They are fast, they are a blur, they are armored, they are usually caked with mud and drenched in acrid sweat, they are the riders that make covering the downhill ride at Jiminy Peak so much fun. When we arrived at Jiminy Peak, the staff was as courteous and helpful as we have come to expect and as always, a pleasure to deal with. Jackie issued us our wristbands and we were off to ride the lift and look for downhillers.
Trying to catch this elusive breed in action, is no easy task. This is how it typically goes. You hear the mechanical clank of chain slap combined with the echo of links rattling over cogs and chainrings which gives you a general direction to look in.
Typically this is followed by some whooping. Then you see a streak of color fly out of nowhere on the mountain, ricocheting out of some hidden trail that you didn't know existed. Just as you raise your camera to catch the tricky technical jump they just pulled, they have already celebrated and transitioned to yet another tiny thickly wooded trail that you neither saw nor could have found.
The Downhillers are gone, off to explore the rest of the sloped forest. The photo op is missed. It's like deer hunting without the deer, guns or camouflage. Ok, so it's not really like deer hunting but it is a lot of fun to try to catch downhillers as they bolt down the mountain skirting trees, rock and other obstacles.
The hot spot today seemed to be the trails that ran down the right side of the mountain by the alpine slide. There were a few expert trails that we found mixed in with a few beginner trails and everyone we saw seemed to be having a blast. The smiles crossed as many faces as the trails crossed hills and were almost as big as the tires the riders went cruising by on.
After a day of watching everyone else have fun we decided it was time for us to do the same. We hit up the alpine slide and had our own downhill adventure. Next stop. Muddy trail ride!