Imagine a magical mountain biking playground where dozens of trails weave through the trees with jumps, berms, rollers, and drops that are prime for progression. A place where confidence is boosted by every lap, new session buddies are made, and high fives abound… welcome to Duthie Hill Park in Issaquah, Washington.
The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has forged a gem within this 120-acre forested park, packing in so much bang for the buck that it’s hard to believe until you put your wheels on the ground to explore it. So we sent Instructor Jeremiah Stone out with the no-fun, very tough task of scoping it out and reporting back on exactly what makes this area a must-ride for every mountain biker.
Trail Hit List
Bootcamp is a flowing green trail that offers a series of corner combos and an easy return to the top. Add a new focus to each lap – bike-body separation, footwork, compression, hip rotation, line choice – and you’ll take your cornering game to a whole new level. (Psst… here are our tips to Corner like a Pro)
Gravy Train is a short and sweet jump trail that features a progressive series of gap jumps that steadily grow larger and more technical towards the end. Like the frog in the pot, it starts off mellow and heats up into some full-on gaps later. I found myself grinning ear to ear and hustling back to the top for more Gravy!
The key skills you’ll utilize will be cornering and jumping with opportunities to work up to drops of all flavors. This park has been built to challenge everyone you can progress no matter where you are in your riding journey. Plan to come and session the trails and features so you can take your time, focus on specific skills, and warm up to new challenges.
Fuel for your Ride
My pre-ride coffee spot was Caffe
Ladro. They hit me with a great Americano and had several tasty baked goods and
gluten free treats! After the ride, I was struck with a pizza craving and found
myself cruising over to MOD Pizza. Although it’s a chain, they consistently
serve up a good, quick pizza, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need!
“There’s a breakfast spot in town called The Egg and Us that had Swedish pancakes and a boatload of egg-centric dishes. Levitate gastropub had a huge selection of WA and PNW craft beer and cocktails with awesome burgers and American fusion dishes.” – Instructor Matt Beall
You may spot some local legends such as Simon Lawton and Kat Sweet. Both are accomplished racers and are super-involved in the local scene and events. Other pros swing through from time to time, taking part in the joy that a playground like Duthie Hill can offer!
In the Vicinity
Tiger Mountain is another riding
zone with phenomenal trails that pushed my limits and made for an epic great day.
Tiger Mountain is also a popular spot for flying sports like paragliding and
hang gliding. There are several guides around there that offer tandem flights
if that’s a thing you’d enjoy!
Woohoo! As good as it gets is appropriate! Richard is not only a great rider, he is a great teacher!...
Woohoo! As good as it gets is appropriate! Richard is not only a great rider, he is a great teacher! I would encourage everyone to stay away from the mind trap that buying a more expensive mountain bike is what you need to ride better. Spend the money on lessons instead, and I know you will be happier (and safer) in the long run. I can't say enough positive things about the Bike Skills clinics. ~ Chris G.
Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence!
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much...
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much we learned. I’ve been riding for over 10 years but with all self taught skills. We wanted to learn fundamentals the right way and Richard took us through all of that (along with critical bike setup) and the intermediate stuff that they teach in one day plus he spent an extra hour at the end to teach us jumping which I had always been nervous about. Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence, we even learned to move the bike in the air on a crossed take off and landing. I think my favorite part though was riding fast on the very gnarly technical descent. We will be booking up more private lessons during the summer at Big Bear. Thanks Richard you are a very good teacher! ~John U.
I took a Fundamental Skill clinic last weekend and learned so much! I've been riding for a few years and...
I took a Fundamental Skill clinic last weekend and learned so much! I've been riding for a few years and felt stuck and was not improving at all. Aaron was a great instructor! Very patient and broke down everything step by step and we repeated the skills until we felt comfortable. I look forward to mastering the skills I learned and taking another clinic in the spring. ~Jody Hachenberger-Amend
Special thanks to Santa Fe Fat Tire Society for bringing you in!
My wife and I had the privilege of attending the skills 2 day camp in Santa Fe New Mexico August...
My wife and I had the privilege of attending the skills 2 day camp in Santa Fe New Mexico August 20th and 21st. Richard and Aaron and Catherine where fantastic trainers and teachers they brought new light into basic skills of riding each person in the group was able to excel in what we were doing before we moved on to some other awesome skill or task individual attention was felt by all in the group and visible Improvement was seen in all Riders when we have you back next year you should plan on doubling or tripling the number of riders thanks for a super fun weekend and special thanks to Santa Fe Fat Tire Society for bringing you in and of course thanks to Richard and Aaron and Kathryn. ~Bruce Hamby
This past fall I finally broke down and upgrade my mountain bike. I was riding a hard tail bike mostly...
This past fall I finally broke down and upgrade my mountain bike. I was riding a hard tail bike mostly for the workout. After racing in an Xterra, I realized that a new bike was in my future. ( I could tell a huge story about the process of purchasing a new MB and the massive amount of miss information you can obtain from bike shops. Especially when you know nothing about bikes. ) Not long after I purchased the new MB, I had my first over the handle bars wreck. I still cannot remember the actual crash. I can see the rut that I am about to hit on the downhill, and then I remember waking up on the trail barely able to breath. The crash gave me some time to catch up on email. One of those emails was a beginners MB clinic hosted by Richard and the Ride Like a Ninja crew. I swallowed my pride and signed up. To date I have done everything I was taught. I made every adjustment to my bike that was recommended. I then had the bike fitted. The skills taught that day are priceless to me. For the first time I understand what position my body needs to be in for each type of terrain. I am not perfect by any means, but in my mind I am shouting the word NINJA to remind myself. I practice the techniques ever time I ride. ~ Hal N.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.