Book untangles P.C. trails
July 1, 2006
Mountain biking trails around Park City are abundant, but to know where they are and how to navigate them takes experience.
"If you look at a map of the trails around Park City, they look like a spider web," said Gregg Bromka, author of the new book, "Mountain Biking, Park City and Beyond."
The book, which arrived in bookstores this week, is Bromka’s ninth title in 18 years.
"They’ve been very popular and well received," he said.
He has published Wasatch Front mountain biking guidebooks since 1988. The volumes have grown and he decided to break it into two volumes to include Park City and the Wasatch Back. His new work includes 250 trails around Park City, Kamas and Heber. It took Bromka three years of "serious trail notation" to complete the guide.
"I rode every trail, every foot of the trails in my book. I’ve been biking Park City trails for two decades, even though I live in Salt Lake," he said.
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When he first started riding bikes in the 80s, Bromka couldn’t find any information about trails in the area. "Not even at the forest service," Bromka said. "So I started buying maps and accumulated info on my own."
Shortly after, Bromka talked with someone who wrote guidebooks and decided to take on the task of a mountain biking trail book. He had no formal training in writing, publishing or graphics, but his geology background has helped him describe trails.
Park City, according to Bromka, is a unique biking destination in the country.
"The Mountain Trails Foundation said there are 350 miles of trails in Park City," Bromka said. "Although nobody’s done an official inventory, there are more single-tracks (small hiking trails) per mile than any other resort in the nation. This is single-track lover’s paradise, heaven. Most of the trails are only a stone’s throw away from town."
It’s no wonder that Bromka decided to write a book solely about Park City biking opportunities.
"I’ve always been interested in writing a Park City biking book for the last 10 years. It’s much more manageable, more friendly and has more rides." Bromka added that the book has the same format and layout as previous titles.
The Wasatch Range, Bromka said, contains many difficult rides.
"Inherent with the Wasatch Range, there are not a lot of beginning rides," Bromka said. "It (his new book) covers the full spectrum of abilities from novice to expert."
The trails, according to Bromka, around Park City are complex. "A majority of trails on the Wasatch Front are public forest areas," Bromka said. "Almost all the trails in Park City are private and more intricate. The book links together trails a rider can access for a decent ride."
Riding Park City, Bromka said, is a matter of linking the spider web trails.
"If you ask 10 riders how to ride Spiro, for example, you will get 10 different answers," he said. "One of the chapters in my book details the Spiro loop and then another section is Spiro beyond, which expands to 12 different trails to make one loop. Either you know the trails or you experience it through trial and error."
Throughout the book, Bromka presents options and pointers to the reader so they can vary the ride if they choose. Park City is always changing. New developments are constantly being made. Because of this, new trails are being built and old ones being closed. Bromka addresses this subject in his book and plans to update the information about every two years. But, according to Bromka, the book won’t change dramatically. He also includes trail etiquette and a little history of Park City so bikers will enjoy their rides in the area.
"Overall, writing guidebooks is a labor of love. I love to ride bikes and share my experiences with others. I’ve seen amazing trails and amazing sites."
The book is 240 pages and sells for $14.95. He’s customized the book so riders can carry it with them. It is made of thin lightweight paper, "stronger glue that is bomb proof," and a size to fit in a bicycle jersey or pocket or hydration pack, Bromka said. Readers will be able to find the book in all bike shops and most bookstores in Park City and Salt Lake.