Ride Lessons and Bike Rentals

Rentals, Lessons and More

Bike Park Bike School

Start Your Day the Right Way

Welcome to Thunder Mountain Bike Park, New England’s newest and fastest growing bike park. Riders will find plenty of fun throughout the Bike Park and exciting trails designed for every level.

For the first time DH rider, or for first time visitor to the park looking for a tour, taking a lesson at Thunder Mountain Bike Park is the best way to get the most from your day. Our trained guides and instructors are ready to assist any level rider and we have lessons and camps for all ages and abilities.

If you’ve never mountain biked, or downhill mountain biked before, the downhill experience can look overwhelming. The cool part about Thunder Mountain Bike Park is that we are not all about big air and high speed like you see online (and in our promotional videos). As long as you’re comfortable riding a bike, you too can give downhill mountain biking a try. But it’s important to get started right so here are some helpful tips to get you rolling down on two wheels safely.

Program Types

Thunder Mountain 101

The Thunder Mountain 101 lesson package is specially designed for first timers as an intro to downhill mountain biking. The $145 package includes an all day lift pass, one Specialized Status rental bike, safety equipment and a two hour Guided Tour and Bike Lesson. This package is built with beginners in mind and is a perfect way to try lift access mountain biking.

The Thunder Mountain 101 Package costs $145.00 and includes the following:

  1. A Specialized Status downhill bike
  2. A full-face helmet
  3. Protective body armor
  4. An all day lift ticket
  5. A lesson with one of our certified instructors

It is suggested that you first call ahead (413) 339-6617 to book your reservation and reserve your rental equipment.

Private Lessons

Available by the hour, or in a 3.5 hour block. Private Lessons allow for one on one development and progression in a private setting. Take the time to work on skills relevant to you and your riding style.

Call 413.339.6617

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What Should I Wear?

Answer:  Wear comfortable moisture wicking clothes suitable for exercising. This includes athletic shoes and socks but no open toe shoes. We require approved bike helmets and we strongly recommend that you wear a full face helmet.

Additionally, we recommend that you have protective body armor that includes, leg protection, chest protection and elbow pads. This protective equipment can be rented through our rental shop. Gloves, goggles, and other recommended gear is also available for purchase at the retail store.

It may rain or drizzle so be prepared to bring a rain jacket. It may also get hot and muggy, so remember to bring water or sports drink when riding.  We provide water at the top and bottom of the lift.

Question: Should I Rent Equipment and/or Take a Lesson?

Answer: Nearly all visitors to the park can benefit from our lesson and guiding programs.  Even if you are a skilled cross country mountain biker, you should consider renting protective riding gear, a DH bike and taking a lesson from one of our certified instructors. This will provide you with the knowledge of the proper techniques that are necessary for safely riding in a DH Mountain Bike Park. We provide lessons and guidance for all levels of riders from first timers to guiding professional racers through the Park.

Question: What Lesson Program Should I Start With?

Answer:

The best way to get started in Downhill Mountain Biking is to take a Thunder Mountain 101 Package. This is the best and easiest way to begin. To reserve a Thunder Mountain 101 Package call our customer service desk at (413) 339-6617. The package includes:

  1. DH Mountain Bike
  2. Full Face Helmet
  3. Protective Body Armor
  4. Full Day Ticket
  5. Lesson Time With Our Instructor Staff

For those who own their own equipment, we suggest you consider a 2 hour lesson with one of our Terra Method trained instructors.

Question: What Should I Do When I Arrive at the Thunder Mountain Bike Park?

Answer:

After you park your vehicle, go to the ticket window in the Base Lodge. If you’ll need rental equipment and/or lessons, we’ll provide you with your waiver and lift ticket and all the necessary forms for renting equipment or taking a lesson.

If you have your own equipment, you’ll just need to sign the waiver and buy your lift ticket.

After this you’ll head over to the base of the Summit Quad, load your bike and ride the lift up the mountain. When you arrive at the top you should take a warm-up run and perform a lower speed inspection tour of all trails to become comfortable with the layout, features, and descent lines of the Park.

A proper warm-up and low speed inspection is critical to a great day of riding. If you don’t know what trail to start on, the Sugar Line trail is recommended.

Question: Is Mountain Biking Dangerous?

Question: Is Mountain Biking Dangerous?

Answer: Like any sport or outdoor activity, Downhill Mountain Biking has certain risks. However, these risks can be minimized and you can have a safe, enjoyable and injury free experience by being personally responsible for your own physical well being, making good decisions and by taking the following steps.

A. Rent proper gear or diligently maintain your personal equipment. If you do own your equipment, it is your responsibility to make sure it is proper working order. We strongly advise that you periodically have a competent mechanic inspect your equipment.

  • Brakes should function properly
  • Tires should be properly inflated
  • Wheels should spin freely
  • Wheels should be secured
  • The headset should move freely and be properly adjusted

B. If you don’t own your own equipment, you can rent gear from our rental shop. We offer top of the line DH bikes. 

C. Learn the trail designations. If you have any questions, please ask a Bike Park Employee.

Question: What are the trail designations?

BEGINNER: This trail designation includes gentle descents with obstacles such as small rocks, bridges, pot-holes, tree roots, berms, or other natural or built obstacles. The BEGINNER trail is designed for the new Bike Park rider who has previously demonstrated an ability to ride a bike before using these trails.

INTERMEDIATE: This trail designation is more difficult. These trails offer challenging riding with tighter corners, steeper slopes including large natural and built obstacles, loose trail surfaces, roots and rocks, jumps, ramps, elevated features, berms, drops and other terrain variations. The INTERMEDIATE trail designation requires previous off-road riding experience.  All riders should be comfortable on our BEGINNER trails prior to attempting to ride our INTERMEDIATE trails.

ADVANCED: This trail designation is most difficult. These trails feature long steep grades with large technical features, including rocks, roots and drops, loose trail sections, numerous natural and manmade obstacles. ADVANCED trails also include jumps, ramps, elevated features, berms, drops, slab rocks, rocks or other terrain variations. Technical handling through tight trees and rough sections is required. ADVANCED trails are suited for riders who have mastered all of the INTERMEDIATE trails.

EXPERT ONLY: This trail designation truly means extreme difficulty. Without exception, expert mountain bikers should be the only riders on these trails. These trails feature the steepest grades with the most technical features, large man-made and natural jumps, wood ramps, elevated narrow trails, berms, drops, rock faces, and other terrain variations. Warming up on INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED trails is strongly encouraged. EXPERT ONLY trails are suited for the most advanced riders who have comfortably ridden all our ADVANCED trails.

Question: Is there a Mountain Biker's Responsibility Code?

1. Stay in control at all times. It is your responsibility to avoid other persons and objects around you. 

2. Do not stop where you obstruct the trail or are not visible from above. 

3. When entering a trail or starting downhill, you should look uphill and yield to other riders. 

4. Please assist if you are involved in or witness a collision or accident and identify yourself to the Bike Patrol. 

5. Keep off closed areas and obey all signs and warnings. 

6. Stay on marked trails. Do not cut switchbacks. 

7. Stay off lifts and away from the Bike Park if your ability is impaired through the use of drugs or alcohol. 

8. You must have sufficient dexterity, ability and knowledge to safely ride and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the attendant. 

9. Hiking in the Bike Park is not permitted. 

10. Do not feed, provoke or approach wildlife.

Question: Can I Bring My Own Bike?

Answer: Yes you can bring your own bike. However, only Mountain Bikes are allowed. We do not allow Road Bikes, BMX Bikes, Hybrid Bikes, Cyclocross Bikes or Beach Cruisers. “Fat Bikes” with tires wider than 3.8″ do not fit safely on the Summit Quad lift.

All bikes must have front and rear brakes in proper working condition. No coaster brakes are allowed.

All brakes must be a V-Style or Disc Brake configuration. No single pivot brakes are allowed!

It is highly recommended that all bikes have at least a front suspension system.  Your day will be much better if your bike has at least 125mm (5 inches) of front and rear suspension.

It is also highly recommended that all riders drop their seat posts When in doubt, drop your seat posts! This will give you the range of motion necessary for a safe neutral riding position when negotiating bumpy, undulating terrain. While you may feel as though the seat post height on your current XC set up is proper, a lower seat height is strongly recommended.  Unlike XC riding, while riding in the park, you’ll almost always be riding hovering above your saddle, pedalling only rarely.  Your weight will be on your pedals and bars, you’ll be much more comfortable with the saddle out of your way.

If you believe that your current equipment may be not be appropriate, Thunder Mountain Bike Park has a rental fleet of Specialized Demo’s, Specialized Enduro EVOs, Giant Glorys and Transition Ripcord 24s available for rental.

Question: What Do I Need to Wear to Fully Enjoy the Thunder Mountain Bike Park?

Answer: Helmets are required and we strongly recommend full face helmets! Clothing should be moisture wicking and protective body armor and full face helmets are available in our rental shop. Below is a list of equipment necessary to fully enjoy the Thunder Mountain Bike Park.

Required Equipment to Wear

Helmet (full face strongly recommended)

Shoes (no open toe)

Strongly Suggested Equipment to Wear

Full body protection armor

Gloves

Question: Are Repairs Available at the Thunder Mountain Bike Park?

Answer: Thunder Mountain Bike Park has a bike shop and a rental shop with a technician on hand during operating hours each day. Bring your bike and we will see if we can fix it. Because of the complexity of equipment and the availability of parts we can’t make any promises but we’ll do our best.

Question: Is There a Retail Shop at Thunder Mountain Bike Park?

Answer: Thunder Mountain Bike Park has a basic retail shop with the soft goods that you may forget. If you want to buy a bike, please visit your local bike shop.