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Thread: Wiss Conditions

  1. #1
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    Wiss Conditions

    Anyone been out at the Wiss this week? If so how are the conditions after the Tuesday snow? I was out in the snow last sunday and it was awesome.

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    I rode 3 times this week & its awesome. 95% is packed snow with great traction. A few spots that get direct sunlight & they were bare & a little sloppy. But those should be fine today
    bike = good

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    It was awesome today. Icy in a couple places but mostly packed.

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    please keep an eye on the temps and sun people. even if it is below freezing exposed dirt will become a muddy mess in the sun. i recommend getting up early and hitting it on mornings after it freezes before the sun can melt it all into muddy soup. and it will be muddy soup all weekend unless it freezes.

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    Confirmed - it is a muddy soup.

    As a side note; the conditions have not stopped the horseback riders. There is a ton of horseshit on the trails. Keep your mouth closed, its not just mud your inhaling.

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    better yet stay the f%ck off the trails and use some common sense.

    sorry but it is hard to find humor with all the douchefaces that think it is OK to go and ride whenever they want and the weather happens to be unseasonably warm.

    this weekend i rode my road bike and dodged way too many aggressive idiots with christmas rage. it wasn't great but it wasn't destroying my local park either... would i rather have ridden trails? SURE, but i am not an inconsiderate @ss and know how hard people have to work to repair all the ruts and damage inflicted by the weekend posse's of riders who apparently have no common sense.

    please think hard next time you go ride in the mud about all the people who you are making work for, those who have to then give up their ride time repairing the trails you are destroying. buy a road bike, get some running shoes, or find a sport that can be done on pavement for a couple months of the year.

    in short don't be an @ss and show some respect. no one should be anywhere near the trails this week unless it freezes up.
    Last edited by max-a-mill; 12-23-2013 at 08:04 AM.

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    I don't understand why people that live in this region can't grasp the concept that you're supposed to ride on the cold days in the winter, not the warm ones.

    If you have to ask, it's too wet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    If you have to ask, it's too wet.
    My philosophy is, if you're wife would complain about what you're doing to the backyard if you rode out there, don't go riding on the trails.

    I love cold riding, really dense hard pack ground, and far less people on the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    better yet stay the f%ck off the trails and use some common sense.

    sorry but it is hard to find humor with all the douchefaces that think it is OK to go and ride whenever they want and the weather happens to be unseasonably warm.

    this weekend i rode my road bike and dodged way too many aggressive idiots with christmas rage. it wasn't great but it wasn't destroying my local park either... would i rather have ridden trails? SURE, but i am not an inconsiderate @ss and know how hard people have to work to repair all the ruts and damage inflicted by the weekend posse's of riders who apparently have no common sense.

    please think hard next time you go ride in the mud about all the people who you are making work for, those who have to then give up their ride time repairing the trails you are destroying. buy a road bike, get some running shoes, or find a sport that can be done on pavement for a couple months of the year.

    in short don't be an @ss and show some respect. no one should be anywhere near the trails this week unless it freezes up.
    You should post this on a horse forum. Those damn beasts have been leaving 6in deep craters all over my trails. Then, the divets freeze and my trail is worse than a cobblestone road. Horseback riders in Pennypack are much more inconsiderate to the trails than the bikers. I have grown to loath them.

    -rant over.

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    Anybody know if the trails are packed enough to ride ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
    Anybody know if the trails are packed enough to ride ?
    I am also wondering. Might go out tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldberm View Post
    I am also wondering. Might go out tomorrow.
    Post a report, I think a lot of people would like to know...

    I may try to head down for a hike just to check it out as well.
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    I drove down yesterday to check it out. Forbidden drive is packed down, but from what I could see the trails are not packed down that much. Looking from the VGI bridge, the climb heading south(ish) is packed, but the trail section at the upper portion of Wises Mill Road is not packed at all, just some footprints, and one set of bike tracks. That was the only set of tracks I saw. I am guessing you will mostly be riding in powder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcurtis1 View Post
    I drove down yesterday to check it out. Forbidden drive is packed down, but from what I could see the trails are not packed down that much. Looking from the VGI bridge, the climb heading south(ish) is packed, but the trail section at the upper portion of Wises Mill Road is not packed at all, just some footprints, and one set of bike tracks. That was the only set of tracks I saw. I am guessing you will mostly be riding in powder.

    Thanks for the update.
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    Rode Sunday and even with studs it was a mixed bag. Some of the more heavily traveled trails were packed down and rideable (like the section between Bell's Mill and the Wish You Were Here bench/Indian and some of the trails over by Kitchen's Lane). Others that were not as packed down were difficult to say the least.

    edit: Now with video for reference: 01262014roughedit video
    Last edited by RepoMan2112; 01-27-2014 at 11:47 AM.

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    Those are some cool videos RepoMan

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    Did a small recon hike yesterday (Thursday) and the trails are barely passable. Most of the blockages are tree limbs which I moved off the trails, but there was a shitload of them, about every 50 feet. I brought my hand saw too and used it. The Wiss will require a lot of man hours to be passable, and the trails aren't rideable now. There's about 2-3" of ice on top of 4-5" of powder, and it was difficult to even hike. I spent 2 hours and cleared the trails from Wigard Ave. south to the gravel road that leads from Pachella pavilion down to forbidden drive on the Rox side.

    PLEASE help out, and get into the Wiss on foot and bring a hand saw and help clear so we can ride again someday. On the short section I hiked/cleared, luckily there were only a couple downed trees that will require chain sawing but they were surmountable on a bike in their current state. I am sure there are many larger trees totally blocking the trails all over the Wiss. This is going to take some time to clear so please get out and help. Plus it is very beautiful and quiet in there now, and the trees are lit up by the sun shining through the ice on the trees.

    Mother Nature did a number on us this past week.
    bike = good

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    Thanks for the update AND the work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RepoMan2112 View Post
    Thanks for the update AND the work!
    Yes, thanks! I'm hoping to head out later today with a saw & see what I can do as well. Since I have studs, I usually try to ride in these conditions, avoiding the few muddy portions when I come upon them. Last weekend less than 5% of the trails were muddy, but there wasn't a problem with downed trees. I'll do my best to help out!

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    They must not have gotten as much snow as we did in Lancaster Co... I tried to ride yesterday. Thin crust on top of a foot of snow. Despite my best efforts, I could literally not ride more than a foot.

    Not even sure a fat bike would have stayed on top of that crust or not.

    Please report back on the conditions. I have the itch to ride BAD. If they are at all rideable, Mrs. PD214 and I will pack up some hand saws and stuff and ride there tomorrow and help clean up a bit along the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt_merchant View Post
    Did a small recon hike yesterday (Thursday) and the trails are barely passable. Most of the blockages are tree limbs which I moved off the trails, but there was a shitload of them, about every 50 feet. I brought my hand saw too and used it. The Wiss will require a lot of man hours to be passable, and the trails aren't rideable now. There's about 2-3" of ice on top of 4-5" of powder, and it was difficult to even hike. I spent 2 hours and cleared the trails from Wigard Ave. south to the gravel road that leads from Pachella pavilion down to forbidden drive on the Rox side.

    PLEASE help out, and get into the Wiss on foot and bring a hand saw and help clear so we can ride again someday. On the short section I hiked/cleared, luckily there were only a couple downed trees that will require chain sawing but they were surmountable on a bike in their current state. I am sure there are many larger trees totally blocking the trails all over the Wiss. This is going to take some time to clear so please get out and help. Plus it is very beautiful and quiet in there now, and the trees are lit up by the sun shining through the ice on the trees.

    Mother Nature did a number on us this past week.

    Pm me next time you're heading out the wise to do some work. Looking forward to riding when the weather cooperates and don't mind helping out.

    Mike

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    I'm going to try to remember this winter if I start complaining about how hot, humid, and bone-dry dusty the Wissahickon is this summer. Temps in the 50s this weekend? What a mess it'll surely be.

    Looking forward to more of this kind of day:


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    Hey, I'm loving the sections the cross country skiers have been through. Least I think it's them. Looks like someone went through with an 18 inch wide snowblower. Nice, neat track cut through the snow. Other spots are hike-a-bike, but still having fun. Hoping the high temps this weekend just mean wet and slushy, not thick and muddy.

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    Repoman, that is a cool video, it actually shows how techy those sections of the Wiss are...you smoothed through them nicely btw. Even after all these years, I still find the sweet spot on the rock by the golf green hard to find, which is what make the Wiss so great.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  25. #25
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    Nicely done on that rock part about halfway through. My tires usually slip there.
    Quote Originally Posted by RepoMan2112 View Post
    I'm going to try to remember this winter if I start complaining about how hot, humid, and bone-dry dusty the Wissahickon is this summer. Temps in the 50s this weekend? What a mess it'll surely be.

    Looking forward to more of this kind of day:

    2013 Chromag Rootdown
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    2001 Specalized Rockhopper FSR

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    Please stay off the trails when its really muddy. Seems like the refreeze may be to our advantage this coming week though.....Pine barren trails were sweet today- almost 60 degrees and no snow no ice!!!

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    Road south on the east side from Valley Green to Lincoln Ave and back up the west side. Best snow ride yet this year. Very little hike-a-bike and only a few small spots of mud which were easily avoided. Great day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsqueri View Post
    Road south on the east side from Valley Green to Lincoln Ave and back up the west side. Best snow ride yet this year. Very little hike-a-bike and only a few small spots of mud which were easily avoided. Great day.
    Dude, that is great news! This weeks freeze may be the best thing to ever happen!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Map204 View Post
    Nicely done on that rock part about halfway through. My tires usually slip there.
    The line on the right is better if the conditions aren't bone dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Dude, that is great news! This weeks freeze may be the best thing to ever happen!
    Absolutely. If we have a thaw It'll be a mud pit for a good long while. The snow takes some getting used to and you have to accept a little (or a lot) of hike-a-bike, but I'll take it.

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    Was out there for about 3 and a half hours today, it was mostly great. Not too much mud, although there was a little in the bare spots. For the vast majority though, the trails were snowcovered. Super slick ice in some spots. Heading up towards the Indian from Bells Mill was VERY slick. Walked a lot of it since I dont have studs on my tires. Heading down from the Indian towards VG was pretty great. Went up Wises, then to the left behind VG. That was mostly great, although the snow was deep and tough to push through at times.

    Crossed over the creek and that was mostly pretty good although we didn't do all the trails because it was getting late. Finished going up Mother through the meadows and down the Monster. That was rough, the big climb was brutal as the snow was not packed and very tough to slog through. The meadows were the same, slow and tough. Going down the Monster was like a Luge track.

    One more note, Forbidden was a nightmare. A virtual skating rink with deep ruts. I fell twice getting a tire stuck in a rut. So stay off forbidden for now because it is not so much fun.

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    I can't add much more to that other than "studs if you have them!" I really regretted taking the lazy route and not mounting them. While the trails are certainly rideable without them, there are lots of spots on the crests of rocks that are thick chunks of ice that can make climbs pretty dicey. A lot of the stepped areas, for instance. Coming off Bell's Mill at the parking lot and heading towards the Indian along that heavily traveled trail, that section of steps between the little bridge and the Wish You Were Here bench was superslick to say the least.

    Here's a short video showing the conditions on 2/25:


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    Nice vid... you can really see my back tire sliding back and forth when we were going down the monster. Also I like how you can see me slam my front tire down in disgust after I spun out on the ice on top of The Rock.

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    Wow; I never would have guessed there'd still be that much snow out there! I'm really regretting not going out on Sunday; I assumed it'd be a mud pit. With this cold front, I guess it's safe to assume this weekend will still be the same. Guess I'll be mounting the studs back up for Sunday!

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    Wow, really crunchy as well but it looks ridable!
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    Wow, just had awesome ride! I used my studded tires that I made 6-7 years ago at least, which I don't think you could ride now without. It is pure ice and crunch covered in a dusting of fresh. That is in the 12" wide main line. Off line it's deep and crunchy snow. I only hit one or two bare spots, very small, and they were almost frozen. I was able to ride 99% of the trails from Gorgas to the Overlook on the Rox side. It was real nice to get out! I haven't used my studs for at least a couple years, and it was a great time investment back when
    bike = good

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    Homemade Studs: best decision ever

    Rode for 4 hours today on homemade studded tires (80 or 90 in the front, and about 120 screws in the rear. Very heavy on the road, but not noticeable in the trails). Trails are still 95% snow & ice, but the screws in my old tires gripped better than I could have hoped for. In fact, by the second half of the ride, I was taking chances & pushing as hard as I dared, and still had a hard time finding my limits! Combine that with perfect temps and clear weather, and it was one great day for a ride.

    More snow tomorrow!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wiss Conditions-screwing-tire.jpg  

    Wiss Conditions-front-tire-screws.jpg  

    Wiss Conditions-rear-tire-screws.jpg  

    Wiss Conditions-giant-trance-ice.jpg  


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    Nice tires! Also, cool shot of the ice.

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    Well, it's been real, winter. I must say that, despite all the snow, we managed to have a lot of ride-able conditions this year, but we may be waiting quite a while for them to return. This past Sunday (yesterday), the sunny-side was mostly mud, requiring crawling speeds between the ice patches to tread lightly. On the shady side, there was still full snow cover, but it was soft and without substance, again forcing a slow pace, and making technical riding impossible. With up and down temps & more rain in the forecast, it seems like it'll be at least a few weeks before things get good again.

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    I actually drove around the Wiss today to check it out and was surprised to see bikers out. Saw a guy coming up the trail on Summit Road (as I was driving past and another guy on the chestnut hill side.

    From the road, the trails looked wet and messy. Can't believe people would be stupid enough to go out in these conditions.
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    some people around here are dumb as f*ck!

    it mighta been kinda good by this weekend but with rain and the freeze predicted tonight i have a feeling all the idiots going out this weekend will be rutting the trails up real nice...

    a bit of it is newb's who don't know better; but there are also lots of seasoned riders out there who feel entitled to ride whenever they want... one of these days i would like to set up a lawn chair on a muddy day (maybe get a few folks; possbily a cooler of adult bevvies?) and just heckle all the a-holes. probably wouldn't help.

    how's forbidden btw, for anyone who's ridden it? wondering if it will be passable for commuting friday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    some people around here are dumb as f*ck!

    it mighta been kinda good by this weekend but with rain and the freeze predicted tonight i have a feeling all the idiots going out this weekend will be rutting the trails up real nice...

    a bit of it is newb's who don't know better; but there are also lots of seasoned riders out there who feel entitled to ride whenever they want... one of these days i would like to set up a lawn chair on a muddy day (maybe get a few folks; possbily a cooler of adult bevvies?) and just heckle all the a-holes. probably wouldn't help.
    I drove through at ~1 pm and again at around 5pm and saw people both times. They were not newbs but rather normal MTBr's. I don't think people understand the damage they are doing to the trails when they ride in those conditions.
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    there is some old school mentality that for some reason that wiss is OK to ride whenever. probably held over from when all the trials were an usustainbable rutted out mess and it probably really didn't matter much...

    on top of damaging the trails (especially the newly built ones) it is pure hell on your components to ride in those conditions.

    i'll be the first to admit road biking kind of sucks but it is just what you need to do if you want to ride this time of year. well that or batsto...

    i live right off the meadow loop and the ruts and mud holes people have created riding there when they shouldn't is just unbelievable. they went from some of the best draining trails to some of the ones that hold the mud the longest all due to people riding ruts into them and making sinkholes where water just sits (which of course people then feel entitled to ride around).

    caring about the trails in the wiss is like living in an abusive relationship. no matter what you do; the next beating is coming sooner or later.

    maybe it is doing some good talking about it here? i hope so!

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    Unfortunately the few that give a shit are heavily outnumbered.

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    update?

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    I hiked yesterday for a couple hours. I started on the Roxborough side at Roxborough Ave and hiked down to kitchen's lane bridge. It was pretty muddy with muddy stretches outnumbering the dry about 3 to 1. Crossed over to the CH side and hiked upstream to VGI. It was drier over there, but still some muddy stretches. I saw two bikers for the 2.5 hours I was out. I only came across 2-3 sections that still had some snow/ice/slush on them. The hill going down to creisham creek was still all covered.

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    I went out yesterday. Wises through the meadows and down the Monster were in good shape. Some mud here and there, but not too much. Bells mill up to the indian and through to VG was the same, good conditions and fun.(the exception there being the short part right along the creek near bells mill).

    Went back up wises to do the section behind VG, and it was pretty messy so I bailed out on that pretty quick. Did not do the Mt. Airy side, but I also heard that it was pretty messy over there.

    So short version is the top half of the park is pretty good, bottom half not so much. If it stays above freezing now until weekend though, it might be pretty good.

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    Drove down to the Valley Green and walked around a bit. The trails actually looked in better shape than I expected. Did not see anyone ridding but i think spring could be coming...
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    Ridable tomorrow?

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    It was awesome today. Rode the whole park. No mud, everywhere is awesome right now. Go ride.

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    Thank you

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    Trail conditions in three weeks from the same exact spot:



    Snow clip from 3/1, no snow from 3/23. Not bad for three weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RepoMan2112 View Post
    Trail conditions in three weeks from the same exact spot:



    Snow clip from 3/1, no snow from 3/23. Not bad for three weeks.

    Wow, that is really cool!
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    Anybody know what condition the Wiss is in?
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    I was out early saturday before the rain started and it was in good shape. That was a ton of rain this weekend though. I am going out this afternoon to check it out, it drains pretty quick there and it was windy yesterday so there is a shot it is rideable. I will post up an update later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ash216 View Post
    I was out early saturday before the rain started and it was in good shape. That was a ton of rain this weekend though. I am going out this afternoon to check it out, it drains pretty quick there and it was windy yesterday so there is a shot it is rideable. I will post up an update later.
    Thanks. I may head down there as well just to check it out.
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    Trails were in good shape yesterday. I didnt get to the mount airy section, but I did the moster/meadows section, the Indian section and the whole section behind VG. Good stuff.

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    Good stuff today. A few small mud spots in those problem areas where water runs across the trail, but hero dirt for the most part. Go tomorrow if you weren't out today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Good stuff today. A few small mud spots in those problem areas where water runs across the trail, but hero dirt for the most part. Go tomorrow if you weren't out today.
    I love shredding hero dirt. It makes me feel powerful!

  60. #60
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    Did a short 5 mi ride yesterday and proved I am out of shape. Riding the street here and there over the winter doesn't help much. Does anyone meet up and ride? I am beginner/intermediate and have no trouble with most of the hills once I start getting out there a couple times a week.

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    @Goldberm: When do you ride? I would love to see that Norco in person.

    @mike5250: There are regular rides during weekday evenings. When do you usually ride?
    2017 XL Santa Cruz Tallboy

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    Quote Originally Posted by guswalls View Post

    @mike5250: There are regular rides during weekday evenings. When do you usually ride?

    Pretty random schedule. Mid summer I try to get out weekday mornings. How late do you ride? I need to get a good headlight and have never ridden trails at night.

  63. #63
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    Since having a baby, I only now get out on weekend mornings at the crack of dawn. Maybe starting late in June, I can get out on a weekday ride.

    Night riding is great. Magicshines are cheap enough to get decent light without spending a boat load of cash.
    2017 XL Santa Cruz Tallboy

  64. #64
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    "@Goldberm: When do you ride? I would love to see that Norco in person."

    I haven't ridden Wis in years, but trying to again since last fall (tha's when I bought the Norco). I'm located in Huntingdon Valley and usually ride Pennypack.

    I usually have a narrow window (weekdays and/or weekends) to get a ride in which is why I stay more local.

    The shop I bought my bike (Philly Bikesmith) hosts Sunday morning rides at the Wis. I'd like to make it to one of those once they start back up.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by guswalls View Post
    Since having a baby, I only now get out on weekend mornings at the crack of dawn. .
    I have three kids 8, 5, 3. I just ordered a Niterider 700 to extend my riding habits to the mornings and late evenings. So, I understand.

  66. #66
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    @Goldberm: next week I might have the 29er sold. I am asking about your bike because I am torn between 5 bikes if I can ever get my 26er sold. If I get only the frame sold, then I am stuck buying another 26er and am torn between 2 bikes.
    2017 XL Santa Cruz Tallboy

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by guswalls View Post
    @Goldberm: next week I might have the 29er sold. I am asking about your bike because I am torn between 5 bikes if I can ever get my 26er sold. If I get only the frame sold, then I am stuck buying another 26er and am torn between 2 bikes.
    My LBS, Philadelphia Bikesmith @ 18th & Spring Garden, has a Norco Sight to Demo. I'd suggest stopping in and taking it out. They also have a new Giant Trance.

  68. #68
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    I rode the Sight. It fit well at the large size. I am now on wait to see if anybody buys my 26er.
    2017 XL Santa Cruz Tallboy

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    Quote Originally Posted by guswalls View Post
    I rode the Sight. It fit well at the large size. I am now on wait to see if anybody buys my 26er.
    Goodluck. It's a tough time to sell a used 26er.

    I'm glad you got to ride the Sight.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldberm View Post
    Goodluck. It's a tough time to sell a used 26er.

    I'm glad you got to ride the Sight.
    +1 on that Sight; it's a good bike, and should be had for a great price as a 2013 leftover.
    I also can't wait for the full shop ride to start back up; hopefully next Sunday will be the day!

  71. #71
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    Anyone know if the Wiss will be acceptable this morning? Trying to squeeze a pre-Mother's Day Lunch ride in.

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    It was awesome yesterday. Got some rain last night, but I would bet it is ok.

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    A couple wet spots, some trails were not as fast as usual. Trail from the cave, downhill to the tarmac was virtually unrideable. Plan to walk it. As usual, biggest issue is not the water but everyone else jacking my flow. I was on the trail at 9AM the day after a storm. Apparently, not good enough.

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