You could teach your kid to ride their bike in a parking lot, but you can do that just about anywhere in America. Add a Colorado spin to the childhood rite of passage at Denver’s new two-wheel training ground, Ruby Hill Mountain Bike Park, and make a mountain biker out of your tot before he can say “wheelie.”
The 7.5-acre dirt bike course—one of the largest public mountain bike courses in the United States—is packed with slope-style runs, a skills course, dirt jumps, and a pair of pump tracks. And kids don’t need to be expert riders to drop-in. Jason Himick, senior park project manager at Denver Parks and Recreation, says there is a run for everyone at Ruby Hill, from tots on pedal-less bikes to top-tier mountain bike and BMX talent. “Every line at Ruby Hill is a progression,” Himick says. “Regardless of their abilities, people will be able to build their skills.”
The park’s slope-style runs fluidly progress from the “Small Line” to the “X-Large Line.” The park’s mellowest run, the X-Small Line, will begin construction this fall. The Small Line, an easygoing cruise with roll-able jumps, dips, and berms, is a perfect introduction for young riders who aren’t ready to catch air quite yet. For the practiced pros, the X-Large Line includes wooden features and several tabletop jumps—an ideal stage to showcase the sport’s possibilities to the little ones.
For the youngest bike enthusiasts—we’re talking tiny Strider riders—Himick suggests checking out the pint-size pump track, a giggle-inducing track of walkable ups and downs to learn balance. In addition to the main attractions, the park’s 1.7-mile Loop Trail offers a multi-use path for hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers that circles the entire park. “These types of facilities exist in other places in our state, but there is nothing like this in Denver,” Himick says. “If you or your kids aspire to ride mountain bikes, this is a place you can learn all type of riding styles.”
The bring-your-own-bike park, which was part of the second phase of Ruby Hill’s $1.7 million renovation, is free to use from sunrise to sunset as long as the weather doesn’t pose risks to users or the park itself. So next time you tell the family it’s time for a bike ride, expect a request to head to Ruby Hill instead of the standard meander around the block.
Visit: Ruby Hill Mountain Bike Park is located at 1200 W. Florida Ave.