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  1. #1
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    Blue Marsh Enduro: May 10, 2008

    Gentlemen & (women too this time): it appears we have a nice handful of guys planning to ride at Blue Marsh on May 10th. Right now our list includes John W, Steve H, Nate K, Josh K, nHurD & Strangersteve?, Jeff W, Stick and Trekmike. This is an open invitation to anyone interested. Just let us know your intent on this thread! A few changes were made after suggestions last year. Additional suggestions are welcome.

    We plan to leave Bucks County around 0600-0630 hours at a meeting place to be announced. We will need to work out transportation and bike racks with consideration for those that may have to bail at the halfway point. So, if someone needs to leave, it will be important that the right vehicles are placed at the halfway point. We will begin at the Church Road parking area and stop at the State Hill Boat ramp to refill water & eat before completing the ride. We will have to leave cars at State Hill to store our water and supplies before completing the ride. Those not wanting to pedal the whole thing can leave from State Hill. This is a mixed group of fitness & skill levels; and we tentatively have a few women planning the trip also! Everyone will have somebody to ride with! I have trail maps for those that want them.

    Things to consider for those not having done this ride before:

    1. water is important. Do not ration your water, bring plenty to stay hydrated and refill at State Hill. In cooler temperatures a 70oz Camelbak and two bottles are sufficient with the ability to refill. We may need a few large water coolers so everyone can refill.
    2. carbohydrate foods. Eat well the night before and have a high quality breakfast. Keep eating on the trail at least hourly to maintain your energy levels. Bring something very digestable for lunch and then something for the post ride recovery. Some find energy drinks helpful, but pure water is critical.
    3. proper attire. Who knows what the weather will be. Thankfully, we most likely will not get wet on this ride but bring extra socks just in case. Bring a change of clothes for after the ride. If it is cool, you may want a wind breaker & full golves. Do you have comfortable biking shorts?
    4. mechanical. Please make sure your bike is in good shape. Get it tuned up if necessary making sure your derailers are working correctly, especially your lower gears; get your brakes serviced too. You will need them on the downhills. Ride the bike after you get it back from the shop just to make sure it is right! Also, you will need tubes, pump or Co2 and other simple tools. However, with this many people someone will probably have what you need.
    5. simple first aid. Carry some stuff to solve those minor injuries that can haunt you for the rest of the ride.
    6. got a camera?

    Obvioulsy this is open forum. Please post all questions, concerns & ideas on this thread.
    Here is some feedback from people that have done Blue Marsh:

    Blue Marsh Enduro October 27, 2007 (October 2007 rained out but we had about 12 riders ready to go)

    Blue Marsh Enduro May 12, 2007 (May 2007)

    Blue Marsh: detailed trail map (discussion & trail ride description from Stick)
    Last edited by trekmike; 04-08-2008 at 09:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Just did the loop yesterday, a few trees down on the lower loop and alot down on the ski slope loop. Should be open by May though. I hope to get in and work on the ski slope this week or next. I'd inquire closer to Ride Day just to be sure, I ride there almost weekly. Enjoy!
    Mike

  3. #3
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    I'm very interested but just realized this is Mothers Day weekend. Any chance of changing the date?

  4. #4
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    We have a handful of folks counting on the 10th at this point. We would be glad to have you along. Can you see your mommy on Sunday?

  5. #5
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    Tentative list:

    Here is a tentative list of participants thus far...


    * indicates attendance last year.

    trekmike*
    steveh *
    johnw
    jeffw *
    staceyh
    justin ?
    nHurD*
    StrangerSteve
    beckyp-- ?
    ann-- ?
    stick *
    rfm
    joshk +3
    buzzhog +1
    matt-- ?
    natek--?
    squads
    elephant
    ?
    Last edited by trekmike; 04-08-2008 at 03:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    I would be down for this. I wanted to go last October, but as you know we got a pretty bad rain storm.

  7. #7
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    Ambiguity?

    I was wondering when you would chime in! Your comment is not clear, you "would be"... is that yes, no or let me check w/ the woman?

    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    I would be down for this. I wanted to go last October, but as you know we got a pretty bad rain storm.

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    I am officially a maybe. I will see a doctor on Thursday who may tell me no riding for awhile. If I am physically cleared to ride I think I will come.

    How slow will the slowest group be?

  9. #9
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    Slow enough

    A few that have not done this before and may use the half way point to bail if necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by elephant
    I am officially a maybe. I will see a doctor on Thursday who may tell me no riding for awhile. If I am physically cleared to ride I think I will come.

    How slow will the slowest group be?

  10. #10
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    I was wondering when you would chime in! Your comment is not clear, you "would be"... is that yes, no or let me check w/ the woman?
    That ambiguity is lingering doubt from last October's rain out manifesting itself. Count me in. That is barring another monsoon rain storm of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    That ambiguity is lingering doubt from last October's rain out manifesting itself. Count me in. That is barring another monsoon rain storm of course.
    Well, I think we'd all bag the ride if it were to rain substantially
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

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    No rain, please!

    Last October, Squads, you were going to bring a partner? What is your count and will you be meeting us for the drive out there or meet us @ Church Rd? If you plan to hook up w/ us do you have cargo space & a bike rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    That ambiguity is lingering doubt from last October's rain out manifesting itself. Count me in. That is barring another monsoon rain storm of course.

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    Trekmike If I can make it I can show others short cuts that take out some of the hills and lower the mileage if they are not up to doing the main loop.If you start from church road will you be heading in a clockwise direction or counter clockwise.The one short cut is at the state hill boat ramp it will bring you out to justa road you will miss mile markers 3 through 9 ,The other short cut is at lake road which will that you to church road ,and the last one is at marker 25 you can cut through the farm roads to get over to palisades drive and skip markers 25-28

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    That would be great!

    We have some newbies that are a little apprehensive and would probably be relieved with such short cuts; and since I am nursing an injury for the last few months, I may need it too!
    I hope you can come.

    Quote Originally Posted by bankofdad
    Trekmike If I can make it I can show others short cuts that take out some of the hills and lower the mileage if they are not up to doing the main loop.If you start from church road will you be heading in a clockwise direction or counter clockwise.The one short cut is at the state hill boat ramp it will bring you out to justa road you will miss mile markers 3 through 9 ,The other short cut is at lake road which will that you to church road ,and the last one is at marker 25 you can cut through the farm roads to get over to palisades drive and skip markers 25-28

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    Logistics

    To all interested parties, we need to begin discussion of transportation, available bike racks, additional water coolers and who may want to leave a vehicle at the half way point.

    Many of us are coming from Bucks County, so I am suggesting that we meet at the Lowes of the Neshaminy Mall for easy access to the turnpike. We should meet between 0600-0630 and plan to hit the trail head by 0830 after dropping off the necessary cars.

    To begin, I have a pick-up that can carry supplies in the bed & a rack that holds four bikes. I can take four passengers comfortably, more if needed.

    We need to have some idea about this now because I will be in Moab, UT between April 30 and May 6.


    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    Here is a tentative list of participants thus far...


    * indicates attendance last year.

    trekmike*
    steveh *
    johnw
    jeffw *
    staceyh
    justin ?
    nHurD*
    StrangerSteve
    beckyp-- ?
    ann-- ?
    stick *
    rfm
    joshk +3
    buzzhog +1
    matt-- ?
    natek--?
    squads
    elephant
    ?
    bruce r-- ?
    Last edited by trekmike; 04-26-2008 at 01:45 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    To all interested parties, we need to begin discussion of transportation, available bike racks, additional water coolers and who may want to leave a vehicle at the half way point.

    Many of us are coming from Bucks County...
    Coming from the new house, so I won't be anywhere near the Neshaminy mall or the turnpike. I'm taking 309 > 78 > 222. Room for one or two extra bikes & riders if anyone needs a lift from Upper Bucks.

    I'll meet everyone at Church Rd @ 8:30.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    To all interested parties, we need to begin discussion of transportation, available bike racks, additional water coolers and who may want to leave a vehicle at the half way point.

    Many of us are coming from Bucks County, so I am suggesting that we meet at the Lowes of the Neshaminy Mall for easy access to the turnpike. We should meet between 0600-0630 and plan to hit the trail head by 0830 after dropping off the necessary cars.

    To begin, I have a pick-up that can carry supplies in the bed & a rack that holds four bikes. I can take four passengers comfortably, more if needed.

    We need to have some idea about this now because I will be in Moab, UT between April 30 and May 6.

    I have room on my rack for one extra bike if I wind up driving: I'll probably have my bike and StrangerSteve's bike. I should also be able to take one extra person: With gear and everything, I may have to put one of the back seats down, and even that may prove to be a bit of a cramped ride for a 3rd passenger
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    Last October, Squads, you were going to bring a partner? What is your count and will you be meeting us for the drive out there or meet us @ Church Rd? If you plan to hook up w/ us do you have cargo space & a bike rack?
    I am running solo this year. Where is the meeting point again? I live down in Philly now, but I think I could just run up I-95 to meet at your guys spot. I will have room for a passenger and two other bikes.

  19. #19
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    Lowes parking lot

    Meeting at Lowes near the Neshaminy Mall is convenient because it has an entrance ramp that takes us directly to the toll plaza.

    Ok, so you can handle three bikes?

    If anyone wants e-mail updates send me a private message w/ your address and I will add you to the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    I am running solo this year. Where is the meeting point again? I live down in Philly now, but I think I could just run up I-95 to meet at your guys spot. I will have room for a passenger and two other bikes.
    Last edited by trekmike; 04-10-2008 at 11:42 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    Meeting at Lowes near the Neshaminy Mall is convenient because it has an entrance ramp that takes us directly to the toll plaza.

    Ok, so you can handle three bikes?

    If anyone wants e-mail updates send me a private message w/ your address and I will add you to the list.
    Yeah I can take 3 bikes.

  21. #21
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    I may be away that weekend for Mom's Day but...

    if I am coming I will want to meet at the ride start location. Can someone post a Google Maps screen shot of where that is?

    Thanks.

  22. #22
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    See place points

    Church Road is the starting trailhead. State Hill parking is the cache point. Disregard the yellow point.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by trekmike; 04-16-2008 at 06:36 AM.

  23. #23
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    Count me in on the Blue Marsh enduro......... i will most likely drive myself to starting trail head at Church road

  24. #24
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    Attendance:

    trekmike*
    steveh *
    johnw
    jeffw *
    staceyh
    nHurD*
    StrangerSteve
    beckyp
    ann-- ?
    stick *
    rfm
    joshk +3
    buzzhog +1
    matt-- ?
    natek--?
    squads
    elephant ?
    trailard27
    richardf
    sal e
    bruce r
    Last edited by trekmike; 04-26-2008 at 01:46 PM.

  25. #25
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    so we've got 10 definite riders now? nice!
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

  26. #26
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    17 definite by the list below. Those with ? are undecided.

  27. #27
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    TrekMike,

    I will keep you posted, but I may have a group that would like to join you all. If so it would be at least 5. Stay tuned.
    Work Hard 2 Play Hard!!!

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    I am a beginner rider. I started last Feb. This morning I started at the Stilling Basin off of Palasades drive and rode clockwise around the lake with 2 other riders. I was on a mission to ride 24 miles for the first time (not cutting out any part of the trail, except above Church road) My two friends, who are more experienced than me, decided to ride the ski slope and I proceeded to ride the rest of the 9 miles back to the Stilling basin myself. 16 miles into my ride, not long after I left the other two, I kept getting leg cramps on the tops of my legs. I felt awesome and if it wouldn,t have been for the cramps I would have had a total time of less than 4 hrs. but insted it was more like 4hrs and 40 mins. w/1 flat tire ,not me. I had to stop at almost every up hill and rub my legs and rest. It was the best worst ride ever, if you know what I mean. Last year I was totally spent after riding from the S.B. to Church road and I felt really good at that point today. CRAMPS SUCK! I know 4hrs isnt even that fast but for me its a miracle. I hear people doing the whole 31 mile loop in less than 3 hrs,insane. Anyway trail conditions this morning were awesome, no mud. a couple of trees down. I was also very surprised to only see 2 other bikers in that amount of time, it was a perfect riding morning. All except for horse dung smell! I would be interested to ride but I don't want to be holding the group up. I have to be able to ride that far because me and 5 of my friends are going on a trip to Virginia the week after the 10th

  29. #29
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    webshot



    State Hill Vista: Compliments to ihocky87 of webshots.com

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    The picture looks great. I am pretty psyched for this ride. I hope the weather is good.

    I just need to decide on a bike - full rigid or hardtail? Also, what kinds of tires are people using?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by elephant
    The picture looks great. I am pretty psyched for this ride. I hope the weather is good.

    I just need to decide on a bike - full rigid or hardtail? Also, what kinds of tires are people using?
    Totally up to you and your comfort over the long haul. There's no doubt that everything is easily rideable on a fully rigid bike, and there's probably a case to made for it - since the (assumed) lighter weight will help in the long run. But - there's also enough 'rattle' in the trail to wear on you after 3 hrs+.

    As for tires? I always just use whatever I'm running at the time...nothing special. Right now? 2.35" Hutchinson Barracudas. I'm toying with the idea of switching to a set of maxxis wormdrive semi-slicks that I won last year - just for the day. I imagine the drop in rolling resistance and weight would make a huge difference, but we'll see if I get around to changing them between now & then.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  32. #32
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    I am riding a hardtail and nothing special on tires. Bontrager Jones on the front w/ knobs and Panaracer Fire XC Pro on the rear. I have been toying with the idea of getting something a little larger than a 2.1 tire, but I am not sure they will fit my rims.

    Anyway, I am off to Moab, UT tomorrow morning. I will be back on May 6th. If everyone can plan in their heads their transport, supplies for the cache point at the State Hill parking area, and which cars to leave there; as well as how to get others back to the start point after caching supplies, this will be helpful. I have one five gallon water cooler available and another two gallon for the cache point. With nearly 20 riders we may need more so everyone can refill. Plan ahead!! And get your bikes tuned up.

    Joe, stick, do you have driving detail getting into the State Hill area that a mapping service may not pick up?

    Lower Bucks riders: I think we should plan to meet @ Neshaminy Lowes parking lot at 0600 and be ready to hit the road by 0630.

    I am currently dealing with some tendonitis in my ankle. Hopefully, after Utah, I will still be able to make BM! If not, remember the ride is on regardless!

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    Which way are you going

    If you are starting at Church Rd., which way are you going around the lake?Are you doing the ski lift side first or last?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike

    Joe, stick, do you have driving detail getting into the State Hill area that a mapping service may not pick up?
    Not really. It's easy to get there if you remember how to get to the stilling basin. If you stay on Palisades Rd and go past the entrance to the S.B. (on your right), Palisades will dead end into Reber's Bridge Rd. Make a right onto Reber's Bridge, and that will take you to the State Hill access road.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  35. #35
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    how many miles is this ride?
    cas im diggin a ditch where madness gives a bit.

  36. #36
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    23

    We don't plan to do the slope. And we will go clockwise from Church Road stopping at State Hill to eat and re-fill water. This is about 23 miles.

    Quote Originally Posted by antgrave
    how many miles is this ride?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    We don't plan to do the slope. And we will go clockwise from Church Road stopping at State Hill to eat and re-fill water. This is about 23 miles.
    Time & legs permitting, anyone who wants to finish the full loop can always do the ~ 7mi ski area loop afterward.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Time & legs permitting, anyone who wants to finish the full loop can always do the ~ 7mi ski area loop afterward.
    Hmmm....that's very tempting!
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

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    Same weekend as the French Creek race.

    And those trees have been down ofr a few months now. The whole southern portion is pretty tore up.

  40. #40
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    I am out of commission for some time folks. I cannot do the BM ride on the 10th. I had a nice crash in Moab, UT and sustained two separated ribs and deep muscle contusions. Even walking is difficult. Have a good ride!

  41. #41
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    Trekmike - back early and a crash - what happened?
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    Not early

    Not home yet. We checkd out of the hotel in Moab and hit the Sovereign Trail before our drive back to the Front Range near Denver. I fly home on the 6th.

    A few miles into the ride I hit a rock went off trail and got launched over the top. Then plowed through 20' of rocks with my body. My whole right side is hurtin' but good from muscle contusions and two seperatated ribs. It is hard to breathe, walk, twist-- you name it. What stinks is this wasn't even a hard section of trail. I was anticipating a crash on Porcupine Rim, not Sovereign.

    I hope everyone has a good ride @ BM!


    Quote Originally Posted by mtmiller
    Trekmike - back early and a crash - what happened?

  43. #43
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    Ouch

    Ouch. Yeah, I hear ya on crashing when you think you shouldn't - my worst crash happened where/when I never should've crashed.

    When do you think you'll be wheeling around again? Hope it's not too long... weather has been so nice that missed saddle time might be equally painful. If you're better by Memorial Day, let me know... my brother and I are planning a tour de Blue Marsh then, weather depending.
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    How rough is this trail overall? I'm relatively new and although it's a quite a bit shorter there are sections of Neversink Mountain here in Reading/Exeter that kick my ass. I'm ok after those. Long Rolling single track would be fine, but if it's typical Berks county rocks, roots, and more rocks then I might be outa luck. Either way I won't be able to make it on the 10th, but I doubt this is the last time you guys all get together there eh?

    I don't want to come along some time and hold you veterans back ya know? I'm not used to riding with people either so I might be fine, but I don't know. Thanks!

  45. #45
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    Not rough

    It's not rough as in technical-rough (though I hear there may be some trees down). It's not the usual rock and root assault. It's more of an endurance challenge, especially the whole ~30 mile loop as that includes some steep, long stuff next to the ski area. I think I read somewhere that the whole loop entails about 4000' of climbing. I can tell you it feels like it. If you leave that ski area loop out, that figure should be reduced quite a bit.

    As mentioned somewhere here, there are numerous ways to shortcut sections which would both shorten the ride as needed and/or give you a good rest. I think proper fueling (food) before, during, and after can be critical to your enjoyment, so make sure you've eaten decently beforehand and bring plenty of food with you so you can eat/drink regularly on the trail.

    Bottom line - if you are fit enough to tackle typical shorter and more technical stuff, I think you'll do fine with some planning and the right food / drink... especially if you leave the ski area loop on the upper part of the lake for a second ride.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energetik
    How rough is this trail overall? I'm relatively new and although it's a quite a bit shorter there are sections of Neversink Mountain here in Reading/Exeter that kick my ass. I'm ok after those. Long Rolling single track would be fine, but if it's typical Berks county rocks, roots, and more rocks then I might be outa luck. Either way I won't be able to make it on the 10th, but I doubt this is the last time you guys all get together there eh?

    I don't want to come along some time and hold you veterans back ya know? I'm not used to riding with people either so I might be fine, but I don't know. Thanks!
    It's not really techinical at all. Very wide open trails. It is a perfect ride for begginers who are looking to do an endurance ride. Don't give a second thought about the technical bike handling aspect of the ride. Focus on eating and drinking properly the days before and the day of.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey1
    Focus on eating and drinking properly the days before and the day of.
    Yes, but I hope by "properly" you mean = healthy amounts of delicious beer every day.

    On a (more) serious note - how many people are still planning to meet at Blue Marsh this saturday @ 8:00 a.m.??

    With Mike out of commission, I'd like to get a new headcount. I won't be meeting up w/ anyone in Neshaminy/Oxford Valley, but I do plan on being at Church Rd by 8:00.

    Please chime in and let me know if you're still coming!!

    Would also be helpful to know how many have never been to BM before. Not asking because I want to discourage any first-timers from going, I'm just trying to get a feel for the group(s)' size and pace. If we have a bunch who are unfamiliar with the trails, I'll try to dig up my son's Motorola 2-way radios. They come in handy for keeping big groups from falling too far apart.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Yes, but I hope by "properly" you mean = healthy amounts of delicious beer every day.

    On a (more) serious note - how many people are still planning to meet at Blue Marsh this saturday @ 8:00 a.m.??

    With Mike out of commission, I'd like to get a new headcount. I won't be meeting up w/ anyone in Neshaminy/Oxford Valley, but I do plan on being at Church Rd by 8:00.

    Please chime in and let me know if you're still coming!!

    Would also be helpful to know how many have never been to BM before. Not asking because I want to discourage any first-timers from going, I'm just trying to get a feel for the group(s)' size and pace. If we have a bunch who are unfamiliar with the trails, I'll try to dig up my son's Motorola 2-way radios. They come in handy for keeping big groups from falling too far apart.
    Count me in! I'll be bringing a friend of mine along whose never been to the park before, but can keep a pretty decent pace. He's a homebrewer as well, and I'll make sure he packs a couple of his brews in the cooler. I've got a Lavender Oatmeal Stout that I can bring with me this year....
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

  49. #49
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    I'll be there. Haven't rode Blue Marsh before, but it sounds pretty tame. Shouldn't have a problem doing the 23 mile loop, but I probably won't have the legs for the ski area.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nHurD
    Count me in! I'll be bringing a friend of mine along whose never been to the park before, but can keep a pretty decent pace. He's a homebrewer as well, and I'll make sure he packs a couple of his brews in the cooler. I've got a Lavender Oatmeal Stout that I can bring with me this year....
    Cool. My inventory is at an all-time low. I just brewed my first batch at the new house on Sunday - so that won't be ready for a few weeks yet. Prior to that, the last batch I brewed was an english mild brewed on New Years Eve. That's been gone for more than 2 months. Looking at houses, buying and moving kept me too busy for too long!!

    Anyway, I still have a few bottles from a batch of Belgian Strong Dark ale that I've been cellaring since 2006, and there might be enough left in a keg of saison to fill a 750 mL or two. I'll bring something along.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

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