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Thread: Jim Thorpe

  1. #1
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    Jim Thorpe

    When is there going to be some sort of organized event in JT? I live about 20 minutes away and do a fair amount of riding there and in the surrounding area. It's such a shame there isn't an event of some kind there. I think this weekend is the towns b-day so I would assume there will be a large amount of people there and I'm sure some will be riding. It's just a bummer there isn't something.

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    I miss JTMBW...... check out http://jttrails.wordpress.com - Lath has picked up the flag to keep things moving in JT as much as possible, and is a hell of a rider to boot. Maybe something can come back, but for now there doesnt seem to be much in the way of festival events for MTB up there.

  3. #3
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    Nothing big this year.

    In the past my wife and I put together the JT MTB Adventure event in 2006 and the Pennsyltucky Punk Bike Invitational last winter. As we are both elite racers this year we don't have the time for anything big. But, we might do a semi-formal ride this summer. I'll post it here and on the JTtrails site.
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    a few years ago i did the fallen rider fundraising ride and had a great time, too bad that didn't become an annual event (not that we need a rider to fall). my rides down at south mountain cycles for some tlc, maybe ill mention it when i pickit up
    without hops the world stops

  5. #5
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    New question here.

    To all:

    Just like everything else here: "NO" more local races and "NO" MTB weekends!

    What is the answer?

  6. #6
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    All it takes is someone with the time to do it....

    Putting on events is not as easy as some people think, my wife put about 200+ hours of donated time into doing the '06 MTB Adventure fund raiser event. We thought about trying to make it annual but she's racing the world cup circuit and it's not really practical. If someone wanted to take it over we come set them up with our contacts at the park, local businesses, etc. I'm not sure what the NO racing comment is about Lee, MASS does a great job of putting on local races.
    Jim Thorpe Trail Coalition
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  7. #7
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    JT saga

    Greeting from New Mexico... I will chime in as I started riding JT back in the 1980s and still visit on occasion... As we all know.. unless the town businesses and politicians push for resolution on legal riding the state gamelands.. the idea of JT being a mountain bike destination and revenue generator for the town merchants and tax rolls is a mute point. As such, nobody is going to endore or financially support a mountain bike weekend since there is nothing to be gained. Sponsorship is a necessity especially when you consider the trails are officially illegal for the most part. Even the sweet riding in and around Locust and Nesquehoning Mountain is or lteast used to be trespassing on mining claims. The total shame of it all is I rode JT last summer and the ____ trails that nobody is allowed to ride or mention in public are in absolute stellar condition... best ever if you ask me.. (aside from all the rattlesnakes on the trail). The politicians need to get to Harrisburg and pressure the SGL commision and quite frankly, it will never happen because the hunters are more organized and claim to generate more revenue so there is little momentum to change the status quo...

  8. #8
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job!

    Lath:

    The race comment is me being "WAY" old school: Fell Mt Challenge, New Milford, Tamaqua, Bear Creek, Delano, White Haven, Hurricane Hills, Gronski's all had races here, near the Wyoming Valley. All are gone and it's at least 2.5 hour travel to race from here. H2H races are a bit closer about 2 hours. From a motorcycle point of view I'm 45 minutes either way to atrack.

    The idea venue would be for mt biking to follow BMX, motorcyces, and cars. Have a set track on a property that ran every or every other week! Problem is Mt Biking is an "I" sport not much fun to watch for the spectator. But mt bike weekends are great! Wyoming Valley has many places top ride now that are advertised to the gen public and legal. In the next few years we will have a mt bike weekend here.

    I know what you mean about putting on events as I do Motorcycle events with our club. Thing is the Mt Bike community isn't yet that organized to put on such events but we are working on it.


    Thanks

  9. #9
    No Gansta Lean here.
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    Does anyone know how much the orig. MTBWeekend brought in?

    How much revenue did MBW bring in? In the three day time that it was held each year? I'd imagine that 1000-1200 mtb'ers would bring in a lot (at least more than a little bit to the economy) in a long weekend...vs when the event isn't held...
    I used to day trip it a LOT up until a few years ago (in addition to the MBW weekend for a lot of years) and used to head up in the AM from the Exton, PA area, ride a bunch, eat dinner (usually at the Switzerland...JT's?) then head home.
    The MBW event HAD to be good for the economy...
    Outside of the Park where it was held...does anyone know the math?
    Dave Bucher did a great job for 20 years...I don't want to get into the stuff that happened once MBW was over/someone else taking it over/vs the park, etc.
    Just...what were the pure numbers of the revenue that it brought in?
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  10. #10
    PVNEMBA vee pee
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    I don't think MBW was ever that large (1000+) -- at least I don't recall seeing that many peeps. My best guess would be a couple of hundred.

    - Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoaster
    The MBW event HAD to be good for the economy...
    Not sure it was as good as you think, as from my memory people stayed mostly in tents (no hotel rev), and mainly brought their own food in coolers (no restaurant rev). Some money was certainly spent in town at the taverns and the like, but I remember most people spending time riding, and not shopping. Perhaps this is one of the reasons mtn biking has not fared well in Jim Thorpe.....we need more mtn bikers/shoppers.

    Also, most mtn bikers I know are quite parsimonious.....except when it comes to their two wheeled steeds of course;-)
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    MBW was good for JT, just not that weekend

    As I recall the last few years averaged around 1500 people, and that's with a registration cut-off due to what the park would allow. But, as pointed out most of those people brought their own food and mostly stayed at the park except for the breakfast. The view in town is that MBW really didn't contribute to town businesses. For that reason there was little local support. But it was a nice boon for the park, which is a good thing. I believe the real impact was not from that weekend, but from the exposure it offered. When people came for MBW they usually came back at another time, and this time did spend money in town. They also would recommend the area to others. I would bet that this exposure did pay off. That being said, from talking with local outfitters and business owners the whitewater rafting/rails-to-trails/skirmish folks contribute WAY more to the economy, The bike rental shops rent over a thousand bikes a weekend to the rails-to-trails'ers alone. Easy money compared to real mountain biking. For this to change we need to have more legal trails, signs, and maybe a permit system like Kingdom Trails. All things we are working on.
    Jim Thorpe Trail Coalition
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  13. #13
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job!

    Lath:

    We need a world class figure like you (JT's second son, after well, Jim himself) too lead a pub crawl into town and have more of the MTB weekend events in downtown! Might have a Dirt/Street Crit around Race Street and alike! If you get the town business involved it will be a hit! One night block off the lower Broad street and have the Jeff Lenoskly show.

    Jim Thorpe "was and is" Mt biking yet it seems to have gone into the shadows at a time when Mt Biking is booming!

    I know, I know, it's easy to talk from behind the keyboard but just some ideas!

    Good luck with all you do! We know your working on it!

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    JTT nailed it!

    Not much to add to 'Jim Thorpe Trails' insightful summary... Mtn Bike weekend was all about getting the word out so hotels/bed&breakfasts/restaraunts/shops/etc can benefit from the weekend mtn bikers, typically groups and couples that come from Philly/Nj/NY and want to visit...no doubt the hard core rider or mtn bike weekend in general does not generate alot of revenue but small businesses definately benefit when the occasional tourist/biker fills in the $$$ gaps nicely outside of hunting season..its very shortsighted by local politicians and business owner not to encourage biking....its strange..ever see the VisitPA.com mountain bike team..not sure what to make of that.

  15. #15
    PVNEMBA vee pee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thorpe Trails
    As I recall the last few years averaged around 1500 people, and that's with a registration cut-off due to what the park would allow.
    Wow...that's a really good turnout! I had no idea -- and I went a couple of times.

    - Chris

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thorpe Trails
    For this to change we need to have more legal trails, signs, and maybe a permit system like Kingdom Trails. All things we are working on.

    A permit system is the exact type of thing we need. Money talks. Unfortunately, many mtn bikers are not open to this as an option.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

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    Jim Thorpe

    I wouldn't object to a permit system but there would definitely need to be more trails available. And I don't think DCNR is just going to open them all up. Like said before the town needs to become involved and that just isn't going to happen. It seems like they want the money but aren't willing to do something to get more.

  18. #18
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    There is the town, and then there are the businesses

    I feel that I should clarify one thing, in JT there is the "town" and then there are the businesses. Most "Chunkers" (natives) hate tourists/outsiders/rafters/bikers in general and don't see any good coming out of a tourist economy. The irony is JT has been a tourist spot for over 100 years now. The businesses, on the west side at least, view things much differently. So far they have been supportive of biking as far as they understand it. To must people riding on the gorge rails-to-trails IS mountainbiking, we need to educate them about singletrack. To this end we are working with the chamber of commerce, who's president rides and used to live in Boulder. They understand that the more they cater to all cyclists, the more money they make.
    Jim Thorpe Trail Coalition
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  19. #19
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thorpe Trails
    I feel that I should clarify one thing, in JT there is the "town" and then there are the businesses. Most "Chunkers" (natives) hate tourists/outsiders/rafters/bikers in general and don't see any good coming out of a tourist economy. The irony is JT has been a tourist spot for over 100 years now. The businesses, on the west side at least, view things much differently. So far they have been supportive of biking as far as they understand it. To must people riding on the gorge rails-to-trails IS mountainbiking, we need to educate them about singletrack. To this end we are working with the chamber of commerce, who's president rides and used to live in Boulder. They understand that the more they cater to all cyclists, the more money they make.
    Lath and all:

    This just goes round and round JTMTBW is gone, YES! turn the page open the new door and step in! JT's & your future can be changed as soon as you finish reading this!

    I hope the Gameland issue will be fixed soon. At the Pa Mt Biking summit JT was mentioned as a problem area that has to be fixed.

    My Two Cents? Someone in your area needs to form a "soild" group that is to be known to the public in your area! You need to have someone step up as we did at Frances Slocum and host a ride! We have so many people who say they never would have ventured out at FS unless they were shown the trails first! Your dealing with many "neebees" as the original JT riders are either out riding or doing something else. Kinda like the second generation of Thorpers Mt Bikers. New riders don't wanna hear about back room politics or details they wanna "RIDE" and learn and explore! Someone needs to LEAD them!

    Broad Mt Loop isn't near town and telling someone to head up the road and park and just go out into the woods is not the way. If you had an Ex: 6pm on every Wednesday ride with ride leaders people would spread the word like wildfire! You could do it for the summer then it will basically run by itself! Even meet at the bike shop and car pool up to the trail head. This gets people involved and they become friends and it spawns off shoot rides!

    This past weekend I took 2 NEPMTBA members who never rode Thorpe and they were amazed at Broad Mt Loop! Yes, I have been on it millions of times and I will be on it again and again. At NEPMTBA we make the JT trip a few times a year and ride Switchback, BML and the Gorge trail thus showing mostly neewbees the great stuff you have there!

    Just words till someone does something... So this week I can expect to see a JT trail riders club formed? It's time and I'm sure there are people who would love to be part of a group like that!



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thorpe Trails
    I feel that I should clarify one thing, in JT there is the "town" and then there are the businesses. Most "Chunkers" (natives) hate tourists/outsiders/rafters/bikers in general and don't see any good coming out of a tourist economy.
    Hate to dredge up this old thread, but after reading this in this morning's paper, I had to post it here. This guy's opinion is probably shared by many in this region.
    I have to agree with him in that many of the people who have moved here to "get away" from things, have brought those same things they were trying to get away from along with them.

  21. #21
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    Good job!

    I think...

    ...change is the way, live the past if you like, but bring it to the table and into the future. Remember the mistakes, don't repeat them. Look at another thread here in the PA Forum a guy is advertising for people in the "English Village apartments" to ride with him. He's really cool... He's not asking "hey where ya from?"

    Yes, in the past it was small towns and people from there who joined and rode together. Now it's different, but kinda the same. Days back before the Interstupid.net everyone came from somewhere and most never heard of the town they came from. We just figured it was like ours only far away. Nowadays we can Google Earth their town and see the house they lived in and the layout of their town and surrounding. Progress? Google Earth better used for finding trails... LOL!

    Newbees will always be coming and going. My friends from the Mt Top area are from all over the world, we have Level Headed guy from Indiana, Map guy from California, Dave Ironman Guy from California, the hardcore Canadian, and the German guy who has a really cool way of saying Mocanaqua, yet we ride together and might I add (some of the best rides I have ever been on) It doesn't matter "WE RIDE"

    Ok, so I'm REALLY old school and way back here's how we did it! Long before Internet, Mountain Bike Action and even Dirt Rag" We went out and rode our fav trail and we saw others who felt the same as we did"

    Everyone knows there are people who "Ride" and people who "Don't"

    RIDE...

  22. #22
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    Nesquehoning RR Bridge Closed

    I was taking a ride around JT a few weeks ago and noticed they fenced off the enterance to the walk/bike bridge to cross over the the Glen area...I thought that work was just completed for our use and now its blocked? Anyone know what happened to our bridge access.

  23. #23
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    The bridge to nowhere!

    Classic. Apparently the story is that the guy who owns the land along the RR tracks on the West side of the river has not agreed to allow the trail to go through his property. Nor will he sell at a reasonable price. So in typical government fashion they spent over a year, and tens of thousands of taxpayer $, building a really nice bridge that goes nowhere. As every trail builder knows, the first thing you do is get permission for access before investing in building a trail, I guess the DCNR thinks differently. The real shame is that this means that their still is no safe access to the Gorge RTT from town. I can't help to think how much nice singletrack could have been built with those resources... We'll see if this can get resolved soon. We're doing what we can. For the record, that bridge has never been legally open for biker/hiker use.
    Jim Thorpe Trail Coalition
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  24. #24
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    How about a "mainstream" type race akin to the Iceman. Something not too technical that takes advantage of both the rail trails and the singletrack. Something with a decent amount of miles that attracts more than the hardcore mountain biker, but riders from all over the nation.

    I have thought about driving out to MI to do the Iceman. It would be nice to have a race that was more local, where we could stay over and hang out in JT and party a bit after the race. I'm not a camper, so a hotel would be in order, as well as food, drinks, etc. I could probably think of 5-10 friends who would be into competing in this type of race. I'm thinking that late fall would be a great time since there are so few races during that time, the great fall foliage, and the locals may embrace something that brings in some $$$ during the off season.

    I'd be willing to help "grow" such a race. I don't pretend to understand the Jim Thorpe climate, I just like the idea of a good East Coast point to point epic race. I know a few roadies and endurance racers who aren't hardcore mtbrs who would be up to the challenge. The key is making it a win situation for all who are involved. Given the economy, I find it hard to believe that the businespeople of JT would balk at such an event if it was worth their while.

  25. #25
    those are Rollercams...
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    Back when I first started visiting Thorpe in the late eighties, outdoor enthusiasts were pouring in to take advantage of the great riding, hiking and white water opportunities and the town had transitioned from depressed coal town to funky outdoor haven. We outsiders may not have been particularly welcome but whatever money we spent was. Fast forward twenty years and JT isn't the funky little spot it once was, it's become a destination for the hip and trendy. Every weekend sees the streets lined with expensive cars, SUVs and motorcycles(many from NYC and Philly) piloted by middle-aged teenagers with pockets full of cash and gold cards filling the coffers of the ever increasing number of eateries with ecclectic and expensive menus and wine lists. The new breed of tourists is probably no more welcome than we were but they spend a hell of a lot more money than we ever did.

    I still love the place, I have a permanent site at the campground just outside town and I'm there every weekend I'm not working. I hang on to what access is still available but I'm not very optomistic about the prospects of getting any additional.

    Truly a wealth of useless information.


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