Getting Extreme at the Lair: Hanging with the youth at Phil's big air zone | Summer Adventure | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Special Issues & Guides » Summer Adventure

Getting Extreme at the Lair: Hanging with the youth at Phil's big air zone

The Lair is the new place to go if you want to hit the ramps and hang out with the youth of today.

Reserved for kids, ex-pro downhillers and those with comprehensive health insurance, the Lair is a great place to create space between your tires and the ground.

Full of tall dirt ramps and steep-bermed corners, it looks terrifying. Fourteen-year-olds make navigating the area's three main jump lines look easy. Although the three zones are thought be "progressive," (meaning that they progress from easier to harder options) I'm not sure an easy jump exists. No matter how small the feature, you still have to commit to leaving the ground.

That's scary, but not for the kids who have made the Lair their home. Located a couple miles south of the Phil's Trailhead and just west of Tetherow, folks have been going big at the skills park since its introduction in 2008.

How big? Just google "the Lair" and prepare for pools of sweat to gather in your palms while watching video of the area's groms launch themselves time and again from the ramped dirt terrain, sometimes barely making the landing. Horrifying.

Learning to ride even some of the lines at the Lair, however, will greatly improve not only your confidence, but also your general mountain biking skill set. Just follow the kids (not their fashion picks. You'll be much happier if you wear clothes that fit, a real helmet and maybe even some body armor).

Keep your elbows and knees bent and loose, your eyes on the exit (not fixed on the object you don't want to hit, perhaps the more natural inclination) and go for it. Then come tell me how it went. I'll be on the cross-country trails with my tires conservatively glued to the dirt.

Add a comment

Latest in Summer Adventure

More in Summer Adventure