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The Non-XC Guide to KTA in 2020

I just spent the last 20 days riding Kingdom Trails. I got to 95% of everything (but nothing on Victory Hill). This will be a read, but maybe it will have something to help you, or maybe you will have some advice to help me in the future.

Disclaimer: I did all my rides completely solo and abided by all Covid rules are regulations. Educate yourself on the regulations.

The Whip: Let’s start with the bike. I rode a Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride (but with a 150mm fork). I took off the minions and put on a 2.4 Dissector in the front and a 2.4 Rekon in the rear. This was enough rubber for EVERYTHING at KT. The only place I’d like a 2.5 DHF and a 2.4 DHR II would be summit runs down J Bar/Rude Awakening. If you are only riding Darling Hill, get as XC tire as possible. Aspens, Ikons etc. Speed is what makes Darling Hill interesting so get something to go fast. Same goes for the bike- the SB130 is admittedly over-biked for a lot KT. Something like the IBIS Ripley, Yeti SB115 (or SB100), Revel Ranger would be a better bike for 95% of KT. But I only have one bike- so the SB130 was my choice.

The Trails: Land that was closed on Darling Hill is starting to open up. Three T’s are still closed to mountain bikes, but Heavens Bench area is open again. A couple of new trails like Burklyn, Wood ‘n You keep you off the road. While Burklyn is beautiful, it reminds me of a beginner cyclocross course- I chose to ride the road to get to the real trails faster.

New Stuff to know about: Moose Haven (East Haven) has expanded with Upper Black Bear (awesome gazebo at the top). Flower Brook connects Moose Haven to Moose Alley and is great XC trail.

Emma’s Sanctuary and New T are the new screamers on Darling Hill. I like Emma’s more than any of the Three T’s. New T is ehhh. The switchbacking is too aggressive to keep up real speed (probably a personal problem). More berms would help keep the speed up.

From the title, I like something a bit more than XC. So take this with a grain of salt. But these were my favorites and some route ideas.

Option 1: Get a shuttle to the summit. Rude Awakening is awesome. There are some tricky lines to scout if riding blind, but it is a blast. Ride to Dead Moose Alley and take Dead Moose Abuse. Take parr’s yard over to the park and take Black Forest - this trail was maybe my top favorite. Lots of tech, and drops mixed with baby berms. Climb up Dashney Road and bomb Moose Deuce. This is the least XC route I found at KT, and was a total blast.

Option 2: GO LAP Moose Haven! Seriously, hit Black Bear, and Grin & Bear it to Stormin Norman/Buck Shot as many times as your legs will take you to the top, the rip Flower Brook back to town. You’LL be smiling for days.

Option 3: Darling Hill. So much fun stuff here, just get the right rubber as a DHF or even Assegai’s as I saw some people riding are just going to slow you down. Hit Poundcake, over to Loop to Emma’s Sanctuary. This is a screaming downhill, and is a blast. Seriously I think better than any of the Three T’s. Climb up River Run. Easily the steapest climb I did- but it is short and worth it. Head to Darling Hill Road and get to New T. Hit that and head back up to the Skills Park - they have a new Jump line and Flow line (gives Kitchel a run for its money - don’t miss this!) Head up Hog Back and hit The classics- Sidewinder, Piggy Back and Bears Back. Cross the road over to Knob, climb up heavens Bench and make your way to finish in Kitchel.

The one other do not miss: Good ‘n You to Sky Dive to Nose Dive. Such a fun descent.

Hope this helps!
 

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Ware's Davis is a nice alternative to riding White School over to Goodnyou, Sky Dive, Nose Dive area.
 
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