So the Truckee Bike Park is a progressive playground for getting rad on your bike. It has a pump track, but it’s so much more. There are flow lines, drops, dirt jumps, slalom, straight rhythm, and big jumps. We’ve been going there for years and we liked it so much we built one in our back yard.
There are some really great videos out there with guys kicking big air at the bike park, but that just scratches the surface of what it is. Where the Truckee Bike Park really shines? It’s is a place for parents to develop their skills in the air, and, most importantly, for kids to develop a love for riding bikes.
The Truckee Bike Park is at the east side of Truckee, California near the Airport off Highway 267 and Joerger Drive. We’ve never had trouble finding a place to park, even on perfect summer weekend afternoons, though it can be busy during events.
If you’re worried that mountain bike riding dads and kids won’t fit in at the Truckee Bike Park, fear not. The main pump track area is mainly the domain of kids and families and it’s a great spot for parents and toddlers on strider bikes to have fun on the same track at the same time. There aren’t many other sports where we can share the trail like that.
As you branch out to the jump areas, you’ll start to see more teenagers and younger adults, but there are still plenty of grey hairs stomping it pretty hard. Don’t be afraid to give everything a try. As long as you have brakes and a helmet you won’t be out of place.
Wear a helmet. That’s rule number 1.
If you can, get your kids a full face helmet. Lightning Dragon has this nice one from Bell. For littler kids the best helmets have a protective visor that keeps their face out of the dirt really well.
Wear gloves. Preferably full finger gloves. Crashing in the dirt will usually result in loss of skin if you aren’t wearing gloves.
Wear Pads. They can be hot and uncomfortable, but you only need to use them once to see the value. Remember: your kids are made of rubber, but you are not.
There is water at the Bike Park but no food. Bring Snacks, and stop often.
You can ride any old mountain bike at the pump track, but lower your seat as far down as it’ll go. This applies to kids bikes too.
Your kids can start out on a strider, or running bike with no pedals, but only on the pump track.
Make sure your kids have two brakes when they ride the big lines. Technically, one brake is enough, but I like the kids to have more stopping power when jumps are involved.
If you find you really enjoy the bike park and find yourself going back again and again, get yourself a pump track bike.
My bike is a YT First Love that I bought used for $600, but you can usually find comparable bikes for less.
The truckee bike park is a perfect playground for learning to get rad. The whole point of the Bike Park is to get better. And it’s perfectly set up for that.
Start small, the kids track is good for adult beginners too.
As you develop skills, step up to bigger challenges. At every step, there are lines that don’t require leaving the ground.
The dirt jumps area is suitable for any rider on a real pedal bike with good brakes. Start on the outer line, and when you can clear all those jumps, move in to jumps that are slightly bigger.
While I was there I ran into mountain bike racer and YouTuber, Alex Chamberlin and he did a run for my camera. Check out his channel.
If you ride mountain bike trails enough you’ll eventually come across drops, small cliffs in the trail you have to gracefully ride off and drop to the ground.
The Truckee Bike Park has a great progression where you can learn to do these drops without too much risk of crashing.
Start out on rollers, work your way up to piers with 2 foot drops.
The flow lines are great for learning to string together bigger jumps and learning to hit gap jumps. The Green line has no gaps, the blue lines have minor gaps and the black lines have big gaps.
When I go I do lap after lap getting the feel for the jumps before moving up.
The slalom course is for head to head racing. The whole course is not very technical unless you’re going fast. At speed you are launched into the air, and have to read the trail as the twists and turns come by faster and faster.
The last thing to remember is that this is supposed to be fun. When the kids start to lose steam, head over to the playground at the adjacent park for a little wind down.
Alright, thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed the show. I only just scratched the surface of the Truckee Bike Park, so next time you’re in the area, check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks to all the people who build and maintain the Truckee Bike Park and all the volunteers. You’ve build something really awesome and we love it. Happy Trails!