Kellogg, Idaho is a unique town with a different type of vibe. The town itself has a population of 2,081 residents and was founded as a mining community. The lead mines are no longer in operation and the river, which was once polluted by mining sediment and other contaminants, now runs clear. Besides biking there isn’t a whole lot to do. The town has a new water park which piqued our interest, but we never actually made the trip. There’s also a golf course, but that can’t keep four downhill racers occupied for long. We spent the majority of our time off the bikes swimming at our hotel or messing around at the WalMart down the road. The locals are nice, but by the end of the week I’m sure the ladies working at the $1 a slice pizza joint were pretty annoyed with us.
Our first day on the Idaho trails started with a seemingly endless gondola ride, which takes a whopping 30 minutes to complete without stops. At the top we were greeted by the sheer brutality of teeth rattling braking bumps on all the trails. It was quite the welcome. Our first practice run was somewhat of a disaster because I crashed immediately and we accidentally went all the way down the mountain. We followed the National Enduro Course, still taped from the previous weekend, as we thought it was our downhill course. After about 15 minutes of riding we decided it was much too long to be our track, but had no option other than to finish the ride to town.
Connor Armstrong, our CAT 1 racer, had no such issues. Both the CAT2 and CAT1 courses fit the crew. The tracks were filled with high altitude moon dust and off camber root sections. The CAT 2 course was short with runs just over two minutes, while the CAT 1 course was littered with technical features and a really fun wood drop to step up that we all poached because it was THAT good. Our weekend of practice was phenomenal and the party laps on both the practice courses together with the plethora of single track added up to be some of our favorite riding moments of all time. Silver has a great mix of chunky downhill and smooth singletrack, but my favorite trail combination of the weekend was Jack Ass, a flowy single track, to Log Jammin a very technical off-camber, rooty trail reminiscent of old European World Cup tracks to Hammer, the resort’s main jump trail. Hammer was the icing on the cake. We typically ended our day with that selection since it satisfied all our big bike needs.