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  1. #1
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    Blue Marsh Enduro October 27, 2007

    Gentlemen: it appears we have a nice handful of guys planning to ride at Blue Marsh on the 27th! Right now our list includes John W, Steve H, Nate K, Josh K, Buzzhog & his friend Dave?, nHurD & his friend Bob?, Jeff W, Stick and Trekmike. This is an open invitation to anyone interested. Just let us know your intent on this thread.

    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 Stilling Basin to refill water & eat before completing the ride. We will have to leave cars at the stilling Basin to store our water and supplies before completing the ride. Those not wanting to pedal the whole thing can leave from the Stilling Basin. This is a mixed group of fitness & skill levels. Everyone will have somebody to ride with!

    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 the Stilling Basin. 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 a good 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.
    4. mechanical. Please make sure your bike is in good shape. Get it tuned up if necessary making sure your derailers are working correctly and brakes will stop your bike on the hills. 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.
    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: detailed trail map
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-15-2007 at 07:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds good, Mike. One thought -

    Last time I rode BM with you, nhurd, et al, there were some (minor) gripes about the Stilling Basin rest stop not being as close to the ride's true midpoint as it could have been.

    To that end, you could park the cache/bail cars at the State Hill boat ramp & parking area instead (~ 2.5 - 3 mi past Stilling Basin if going clockwise from Church Rd.).

    $0.02. Personally? I don't mind one way or the other.
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  3. #3
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    After the past couple of weeks that I've had, I could certainly go for a nice, long ride!

    With that said, I may or may not have my car, but if I do, I should have an extra tray available for transporting a bike. My roommate (Bob) said he'd go, and I didn't get a chance to ask my friend, Steve (StrangerSteve), if he was willing to go either...
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

  4. #4
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    Hmmm... no matter to me.

    I discussed this informally with Steve H after the ride last May. He thought that having the stopping point a little before the half way point was nice because we can regroup, eat & hydrate before becoming more dispersed, famished and dehydrated. I thought stopping at that point was a little too soon also. You are an expert at BM therefore your suggestion carries some weight. I'd be glad to hear from others and make changes as necessary. Doing another three miles is probably a better deal. But how much more inconvenient will transportation back and forth be to set this up?

    Another thought, bankofdad reminded me that there will be hunters out that weekend (bow season maybe). While he didn't think the risk was great we might want to wear bright clothes.

    Great to have you on board Joe!
    Jon, I know you have car problems, but there are plenty of folks going that can help you out. My pick-up can take four bikes on a rack plus supplies in the bed. There is a bench seat in the rear cab for passengers too. We will have a better idea on this stuff as people chime in on the discussion...
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-15-2007 at 10:16 AM.

  5. #5
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    Aww crap - PMBA trail maintenance is also on the 27th. Have a good ride folks!

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    Jon (nHurD) gave me a heads up about the ride. I definately plan on being there.

    I figure it will be a good way to break-in my new Kona Hoss...

  7. #7
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    I'd like to make this ride too.

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  8. #8
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    What, exactly, is the ride? Once around the lake? Twice around the lake? 25 hrs?
    .
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    The ride is...

    once around the lake minus the ski slope. Should be around 23 miles. Some of us old guys can only do it once! Ha! But there will be plenty of riders in their 20's going on this ride too.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    What, exactly, is the ride? Once around the lake? Twice around the lake? 25 hrs?

  10. #10
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    Sounds GREAT... Im Pumped.. im up for anything!!!

  11. #11
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    Transportation

    We need to start talking about transportation and bike racks so we have an idea before we meet next Saturday. It has been suggested that we meet at the Bensalem Lowes parking lot because there is an entrance ramp onto the turnpike right there. Any extra vehicles can be left there for pick-up on our return. Please chime in if you have a car available and bike rack so we can figure some of this out beforehand. Also, if you have water coolers that you can bring, let us know.As suggested by Stick, we will use the State Hill Boat ramp as the half way point instead of the Stilling Basin.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    We need to start talking about transportation and bike racks so we have an idea before we meet next Saturday. It has been suggested that we meet at the Bensalem Lowes parking lot because there is an entrance ramp onto the turnpike right there. Any extra vehicles can be left there for pick-up on our return. Please chime in if you have a car available and bike rack so we can figure some of this out beforehand. Also, if you have water coolers that you can bring, let us know.As suggested by Stick, we will use the State Hill Boat ramp as the half way point instead of the Stilling Basin.
    Mike - FYI,

    In response to your earlier post, it's easy to get to State Hill to drop off cars. Assuming you remember how to get from the Church Rd Lot to the Stilling Basin lot (i.e. PA 183 to R on Palisades Rd) - just stay on Palisades Rd until you hit Reber's Bridge Rd. Turn Right on Reber's Bridge, then make a right when you see the State Hill entrance. Follow the entrance rd down to the parking lot by the lake.

    Regarding transportation... I was planning on meeting you at BM/Church Rd, since driving to lowes first involves driving in the opposite direction from my house, then back again, and adds ~ 20 miles to my trip in each direction. That said - if you find yourself really stuck for lack of bike space, I'll probably have at least 2 empty spots on my rack. We can work something out by e-mail if it comes to that.
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  13. #13
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    I figured that..

    I figured you would just meet us there like you did last time. If we have a problem with bikes someone can arrange to meet you over your way, perhaps. I hope to solve the problem here.

    And thanks for the directions to State Hill. That was good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Mike - FYI,

    In response to your earlier post, it's easy to get to State Hill to drop off cars. Assuming you remember how to get from the Church Rd Lot to the Stilling Basin lot (i.e. PA 183 to R on Palisades Rd) - just stay on Palisades Rd until you hit Reber's Bridge Rd. Turn Right on Reber's Bridge, then make a right when you see the State Hill entrance. Follow the entrance rd down to the parking lot by the lake.

    Regarding transportation... I was planning on meeting you at BM/Church Rd, since driving to lowes first involves driving in the opposite direction from my house, then back again, and adds ~ 20 miles to my trip in each direction. That said - if you find yourself really stuck for lack of bike space, I'll probably have at least 2 empty spots on my rack. We can work something out by e-mail if it comes to that.

  14. #14
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    I would be in for this. I'm looking for a point of reference on how long this ride actually is. I can do a full loop of the Wissahickon, which I've been told is around 20 miles. How does this ride compare?

    I can fit my bike and crap in the back of my jeep and put my rack on the back to fit 2 bikes. I can only drive one other person with the back seat down though.

    Where in bucks county are we looking at meeting. That might be a decent distance out of the way coming from southern montgomery county.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    I would be in for this. I'm looking for a point of reference on how long this ride actually is. I can do a full loop of the Wissahickon, which I've been told is around 20 miles. How does this ride compare?

    I can fit my bike and crap in the back of my jeep and put my rack on the back to fit 2 bikes. I can only drive one other person with the back seat down though.

    Where in bucks county are we looking at meeting. That might be a decent distance out of the way coming from southern montgomery county.
    The ride is around 23 miles I'm told and it shouldn't be technical like the Wiss, but it has some tough climbs.

    The Lowe's trekmike is referring to is in lower Bucks County about a mile above the Philly/Bucks County line. It is right off exit 351 of the PA turnpike and Rt 1/ Roosevelt Blvd. It is also adjacent to the Neshaminy Mall and AMC Neshaminy 24 Movie Theatre.

    I can fit 2 bikes on my bike rack, so I would be able to take one other person if need be.

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  16. #16
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    Squads, the trail is not very technical at all, but it is most certainly an endurance play. We plan to do the 23 mile loop only because we have different ages, fitness levels and skill levels. Stick has done the 23 miles and then added the ski slope making it 30 some miles. Earlier in this thread I posted a link to some messages last March that can give you an idea of what the ride is like. If you can do the Wiss, you can do BM. I expect we will be back around 1800hrs or so. If the Neshaminy Mall is out of your way, you may consider talking to Stick. He is in the lower Montgomery County area (but check with him). But let us know if you plan to meet at the turnpike @ Lowes, Bensalem. We should meet at 0600 and hit the road by 0630hrs.
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-19-2007 at 06:54 PM.

  17. #17
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    Transportation:

    So far this is what I got...
    passengers include the driver...

    John W-- mini-van 6 passengers and 4 bikes
    trekmike-- pick-up 4 passengers and 4 bikes
    rfm137-- auto 2 passengers and 2 bikes
    nHurD-- auto not sure yet
    squads-- auto 2 passengers and two bikes
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-19-2007 at 08:40 PM.

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    I should be able to meet at said location. Its not too far out of the way. Like I said earlier, besides my bike and me I can take 1 person and 2 bikes.

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    What time you guys figure you'll be at Church RD?

    Just a heads up if anyone plans on the Ski slope loop, there are a few trees down, one is built up and ridable and one is sorta a bush wack and another has a go around. Also if you plan to do the entire loop, I'd suggest the Ski Slope loop first, cause not many feel compelled to do it after the lower 23. Although IMHO it is the toughest and most fun section.

    Enjoy, Mike

  20. #20
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    can someone show where this is on google maps, id like to see an aerial view
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  21. #21
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    I should have my car by tomorrow evening, but all three of my trays will be used up for other riders.....
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

  22. #22
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    Church Road

    0800-0830

    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker
    What time you guys figure you'll be at Church RD?

    Just a heads up if anyone plans on the Ski slope loop, there are a few trees down, one is built up and ridable and one is sorta a bush wack and another has a go around. Also if you plan to do the entire loop, I'd suggest the Ski Slope loop first, cause not many feel compelled to do it after the lower 23. Although IMHO it is the toughest and most fun section.

    Enjoy, Mike

  23. #23
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    Church Road

    0800-0830

    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker
    What time you guys figure you'll be at Church RD?

    Just a heads up if anyone plans on the Ski slope loop, there are a few trees down, one is built up and ridable and one is sorta a bush wack and another has a go around. Also if you plan to do the entire loop, I'd suggest the Ski Slope loop first, cause not many feel compelled to do it after the lower 23. Although IMHO it is the toughest and most fun section.

    Enjoy, Mike

  24. #24
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    Church Road

    0800-0830

    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker
    What time you guys figure you'll be at Church RD?

    Just a heads up if anyone plans on the Ski slope loop, there are a few trees down, one is built up and ridable and one is sorta a bush wack and another has a go around. Also if you plan to do the entire loop, I'd suggest the Ski Slope loop first, cause not many feel compelled to do it after the lower 23. Although IMHO it is the toughest and most fun section.

    Enjoy, Mike

  25. #25
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    Church Road

    0800-0830

    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker
    What time you guys figure you'll be at Church RD?

    Just a heads up if anyone plans on the Ski slope loop, there are a few trees down, one is built up and ridable and one is sorta a bush wack and another has a go around. Also if you plan to do the entire loop, I'd suggest the Ski Slope loop first, cause not many feel compelled to do it after the lower 23. Although IMHO it is the toughest and most fun section.

    Enjoy, Mike

  26. #26
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    Church Rd.

    0800-0830

    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker
    What time you guys figure you'll be at Church RD?

    Just a heads up if anyone plans on the Ski slope loop, there are a few trees down, one is built up and ridable and one is sorta a bush wack and another has a go around. Also if you plan to do the entire loop, I'd suggest the Ski Slope loop first, cause not many feel compelled to do it after the lower 23. Although IMHO it is the toughest and most fun section.

    Enjoy, Mike

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    0800-0830
    I heard ya the first time!

    Wow. Lots of interest in this ride, Mike. Just out of curiousity, what's the latest headcount? 10? 20? More?
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by den9
    can someone show where this is on google maps, id like to see an aerial view

    Just type "Blue Marsh Lake" into the google map search and it should show exactly what you want. We're starting a little north-west of the 'green arrow', where the (Old) Church Rd bridge crosses the lake. We'll then ride south, traveling clockwise around the lake, with a stop for lunch at State Hill.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  29. #29
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    Very funny!

    Mtbr's server was not responsive this morning and did not display my response initially. Believing it wasn't posted I clicked several times, then it showed all those responses. I asked mtbr to delete them... oh well.

    Tentatively, it looks about 10-11 guys. Some are still unsure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I heard ya the first time!

    Wow. Lots of interest in this ride, Mike. Just out of curiousity, what's the latest headcount? 10? 20? More?

  30. #30
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    Directions from SE Pennsylvania

    For those driving up alone or curious how to get there... (and someone check my accuracy, please).

    PA Turnpike west to Morgantown exit 298 to 176N
    176N to 422W
    422W to 222N
    222N to 183N
    183N to left on Rebers Bridge (for the halfway point cache)
    Rebers Bridge to State Hill (drop point)

    Otherwise:
    222N to 183N
    183N to left on Church Rd (parking lot on left)
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-22-2007 at 11:54 AM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    For those driving up alone or curious how to get there... (and someone check my accuracy, please).
    PA Turnpike west to Morgantown exit 298 to 176N
    176N to 422W
    422W to 222N
    222N to 183N
    183N to left on

    [correction: You can't turn left on to Reber's Bridge from 183N, and you can't turn left at County Rd, either. You have to turn left at the traffic light @ W. Leesport Rd, then follow that until you cross over County Rd. About 1/8 mile after county rd, there will be a Y in the road @ Reber's Bridge and Upper Van Reed Rd. Bear right onto Reber's Bridge.

    Rebers Bridge to State Hill (drop point)

    Otherwise:
    222N to 183N
    183N to left on Church Rd (parking lot on left)
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by den9
    can someone show where this is on google maps, id like to see an aerial view
    Blue Marsh as logged on my GPS on Saturday,(Note this was the "modified" 19 mile loop)



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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    0800-0830
    8 - 8:30, you guys like to start early.

    They are calling for some good rain this week. I usually do a night ride there mid week and we have a shop ride Friday afternoons at 4:30 there as well. But we are quickly loosing daylight for that so I suspect this will be the last week for that. Then we will probably move it back and hour or so and just do it with lights. FWIW - this is an awesome place to night ride, I have done the loop a few times at night and it's pretty cool.

    I'll post trail conditions after my Friday night ride.

    Mike

  34. #34
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    I figured you would just meet us there like you did last time. If we have a problem with bikes someone can arrange to meet you over your way, perhaps. I hope to solve the problem here.

    And thanks for the directions to State Hill. That was good advice.
    Scratch that. Just got rear-ended by someone on my way in to work. Not 100% sure, but it seems like my car is okay. Totally mangled my hitch rack, though. I'll be lucky if I can still use one of the trays for my bike. The two farthest back are totally out of the question, while the two nearest the rear bumper may or may not be usable.

    Could be worse... I could've had my bike(s) on there at the time! Anyway, I'm not sure if I'll have a replacement before saturday.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  35. #35
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    Jeff W. who rode with us last May had his truck whacked also, he still plans to meet us. We should be able to figure a way to get you there. As I recall, Squads may not be too far from you.
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-23-2007 at 10:39 AM. Reason: spelling error

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    Jeff W. who rode with us last May had his truck whacked also, his still plans to meet us. We should be able to figure a way to get you there. As I recall, Squads may not be too far from you.

    Oh, I'm not concerned about getting myself there. My bike fits easily into the back of the Element. I was just posting to let you know that I can't carry any extra bikes on my rack unless I'm able to pick up a new one before Saturday. I went outside and looked at it again after posting, and the once-vertical arms that held the rearmost 2 bikes in place are so out of whack that they extend diagonally into the space that would be occupied by the other two bikes. In other words, the rack is useless.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Oh, I'm not concerned about getting myself there. My bike fits easily into the back of the Element. I was just posting to let you know that I can't carry any extra bikes on my rack unless I'm able to pick up a new one before Saturday. I went outside and looked at it again after posting, and the once-vertical arms that held the rearmost 2 bikes in place are so out of whack that they extend diagonally into the space that would be occupied by the other two bikes. In other words, the rack is useless.
    Wow, that sucks! Glad your bike wasn't on there at the time - ouch, I shudder to think. Hopefully the other driver was insured, or do you have to claim on your insurance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stymie
    Wow, that sucks! Glad your bike wasn't on there at the time - ouch, I shudder to think. Hopefully the other driver was insured, or do you have to claim on your insurance?
    I got his insurance info, but he'd like to just pay me for the rack out-of-pocket so his insurance premiums don't go up. I'm fine with that, as long as I get a replacement. It's hard to say what (if anything) would have happened to my bike, since I always put mine closest to the car, and that's the only space that seems relatively unaffected. If a bike was on one of the rear-most trays? Who knows...
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

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    A good wife respects your passion

    And your new wife is totally unconcerned?
    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I got his insurance info, but he'd like to just pay me for the rack out-of-pocket so his insurance premiums don't go up. I'm fine with that, as long as I get a replacement. It's hard to say what (if anything) would have happened to my bike, since I always put mine closest to the car, and that's the only space that seems relatively unaffected. If a bike was on one of the rear-most trays? Who knows...

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I got his insurance info, but he'd like to just pay me for the rack out-of-pocket so his insurance premiums don't go up. I'm fine with that, as long as I get a replacement. It's hard to say what (if anything) would have happened to my bike, since I always put mine closest to the car, and that's the only space that seems relatively unaffected. If a bike was on one of the rear-most trays? Who knows...
    Bad month for all for cars, it would seem. I was definitely lucky to have decided to not take a bike with me on my vacation, or else my roof rack would have been destroyed, along with whichever bike (probably my road) I would have had on top of the car.

    Glad to hear that there were no injuries. Hopefully the guy doesn't try to weasel out of getting you the proper bike rack. The same thing happened to my sister, and the guy never paid
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    And your new wife is totally unconcerned?
    Why should she care, as long as nobody was hurt? Her thoughts? "That sucks. I'm sorry."

    It's just a bike rack, after all.

    As it happens, the guy who hit me is a plastic surgeon. Funny that he earns his money fixing racks, then loses a chunk by destroying mine.

    Ah, irony...
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurexdesign
    Blue Marsh as logged on my GPS on Saturday,(Note this was the "modified" 19 mile loop)
    That's really cool, but how do you piece it together to do 19 mi?

    The way I've always done it is to start at the Stilling Basin and travel clockwise around. From Stilling Basin to Church Rd is 14+ mi. The loop on the other side of Church Rd is ~ 7 mi, then it's 8.5 - 9 mi back to the Stilling Basin, for a total of ~ 30 miles. Or 23 if you skip the loop north of Church Rd. Or... ~ 20 if you ride the trail to Church Rd then bail on the road (183 -> Palisades Rd -> Stilling Basin = 6 mi).

    I can think of one place to cut a little more off, but it doesn't look like that's the way you went at all. Looks like you may have taken the road for a stretch between State Hill and Sleepy Hollow? (e.g. Blue Marsh Rd to Brownsville to Justa Rd??) Seems like that would cut off a big chunk of miles between markers 4 and 10, and drop at least one of the worst (or best, depending on your perspective) climbs on the trail (between mile markers 6 and 7).

    Never considered doing that, but it is a nice option to keep in mind for anyone who doesn't want to bail at the halfway point but may not be up for the full trail ride back to Church Rd.
    Last edited by Stick; 10-23-2007 at 05:29 PM.
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  43. #43
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    Weather report is calling for rain on saturday. Might not be the best day to ride.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by squads
    Weather report is calling for rain on saturday. Might not be the best day to ride.
    Hardly a reason to worry about it yet. Given how dry it's been for weeks, any rain that comes down now is either going to soak right in and make things more tacky/less dusty or run off altogether. Saturday's forecast is only 40% chance of 'scattered showers'. Might as well at least wait til later in the week to see how things develop. Chances are it'll be fine.

    I, for one, would rather ride there when it's cool and overcast anyway.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  45. #45
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    wow that reminds me of the nurburgring, is this all single track? does it have forks everywhere loopin back and forth and cutting corners?
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    hey mike sorry it took so long to get back.. i thought a couple of friends were coming but it looks like they are bailing.. also i might be driving up myself i will be sure to let you know soon.. most likly tomorrow.. still pumped and ready to go

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by den9
    wow that reminds me of the nurburgring, is this all single track? does it have forks everywhere loopin back and forth and cutting corners?
    lol. It does have a similar look, now that you mention it. It's not all singletrack. It's a mix of singletrack, doubletrack, and short sections of old, abandoned asphalt.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  48. #48
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    Weather for zip 19533

    This morning weather is calling for 70% chance of rain all day Saturday @ BM. Great weather September through October until we pick one day. Geezzzz...

    Looking for consensus opinion, whether we go or not, by Friday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Hardly a reason to worry about it yet. Given how dry it's been for weeks, any rain that comes down now is either going to soak right in and make things more tacky/less dusty or run off altogether. Saturday's forecast is only 40% chance of 'scattered showers'. Might as well at least wait til later in the week to see how things develop. Chances are it'll be fine.

    I, for one, would rather ride there when it's cool and overcast anyway.
    Last edited by trekmike; 10-24-2007 at 08:42 PM.

  49. #49
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    Im willing to go, Rain or Shine.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    This morning weather is calling for 70% chance of rain all day Saturday @ BM. Great weather September through October until we pick one day. Geezzzz...

    Looking for consensus opinion, whether we go or not, by Friday.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekmike
    This morning weather is calling for 70% chance of rain all day Saturday @ BM. Great weather September through October until we pick one day. Geezzzz...

    Looking for consensus opinion, whether we go or not, by Friday.
    If it looks like the forecast isn't going to budge for us and there still remains a high chance of rain, we could always opt for something much closer like Pennypack or the Wiss...Just an idea.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond

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