Places To Ride: Riding Skypark
In good news for SoCal e-bike riders, a second local bike park has embraced e-bikes! This one is near Lake Arrowhead, just east of Los Angeles, in the San Bernardino National Forest at a bike park called SkyPark. The barriers are predictably falling as the parks discover that many riders have more fun on e-bikes, and there’s no additional wear and tear over traditional mountain bikes.
SkyPark is part of Santa’s Village park, and they just opened it up to Class 1 e-bikes. Famed stunt and adventure rider Hans Rey invited us up to be some of the first e-bikers on the trails. How could we
Santa’s Village opened just six weeks before Disneyland on Memorial Day weekend in 1955. The original idea came from a Saturday Evening Post article about a Santa’s Village in New Hampshire. Local resident Glen Holland gathered some investors, and they broke ground in 1954 and used local artisans and craftsmen to create the whimsical village.
It traded hands over the years, and it was renovated and restored to its original luster. In 2003, a fire ravaged much of the property and its neighbors, but the local fire agencies saved the village itself.
“With each obstacle, there’s also an ‘easy way out’ around it to make it easier for beginners to work their way up.”
SkyPark is the most recent addition, now under the auspices of Bill and Michelle Johnson. They’ve set up a trail system that involves the forest, with berms, wooden obstacles (including a seesaw that cantilevers as you ride across it!) and bridges, with all manner of jumps and wooden structures and berms. With each obstacle there’s also an “easy way out” around it to make it easier for beginners to work their way up. The trails are marked and named, everything from the green (beginner) Reindeer Return to the double-black-diamond (experts only) Neverland Jumpline.
Part of the fun is riding through Santa’s Village to and from the trails. There’s an ice cream shop, Santa’s workshop and museum, North Pole Express train ride, Strider balance bike trails, climbing walls and a bouldering room, a skating pond, zip line, an archery range and much more.
HANS TURNED LOOSE
Letting Hans loose on this place in front of our cameras is always magic! His skills and sense of humor play well. It made us want to ride even more and try to keep up. Watching him play and bend his GT Verb e-MTB to his will over jumps, logs, bridges and drops is amazing.
They have rental mountain bikes and e-MTBs as well. Hans did one timed run to see how fast he could do it. Flat out, he did it in four minutes, bottom to top to bottom! We were easily able to explore every trail in the park. Riding the trails all day with a break for lunch left us wanting more. We’ll definitely be back.