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  1. #1
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    Rattling Creek info needed for Alabama rider

    I will be traveling to Pillow, PA for a visit with my in-laws for Christmas this year. We will be there from January 10-14. I am looking for a riding partner to show me around or some info about the Rattling Creek trails in Lykens. Pillow is about 10 miles from Lykens.

    My home trails are Oak Mountain in Alabama which is an IMBA Epic, so I would like to ride another of the epic trail systems while I am there.

    Any info will be appreciated. I will be bringing my Stumpy hard tail.

    Nate

  2. #2
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    I'll try to dig up a map link later, or put one up on my site and link it here, along with a suggested route (assuming nobody else does first of course).

    In theory, weather permitting, and life permitting, I'll be around and could ride the Creek one-of that Fri/Sat/Sun. I'll be out of town the week before but should be able to get online either way.

    Travel safe, hope you like rock gardens.

    ;^)

  3. #3
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    Trail Map
    Park Here

    For the full loop, I like to ride in this order: Doc Smith, Fawn Kill, Preserve Line, Shale Run, Double Track, Wolf Pond, Rocks Ridge 1 & 2, Double Track, Dry Creek, Rattling Creek, Hop Back. Rugged is a tack-on option, and a great trail, if you have anything left. This is usually 4+ hrs depending on my pace.

    Another good thread: Rattling Creek Named IMBA Epic

    I was there last weekend and conditions were great.

  4. #4
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    I like to do Rugged first, as a warm-up (very relevant in Jan..).

    That way I also don't have to make a choice about riding it after having the rest of the trails "do" me.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, what Jonz and Bear said.... and the map link is at http://www.sambabiker.com

  6. #6
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    nate:

    Hope you enjoy the Rattling Creek, great place to ride, and a hardtail will be fine. I'll be heading to NC in Feb, and looks like Georgia too. If I can swing it, what's your favs at Oak Mt, just in case?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Nate Is oak mountain near tuscalossa? My gf and I wanna go see Alabama play next year and we were driving down and thinking of maybe hitting some MTB rides on the way.

  8. #8
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    Oak Mtn is right outside Birmingham, AL. I rode there on my trip in the winter/spring. Lightning is a bike park trail snuck into an otherwise fairly normal cross country trail system. Whatever the ridge top trail was that was blazed in red was awesome. So well thought out. Everything I saw on that trail made me question whether I could do it, but it was all well thought out giving you time to eye everything up and go for it. Some great variety there.

    Or I could have gotten this all confused with somewhere else. I've been known to make things up.

  9. #9
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    Bump - need 10 posts to post links. =)

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the responses, map, etc. Been away from the forum for a while, so I will try to answer all the questions, etc

    My best chances of riding will be Saturday and Monday. If there is nobody to ride along, I think I can follow the map pretty well assuming trails are marked.

    Rock gardens aren't the top of my favorite trails to ride, but I will ride anything that doesn't ride me first. =) We have our share of rock gardens and rocky trails at Oak Mountain in Alabama.

    Hmmm - Oak Mountain favorites - If you like rocky and technical, then West Ridge, and the top portion of Jekyll and Hyde are your best bet. If you like flowing roller coaster trails, the bottom portion of Jekyll and Hyde is awesome. If you are into boulders, drops, and trials biking, then Boulder Ridge is your thing. There is also the flow trail with step ups, tabletops, etc that is a hit with the big travel bikes. We also have a sweet pump track if that is your thing. The rest of the trail is just great single track.

    Tuscaloosa is about an hour from Oak Mountain. If you can't get up to Oak Mountain, the Tuscaloosa area also has some great trail systems but I haven't had the chance to ride them yet. They are Munny Sokol and Lake Lurleen. The WAMBA group (wamba:: west alabama mountain biking association) is the best group for giving info on those trails.

    If anyone ever gets down to the Birmingham area, our club is BUMP (BUMP). Feel free to post on our forum or Facebook page and there are sure to be some folks show up to ride with you. There is a big group making their second trip down from Michigan to ride Oak Mountain sometime after the first of the year.

    Another great place to ride about an hour from Birmingham is Coldwater Mountain. It only has about 12-13 miles of trail now, but it is slated to have 60+ when done. It is pristine land with all purpose built (no roads, double track, horse trails, etc) mountain bike trails designed/built primarily by IMBA trail crews. The 10 mile loop currently has a 3 mile climb that is not incredibly steep, but steady. The payoff is 3.5 miles of downhill with rarely one pedal stroke. If you have a drop post or can lower your seat you can rail the trail like crazy. All the rollers, doubles, etc are spaced just right for a ride that will keep you grinning for a long time!

    That photo is definitely at Oak Mtn. I couldnt begin to count the number of times I have ridden by it. =)

    Here is a link to one of my buddy's videos (The Oak Mtn Experience on Vimeo) he did of Oak Mountain. Be sure to check out his other videos as well on YouTube and Vimeo.

    Nate

  11. #11
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    One other thing...do you do night rides out there? If so, I can bring my lights, batteries, chargers, etc.

  12. #12
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    I am running tubeless with WTB weirwolves and normally run 25-28 in the rear and 20 in the front. Will that handle the rock gardens or should I consider upping the pressure?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnhodge View Post
    I am running tubeless with WTB weirwolves and normally run 25-28 in the rear and 20 in the front. Will that handle the rock gardens or should I consider upping the pressure?
    You might feel some rocks on your rim at that pressure. I run about 23F/25R on my Stans Crests with light tires (Ikons, Racing Ralphs). Any below that and I get some rim impacts. I weight about 145 and ride pretty fast.

    Night riding is pretty common in PA. I would suggest bringing your lights, but the night riding rules vary from by location. I know state parks it's only allowed at special events. Hopefully someone knows exactly what's going on over at Rattling Creek.

  14. #14
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    +1 to what Chriffer says.

    Another data point - I'm 200# and ride your psi ranges on moderate trail, and up it 5 psi for if there's more sharp edged stuff (I also run tubeless) on my hard-tail 29er (2.2" tires). On my 5" FS 29er I run 30-35 psi or more because I am usually moving faster on it and I have the suspension to take care of the bump management duties.

    If the snow continues to build a bit then that tames the rock gardens quite considerably, and also usually requires a bit less PSI.

    I'm theoretically still available Fri/Sun that weekend - but not on Sat as I've had a family event arise that I can not ignore. If I'm biking I'm going to hurt myself because my only available bike at the moment is my single-speed ... and I'm not Singlespeed Tough yet!

  15. #15
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    Night riding is permitted at RC. As far as I'm aware, there are no prohibitions on night riding in anything designated as PA State Forest. Regs for state and county parks and other lands will vary.

  16. #16
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    If you like rocky and technical, then West Ridge, and the top portion of Jekyll and Hyde are your best bet.
    Thanks for the info hope to hit this stuff^, enjoy RC it's a super area to ride!

  17. #17
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    Slight change of plans. My mother in law needed a heart stent so we came up early on Monday. We are back at their house now, so I am going to ride tomorrow (Wed - 9th). Not sure what time, but Jarrod at the Black Creek Bike Shop in E-ville was calling a couple of guys to see if they were interested in riding tomorrow. I still may be available on Friday, but with it calling for chance of showers I didn't want to miss the sunny and warmest day tomorrow.

    If anyone is interesting in riding tomorrow, I can be reached by cell at 2fivesix three9OH sixseventooseven.

    Nate

  18. #18
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    Let us know the condition of the trails.

  19. #19
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    Trails are in good condition. A few trees down, but nothing you couldn't step over. I wasn't sure going in what to expect with the rock gardens. I have come to the realization that you have rock gardens and we have pebble flower beds. I have never ridden a trail with as many rocks as I saw yesterday. I rode most everything, but some sections I walked due to the penalties of failure. Being on a strange trail with nobody else around makes you think more of safety than making it through without dabbing. I really enjoyed the trail but I chose the wrong day again. It was cold, misting, and overcast - so much for choosing the sunny and warm day.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the conditions report. Yeah, the weather was off some from the forecast but if you can manage another day or two (especially this weekend) it'll be prime. Glad you enjoyed it at least a little bit

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnhodge View Post
    ....I have come to the realization that you have rock gardens and we have pebble flower beds.
    I moved to PA in '09 from Austin, having ridden there, CO, UT, NM, AZ, NV, et. al., and I gotta say you pretty neatly summed it up.

    Oh, there's MAJOR rock gardens out there, just not quite so pervasive as I've found here in NE PA.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnhodge View Post
    rock gardens
    And just think: Rattling Creek, with maybe the exception of Rock's Ridge and Wolf Pond trail, is kinda tame by central PA standards.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by p4nh4ndle View Post
    And just think: Rattling Creek, with maybe the exception of Rock's Ridge and Wolf Pond trail, is kinda tame by central PA standards.
    Quite true.

  24. #24
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    Great...I didn't even do the tough parts. I started off on rugged ccw, then hopback, doc smith, fawn kill, preserve line, schreffler road, rattling, and finished on doc smith. It was a good ride at just over 17 miles. If it had been warmer I might have tried a little longer ride, but there isn't a good way to add just a couple of miles without doubling back. My toes were also getting really cold at the end.

    Here is the Strava info Bike Ride Profile | Jan 9, 2013 Rattling Creek Trail System - IMBA epic near Halifax | Times and Records | Strava- definitely not the fastest but not the slowest either. Mad props to those that can really hammer over that type of terrain. Maybe next time I come up I can tag along with some locals.

    I plan to ride rugged again on Saturday morning. My wife's cousin has a mountain bike but has never been offload and wants to try it. He wanted to go with me on Wednesday, but I talked him out of it. It's a good thing he didn't as that is not anywhere close to a beginner trail. I figure with rugged trail we aren't that far from the trailhead if he has a mechanical or blowout.

  25. #25
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    The middle part of Fawn Kill is pretty tech-ey, I think I've only ever come close to cleaning it once. It's probably on par with RR as far as difficulty goes.

    Plus, the difficult section's in a depression, so it turns into a river when there's a significant precipitation event.

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