Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: New To Philly

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    24

    New To Philly

    Hi Guys (and Gals) --

    I just moved to Philly and I'm looking for people to show me that might be willing to show me around to some of the local trails. I've ventured out a couple of times on my road bike but want to get out to do some mountain biking. Are there any regular group rides in the area? I've gathered from posts and from other sites that Wissahickon, Penny Pack are good places to ride. Any other suggestions?

    Stew

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    374
    there are tons of places to ride in the area and people here on mtbr that ride all of them. what kind of riding do you do? XC racing, freeride, downhill, etc.?

    depeding on where you live in philly you may be able to ride over to wissahickon, belmont or pennypack.

    group rides are announced here quite often so keep your eyes open. there are regular weekely rides at both belmont and wissahickon on thursday nights and my group of friends do a regular ride on sunday mornings at wissahickon.

    other places to check out are
    french creek - pa
    ralph stover - pa
    mercer - nj
    clayton - nj
    sewell - nj
    bear creek - pa
    seven springs - pa
    fair hill - md

    all within an hour or so from center city

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    24
    Thanks -- I ride all XC. I live center city so Wissahickon is relatively close for me, I just need to figure out how to get to the trails...

  4. #4
    Freshly Fujified
    Reputation: Call_me_Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    8,200

    Keep your eyes peeled

    Quote Originally Posted by K2Stew
    Thanks -- I ride all XC. I live center city so Wissahickon is relatively close for me, I just need to figure out how to get to the trails...
    First off, welcome to Philly and the forums. Wiss isn't hard to find, just do a google search. As lanceh pointed out, plenty of group rides are posted here, so just keep coming back and I'm sure you'll hook up.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    374
    if you know where kelly drive is then take that north and you will be dropped off at the southern most point of wissahickon. it's the point where lincoln drive and ridge ave. cross.

    finding the trails is another story.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    55
    Some other places not mentioned:

    Valley Forge

    ... and before I get flamed for posting a place thats NOT legal, I am talking about the 20+ miles that are legal on the West side of the Schuykll River, not the the prohibited trails on the East side of the River (the National Park side of the River)

    Middle/ WHite Clay Creek, DE
    Iron HIll, DE/MD

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    24
    Yeah, I headed up to Valley Forge on my road bike a couple of days ago. It was a great ride. Nice and flat, too. Although, I found that I got a lot of interference with my HRM b/c of all the high voltage lines up there...anyway, thats a bit off topic -- I'm going to head up to Wissahickon on my MTB this week. Is it considered safe to ride up there alone? Any problems with crime? Are the trails suitable for single speed riding (I would assume so, but I thought I would ask...)

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stymie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    249

    ... and if we just ...

    Hey Stew,

    Welcome to Philly!

    Myself and a mate ("Electric Mustard" in here) ride to Wissahickon from Center City, usually once every weekend, twice if we can squeeze it in. Due to work commitments, our departure times can be a bit erratic, but if you have any trouble getting out there, or finding the trails, just drop us a line and I'm sure we can work something out.

    Mr. Mustard has just built up his first SS, so I am sure he will be keen to catch up with you. He had no problems riding the entire Southern half of Wissahickon (both sides of the river below Valley Green Inn), so I am sure you will be fine too.

    As Lance mentioned, from Center City, just head up either Kelly Drive, or West River Drive (MLK Drive?). The entrance to the park is a paved path opposite the Wissahickon Septa Bus Interchange on Ridge Avenue. Follow this path for a few minutes, and you will get dumped onto a gravel fireroad. This is Forbidden Drive, and it runs the length of the park alongside the creek. It attracts a huge variety of people - runners, walkers, hikers, strollers, equestrian types (be cautious passing these guys, some horses can spook easily).

    If you follow Forbidden Drive for a bit, you will eventually come to a little restaurant/cafe type place called Valley Green Inn. This is a great place to meet other mtn bikers, most of whom should be happy to show you the trails.

    If you are by yourself, the easiest way to explore is to simply keep an eye out for any trails that branch off Forbidden Drive. Some will even have signage indicating they are bike-friendly. Basically, follow your nose - it is almost impossible to get lost, as most trails dump back onto Forbidden Drive. The trails on the opposite side of Wissahickon Creek can be a little harder to spot.

    Hope this helps!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    489
    you should jump on the paved part across from the bus stop and next to the BBQ place. from there keep going until you see a semi paved uphill run on your left. take that and go all the way to the top. you'll see bike signs pointing you onto the dirt trail (on your right). you can follow this trail all the way to the end of the park. either ride the fire road back or jump onto the other side of the river and ride the trails some more.

    I was out there on my SS twice, with 32x20. it's not bad, but the trails can be extremely rocky in parts.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by K2Stew
    Yeah, I headed up to Valley Forge on my road bike a couple of days ago. It was a great ride. Nice and flat, too. Although, I found that I got a lot of interference with my HRM b/c of all the high voltage lines up there...anyway, thats a bit off topic -- I'm going to head up to Wissahickon on my MTB this week. Is it considered safe to ride up there alone? Any problems with crime? Are the trails suitable for single speed riding (I would assume so, but I thought I would ask...)

    Thanks again.

    Can you ride there alone? Sure? Would I recommend it? Depends on what time you're going. If you go Middle of the day Saturday or Sunday, you'll be fine. If you go weekdays late in the day, especially around dusk, you may have *problems*. The park does attract a rather shady element at night.

    Also, theres a spot called Devils Pool that you'll probably never get near on your bike (hiking, maybe), but stear clear of it. Having done various bits of volunteer work in the park, the Rangers once told me that they wont go near it - they leave that area up to the Police.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,459
    if your free on 6-6-06, it will be a long tough ride but you'll do LOTS of good riding...

    philadelphia hell ride???

  12. #12
    Freshly Fujified
    Reputation: Call_me_Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    8,200

    None of VF is legal

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivetenfrank
    Some other places not mentioned:

    Valley Forge

    ... and before I get flamed for posting a place thats NOT legal, I am talking about the 20+ miles that are legal on the West side of the Schuykll River, not the the prohibited trails on the East side of the River (the National Park side of the River)
    Please don't take this as a flame, I just want to set the record straight.

    Unfortunately, none of the singletrack on the Betzwood side of the park is legal. The signs have all been torn down by poachers. The only reason I know this is that last year I represented IMBA on National Trails Day at VF. I had discussions with the Trails Supervisor as well as the Park Superintendent, and both confirmed that non of that singletrack on the west side is authorized for use by bikers, pedestrians or equestrians . Fact of the matter is, that they don't have the manpower to enforce the restrictions. I must have seen two dozen mountain bikes that day go through the parking lot at Betzwood and head back to the trails in full sight of the Trails Supervisor and a number of Park Rangers. Not one person was stopped or otherwise advised not to ride back there.

    FWIW, IMBA is still working with VF in hopes of opening up the area to bikes. Until then, I'm sure people will ride the trails with little or no resistance from anyone. It's some very nice beginning to intemediate level singletrack, and with nobody from VF to stop the poaching, people will ride it.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    489
    I ride alone at dusk by myself, you'll be fine. I was out there last night and passed a couple girls each running by themselves way back in the trails. definitely stay away from the water hole, unless you have the urge for a ghetto experience.

    there's also belmont plateau, now there I would not ride alone at night. it's a little weird back there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fivetenfrank
    Can you ride there alone? Sure? Would I recommend it? Depends on what time you're going. If you go Middle of the day Saturday or Sunday, you'll be fine. If you go weekdays late in the day, especially around dusk, you may have *problems*. The park does attract a rather shady element at night.

    Also, theres a spot called Devils Pool that you'll probably never get near on your bike (hiking, maybe), but stear clear of it. Having done various bits of volunteer work in the park, the Rangers once told me that they wont go near it - they leave that area up to the Police.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    147
    belmont is a great place to ride, but not as straight forward as wissahickon. if you wanna learn the trails in belmont, a group of us ride out of Human Zoom on main st every sunday around 4pm. just show up about 3:50 and let someone a the counter know you're there.

    ohhh, or just give a call to see if we're riding; 215-487-7433

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    374
    i've ridden wissahickon at all times of day and never had a problem. i even walked my bike through the devil's pool last year when i had an unfixable mechanical.

    it's such a shame about that area because it's such a freaking eye sore when compared to the remainder of the park. as fivetenfrank mentioned, if you're riding the park there's no reason you'll ever pass through it.

  16. #16
    Trail eater
    Reputation: electric mustard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    229
    hey K2Stew,

    I might go out thursday night after work since I will be in texas over the weekend. I could show you belmont and wissa if you like. PM me if your interested. Maybe stymie will join us.
    Climb like a goat, descend like a banshee

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    92

    Wiss and Belmont

    Whether or not Wiss is SS friendly depends on the rider. A couple of years ago (before I got a SS) I would have said no way. But now that's all I ride out there (34x18). Most of the climbs are relatively short and some are very technical so getting up and over depends more on your climbing skills then your gearing. I suggest taking someone up on a guided tour.

    I ride either Wiss or Belmont once a week, year round. Over the winter I rode with a small group or (frequently) alone, with 90% of the ride in the dark. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had any kind of issue or negative encounter.

    Belmont tends to be a bit sketchier, since it abuts some not so nice neighborhood and has more adjacent areas where people park and party. Popping out of the woods and riding by a bunch of have drunk guys can be a recipe for trouble. Belmont is also a complete maze of twisty singletrack. A good bet to learn some of the trails with a lot of other people is to show up for the Thursday race. It starts at 6:30 at the bottom of the Belmont Plateau. The route is marked with flour so you can just roll out and ride.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    123

    Good job! also just moved to the area

    Just the thread I was looking for the past few days. I just moved to the area and have great access to Wiss. from my house in Manayunk. Basically I live right on the corner of Roxbourough(sp?) and Manayunk Ave. I've been told I can ride right up Roxbourough and hop on the trails at the golf course. But, I'm looking for someone to take me on a guided ride at a casual pace. With the crazy work schedule and recent move from Northern Va I haven't had a chance to ride for 4-5 weeks and need to air my lungs out!!!!! So, guess I'm trying to figure out my next course of action. Anyone up for a casual paced ride?? I'm completely down with xc riding since my NRS will be perfectly suited for the trails there. Any takers?? I'll keep checking this thread but feel free to pm me. -Mark

    PS. it's sort of a pain in the arse to be checking/posting in here since I'm use to the organization I was associated with in VA. Here's their link:

    http://more-mtb.org/

    Great group of riders/trail advocates!!!!! Anything around the area like that??

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: xjoex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde

    FWIW, IMBA is still working with VF in hopes of opening up the area to bikes. Until then, I'm sure people will ride the trails with little or no resistance from anyone. It's some very nice beginning to intemediate level singletrack, and with nobody from VF to stop the poaching, people will ride it.

    Bob
    I grew up right near VF, I rode there for years before mtn biking was actually banned. The mt joy/mt misery loop was awesome when I was 14!

    I think you should make the drive to French creek, that place is awesome for riding.

    -Joe

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •