Fifty is the new forty and with more and more people keeping tabs on their own health and fitness there are more reasons than ever to get out there and celebrate life.
If you?ve ever fancied mountain biking as a leisurely and enjoyable outdoor pursuit, it?s time to think Thredbo as a fantastic place for this and other over 50s activities. Why not base base yourself here for a week or a weekend and explore what?s on offer? The mountain bike season officially kicks off from November 15th, so switch on your holiday planning brains and reserve some Thredbo accommodation today.
Check out the trail maps and plan your route
Thredbo has a well marked out trail map for riders to follow and the easiest rides for over 50s are the ones numbered from 1 to 5. They are well worth a peruse over a glass of wine the night before, or a leisurely breakfast before you set out.
[caption id="attachment_135" align="alignleft" width="300"] Take your time. Enjoy[/caption]
As well as the Thredbo trail maps there is an extensive trail system for the Snowy Mountain area called Rolling Ground.
Ian from the Lantern Apartments lives at Thredbo all year round and says ?Anything marked as ?green on the Rolling Ground trail maps is great. All are beginner trails and not overly taxing. There always those among us who like a challenge so for the more adventurous riders the blue trails (on the map), but they come with the risk of parting company with the bike for people who aren't skilled mountain bike riders?.
Tim Windshuttle from Thredbo Mountain Bike Shop is a great source of information for over 50s riders thinking of setting out on the Thredbo trails.
He recommends ?The Thredbo Valley Trail would be the highlight for people generally over 50 years of age. Making its way down the Thredbo Valley along the Thredbo River to Bullocks Flat it is a multi-purpose trail designed for all ages and abilities. The beauty of this trail is that it is designed so maximum ?flow? can be achieved, meaning not too much pedalling involved on the way down, but quite a bit on the way back to Thredbo?.
First time mountain bikers
Tim says ?The Kosciuszko Flow Trail of the Kosciuszko chairlift is a great introduction to mountain biking without any advanced obstacles and features. The Flow Trail makes its way down the Crackenback ski slope traversing back and forth through Snowgums with only a 10-15% gradient making it a great starting point for chair-lifted riding. The Flow Trail is suited to all ages and abilities with some off-trail riding experience?.
[caption id="attachment_276" align="alignleft" width="300"] Get moving[/caption]
Thredbo allows you to take your bike up the chairlift after completing an introductory safety course which introduces you to the main points of safety whilst transporting a bike. Once completed, any of the trails accessible by the chairlifts are available.
Intermediate mountain bikers
For intermediates Tim recommends the Cascades Hut ride. ?Starting at Dead Horse Gap you make your way up & along the Cascade Trail to Cascade Hut. The trail is mostly fire-road/access road that gets a little rocky and rough in some spots. It is a gradual climb the whole way up with views through to the Victorian Alps at the top, before you descend your way back down and get that much wanted adrenalin rush?.
Easy does it
If you don?t like the idea of taking a bike up the chairlift or are strapped for time on your weekend or week holiday, a nice gentle ride can be enjoyed for all ages on the Thredbo cross country trails.
Tim believes these are a great option for over 50s and elaborates ?the trails around the Thredbo Valley include the Pipeline Path, Bridal Trail and Golf Course Loop. These are all beginner to intermediate and are only a kilometre or two in length and all start and finish in the Thredbo Village?.
[caption id="attachment_7543" align="alignleft" width="300"] Thredbo MTB has all the gear[/caption]
For those with more time on their holidays or looking for something a little different to the Thredbo mountain biking trails, guests can start fromLake Crackenback Resort and access the many beginner to intermediate cross country trails that Tim says are ?well suited to over 50s?.
What mountain biking gear to wear
Tim recommends gloves, an open-faced helmet, eyewear (sunglasses) and a lightweight breathable t-shirt so riders don?t over-heat. Many of the rental bikes have drink holders for water bottles, but Tim doesn?t encourage people taking their hands off the handles to drink water. Best to hop off the bike and have a rest and a sip.
Enclosed shoes and socks are a must, rather than thongs or bare feet. Sacred Ride in Jindabyne also stock bike riding gear. Katmandu is a popular online store to source outdoor wear for other Thredbo based summer activities in the mountains. For great accommodation right in Thredbo village that?s best for mountain bike action check out the Lantern Apartments and find a one to four star self-contained apartment to suit your needs.