Outside of rural Falls City Oregon is the Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. Since 2002 BRMBA members have built a network of trails under the Oregon Department of Forestry Management Plan. The result has been anointed as an IMBA epic. It is perhaps the best web of full on free ride flow trails in the United State’s Pacific Northwest.
With one-day to ride we’d get just a brief overview the area. Staying in Falls City, we made the short drive to the staging area. From our truck we climbed through the forest to the top on Socialist Valley Road. At the top four loamy trail corridors snake down the mountain.
Black Rock features biking specific flow-style trails. The routes vary from smooth and easy to fast and big. Where there are stunts or obstacles, alternative lines are usually available. The net effect is that each trail has many usable braids. With four trails and their multiple lines there are many different ways to link a descent together.
We took the easiest route down, the Bonzai Downhill. On this trail banked turns and wide wood ramps warp down the hill. Though this trail is not hard it is the type of ride where knowing the line lets the wheels run fast. Here squeezing out extra speed on repeated runs is the best approach. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance for repetitive drops during this visit. Nor did we get the chance to try the harder trails in the area. And for sure we won’t be riding the hardest stuff at Black Rock. At its extreme Black Rock offers drops and launches big enough to cause even the New World Disorder pros to balk. There’s some seriously big shit here. It’s great to see big stuff being built south the Canadian border.
Truth be told, Black Rock is really not our style of riding. We tend to prefer the Old School pucker up and pick a sketchy committing technical line style of mountain biking. Our tires tend to stay in contact with the ground. We have to work to get the most out to the modern flow-style trails that Black Rock offers. Nevertheless, it is good to mix things up and ride something different every now and then. It is important to push our riding style.
For riders like us Black Rock is a chance to mix in some flow riding into the mountain biking trail diet. For New School riders, Black Rock is more. It is the main course. In this neck of the woods, flow trails don’t get much tastier than this.