Thursday, August 30, 2007

Strange Things Afoot in Michaux

Sunday, August 26th We rode from Big Flat at 9ish am. There were new trails to be seen and we were prepared to see them. As riders continued to trickle into the parking lot, we prepared ourselves for what would inevitably be a damp ride. We warmed up on the rocks near the parking lot:At the start we had: Larry Camp, Martin Kell, Sue Witter, Dale Fitzsimmons, Mike Steininger, Darius Mark, Dave Kegley, ?John? from Shippensburg, and Rob Mazzei (if I forgot anyone - forgive me it was a few days ago). Larry led us out of the lot on a that took us over to the powerline downhill of Birch Run Road.

Martin and I showed everyone some really strange rockwork we had found the week before. These are some really well-placed stone towers that at balancing near a fire ring and camping area. This whole area is spotless and well-cared for. The rocks are balanced on eachother in a fashion that must take hours to complete. This area is a little creepy, but very cool - Martin calls it Roswell.

We then navigated (and I mean navigated) our way over to the bottom of Wildcat and the beginning of Abbey. Several of us cleaned the new tight switchback that Tommy M. and YBR put in to alleviate the erosion of the old fall-line climb - very nice work. We then hammered down to the reservoir. My ride at the reservoir:

Rob waits for the rest to arrive.

Larry, I never have a mechanical, Camp had several mechanicals and gracefully bowed out at the reservoir - he actually had another engagement as well. We rode Breast Trail and then climbed up Birch Run road, to Milesburn Road, to Ridge Road (bypassing Lollipop). From here we took Camp Trail 1 and Camp Trail 2 which dropped us out at Forest Road which we climbed back up to the powerline and then took a new, technical descent, crossed a stream, and suffered up a red-line, granny gear climb. This climb took us back up to Roswell and we returned to the Big Flat lot by the same trail we came in on.

No Wildcat from Big Flat - a major upgrade, not to mention all the new trail.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ride Report

Sunday August 19th
Ride Leader: Dave Wilson
Arrived at Mont Alto parking lot with a mild drizzle starting. Forecast showed rain for the entire day. The lone member of my ride group was Jason McConnell--new to MBM, having just met Sue the week before. After waiting a few minutes for stragglers (there were none), we headed up the road to begin our ride with the rain becoming more steady. The ride leader was the only one who knew the trails so we were limited in the trails at our disposal. We ascended what i know as Lower Buckets up to the gasline. The weather was really cooperating, just a slight drizzle with little effect on the trail conditions. We proceeded to cross Hearth Trail and head up the roads to descend Four Logs and what i know as Wayne's Trail--i think i may have missed a turn somewhere in this section, because we finished that pretty quickly. We then climbed Turtle and headed back out to Staley for a trip back from whenst we came--across Hearth and down Lower Buckets. It was a beautiful morning for a ride with no mechanicals and only one wreck (me, on hearth . . . but i think i'll be alright, if you're worried--thanks for being worried . . . but really, i'll be fine, and my bike is ok, too . . . ). New guy Jason was a great ride partner--be sure to meet him in the future--and Sue, i think we've got him for the Iron Cross. I'm hoping to be more regular at rides now--was a busy summer for everyone, i believe. Hope to see you all on the trails!
Dave Wilson

Monday, August 13, 2007


Yesterday, several MBM members traveled to Blue Knob State Park 1.5 hours west of Chambersburg to join the Laurel Highlands On&Off-Road Bicycling Association at their annual ride/picnic. The event drew over 50 people and featured road and mt. bike rides for all ability levels. Riders came from all around PA including members from the Rattling Creek Singletrackers (RCST), Nittany Mountain Bikers Association (NMBA), and there were six members representing the Mountain Bikers of Michaux (MBM): Aaron Hofelt, Emory Ehrenfeld, Mike Mucker, Darius & Michele Mark, and Martin Kell. Mike is the President of LHORBA, and with much help from LHORBA member Cathy and others, they put on a first class mt. bike event.
Here is Mike explaining the mt. bike ride levels: "my ride will be a Bataan-like death march, entirely uphill with few rests, we will visit every inch of rocky singletrack in the least once - any takers." Sadly, a few of us who knew better, thought he was kidding.
Thomas had heard of my recent spat of mechanical troubles and decided that he would check my chain; Henry, prefers just to yank it.
Even nicer conditions than usual - the Blue Knob trails were in great shape and very dry.
We ran into the ride that had the wiser riders and stopped for a chat.
That is Cathy in the yellow jersey and body armor.
Then rode some great, technical, rocky singletrack - uphill.
A wicked steep granny-gear climb (we would ride twice this day) deposited us in a roundabout way at a classic Blue Knob vista where we linked up with a third mt. bike group,
And took a rest,
And some more rest,
We could see quite a few windmills off in the distance.
A self-portrait overlooking the Laurel Highlands.
A fresh log got the better of many riders. We climbed back up to the ski area, and after a brief mutiny led by yours truly, agreed to head back down (which was somehow to include more climbing) and drop off a batch of weary riders. This downhill is one of the finest in PA, Rock-n-Ridge. I exceeded 33 mph on the open section, bunny-hopped the first rock garden, and hit the short climb with speed. The trail then snakes its way down the ridge with miles of fast switchbacks.
Once we were back at the Pavia Run picnic area, a bunch of us stayed to eat, swim in the pool, chat with the other riders, play with kids, etc. Many mountain bikers of tomorrow were also in attendance.
Mike lubing each link of his chain individually in preparation of climbing back up the mountain.

Epilogue: Mike took some suckers back up the mountain, under what was undoubtably a blistering climbing pace, all but two (one who was fresh) bailed halfway and returned to both their senses and the picnic area. The others returned some time later. Mike and Yoda from NMBA logged close to 5000 feet of climbing on the day-Blue Knob style.

Additional Blue Knob Mt. Biking Photos here

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

The Sunday Mont Alto MBM ride is a classic, like bread and butter, salt and pepper, shake and bake, etc. - today was no exception. Mike, Martin, Rob, Bruce, and I were happy that the morning was cool and the humidity level was lower the preceding couple of days.

I broke my derailleur hanger on the way up the shelf, took two links out of my chain, and threw SRAM speedlink in before climbing up Black Andes to the gas line. We then took Sweeper up to the Besecker Gap Road then back down to Staley.

Bruce smiling at the top of Sweeper.
Martin and Rob contemplate the granny gear-ness of the ride thus far - no single-speeders on this one. Down Staley and climb the top of Turtle to Wayne's Highway over to Middle Narrows and climb up the ditch to Trees of Tomorrow/Lee's Rocks. Heaven or Hell has a gate meant to let riders know what is to come. After a couple attempts, Martin and Mike sent it.

Then we hit the Ramp. The Levels of Hell and some other moves
deposited us at the nice overlook facing Mont Alto where we snapped some pictures:

Went down the lower narrows then up Wayne's Trail to Turtle, which upon Rob's suggestion, we climbed to Staley, then blasted Charcoal Hearth over to Wirt Road. We then took the Buckets back down to Staley and ended by riding out the Park Trail.

See you next time.