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  1. #1
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    Lewisburg Mountain Biking?

    I will be applying to Bucknell for college. I visited it and I loved it! PA is a fantastic state.

    I'm just wondering what the riding opportunities are like. It looks like there are endless scenic roads for road biking, but looking at Google Maps, there doesn't appear to be much woodsy stuff near the college. To the South, there are the "State Game Lands"...which doesn't sound very inviting.

    Good bike shops in the area?

    Thanks!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    I will be applying to Bucknell for college. I visited it and I loved it! PA is a fantastic state.

    I'm just wondering what the riding opportunities are like. It looks like there are endless scenic roads for road biking, but looking at Google Maps, there doesn't appear to be much woodsy stuff near the college. To the South, there are the "State Game Lands"...which doesn't sound very inviting.

    Good bike shops in the area?

    Thanks!
    Congratulations on wanting to become a Bison from a member of the Class of 1993! Your best best is Bald Eagle State Forest in the mountains due west of Lewisburg off PA Route 192. Within this state forest (which has a lot of dirt roads) are R.B. Winter/Sand Bridge/McCalls Dam state parks. You won't find a lot of riding much closer than that which is like 20-30 minutes away.

    Also a great rail trail along Penns Creek near Weikert (south and west of Hartleton/Laurelton off Routes 45/235) west of Mifflinburg. This trail goes through a tunnel to Poe Paddy State Park headed towards State College.

    The only LBS in Lewisburg back then was on the right side of PA Route 45 headed west a couple miles out of Lewisburg. It was very small - I bought a Giant Iguana rigid frame there - what a crappy ride. Don't know if its there anymore or if any new ones have opened in town since. Downtown Lewisburg looks a lot nicer now than it did in the early '90s. Most kids then brought rides from home and had them serviced there as well and not in Lewisburg as best as I could tell.

    That State Game Lands on Shamokin Mountain is very small (one of my favorite professor's' house was directly next to it) and the PA Game Commission restricts mtbs on most Game Lands anyway. Obviously, fall riding with hunters nearby isn't ideal. I grew up on my parents' 100 acre farm brdering one of these, and trust me, except on Sundays you wouldn't want to ride in one during small game or deer seasons. Also, there's very little singletrack on most gamelands other than grown-in deertrails but lots of rough doubletrack for Game Commission vehicles and farmers' equipment on leased land.

    Good luck on freshman dorm choices - I lived in Smith Hall which was new and airconditioned back then. Larison, Harris, Vedder were all older and crappier - maybe they're nicer now.

    What state are you from?

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. Roxnroots, I'm from MA. Too bad the State Game Land is what it is. Hunting really bothers me. The trails around me are used for hunting quite a bit, but bikes are allowed.

    I'm into XC racing but I also enjoy riding bikes off cliffs
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    Thanks guys. Roxnroots, I'm from MA. Too bad the State Game Land is what it is. Hunting really bothers me. The trails around me are used for hunting quite a bit, but bikes are allowed.

    I'm into XC racing but I also enjoy riding bikes off cliffs
    Since B.U. doesn't allow freshmen to have cars on campus, you'd have to bring one and park it on Lewisburg Borough streets (like 6th or 7th streets) or along East Buffalo Township-owned Moore Avenue if you're going to be able to rack your ride for the roadtrip out to Bald Eagle S.F. Otherwise, your riding choices are going to be extremely limited unless you've got a roadie rig to ride out in the Buffalo Valley past Mifflinburg like you were talking about.

    As far as hunting goes, you're going to find PA a very different place than Mass. School districts in our state are closed the Monday after Thanksgiving for the first day of buck season. This always shocks out-of-staters. Our state colors should be blaze orange and camo.

    Do yourself a favor and Google the "Pennsylvania Guys" video if you want to know a little more of PA culture since you'll be living right in the middle of it for 4 years.

  6. #6
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    ...and I'm assuming there is hunting in Bald Eagle. In MA there is no hunting on Sundays; is this true in PA?
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    No huntining on Sunday's mostly; I think you can hunt crows and things but not many do that anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    ...and I'm assuming there is hunting in Bald Eagle. In MA there is no hunting on Sundays; is this true in PA?
    There's hunting in all state forests in PA and no hunting on Sundays as been said by rallyrcr so that's your best bet for riding in the fall.

    There's been a movement in recent years to allow hunting on Sundays too but, oddly enough, even a slim majority of hunters have opposed this when polled, let alone non-hunters.

    I've been accidentally shot at on my parents' farm by hunters across the property line in the State Game Lands. It's no big deal - you wear orange in the fall and learn to hit the dirt fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rallyrcr
    No huntining on Sunday's mostly; I think you can hunt crows and things but not many do that anymore.
    Yeah, maybe groundhogs too. And I think coyotes are hunted at night with red lights from what I have observed.

  10. #10
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    What are the winter riding opportunities like (road and mtb)?

    I'll just take up trials and stay out of the woods all together!
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    Unbelievably windy and brutally cold when you've got a northwest wind (like all winter long) coming down off the Allegheny Plateau, over the Bald Eagle State Forest mts. and across that wide-open Buffalo Valley between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg. Also can be surprisingly cold and damp along the Susquehanna if the wind's out of the east.

    Not as much snow as you would expect, more to the north and west with elevation (State College, for instance). A lot of sleet, freezing rain in many winters. That area doesn't tend to get the monster nor'easters that you do in Mass. Most roads there are plowed by local townships with a few plowed by the state - the quality varies. Unlike the far northern U.S. roads around Bucknell usually melt out within 24 hours of a storm once cleared unless its unusually cold.

    Most roads in Buffalo Valley itself are relatively lightly traveled except for 45 and 192. Some like Furnace Road have shoulders, sort of, but many don't. Compared to a lot of places in PA, they're pretty straight and level though. I've run or ridden most of them and they're nicer than where I live now in Bucks County, PA outside Philly. Hope this helps.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for your help!
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    While I lived in Lewisburg, I rode my mtb on the roads (I wasn't really into mountain biking at that point) throughout the valley, both east and west of the river. Off of highways 45 and 192, there are many miles of well maintained, lightly traveled rural roads on both sides of the Susquehanna. The countryside is pretty nice - tiny settlements, old farmhouses, covered bridges, bucolic scenery and so on - and I enjoyed the casual road riding. A mountain bike was useful since I would often ride on sections of dirt road - usually heading up into the hills or mountains.

    It is possible to reach the closest sections of the Bald Eagle State Forest on a mountain bike within about 45 minutes from Lewisburg - and these rides did not involve much of highways 192 or 45.

    Any of the climbs up and over the local mountains involve steep hills!

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    I grew up in that area. I agree that Bald Eagle State forest is going to be one of your best options for MTB. There could be other options too, but I was only mountain biking that area for a relatively short time.

    There is another bike shop along route 15 now. It is in the same building as the chinese restaruant left on 15 north. The same road that the municiple park is on. They seem to specialize in Giant. There is a store in Mifflinburg owned by the same guy which carries Trek/GF. One of these days, hopefully soon the rail track between Miff and Lewisburg will be a rail-trail and you could literally ride from the one bike shop to the other.

    the Campus Flyfishing and cycle center, if I remember correctly, favors Cannondale.

    The Bicycle Peddler outside of town along 45 is gone, and there is now a health food store.

    I'm not sure if this is legal, but the back road that goes out the back of BU has a railroad along it. I have sometimes come into Lewsiburg by that RR. from the Selinsgrove area. Kind of narrow loose gravel, just don't slip off into the Susquehanna.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the insight!
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