If you have been living under a rock, or 26 feet of limestone as it may be, and you haven’t heard – there is a massive new underground bike park in Louisville, Ky. In addition to hosting the 2015 edition of NAHBS this weekend, riders from all over are starting to make the trip to Kentucky to see what the Mega Cavern is all about. That includes Canyon Bicycle team member Rob J. Heran who headed down to Louisville with photographer Sebastian Doerk to take some incredible photos and create the rather entertaining edit after the jump…
Posts in the category Where to Ride
- Do you rent bikes in the cities you travel to? Did you ever wonder if you could make money by renting one of your bikes to someone who wanted to check out your local trails. Well, wonder no more. Spinlister, the peer-to-peer global bike sharing site (think AirBNB for bikes), is proud to announce a number of new national and regional partnerships to bolster existing communities and help bring reliable bicycle transportation to the masses. Launched on April 1st 2012, Spinlister allows users to rent and list not only bicycles but also skis, snowboards, SUPs, and surfboards from each other in over 50 countries worldwide.
- Cannondale is celebrating 15 years making its Lefty fork with a demo tour. Check here to find locations and dates (three spots, all in California) and ride with the likes of Mark Weir, Jason Moeschler and Tinker Juarez while testing out the Lefty on some epic trails.
- Looking for a unique cycling vacation for this summer? The Cycling House has added a new bicycle trip for summer 2015 that goes from Glacier to Yellowstone National Park. The 7 day/6 night trip begins in Glacier National Park on the epic Going-to-the-Sun Road and then parallels the Rocky Mountain Front to Yellowstone National Park. The trip runs July 27 – August 2, 2015 for $1595 per person. To learn more visit thecyclinghouse.com or call (406)219-1318.
- Attention mountain bikers in the Southeast! Registration is now open for the 2015 Southern Mountain Bike Summit! Join your friends and fellow advocates to learn more about what SORBA is doing in the Southeast to create, enhance, and preserve great mountain biking experiences! Summit dates are March 20-21, and we’re meeting in Auburn, AL, home to the great trails at Chewacla State Park. Visit southernmountainbikesummit.com for more information.
- Artist Mona Doerksen has designed a poster that celebrates the sport that we all love. “Joy on Two Wheels” is a 24″ x 18″ print upon high-quality poster paper. The design “celebrates the beautiful sport of cycling” and she’s just kicked off a Kickstarter Campaign so take a look at this cool design and order one for yourself or your cycling friends.
- Got an old, ugly jersey hanging around in the closet that you never wear but just can’t see a reason to get rid of it? Well, here’s a reason. Twin Six cycling apparel is giving you the chance to go from ugly to awesome with their Chump to Champ jersey exchange program. In exchange for $40 and one of your old ugly jerseys, we will send you a brand new Twin Six jersey and your ugly jersey submission will make you eligible to win you a 2015 T6 Standard Rando frameset. Let the closet-raiding commence!
- Is this the year you conquer Mt. Mitchell, by bike? Registration is now open to the public for one of the Southeast’s most challenging and well-known uphill rides: the 103-mile Assault on Mt. Mitchell and its sister ride, the 74-mile Assault on Marion, scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2015. Hurry! They’re already halfway to selling out.
- Want a stylish way to secure your fixie while you visit the coffee shop? Kaufmann Mercantile now offers an Italian leather covered bike chain lock. The leather that envelops the marine-grade stainless steel chain not only looks great but it will protect your frame’s finish. And, match your Italian loafers.
- Abbey Bike Tools, makers of heirloom-quality tools, are now available in the United Kingdom through Ben Thomson’s Cycleworx. This means that they’re able to sell Abbey Tools in the UK for a better price than if you were to buy direct from the US.
- Do you plan on rockin’ the green on St Patrick’s Day? Then show your cycling pride by picking up the “IRISH I was on a bike” bamboo t-shirt from Bike Rags. The order deadline is March 1st get off yer arse and order one!
- K-EDGE, makers of high-quality cnc’d products, has announced their new Australian distributor, FE Sports. The Australian market now has easy access to the chain catchers, computer and camera mounts that many of the Pro Tour teams in the TDU were using.
- Recall Alert!! Scott USA has recalled their Vanish Evo bicycle helmets due to head a injury hazard. Go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information.
- Gravel Racing is coming to Castle Pines, Colorado! The City of Castle Pines announces the newest event to the Wild series, The 1st Annual Dirty 40 Ride Wild scheduled for Sunday, April 26, 2015 in Castle Pines CO. The course travels over dirt, pavement, packed dirt, crushed pavement and off road goat track. All types of bikes and abilities are welcomed! Registration information after the break…
If you’ve ridden groomed singletrack on a fat bike, then you already know. It’s awesome. Sure, a fat bike is fun on just about any surface, but there is nothing quite like flowing through a snow covered forest on a narrow ribbon of packed and groomed snow. If you haven’t tried it, you’re probably wondering why fat bikes would need groomed trails in the first place. There are many parts of the world that get enough snow that even fat bikes can’t get through without a little help. By grooming the trail similar to trail preparation for skis, fat bikes still float on top of the snow but are able to go faster – which is always more fun.
Due to their love of riding groomed singletrack and their desire to share it with others, 45NRTH just launched Groomedsingletrack.com. Meant to be a source of information that winter cyclists can use to educate themselves about the ins and outs of grooming, the site will also serve as a tool to locate the nearest groomed trail. The site will also feature riding events with future plans to spotlight various trail builders who keep the fat bike trails in pristine condition. As a work in progress, 45NRTH will continue to add to the site to make it the online resource for winter trail building.
Even though the packed snow trails may disappear in the Summer, they still take money and time to build. See how 45NRTH plans to support the creation of winter trail networks next…
On March 13-15 2015, The US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship is bringing the fun of fat bike racing to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Located between the Wrightsville Beach piers, the course will feature a variety of landscapes and surface conditions ranging from soft, deep sand to hard packed shoreline sand.
Fat Bike riders of all skill levels are welcome to compete, and prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers in each age group and division. Expert racers have a 25 mile course to tackle, with shorter 15 and 5 mile routes for the Sport and Beginner divisions. Start and finish lines will be located at the event’s host hotel the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, and the finalized course layout will be available for preview after racers check-in on Friday.
Click more for further details about the race-
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After months of anticipation, the Louisville Mega Cavern Bike Park is finally open. As of this past Monday the 9th, the world’s first fully underground bike park is now accepting riders. Built nearly 10 stories beneath the surface, the man made cavern sits under 26 feet of solid lime stone. Occupying just a fraction of the massive hole in the ground spanning 4 million square feet, there is currently around 320 thousand square feet for your riding enjoyment.
Maintaining a comfy yearly temp of 58-60º F, at this point there are 45 trails with a few new features added since we stopped by to get a first look. Listed as a soft opening, bike rentals are not yet available but are expected by April 2015. While we were told to expect pricing on par with parks like Ray’s MTB, the Mega Cavern prices end up running about $15 more if you’re planning to ride all day since tickets are split into 4 hour and 8 hour pricing. A 4 hour ride ticket runs $25, and the all day 8 hour pass runs $40 per person. However, there are a number of combo, special, and group deals available depending on your situation. All riders are required to wear a helmet and ride with at least one brake, and parents must stay with their children (meaning they have to pay for admission as well). The park is open Monday through Thursday 10am to 6pm, and Friday through Sunday 10am to 8pm. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
Scott from Fenix Bykes sent this pic of their convertible road-to-mountain travel bike in front of the amazing new technical trail features at Santos Mountain Bike Park in Ocala, FL. Check out our coverage of their bikes here, and get more info on the IMBA epic trails in central Florida here.
We always love to see your photos and would like to show them to the world here on the Pic Of The Day. Send in your photo with a brief description here.
Riding your home trails is great, but sometimes a bit of exploring is in order. If you plan on seeking out some new trails in the new year, there are a few relatively new online trail databases that will help you find trailheads near and far.
If you happen to be in the UK, the iBikeRide website and app are dedicated to the trail systems in the United Kingdom. Now for the second year they have compiled their list of the best trails of the year based on the rider reviews on iBikeRide throughout the year aggregated into a Trail Index. Taking home the title of Trail of the Year 2014 is the Glentress Mountain Bike Trail Center, followed by BikePark Wales and Afan Forest. Head over to iBikeRide for the whole list, and to download the app.
Those of us in North America (or any country really) will certainly want to check out the TrailForks network after the jump…
Beneath the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, there lurks a monster. But this is no horror story, it’s one of dreams. Specifically, the wild dream to turn the largest cavern in the state of Kentucky into a multi-faceted business park that will soon be home to the largest underground bike park in the world. What sounds like an absolutely insane idea comes to us from co-owners of the Louisville Mega Cavern, Jim Lowry, Tom, and Don Tyler. After all, as Jim told us, their motto is “you have to be a little crazy.”
Crazy doesn’t begin to describe the Mega Cavern itself. Opened in the 1930’s by Ralph Rogers as a limestone mine, the man-made structure had been mined 24 hours a day for 42 years straight. When the digging was complete it had left a massive cavern with 4 million sq. feet and over 17 miles of passage ways. Considered to be the largest building in the state of Kentucky, the decision to turn the Mega Cavern into a business park required the creation of new building codes due to the out-of-the-ordinary circumstances.
After purchasing the cavern in 1989, Jim and his partners began a recycling operation inside in 1992 which still runs to this day. It wasn’t until 1999 that they started building offices inside for local businesses to lease, which now accounts for a half million square feet inside the cavern. Before any businesses moved in, the owners were faced with an interesting dilemma. The ceilings were so high -more than 90ft in some spots- that prospective customers came in and couldn’t picture the space being utilized, so they left. Eventually, enough dirt was brought in to raise part of the floor 62 feet, leaving a 24 foot high ceiling which was standard for warehouses at the time. Above the 24 foot high ceilings, there is another 26 feet of solid limestone – enough for geologists to call it one of the safest places in Kentucky. So safe, in fact, that it was one of the largest fall out shelters during the Cuban Missile Crisis capable of housing 50,000 people, and still acts as a safe haven for vaults and other storage today.
Even though the cavern has a massive heating and air conditioning system, Jim said it’s never used. With a nearly constant 58º F temperature, body heat and heat radiating from computers and equipment is enough to keep it comfortable. That makes it ideal for an indoor bike park as well as the zip line and ropes course since it remains warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Considering how little we actually saw of the cavern, it’s hard to process just how big it really is. One of their biggest attractions this time of year is the Lights Under Louisville – a 1.2 mile drive through the cavern in the family vehicle to see an expansive display of 2 million Christmas lights. Even though they are adding a 385 thousand square foot bike park, it seems like they are just starting to scratch the subterranean surface…
Bike Tours and Beer are not typical topics covered on Bikerumor.com, but putting them together does pique our interest. The company behind them is actually called Beercycling, and they put on bike tours to get you “from pint A to pint B”.
2015 will be the fifth year of the beer themed cycling tours in Belgium and the Netherlands. The 9-day Trappist Challenge is in Belgium, and will ride 250 miles through the forests, mountain passes and rivers of the Belgian Ardennes. On the tour, they will visit the Trappist Monasteries that are the source of well-known beers Rochefort, Chimay and Orval.
They say its a difficult tour, with very hilly terrain and no rest days. This year’s tours are June 26th through July 4th and August 6th through August 14th. They also have multiple trips of Flanders in 4 and 10 day lengths. Tours are limited to 14-16 riders plus two guides to keep it personal and maintain a cohesive group while riding.