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

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