Take your bike in to your friendly local shop for a tune-up. Squeaky Chain? Howling brakes? The fun, new Silo Center Bike Park has many folks resurrecting their mountain bikes from the dark corner of the garage to go play on the trails. That’s great! Just be sure to take your bike in to a local repair shop for a tune-up to make sure you’ll be riding safe and smooth. Parklands Members can check out our three Perks Partner bike shops for an extra discount on new parts or accessories you might need. (Visit www.theparklands.org/member to learn more about Memberships and to see the latest list of Perks Partners.)
Don’t! Forget to pack water and snacks. The pump track may look easy, but it packs quite a cardio punch. Be sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and some extra snacks for your well-deserved break at the top of the hill. Wearing a small pack with a water reservoir is a great idea, plus it’s a great place to stash your granola bar, keys, phone, and multi-tool.
Do! Know which bike is right for the terrain. While you don’t need a top-of-the-line, full-suspension mountain bike to ride the trails in the bike park, having the right equipment will ensure you have the best experience possible. Road bikes, cruisers, and commuter-style bikes are not ideal for the trails in the bike park. A bike with knobby tires and suspension to absorb the shock of the rough terrain is ideal for optimum fun.
Knobby tires like these are essential for a fun, downhill ride. Photo bikeroar.com
Don’t! Bring your dog to the bike park. Leaving Fido at home ensures that all trail users have a safe and fun experience.
Do! Wear a helmet. This one’s a no-brainer… protect your noggin!
Don’t! Get stuck in the park past sunset. Park staff locks the gates when the sun goes down, so be sure you’re back to the top of the hill before the bike park shuts down for the evening.
Do! Know your limits. Ride within your abilities. Progression is available throughout the bike park, so start small and work your way up to more difficult trails and features once you feel comfortable and confident.
Members of KyMBA host frequent meet-ups to explore singletrack throughout Louisville. Photo Ted Wathen/Quadrant
Do! Connect with other riders. If you love riding in the bike park, check out the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (KyMBA) Louisville’s Facebook page or the Louisville Mountainbikers group on Meetup.com for more opportunities to ride with a group. Conquering the wall ride is more fun when you have bike buddies to cheer you on.
And finally, the biggest DO of them all… HAVE FUN! Explore, smile, let out a “yeehaw!” on the descent, pat yourself on the back for tackling the climb back up, and encourage your fellow riders along the way.