With only a couple of days until Borovets Mountainbike Park opens up to the public our patience is starting to run thin. We're itching to get back on the trails. Each year the period of pre-season trail work is rough times for all of us who love riding in Borovets. The trail crew has been hard at work for a while now, so we spent a couple of days together with the boys to check out what's new.
Not a bad view from the top of the hill! 2018 sees the trails extended a few turns up to the Sitnyakovo rock.
Sadly, this season one of the main attractions for riders - our "Scary Movie" downill race track - will go temporarily missing due to the replacement of the Martinovi Baraki chairlift, which intersects with the track.
The new start area requires a few pedal strokes or a very short push-a-bike from the top of the lift.
But that's a small price to pay for a much more well-defined feel to the trails and nice wooden roll-in ramps for all trails.
Besides, what's not to like about some extra vertical, which on the way down can be spent on such fun features like this smooth fireroad gap.
The updated upper sections of Rocky and Need For Speed feature a mix of new and old features.
The hidden flow-fuelled gem of the bikepark, our "Harry Potter" trail now gets an extension all the way up to the top. Sick flow for days!
Who can deny the extraordinary combination of speed and rhythm that these trails have? And every year it's still getting better...
Airtime is important, so there's now a big booter on the upper open part of NFS.
Same jump, wider perspective.
Deep & steep - who doesn't love shredding turns like this?
Hammering nails is a basic skill required for trail building...
Another one is the ability to hammer turns even when they're as twisty as these!
Chainsaw mastership is also always a bonus!
As is the abilty to blow up turns like they were made out of wood chips.
The new sections of trail twist and wind down through the forest.
Some of the new features are still too soft to ride at this point. Soil compactor work planned for the next couple of days should take care of that.
Come lunch time the crew need to take care of those!
The many talents of Niki Spasov - trail crew boss and a boss at all things in general.
Lunch time is story time - especially when you have bears leaving footprints on the actual trail pretty much daily. Niki tells me one of their biggest setbacks are when the bears dig up freshly packed berms.
We can't wait to get our turn after the bears and shred the new trails on our bikes!
There are many hidden treasures in Borovets...
And still new ones pop up every year. Undoubtedly, season 2018 sees things being stepped up a notch or two. There are new features - bigger, bolder, ready to take you down over the steepest part of the hill.
Carving turns is one of the best feelings in life.
A good turn requires perfect shape from both the trail and the rider.
When everything clicks together the trail starts flowing and you come out of the turns fully committed and ready to dive into the next section.
The crew spare no effort in bridging "meh" sections of trail for a smoother, more coherent riding experience.
Chicken lines are provided, but most new features look quite accessible and inviting even to us mere mortals.
Riding the main lines flat out though will surely let you spend some time in near-earth orbit.
A bunch of laps on the Аll Мountain trail after getting back down to the resort showed perfect riding conditions and a clean trail - too much fun!