Director Max Leabman’s goal is to excel any rider, regardless of experience.

“I really want people to understand that we have a lot of awesome stuff for beginners,” Leabman said. “[Our coaches] are super passionate. We walk them through lots of training to help them build progressions, logical steps and make sure it’s not intimidating [to riders].”

Woodward has options for all ages and abilities. Photo: Woodward Park City

Woodward, the year-round action sports facility, opened in Summit Park in 2019 for winter sports, tubing, lift-access mountain biking, action sports, parkour, joy and celebrations. As the snow flies, the Mountain Park transforms into winter sports, while in the summer its dirt trails are a mountain biker’s dream.

During mountain biking season, the possibilities are endless. Woodward offers summer camps, monthly all-access membershipsdaily access without appointment, private and group lessons, depending on progress clinicsraces and competitions.

Members receive additional benefits such as programming discounts, a retail store, members-only events and opportunities, free access to the mountain bike race series, and member clinics.

Leabman emphasizes that you don’t have to be a pro to use the facilities or trails at the Woodward campus. Her four-year-old daughter, Willow, has just learned to ride a bike and is taking full advantage of her Start Park at the base, which caters to beginners of all ages.

“The cool thing about our facilities is that we create this supportive, forgiving environment,” he said. “So you can get comfortable in the air or learn your first flip. The same space can be adapted to many different needs. It really is a place for all levels.

His installations focus on progression from any stage. Hit any trail and do jumps, side kicks, rocks and logs. Or not. If the weather does not cooperate, the indoor sports center is available to practice.

Its lift-access trails are labeled like any winter trail in green, blue, or black, so every rider can ride at their comfort level.

The “hero dirt” is ideal for those who are learning to ride. Photo: Woodward Park City

“We are lucky enough to have this set of perfectly maintained, red clay trails with a creative design. Many wide open trails have features that you can choose to hike or skip. These are not super tight technical trails; they’re open, they’re fun, they’re playful.

A unique training tool runners should take advantage of are his airbag jumps, of which Woodward is the only setup with three. The landing portion of the jumps are air-filled structures that allow riders to practice jumps and flips on a forgiving surface. If you land perfectly, you will take off. If you land sideways, you’ll hit the airbag.

Woodward Labor Day Weekend offers mountain biking performance camp for intermediate to advanced riders ages 10+ and MTB ladies shred camp open to all women. September 13 is the last race of his summer streak.

On October 1, two new competitions will be unveiled on campus, the Whip Off and the Dual Slalom.

“We just built a really cool jump specifically for the Whip Off. And we built our very first Dual Slalom course on the hill. These are open to the public until we organize the events.

Everyone can register to participate in the events or test the new jumping and slalom course.

Expert or not, Woodward has the facilities, tools and instructors to take any rider to the next level in a non-judgmental, safety-focused environment.

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