Dirt Rag Magazine

Featured Ride: Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama



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In the foothills of the Appalachians, Double Oak Mountain lies at the core of the nearly 10,000-acre Oak Mountain State Park, located just 20 minutes south of Birmingham in Pelham, Alabama. The slopes and valleys of the parallel ridgelines serve up miles of blissful singletrack and technical diversity.

This 21-mile ride has been lauded as an IMBA Epic and is ranked the number two ride in Alabama on MTBProject.com. It is comprised of 80 percent singletrack and climbs a total of 1,422 feet.

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The trails vary technically and range from smooth singletrack with minimal texture to those that might require a hike-a-bike for some riders. The full ride includes a pass on the Jekyll-n-Hide trail, featuring tight spots, big rocks, twisting berms and some of the fastest sections of the whole Epic. The bottom section (Hyde) is a series of white knuckle berms, dips and banked turns mixed in with some short climbs through some beautiful pine and hardwood groves. Enjoy.

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With close access to Birmingham, expect to see riders of all ages and abilities in addition to other trail users like hikers, backpackers, kids and dogs. The Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) along with Alabama’s State Park Division, Shelby County and the City of Pelham have worked hand in hand to elevate the caliber of mountain biking at this venue. If you like the trails, support BUMP!

Photos courtesy of MTB Project.



Featured Ride: Bomb Dog Loop – Coldwater Mountain, Alabama

Photos courtesy of MTB Project.



Bomb Dog Loop - Coldwater Mountain

Alabama might not be the first state to come to mind as a mountain bike destination, but Coldwater Mountain near Anniston, Alabama, is positioned to change that notion. Coldwater Mountain has earned Bronze-level status as an IMBA Ride Center with 25 miles of newly constructed trails already on the ground. Plans are in place to increase the trail offerings to 75 miles by 2017.

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Coldwater Mountain’s trails range from rocky and technical to beginner singletrack to a 2-mile downhill flow trail with tons of opportunity for air time and black diamond line options. The city of Anniston takes the trails seriously and is improving its downtown to support incoming mountain bike traffic. Speaking of which, you can ride your bike to the trails from town and get to Anniston via Amtrak train.

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The Bomb Dog Loop, named for a local bomb detection canine who is believed to have died on the mountain, clocks in a tick over 10 miles. It gains just shy of 1,300 feet of elevation and should be ridden in a clockwise fashion to maximize your downhill fun. Speaking of fun, the videos below showcase just how much of it Coldwater Mountain offers.

Thanks to IMBA and the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association for making the Coldwater Mountain trail system a reality.

Coldwater Mountain, Alabama | 2013 from IMBA on Vimeo.

Trail Heads | Coldwater Mountain Alabama from IMBA on Vimeo.

Photos courtesy of MTB Project.



Video: Eric Porter and Cody Kelley shred Alabama

Yes, you read that right—the trail system in Anniston, Alabama, is quickly becoming a must-ride destination. Eric Porter and Cody Kelley recently travelled to ride the IMBA Bronze level ride center at Coldwater Mountain. Just down the road from the famous Talladega Nascar race track, these trails absolutely rip. There is a surprising amount of vertical as well, just shy of 1,000 feet from top to bottom.  Keep your eyes out for a full article in Dirt Rag this fall, and in the meantime enjoy the video!

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