A cyclist rides the lift to the top of Spider Mountain on Feb. 9, 2019. Pam LeBlanc photo

When the chairlifts started cranking on opening day at Spider Mountain bike park in Burnet almost two years ago, snowflakes sifted from the sky.

It seemed appropriate then, since the chairlift at the country’s only year-round, lift-served mountain bike park had once whisked snow skiers up the mountain at Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico. And it seems appropriate that snow is once again in the forecast here in Texas as Spider Mountain celebrates its second anniversary this weekend.

Besides free scenic chairlift rides all weekend, Pro XC bike racer, Enduro champion and Youtube cycling star Rich Drew will lead a clinic focusing on how to ride berms and hit jumps, then take anyone willing to brave the cold on some “party laps” down the Texas-sized mountain. That event is scheduled for 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday; live music is planned for 1-3 p.m. at the base area.

A polar plunge scheduled to take place in the swimming pool at neighboring Thunderbird Lodge has been put on hold (on ice?) due to the chilly forecast.

I’ve ridden at Spider Mountain twice. I’m not an aggressive rider, but swooping downhill and around banked corners made my tongue dangle out of my mouth in puppy-like happiness. More advanced riders can geek out on the steeper, faster, and more obstacle-laden expert runs.

And stay tuned – a new intermediate trail dubbed Sidewinder is scheduled to open later this spring. I’m already planning a visit.

Onetime Austin resident and overgrown-kid-in-disguise James Coleman, managing partner of Mountain Capital Partners, which owns six ski resorts around the country, owns the park, which is located at 200 Greenwood Hills Trail near Burnet, 60 miles northwest of Austin.

Lift tickets are $59 for adults (discounts for youth and seniors; free for kids 10 and under. Women ride for $40 on Fridays.)

Go to  SpiderMountain.com for more information.

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