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  1. #1
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    New Guy from Lancaster Area

    I been looking around on the forums awhile now and decided to finally say hi! My name is Matt from the Ephrata area. I'm totally brand new to mountain biking and just started this year. To keep it short I got bored one day and remembered someone had given my father a bike because he loves collecting them. What I found was an old probably from 90's Fuji 800sx hardtail. The bike was never ever used. So after "fine" tuning it I headed off into the mountains.

    So far I've ridden: Gretna (5 times), Mt. Penn (2 times), and Camp Mack about twice but only the bottom half towards to Pumping Station. Sometimes I ride solo and Camp Mack for some reason scares me riding solo. I don't know if its the times I go usually around 2-7 or I'm parking in the wrong places but I rarely see other bikers.

    I was hoping to maybe get some advice on trails from other locals. Of the trails I've ridden with such little experience I've enjoyed Mt. Penn the most. I'm eventually hoping to get better and ride more down hill type stuff (sorry I'm new if I use wrong terms please forgive me).

    I'm also looking at buying a new bike. I'm really liking the Specialized Enduro or the Specialized Stumpjumper. What do you guys recommend for the trails around us?

    Hope to see others out there, I'll be sure to wave as you guys zip on by me!

    New Guy from Lancaster Area-camp-mack-06-20-2013.jpg
    06/20/2013 Camp Mack

  2. #2
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Hi Matt,

    Sounds like your getting out a fair amount. Hopefully that old Fuji doesn't hold you back. If you're a beginner, I'd really suggest looking at a 29er, and think about picking one up used. You might be able to get a used 29er locally for under $500 with front suspension, disc brakes, and a decent "kit" or even a mail order BikesDirect.com bike for $550 and shipping.

    Trek Marlin 29er Like New

    specialized hardrock 29er disc mountain bike

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29COMP

    Out in these woods you don't have anything to worry about. Solitude is bliss. You're close enough that if something were to happen, people would find you, and but you're far enough away you get the trail to yourself (some days). If you see a bear, turkey, or deer, consider yourself lucky because they tend to avoid us as much as they can.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  3. #3
    Nickel Havr
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    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm from the Reading area and ride Mt. Penn often.... Some of the best riding around in my opinion. Also maintained and built by some great and dedicated people.

    Next time you're up this way you should check out Neversink.... It's the mountain adjacent to Mt. Penn.
    It's more fire roads than singletrack but there are some great sections and has a bit more traffic than Mt. Penn.

    If you'd like a local to show you around sometime just let me know....
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  4. #4
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    That thing that scares me the most on the FUJI are the vbrakes. I don't totally trust it. Is there real advantages from a 29 to 26? From what I read on the internetz lol is that you have more control on a 26? I like control. I really like those hardtails you posted but I'm looking to move into a full suspension. For $500 I could be a quarter of the way to one?

    I finally explored more of Mt Penn yesterday Eckstream1. Where do I park to ride around Neversink? Same place as Penn? I got to the point of the gravity trail where it crosses List Rd but didn't know where it went so I just kind of went back down Penn and repeated. I really enjoyed finding trails and just heading down and exploring. Found some 4 foot drops but.....I'm not quite there on skill level yet and I feel the bike is holding be back from trying those.

  5. #5
    Nickel Havr
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    V brakes are ok.... I rode them on Mt. Penn and Neversink long before disc brakes were on mountain bikes.
    Learn and progress on what you have and upgrade as you get faster and better....

    Neversink parking is on Klapperthal Rd just off Perkiomen Ave.... And a 6mi loop can be ridden from there.
    Here is a map from one of my rides there...

    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  6. #6
    247
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    Rocky Ridge (20 minutes from Lancaster) in York... make right at Mt Zion road exit.. --just be careful when you come back out the main park road onto that street again (cars come flying if you try to make a left)---

    But hands down (Rocky Ridge is like taking the Wiss in Philly)--adding 5 miles (and doubling the rocks..)---also it is Impossible to get lost (go to YAMBA and see the map)---

    also YouTube the trails...

  7. #7
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    I_Am,
    Im from just East of you in Downingtown, let me know if you ever want to hit Marsh Creek or others out this way.

    In regards to the bikes you are looking at I suggest waiting another month. The new 2014 lines will be announced in July and there will definitely be some positive changes. I am currently looking at:
    Enduro 29 SE
    Stumpjumper FSR Evo
    Stumpjumper Carbon 29
    And a full suspension 650b most likely a Jamis or Scott genius.
    Im trying to find the best climber with the longest travel so I can do XC and some downhill.

    My LBS (Loweriders) will be getting test bikes in to try out once the new bikes are released. I wont be able to make a good decision until i get on them and I suggest doing the same.

    In regards to wheel sizes 26" is on the way out and being replaced with 650b (27.5"). I would definitely look at the 650b and 29ers. I have a 29er hardtail and love it. The only time i notice a difference in handling is on tight switchbacks but the benefits more than make up for the reduction in tight turning ability. Please note that I have limited experience on 26" wheels.

    Also, I would expect the budget to start at around $3k+ for a full suspension.
    J

  8. #8
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    New Guy from Lancaster Area

    I_Am, welcome board the dirt train.

    As far as new bikes go the best advice I have ever heard is try to demo as many different bikes as you can, in and out of your price range.

    29er, 26er, 27.5/650b, whatever. There are a ton of well made bikes on the market and it is more about the individual bike and how it fits you than the wheel size or anything else.

  9. #9
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    Ride the Fuji for awhile...so when you try other bikes you will have a good point of reference.

  10. #10
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    You're be able to get some deals on 26'ers. Look for a used one. Here is a nice prophet for a decent price and it's out your way (assuming the size is right). I ride a prophet so I may be a little bias It's been great though. The good thing about a used bike is that you can ride them for a year or 2 until you determine exactly what you want and recoup most of what you paid (if you bought smart).

    Super nice Cannondale prophet

  11. #11
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    Thanks all. Hit up Mt. Penn today. It was later in the day so I didn't want to venture Never sink and get lost. I think what I will do is ride thia Fuji until I save up about 2k for a bike. I'm only 5'5 and the bike is 19 inch. It does feel a little big.

  12. #12
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    Ebay or craigslist can be your best friend there. Ebay can be sketchy but just as a ton of questions and research the bike. That is a GREAT deal on that Prophet! I'd hop on that myself if I weren't broke .

  13. #13
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    Sometimes I ride solo and Camp Mack for some reason scares me riding solo.
    I ride solo exclusively, and last year the Ranger at Camp Mac got bit by a Copperhead snake..

    I would hate for that to happen to me (and have no cell reception)---

  14. #14
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    I use to ride the Wiss out in Philly daily when I was there for school, but since I've been back in lancaster the past year and half, I haven't really gotten much trail riding in. The only local trails I know well around here are Gretna and White Clay. I'm down to meet up sometime and get some riding in = especially around Camp Mack, French Creek, and Swatara if you know the flow of them (they're local trails I want to get to know better).

  15. #15
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    PA has copperheads? I haven't thought much of snakes at all as I assumed there weren't many poisonous snakes here.

    I passed swatara mtn this weekend. Wow it looks big. How are the trails there?

  16. #16
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    New Guy from Lancaster Area

    And some areas areas of PA have rattlers. Rode past this guy last year on broad mountain. It didn't even acknowledge us.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    They're not everywhere but yeah PA has some poisonous snakes. The rattlers are pretty rare as far as my experience goes. Seen my fair share of copperheads but I used to live on a small farm and the small chickens and ducks would attract them.

    Ran over two snakes at Blue Marsh last year. No idea what kind but I didn't know what they were until they reacted. One tried to bite my tire. Just be aware like with any wild life.

  18. #18
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    I been pretty lucky to get out 2-3 times a week now. I love this sport and the work people put to trails around here. I am surely going to be looking for when there are trail clean ups.

    What I enjoy most about riding is every time I'm out I learn something new or pick up a new skill. My confidence is up now and I'm starting to feel the bike is holding me back. I want to ride harder and faster but stuff is breaking on this old bike.

    I also recruited like 4 friends. They found Mt Gretna more beginner friendly. I've yet to try Neversink how would that place be for my friend who I'm taking out for the first time this week?

  19. #19
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    I_AM, Swatara is a fun smooth romp. A few log covers. Easy to navigate (always turn right or left, don't mix it up, to hit everything and not get looped out). I believe SAMBA has a trail map on their site. Trails total about 9 miles.

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    Last edited by bear; 07-16-2013 at 03:42 AM.

  20. #20
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    New Guy from Lancaster Area

    Welcome! I'm pretty new to this myself. I'm from the etown area. I'd be interested in Merton up sometime and riding some trails. I really want to check out Swarta sometime soon. I've heard alot of good things about it. I need to find more ppl to ride with to. Currently I don't know anyone around here that rides. 😞 Lol.

  21. #21
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    pa9k, you should surf for the SAMBA and BAMBA bike clubs and see who is closer.

    There could be others. ;^)

  22. #22
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    New Guy from Lancaster Area

    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    pa9k, you should surf for the SAMBA and BAMBA bike clubs and see who is closer.

    There could be others. ;^)
    Hey thanks for the tip! I've been on both websites before but never new they had forums or anything. Basically just looking at events and trail maps. Guess ill have to check their websites out a little more.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa9k View Post
    Welcome! I'm pretty new to this myself. I'm from the etown area. I'd be interested in Merton up sometime and riding some trails. I really want to check out Swarta sometime soon. I've heard alot of good things about it. I need to find more ppl to ride with to. Currently I don't know anyone around here that rides. 😞 Lol.
    Hey. I live in Ephrata area myself. I ride usually afternoons as my wife works second shift and I head out to ride whe she heads out to work =).

  24. #24
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    CAMP MACCKKK!!! Rode Camp Mack today. Was pretty awesome. Ran into about 7 people out there. Weird. Must be the 95 degree weather bringing everyone out. 2 of the bikers stopped and chatted with me for awhile giving me tips to some fun trails. Met this awesome dude that told me he's been riding since '88. I was like sir I was born just a couple years before that!

    Found one of the more trails I've ridden so far. Switchbacks to multiple drops to two covered bridges. Fun fun fun. I was too happy and overconfident I fell on the jeep track coming back! Good thing no one saw it

    New Guy from Lancaster Area-camp-mack-7-17-2013.jpg

  25. #25
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    It would be nice to see a video of CAMP MAC trails (cant find on Youtube ever)--

    when I tried in the past, but I just never went there cause everyone I have asked about it has a different answer.. I have talked to folks who went there (whether they had a pass or not)--but have said there were areas they could not ride (Boy Scouts/hunting)--and I could never find enough info about them (especially a map even) to justify driving there (and buying a pass...)

    It just seems to me there is a Select group of riders who know it (and ride it)---and I just know Nothing about it (just what I have heard)--people telling to go (OR NOT to go..)

    --I there is something that has dates for Boy Scout activities (because one of the 2 guys who rode there I have talked to said he was PISSED whatever happened when he was out there with the Scouts... whether it was parking, where or where he could not ride whatever??)

    There is not enough Usable information for someone who just wants to ride there once to see what it is like (cause I was told you had better be with someone who has a pass)--and I AIN'T spending $40 for one ride when THE WISS, Rocky Ridge, etc.. are free here.. Or FAIR HILL cost $3 (on the honor system in the wooden box at parking place) to rode each time...

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