Diablo Cherry Popped


Active Member
So on Father's Day my wife gives me a map of Diablo Freeride Park and $150 for a premium bike rental and an all-day lift ticket. I must have mentioned at some point or another that I wanted to give the place a try, but wasn't ever really planning on doing it. Worked it out on the calendar and decided that yesterday would be the day. The goal was to not get seriously hurt, but also to have fun and maybe do some things that I hadn't done before.

Got up there at 9:00am, picked up my rental and had the mechanic throw on my clipless pedals. Most of the people I saw there were on flats, but I wasn't comfortable with the idea of not being clipped in the real rock stuff, at least not the first time out. Spun around the paved area for a while and realized this was going to take some getting used to. I was much less stretched out than I am on my Stumpjumper, and there's the seat which was really low. The suspension had a ton of sag, and was probably a little too squishy for a 190 lb. rider.

So up the lift I go, full body armor and full face helmet adjusted. My first run was started with a few table-tops (which I rolled over the first time), some ladder bridges and some really rocky trails (Upper Dominion, Lower Dominion, Alpine and some other trails I forget the names of). Got to the bottom without falling and thought "hey, I think I'll make it thorugh the day."

As the day progressed I went a little faster, caught a little air, and rode a good number of the trails. I didn't really pay too much attention to the trail designations (single diamond, double diamond, etc). If I came to something that was too hairy I would just dismount and walk it. But for the most part I was able to get down everything. Talk about some steep rock faces and technical trails. My ass hit the back tire on more than one occasion and I was glad for the 8" of travel and low seat on the rental bike.

Then there were the drops. I started the day with the idea of keeping my wheels on the ground, but was told by one guy that I did a run with to just treat it like I was riding off of a big curb, which I did when I hit the smallest of the Progression drops (2'). Did that one a few times and then got up the balls on my 2nd to last run to hit the Phantom drop, which if I had to guess is about a 6' drop off of a wooden deck to a transition. Hit that one a little slow and totally bottomed out the suspension, but didn't wipe out.

All in all a great experience. Met some cool people (everyone I met was 24 for some reason), rode some great trails, and may get back there some day. Would definitely recommend anyone who's into technical riding to rent a bike give it a try.

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NYCMTB: President
Congrats, Mike. Now your next challenge is finding a way to break it to your wife that you need a DH bike so you can keep going back! It's definitely addicting...


JORBA: Chimney Rock, Team MTBNJ.COM
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Nice recap Mike. I keep meaning to get up there to check the place out, maybe 1 day. Very cool gift from the wife anyhow.


El Guac-Oh
Awesome Mike!
I just had my Diablo cherry popped this year too. Man, I was really surprised with the quality of the trails! I am definitely heading over there a few more times this season.


Active Member
Holy shit am I sore today. Yesterday was bad, today is worse. Getting up and down stairs has had me wincing a bit. Legs must not be used to that much support work with very little sitting.

Probably should have spun on the trainer yesterday or soemthing to stretch things out a bit.
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