I wouldn't call myself a mountain biker. I can bike, but that usually consists of rolling down the sidewalk on my Schwinn cruiser or going on a longer trek on a "mountain bike." So when I heard that the Adventure Center was offering Guided Mountain Bike Tours, I thought, "Sign me up!"
Mountain biking isn't quite as easy as getting a lift to the top of the mountain and just riding down. There are multiple trails that are rated for different ability levels, from easy to most difficult. Being that I am a skier, I affectionately referred to them as greens, blues, and blacks. Ok, let's get started...
I booked my tour and met with my tour guide, Bobby Leddy, at the Adventure Center. He pointed me towards Boyne Country Sports where they set me up with the proper size bike, showed me how to adjust the seat to hip height, and fitted me for a helmet. The rental bikes have full suspension and I immediately was very comfortable on the bike. Well, except for the seat...no seat is as comfortable as my cruiser bike seat.
Bobby gave me the rundown on our tour, we would start on the easy trails near the tennis courts and then try out some singletrack. After I felt comfortable on a small trail or singletrack, we would ride the lift up to see what I could do. This is smart on Bobby's part, he makes sure to get to know your riding skills, so that he can customize your tour to fit your abilities.
We cruised the easy trails and Bobby taught me some techniques for riding through soft sand. Lean back and shoot straight...and guess what? It worked! He made sure to warn me whenever there was sand ahead and I would yell back, "Lean back, shoot straight!" He probably thought I was a bit odd. Ha! Next up, singletrack. These trails take some concentration, you twist and turn, go over rocks and roots, and pretty much stand the whole time. It was exhilirating to complete a long stretch and then I would have to stop to regain my composure. Bobby was very patient. He coached me the whole way, telling me when to switch gears, and what lay ahead. He explained that Boyne Mountain has about 20 miles of cross country bike trails and a little over 10 miles of downhill runs.
Now I was feeling like a "mountain biker." So we took a chairlift ride to the top. At the top, Bobby pointed out where he takes most beginners and some advanced riders. Then we went in the direction he was going to take me, down the "blues." It was singletrack, moderately difficult, and steep in some parts. Bobby knew which way to turn to avoid anything too steep for me. Once again, he coached me down the mountain. It was awesome! I felt challenged, a bit lame at times because I had to walk my bike, and overall accomplished when we got to the bottom. I was thirsty for more.
I can't imagine hitting the downhill trails without a guide. In just a couple of hours, I felt like I had a mountain biking experience of a lifetime. I have gained a ton of respect for the downhill mountain biker and am super excited to stick to the low-lying singletrack. You should give it a try, contact the Adventure Center at 231.549.7256 to book a tour. Tours are $20 per person plus the cost of your bike rental.
xoxo, Kari◂ Return to News & Updates