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  1. #1
    Trek fuel ex8
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    looking for people to ride with in philly burbs

    hey whats up. im pretty new to mtb. i used to ride bmx for years so im familar with riding. i just got a trek fuel ex8 and put about 50 miles on it. ive been riding the trails behind swarthmore college and following them into smedley park. ive only ever been by myself so i'd be interested in knowing the best ways through those trails and even other local places to ride. i live in glenolden delaware county and im 27/married.

  2. #2
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    yo man, welcome. I live in springfield but ride just about anywhere. I actually didn't even know there were trails behind swarthmore college. How many miles are back there?

    I usually ride up in glen mills after work a couple times a week and on the weekends I try to hit up white clay down in newark early in the AM. There's also some trails behind cardinal o'hara but I havent been back there since high school.

  3. #3
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    swarthmore rocks

    i just went to the ohara/don guanella trails last week. i kind of got lost but still had a good time. i never knew they were there. theres alot of doubles for bmxers and some cool creek crossings. swarthmore is definatly more challenging and now that i found how it connects with smedley park its even better. i rode this sunday and did about 8 miles back there but when i got into smedley there was alot of different ways to go.

  4. #4
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    I'm interested... I'm in the Yardley/Newtown Area... There are a few trails around thqat I ride a bunch... Core Creek State park, Mercer County Park, Ralph Stovers / High Rock....

    Have bike, have Jeep, will travel....

  5. #5
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    I am in Newtown Square and riding when I can. Betzwood is another choice. I will be moving about 2 miles from the Glen Mills track. Hope that bridge opens back up soon, will be easier to ride there.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  6. #6
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    how far is betzwoods from glenolden and is it worth the drive when swarthmore is 10 min away? how does it compare? i definatley want to find new places to ride

  7. #7
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    pssstttt

    ridley creek at night.... be cool.... tell no one.

  8. #8
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    i hike at ridley and always thought it would be awsome to ride there but its posted no biking everywhere

  9. #9
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    I see the Swarthmore trails from the train trestle every day but never knew how to get into them. It looks like there are trails on both sides of the tracks. I've dropped into Smedley park from the back along Beatty Road, where it crosses over the blue route, but have never really explored back there. Perhaps you can give me a tour sometime.

    I ride in Bonner Park/The Quarry after work but at this time of year it's all night riding for me during the week. Bonner Park is a lot of hill work but there is a payoff for every hill you climb. I am definitely biased when it comes to Bonner Park as I grew up in the place. Fach has ridden with me there and can give you a more honest opinion. Bonner park is small so you need to do a few loops to ride even an hour.

    I like to get out to Betzwood and Bambi X (the trail along the river on the VF side) on the weekends every once in awhile. It's a pretty flat trail for the most part but there are some nice creek crossings every once in a while. There are some good trails back there but some of them are off limits to bikes.

    I used to go out to South Campus in West Chester every once in a while. It was like "Bonner light" and also requires laps to make it worthwhile.

    Brandywine Park in DE is another close option for you.

    Skip Don Guanella.

  10. #10
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    I might be up for a Sunday afternoon ride if anyone wants to get out.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  11. #11
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    I'm up for a Sunday ride. Luckily the Eagles are on the bye week. However, being the fantasy football loser that I am, I still would like to get a chance to catch some games. So I guess what I am trying to say is that the earlier the better. (11 a.m. maybe?) My Betzwood knowledge is limited to the trails that the legendary mtbr.com poster Chip showed me back in the day. Perhaps somebody wants to give me a tour? Otherwise, you name the time and place. Besides my fantasy football addiction causing me problems on Sunday I am pretty flexible.

  12. #12
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    i can usually get out and ride every night after 4:00 during the week, and most weekends. unfortunatley not this weekend. im working out in westchester all weekend. i dont know much about technical but i would say that swarthmore is. some hard climbs with obsticles, some logs and that sort of stuff. last week i did a nice endo over a log that i usually get over. its at the beggining of the trail and i'll just say i was'nt warmed up yet.

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    Normally, earlier is better for me too, but I have someone coming over Sunday AM so I can mount some skis. Plus my son is home from college and want to spend what little time he is willign to spend with us, with him. I could do Betzwood say 2ish. Never been to the trails in Swarthmore, would be willing to do that instead.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fach
    white clay down in newark early in the AM.
    A must do for any mountain biker in the area. I usually ride Brandywine due to proximity to my house, but love getting over to white clay whenever possible. FAST, smooth, rolling, tight, single trick, WITH a skills park!

  15. #15
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    I will be at Betzwood at 2:00 on Sunday. I will be in a Silver Subaru Wagon w/ Gray Trek Liquid.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  16. #16
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    Glen Mills ???

    Where are there trails in Glen Mills?
    Sir Dabs-alot

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    Where are there trails in Glen Mills?
    west chester riders

    Short but sweet.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  18. #18
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    Forget Don Guinella. If you're going to ride in Delaware County, ride Swarthmore. Its a nice loop with some very technical sections.

    I used to ride Ridley at night. If you do, turn your lights off if you have to cross the paved trail to connect up to other trails. The Rangers drive around the circle at night on patrol

    There is a Delaware County MTB group. Take a look here:

    http://groups.google.com/group/trail-junkies?hl=en

    They post up alot of Swarthmore rides after work, which this time of year are night rides mostly. They also ride some of the other local popular places.

    Get someone who knows the trails to show you Betzwood. We cant typically piece together a ride that is anywhere between 15-17 miles.

    I'd like to join a Glen Mills ride. I didnt know there were trails there.

  19. #19
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    ride at night

    i never rode a trail at night. swarthmore is challenging enough in daylight. i suppose they sell a headlight for the bike. do they allow you to see far enough ahead of you?

  20. #20
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    Go to any LBS or www.nashbar.com or www.performancebike.com and take a look at lighting systems.

    Night riding is a skill in itself. Trails you know cold in the day are entirely new trails at night.

    Generally, you can get by with a handle-bar mounted light. However, I strongly recommend a handlebar mounted light complimented by a helmet mounted light. The helmet light allows the light to go where ever your eyes go, which is great when your turning and cornering.

    And dont purchase a small commuter light. You want a high-powered LED or halogen system with a dedicated lead acid battery. If your light runs on AA batteries, its not going to be powerful enough for the trails.

    You want something that unfortunately is going to start above the $100 mark. Some of the newer LED systems can cost upwards of $400+. No one ever said night riding was cheap.

  21. #21
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    it does'nt seem like anything about mountain biking is cheap. i just purchased my bike about a month ago. i did'nt think about shoes, tubes, pumps, water bottles, bike rack, and now a head light. my wife still has'nt forgiven me about the bike purchase yet. she was expecting a couple hundred not a couple thousand. im starting to think my snowboarding habit was cheaper. at least theres no lift tickets and only a short ride to the trails. gas is $$ too. can you say hemi? hey what about a helmet?

  22. #22
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    Yeah its not a cheap sport. If you want a cheap sport try running. I spend $100 for a pair shoes every six months.

    You definately need a helmet. You will fall. Its not a matter of if you will, but when you will fall. And odds are good that when you fall, you're going to go over the handlebars. Get a helmet.

    There are two things that I will not skimp on when it comes to cycling: a helmet and shorts. The two things I value most in my life are my brain and my nutz.

    I wouldnt concern yourself with night riding at this point. Riding the trails around here in the daylight is hard enough for a beginner. Get comfortable on the bike, get comfortable on the bike, then think about dropping $$$ on the lights.

  23. #23
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    shorts?

  24. #24
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    Night riding is indeed a blast.

    I might be up for a Sunday AM 10/16 ride. Any suggestions?
    Click. Point. Chute.

  25. #25
    Trek fuel ex8
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    i feel as though im doing pretty good on my bike. its definatley not as easy to throw around as my old bmx bike. but im getting it. i could sure use some more strenth in my legs. the clipless pedals made it alot easier to climb, and it was nice that they broke away when i flipped over my bars with a log jump attept a couple weeks back at swarthmore. its cool though i got that sucker on the way out.

  26. #26
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    skier by trade?

  27. #27
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    Yes, shorts.

    Cycling shorts have a pad right in the crotch. The pad helps make sitting on that hard little seat much more bearable. There are different types of pads. Most are made from a moisture wicking material (chamois) that helps reduce chaffing. Some pads are made from a gel material. SOme are contored.

    Shorts are a matter of personal preference. Some guys like the baggy mountain bike shorts, others like the more traditional roadie spandex type.

    Regardless, you'll need some sort of cycling specific shorts especially if you're planning to sit on the bike for more then an hour.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaisch1080
    skier by trade?
    yeah. You can find me more over at Epic Ski
    Click. Point. Chute.

  29. #29
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    ride? Where? Betzwood?

  30. #30
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    this stuff is good to know thanks alot. what do you wear in the winter. im not really into spandex. i wore sweat pants the other day and im sure you can guess what kept happening. they were covered in grease and were getting stuck in the chain. i could probably wear under armor under my shorts. that might work. im going to try and get out on sunday around 11:30 at swarthmore if anyone is interested.

  31. #31
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    ok i guess im a snowboarder by trade

  32. #32
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    DO NOT REPEAT DO NOT wear sweatpants.

    Aside from the issue of the pant leg getting stuck in your chain, sweat pants do not wick moisture away from the skin and thats very important in winter riding.

    In the winter, when you ride, you still sweat. You need a material that wicks (moves) the moisture away from your skin. Wicking materials are constructed of materials that wont get soggy with lots of moisture. Sweatpants, or anything made of cotton for that matter, soaks up water like a sponge and gets very heavy, and hence can become very uncomfortable

    In the winter, you dress in whats called "layering." Everyone has different preferences and tricks when it comes to winter time clothing, but here are the basics:

    You need good gloves. Most people get really cold hands and feet in the winter because thats where your body has the least amount of blood flow. I use some Pearl Izumi gloves made of Goretex with neoprene lining. They keep me relatively warm in the 30-40 degree range. On really cold days, I have a pair of Goretex snowboarding gloves.

    On my head, I wear a microfleece baclava, which is a hood with a cutout for the face. Some guys can get away with just ear warmers. The baclava is long, which help keeps my neck warm.

    On the feet, everyone is different. I wear a pair of cycling specific wool soxs, with a neoprene sock over that. I also use shoe covers in the really cold weather. A shoe cover is a neoprene sock for your shoe with a hole in the bottom for your cleat, assuming your using clipless pedals. Some guys wrap their feet in saran wrap, then put a sock on. There are winter specific shoes that have built-in neoprene liners and a higher ankle cut.

    For the legs, I can usually get away with a pair of thermal tights. Your legs are generating alot of heat when you ride. Tights are non-restrictive and they dont get jammed in the chain because, well, they are tights. They have the chamois pad just like the shorts. In the fall, I usually wear shorts with leg warmers, which is basically a really big sock you put on your lower legs. If you get warm, you can pull them off.

    Upper body, heres where the layering really comes in. I wear a long sleeve wicking layer (first layer) (see above). Alot of the upper body layering depends on the temp. Lets assume its January and its 35 degrees outside. On top of the wicking layer I might wear a 2nd wicking layer, then a microfleece type pullover on top of that. Or, I may slap on a long sleeve cycling jersey on as the third layer. On top of that comes the really important layer. Most of us wear some sort of goretex windbreaker type layer to help block out the wind. Its usually the thinnest layer, and its not meant to keep you warm. Its only meant to block the wind. This is really more important if you do alot of road riding where you constantly exposed to the wind.

    Be careful. I use a wind breaker that doesnt have an elastic waistband because the windbreaker tends to act alot like a heat tent if theres no place for the air to exhaust. It traos warm, MOIST air and keeps it close to your body. Thats bad. I have a wind breaker that is loose at the bottom so it can "breath."

    Lastly, DO NOT dress for the temperature you feel when you first walk outside. As you ride, you're going to generate heat and if you over-dressed, you'll get hot and you'll generate excess sweat. And when you stop, that sweat is going to condense against your skin and your going to get really cold. So dont be alarmed if your a bit chilly for the first couple of minutes on your ride until you warm up. Once you're moving your fine.

    Most of the stuff I mentioned you can find online at places like www.nashbar.com or www.performancbike.com. However, you can probably find cheaper versions of the same stuff at ***** or the Sports Authority. Just make sure its NOT COTTON and that is uses wicking material. Look at the tag of the clothing for brand names like Coolmax, Dry Fit, Duo Dry. Hunting clothing is starting to be made of the same materials, but I am not sure if they would be any cheaper then what you would pay for the cycling-specific stuff.

    To be honest I stay away from the name brand stuff. I usually go with the cheaper stuff at www.performancebike.com. There is a retail store in Paoli. They have sales all the time.

  33. #33
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    yeah. it sounds a lot like the way i would dress for snowboarding. minus the tights. i work outside so im familar with layering. i definetley need to get a helmet and those shorts with a pad sound like something i've really been missing. my snowboarding gloves are mittens so maybe i'll wear my motorcycle gloves. that reminds me does anybody want to buy a 2005 honda cbr 600 rr with upgrades, about 3700 miles. i think i rode it twice this summer and now that ive found mtb i really dont have time to ride it. clear title-7,500.00.

  34. #34
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    Thread drifts galore here .

    I would be up for a ride at Swarthmore since it will be new. I need an exact meet point, can we do earlier than 11:30?
    Click. Point. Chute.

  35. #35
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    let me get back to you on that one

  36. #36
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    where is everyone riding this weekend

  37. #37
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    depending on the rain Friday, White Clay in DE early in the AM before the crowds get there.

  38. #38
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    how far is white clay from delco. and is it worth gas

  39. #39
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    20-25 minutes down 95...its off the exit for 273 and yes, its worth gas. It's really fast single track. Not much climbing but you can pick up some serious speed.

  40. #40
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    hey guys. i found some new trails this weekend. well, at least they were new to me. rocky run and darlington trails. one of the trail heads is off of valley rd., off of rt 1. it is right behind the wawa plant and across rt 1 from the franklin mint. i rode 3 miles back there with my son so i was going kinda slow, but there was some nice climbs and some rocky terrain which was pretty fun. there was even 2 stream crossings. when i got to the darlington rd trail head i turned around and went back it was getting kinda late and i still dont have a light. when i got back to valley rd i figured i would see if they had a trailmap and sure enough they did and i only rode about 1/3 of it. i didnt get a chance to go back there yet but ill keep you posted. if anyone has ridden back there and can give any info on it or even an opinion it would be appreciated. the map said one end of the trail goes through part of tyler arboretum and hooks up with ridley creek state park.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaisch1080
    hey guys. i found some new trails this weekend. well, at least they were new to me. rocky run and darlington trails. one of the trail heads is off of valley rd., off of rt 1. it is right behind the wawa plant and across rt 1 from the franklin mint. i rode 3 miles back there with my son so i was going kinda slow, but there was some nice climbs and some rocky terrain which was pretty fun. there was even 2 stream crossings. when i got to the darlington rd trail head i turned around and went back it was getting kinda late and i still dont have a light. when i got back to valley rd i figured i would see if they had a trailmap and sure enough they did and i only rode about 1/3 of it. i didnt get a chance to go back there yet but ill keep you posted. if anyone has ridden back there and can give any info on it or even an opinion it would be appreciated. the map said one end of the trail goes through part of tyler arboretum and hooks up with ridley creek state park.
    I'm pretty sure it is closed off to MTBers. Especially if it connects to Tyler and Ridley Creek. Those trails are definately off limits. Did you see any posting indicating either way?

  42. #42
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    the trail map said it only goes through designated trails in tyler arboretum and you must stay on those trails. as for ridley who knows, it could dump out on there paved roads. either way that stuff is on the whole right side of valley rd which i haven't rode yet. there is plenty of good riding on the left side of valley rd at the rocky run trailhead. there is a trail map at the beggining of the trail.

  43. #43
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    I do know thw place your talking about. I'll definately check it out.

  44. #44
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    can anyone tell me the best start point at the wiss it will be my first time there. im going tomorrow morning on my day off. also i was wandering if the trails are marked and if so which one would be a good one. i like the technical stuff. do u have to pay to ride there?

  45. #45
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    take 476 to germantown pike east. after about 8 miles or so make a left onto Bells Mill Road. about a mile and you'll see parking. The trails are marked. You won't get lost, all trails start on forbidden drive (long flat, alongside the river) and end on forbidden drive. What goes up must come down. I wish I had off Id be glad to show you around. Best trails in PA ( or east coast ) in my opinion.

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