AUSTIN, Texas — There’s only one place in Texas with a ski lift and it’s right here in our own backyard!
Spider Mountain Bike Park, located in Burnet, is home to 10 mountain biking trails and is the country's only year-round mountain biking park featuring a chairlift.
“We've grown exponentially,” said Suzy Bauer, the general manager at Spider Mountain. “Mountain biking in Central Texas has really exploded over the past couple of years.”
Team Daybreak had to give it a try, even though almost everyone had never given it a go. The main goal was to not fall.
Mountain biking is a sport Rob Evans is becoming a pro at on the weekends. Hannah Rucker arrived at the park worried she would lose a tooth, while Mariel Ruiz came with an open mind. Conner Board was ready to shred, and Bryce Newberry wasn’t sure what to expect. Yvonne Nava decided to sit this one out.
Before they got started, the team had to suit up with helmets, elbow and knee pads. Bike fitting and a safety check were also part of the process to get started, to make sure everything was ready for the rocky trails.
“The most important thing is keeping your balance,” said Chris Bauer, who trained the team at the Creepy Crawly Skills Park.
The park has basic versions of what to expect on the trails so you can brush up on some of the techniques to maneuver the bike, like braking and keeping the pedals level with each other.
Team Daybreak survived without any falls. Some gained confidence, which meant it was time to take the Texas Eagle Lift all the way to the top.
“You can really focus on your skills and really learn the basics of mountain biking without exhausting your energy pedaling uphill,” Suzy Bauer said.
There are breathtaking views of Lake Buchanan at the top. That's where Team Daybreak recommends making a pitstop for the best Instagram picture.
After that, it was time for the team to come down the Itsy Bitsy Trail, the easiest one on the mountain. Shockingly, no one wiped out – not a cut or bruise in sight!
Spider Mountain Bike Park is open Fridays through Mondays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park plans to open a one-mile hiking trail in December for those who’d rather not get on two wheels.
The park will stay open the week of Thanksgiving as well as seven days a week from Dec. 17 to Jan. 3, for the holidays.
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