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  1. #1
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    Newb from S.Central PA

    Hi Folks,

    I have to say first off, this site has a ton of good information/reviews. I have the reviews to thank in particular for exhausting my income tax refund...

    Anyway, I'm new to not only the forum, but mountain biking as well. I've owned a few cheap bikes over the years but I didn't/couldn't put them to much use. Always breaking or never quite shifting right.

    So I bit the bullet this year and picked up a low-end Fisher to get me started. I've practically worn the tires to a pulp on local roads and am eagerly waiting to get on some trails. Not only have I always enjoyed biking but it's time for me to get in better shape (I belong in the Clydes forum BTW)

    I'm waiting for a Yakima to get re-stocked at a local store, but until then I'm on the lookout for some beginner/XC trails. I'm located near Chambersburg, PA, and the first parks on my radar are Cowans gap, Caledonia, and maybe Pine Grove furnace.

    I've biked a good 1/2 of the C&A canal when I was younger (not sure on the exact segments) but my endurance is no where near that anymore. One of my first purchases was a WTB Race seat, and I'm hoping it wears in soon (still hurts to ride).

    Anyway, sorry for the winded post. Any reccomendations for the above sites, or any nearby for a beginner?

    PS - Hub City Sports in Hagerstown, MD has a great sales staff (even though I could have saved a little from buying elsewhere)

    Kindly,
    Jamie

  2. #2
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    'figured I may as well post a pic, although it's nothing special to most I'm sure.


  3. #3
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    As long as you enjoy the bike then it is just fine. I've ridden a little of Pine Grove and there a lot of different types of trails to explore. Good luck and have fun. Bike looks great.

  4. #4
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    I work in McConnellsburg and just started to explore the Cowans gap area. There isn't alot of "bike" trails but there seems to be plenty of logging roads to explore with some good downhills. Everything is open to biking except the Tuscarora Trail which runs through the park.

    Here is a link to the Buchanan state forest map that shows some of these trails.
    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/FORESTRY...chananmap.aspx

    Also if you go closer to breezewood on Rt 30 there are alot of atv trails by the old turnpike tunnels.
    http://www.thealleghenies.com/bike_offroad.aspx?t=70

    There are not to many people that bike these areas but it seems like there is alot of opportunity for good trails.

  5. #5
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    Great "Ecology" backpack!

    My brother had one of those when we were kids. He threw it out I believe. Great collectors item. Where did you get it?

  6. #6
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    Holy crap!

    That seat will hurt for a long time, unless you put the nose down. Your tain't has got to be bleeding.

    Seriously put a level on the seat, and adjust it level front to back.

    Anyway welcome to the passion

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the kind greetings everyone.

    Great link ewoakman: the terrain profile for the trails is very cool! I think I need to spend some more time browsing around that site. The Turnpike ATV trails sound very cool: that's going on my list for sure.

    bbohr:. Ecology huh? I always wondered what that stood for. It's been my camp/hiking pack since i was a kid. Handed down from my Father of 68, which was handed down to him from his scoutmaster. I didn't realize it was a collector’s item, ha! It get the fill gamut on every trip, and it's still holding up great. I toss a bag over it, strap it to a tree, and it spends its nights out in the rain. I've been looking at some new high-tech packs, but it's surprising how much internal-framed packs have dominated store shelves. For now I'll stick to tried 'n true. :-)

    Regarding the seat: the angle of the picture makes it look more inclined than it really is. Actually today was the *first* day that I rode my bike and it didn't hurt almost the entire trip. 9mi is a short distance compared to most, but it has been a *very* long time since I've been on a bike for any distance. And this was with just boxers and jean shorts, so I think the seat is actually starting to wear in (either that or my arse is!!). I've been experimenting with seat positions, and I try to 'ride it out' for a few rides to make sure it needs changed again. I'll try moving the nose down a bit thought to see how it feels.

  8. #8
    The White Jeff W
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    Hi Jamie. i'm also a noob, living near the Hagerstown airport. Bought my bike at Hub City a couple weeks ago. Make a roadie down to Hagerstown & check out the trails at Greenbrier. I've only been once but enjoyed it immensely. Big Red is a blast. A little of everything - steep climbs/descents, rocks, mud, stream crossing, fast sections, lots of fun.

    I've also ridden the yellow trail at Gambrill near Frederick. much more difficult & less enjoyable for me.

  9. #9
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    Hi Jeff. Actually I'm in State Line, a stone's throw from Hagerstown. Greenbrier is off RT40 if I remember right? I had trouble making the bike ride to Gold's and back, and I think that's a little further... I'll make it a goal I suppose. :-)

    Good news is I finally got a rack... nothing too special, a Yakima king joe 3. Dick's gave it to me for $119 since I've been waiting so long for the x2 to be restocked.

    Anyway I work in Frederick and the place it just crawling with cool urban/lakeside spots. I'll keep Gambrill in mind.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

  10. #10
    The White Jeff W
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    Yeah, I meant throw the bike on the rack & drive to Greenbrier, lol. It is off RT 40 as you said. You can pick up a trail map at the entrance. The trails are very well marked with topographic maps at every junction. I rode Big Red clockwise. There's a big uphill climb at the start but you're rewarded with a long, fast downhill section at the top. Big mudhole at the bottom. After that it's a nice mix of up, down, level, smooth, rocky, easy, technical.....good fun.

  11. #11
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    Welcome to riding in the area! There is a great local mountain bike club based in Chambersburg called Mountain Bikers of Michaux. We do regular Thursday evening rides from Mont Alto State Park and Sunday rides in different areas of the Michaux state forest. For a great beginner type mountain bike ride check out the Caledonia area. My favorite easy trail runs between the Totem Pole Playhouse in Caledonia and the South Mountain area. I can give you more details if you'd like, or even meet you some time to show you around. For MBM rides check out our Blog. For a taste of the local scene, come out to the Michaux Maximus race this Sunday. It starts from the top of the ridge on Bendersville Rd. headed east from Pine Grove Furnace SP.

  12. #12
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    Jeff: I made it to Greenbrier later in the evening on Friday, so I didn't have a whole lot of time to ride. Great park though. Do you normally catch the red trail by the boat ramp? I stuck to riding the Orange around the lake a few times to become a little better oriented with the area.

    Thanks for the kind welcome Yeti. Can you give me a quick rundown on that easy trail near the Playhouse? Is it the Raccoon Run trail?

    Enough e-biking!! It's too nice out!

  13. #13
    The White Jeff W
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    Park by the boat ramp & ride across to the other side by the trees. The trail starts (or ends) there. I actually rode across the dam & started at the other end, thinking that the first part of the ride would be mostly uphill & the second half downhill.

  14. #14
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    So I decided to take a ride up to Caledonia park today, and ended up having an amazing time. The threat of rain loomed all day so I didn’t venture too deep, but I explored the Rambler trail (yellow markers). If I had to pick one trail that fit my ideal, that would be it. It criss-crossed a small stream, ‘was single track, and you rode on either on a [sort of] small ridgeline in the woods, or hugging a drop-off. Plenty of roots and rocks scattered throughout, but nothing too technical. A wooden bridge here or there broke it up and kept things interesting.

    Unfortunately things became pretty muddy, so I had to back out. Mud I could have avoided, but it started looking like a swamp.

    I pedaled across the street to look for the Raccoon Run trail entrance but gave up.

    Here’s a quick pic. I really wish I could bring my digi-cam with me, but just no room in the camelback. Judging by how much my cell phone is getting beat up in my under-seat, the camera wouldn’t last a day.


  15. #15
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    Mountain biking in SCPA

    First off, welcome to mountain biking!

    I went to college at Shippensburg and spent a lot of time mountain biking on both South Mountain and Blue Mountain, both of which are pretty close to you. Most of my rides originated at the top of the mountain (South Mountain) off of Baltimore Road (where the fire tower is); if you continue down the backside of that mountain, you are in Michaux.

    (That trailhead description probably didn't make any sense at all, I was just reminiscing...)

    But, my point is there is a lot of singletrack in your area; you really don't need to road trip to get in some epic riding.

    Best of luck!

  16. #16
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    howdy to all in south central pa from the lehigh valley. I'm planning a camping trip for mid july and need to be about halfway between lv and pittsburgh to do a rendezvous for my sister in law to pick up my nephew - anyway would like to parlay that into some riding, any suggestion? i see michaeux sf has mont alto and caledonia sp's metioned above and someone told me cowans is nice - any recommendations? thanks
    without hops the world stops

  17. #17
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    There are some snow mobile/ATV trails in Caledonia that everyone seems to rave about (I have yet to check them out). Basically at the RT30/233 junction, head North on 233. You'll pass the park office, etc on the left. Up a little ways you'll find another parking lot on the left for s.mobile drop-offs. The trails starts in around that area (do a little digging; I know there are maps out there).

    Caledonia is a nice park in of itself, if you're looking for a more leisurely ride.

  18. #18
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    PS - the Mont Alto area hosts a public ride on Thursdays, lead by the 'Mountain Bikers of Michaux' group.

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