Friday, September 28, 2012

Extreme Eleven {A Summer Birthday At Stevens}

We've sort of aged out of birthday parties around here in favor of birthday "Events" or "Experiences".

Living in an area that is both environmentally and culturally diverse, we are doing our best to raise adventurous kids with a sense of spontaneity.  We've started asking them for ideas of things they'd like to do for their birthdays in lieu of a party or big gift. You know, trying to give them the gift of really  "living" ❈ It should be something out of the ordinary - something special. Then we try our best to to make it happen.

Over the last year our son has become passionate about mountain biking. He'd been hearing that one of our local ski areas, Stevens Pass, had opened a new bike park.  He wrapped his little heart around that wish and beamed it out of every pore in his little body. We thought it was a fantastic idea!

So, off they went, these three amigos to the Stevens Pass Bike Park. (Skip to the end of the post if you want to see a quick video - gorgeous views!)

If you aren't familiar with ski pass mountain biking, basically you ride up the ski lifts and your bike rides another, especially designed to carry it. You meet at the top and then bike down the ski hill on runs specially designed and built for downhill mountain biking.  The park at Stevens is brand new and they are building some great new downhill runs. Unless you have an arsenal of bikes in your garage there is a pretty good chance you'll be renting a bike (and safety gear if you don't have your own) as the downhill runs require bikes that are specifically built for riding down hill.  Most standard mountain bikes are built for cross country. 

A day of fun with your Dad and your best friend - when you are an eleven year old boy it just doesn't get much better than this. 

He's been riding a bike since he was three. 

Lots of jumps and tricky areas... 

These boys spent their summer taking mountain biking courses to learn how to ride both aggressively and safely. They're hooked!  

Above you can see where they have built a wooden ramp that curves around in one of the switchbacks. There is a technical term for this, but alas.... I cannot remember it!

Soaking up some fresh air and sunshine on runs called "Slingshot Wookie", "Rock Crusher", and "Lichen it!".  Have loved listening to them talk about this day ever since. 

To see some great videos of the terrain, click on the Steven's link above.

To see a little clip my husband took, click here!

Happy Birthday!

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