Highland!

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  1. #1
    buellski's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    Lake Sunapee Region, NH
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    Highland!

    My son and I went to Highland on Friday for the first time! We had an amazing time, and all I could think was, "Why didn't we do this sooner?"



    We signed up for the Find Your Ride camp which, for $99, gets you a lesson, bike, and full armor. We showed up at 10AM and were ushered through the process by one of the coaches. That was the first example of the amazing service we received the entire day. After we got all the paperwork filled out and fitted for our gear, we went out to check out the bikes we had reserved. I was on a Specialized Status 1 and my son was on a Commencal Supreme 24 (now he wants one ). Soon after, our coach came out, gathered up our group and got us started. Our group consisted of a couple of seasoned riders, my son and I, and a couple that had never mountain biked in their lives. For experienced XC riders, the lesson actually covers a lot of stuff you probably already know about riding downhill on a trail. It covers proper body positioning, bike positioning for corners, and braking technique. After that, it was up on the lift for our first ride.

    I was a bit nervous for my son on the first ride, but he took to it like a fish to water. We started on Easy Rider and the coach stopped occasionally to point out techniques and tips for riding the trails. My first thought was, "This is more work than I expected." You can definitely get arm pump as well as feel it in your quads and calves by the end of the ride. Before we knew it, we were at the bottom and the lesson was over. This is where I think Highland offers the best deal as opposed to someplace like Burke. At Burke, your $99 dollar beginner lesson only includes a 3-hour bike rental. Highland lets you keep the bike the entire day. We took full advantage of that.

    After the lesson, we continued riding for the rest of the day and definitely progressed with each run. It seemed like each run we were picking up speed and trying some of the smaller features. Our favorite trail ended up being Cat's Paw. It has tons of big, fun berms and lots of various size features to hit. The nice thing is each feature has a bypass if you're not up to hitting it. By the end of the day, we were pretty spent but were ready to plan another trip back. If you haven't tried lift served mountain biking before, do it! You won't regret it.

    The overall service at Highland was amazing. The entire staff, from the cashiers to the shop mechanics, were friendly and courteous. Everyone wanted to know if we had been to Highland before. When we said no, they all made a point of welcoming us and thanking us for coming out. There were no attitudes or indifference from anyone that we met. The lodge itself is very nice and the cafe has an extensive menu including breakfast. There's also a bar, but I didn't get a chance to check out their beer selections. Next time! Because, there will most definitely be a next time.

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