North Shore Tech 'n Flow- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    North Shore Tech 'n Flow

    After taking about 5 years off from biking i have been riding a lot this summer. I updated my bike/s and enjoy 27.5+ bikes and i like All Mountain / Trail riding. Over my time off i find my interest in riding type has changed. I used to love straight up technical riding but now find that I now more enjoy flow. The most enjoyable rides combine technical riding and flow. Basically flow with big granite features. I also am liking trails that go on for a while versus places where there are insane amounts of intersections weaving all over the place.

    After a poor experience riding Lynn Woods yesterday I wanted to ask if there are anymore good places to ride in North East Mass (or Southern NH) that combine flow with rock features and tech. Or even some suggestions on individual trails. I used to think i liked Lynn a lot but find it to difficult to get any speed in there. The washed out rock gardens are too much in the way that they just often never end. Then the big features in there often have too much punishment if one was to fail. I'm looking for All Mountain/trail vs Freeride.

    I came across Beverly Commons and it is a great example of what i'm looking for. Whoever made the Beverly trails, i'm a big fan. I'd love to ride your other work.

    Some other good examples are:

    Beverly Commons: Perimeter Loop
    Harold Parker: Ode to Lynn Woods / Lock n Load
    Harold Parker: Near the Jenkins Lot (Secret Stache?)
    Harold Parker: Most of the Yellow trail
    Ft Rock: Most other than the BLT area which, like Lynn Woods, the tech gets to be too ongoing.

    Anything else hidden in another section of Harold Parker other than what is mentioned above? What links up well to north end of Ode to Lynn?

    I've ridden Willowdale many times and it is great but there is hardly no tech or features.

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    Welcome back to riding in an age of bikes being more capable and easy to ride than ever and trails that in many areas are more resembling sidewalks with no tech present. Fully rigid bikes are more viable than ever, but I digress.....anywho if you want a fantastic combo of old Skool rake n ride tight tech, new sidewalk "flow" trail, and not a clusterfack of too many trails and too many junctions that go no where ala Darling hill at Kingdom trails then Bear Brook in Allenstown Nh is your place. BIG loops of up to 30 miles can be had there without the hampster wheel feeling that far too many networks provide. Enjoy and report back on your thoughts on the place.

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    IMO, Bear Brook has very little tech and/or rock features. The only trail that had any tech to it was Hedgehog. I was there Sunday and even Hedgehodge has been neutered. All the "bite" in that trail has been taken away with re-routes. You can definitely get your pedal on at Bear Brook though. Plenty of long & fun trails there if you want to pedal. I haven't found anything like Lynn in NH. But there are similar places in Mass.

    1) School Street - Probably tougher than Beverly but easier than Lynn. Not a lot of turns as it's pretty much one big loop with a few options. Plenty of rock features.

    2) B&T's - Faster & more flow than Lynn. But like Lynn, there are some big features here with consequences for failure. FWIW, B&T's is my favorite place to ride for techy flow.

    3) Vietnam - Big features like Lynn. Plenty of Rock everywhere. These trails are more forgiving though with transistions after drops as opposed to Lynn's classic NE flat landings.

    4) Otis - It's like a Baby Lynn. Plenty of fast, flows trails with rocks thrown around here and there. Definitely not the same consequences for failure as in Lynn. The features here are way easier.

    5) LDT - A lot like HP. Much smaller though. There are some rock features here and there. There's also some more "Freeride/DH" like trails in the park too.

    Lynn is still one of the best places to ride IMO. It's tough to get flow out of there if you only ride it once in while. The more you ride it, the better it gets.

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    OP mentioned tech in areas of Fort rock to be too ongoing which leads me to believe that a more than a few trails at BB would be to his liking. I-trail is a nice long natty trail that has plenty of moderate tech, especially if ridden at speed. Carr ridge is a good'n if you like some fast chunky descending and want to utilize an all mountain/trail bike appropriately. Lynx has some good tech-ish parts too. Some fun rock to play on or off of on big bear, hedge hog connector....plenty to keep one smiling. Not a Lynn woods tho, but he didn't seem to be looking for that

  5. #5
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    I ride Bear Brook often. Great loops out there. Bighit touched on some places that sound great and I've never ridden. I've been meaning to get to Vietnam.

    I like and ride Ft Rock often. Only the BLT area of Ft Rock can be a little too much. It has the tech but not the flow. Other than that Ft Rock has some of the best examples of what I am looking for.

    Thanks for the ideas. Please keep them coming.
    Last edited by idbrian; 08-23-2016 at 03:56 PM.

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    Cool. You may like Georgetown Rowley near Willowdale. More tech and well laid out. Way less beat up than the older stuff at Fort rock. Ride both areas together and you can do big miles. Nam is good fun.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Cool. You may like Georgetown Rowley near Willowdale. More tech and well laid out. Way less beat up than the older stuff at Fort rock. Ride both areas together and you can do big miles. Nam is good fun.
    I'll hit G-R again. I rode it a few years ago but didn't recall the rock features. It was during my "not riding" phase where I'd ride like twice a year and try not to pass out.

  8. #8
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    I ride the same loop at Bear Brook starting and ending at the pavilion i don't think i've ever ridden I-Trail. I basically recreate the intermediate loop from the old nembafests as best as i can remember.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    I'll hit G-R again. I rode it a few years ago but didn't recall the rock features. It was during my "not riding" phase where I'd ride like twice a year and try not to pass out.
    A LOT has been added in a few years including the area just east of 95.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    A LOT has been added in a few years including the area just east of 95.
    I'll check it out and report back.

    I'm happy to see some trail talk on here. I miss the nemba forums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    I ride the same loop at Bear Brook starting and ending at the pavilion i don't think i've ever ridden I-Trail. I basically recreate the intermediate loop from the old nembafests as best as i can remember.
    If you're riding that 13+- mile loop then you're missing a TON of good stuff, like a good dozen miles of great trail. I should take you on my 30-34 mile loop (depending on how I do it)

    And that 13 mile nemba int loop hits way too much double track

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    What dozen miles of great trails? I haven't ventured far south in BB. Is there good stuff over there? The southern point of Chipmunk is usually as far as I go south.

    Usually 20 miles of BB does me in. I tend to get sloppy around 20 miles at most places.

  13. #13
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    Russel Mill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    Russel Mill

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    2nd plus riding over to Billerica has some great flow trails with rocks

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    Who says Lynn Woods doesn't have flow?! It does! It just takes 3 times greater effort to get it and maintain it than most other places, but afterwards, rewards the rider with a strong feeling of achievement. Don't expect to feel it after not riding it for a long time. You'll have to build both your strength and skill, so persistence is key. Don't give up.

    Suggested flow route is from the Skull rock quarry across the power lines through the first part of Bow Ridge to Boston rock and then along the ridge to Pow-wow downhill, then go right across the fire road to LBR climb up to the small plateau where you can then take Chicken soup to the end where it meets double track, where then a short left and right will bring you to Cowgirl. At the end of Cowgirl, you'll be able to take Shark's tooth all the way to the west side near rt 1. You'll find stuff that will seem almost impossible to ride, but, again, persistence is key since 99.8% of it can be ridden.

    I wish you well in search of something that you truly enjoy. Just saying, don't let that one ride in Lynn shy you away from conquering it.

    By the way, the above summary post by bighit is right on!!!

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    I also agree that you can get some good flow at Lynn, but if you're trying to carry speed, then it's not best place. There are definitely spots that are fast, but speed is just not Lynn's thing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    A LOT has been added in a few years including the area just east of 95.
    I am planning on hitting this place after work today. I rode the West side loop in the past. If i recall it was easy to follow. Is there a blazed out loop on the East side? I looked on the Heat Map and couldn't really determine a loop on the East side.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    I am planning on hitting this place after work today. I rode the West side loop in the past. If i recall it was easy to follow. Is there a blazed out loop on the East side? I looked on the Heat Map and couldn't really determine a loop on the East side.
    It is really well marked and very easy to follow. I'm planning on hitting it up after work as well.

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    Needham town forest aka high rock. Plenty of flow w baby tech. Russel Mills. For LW hit up a group ride to get back into it. Feel free to PM me and I can ride w you next time you go. Fells also has good stuff. Which town is your base?

  20. #20
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    I live in Kittery ME and work in Peabody MA. I wanted to ask how Fells was. It is probably the one notorious mountain bike park on the North Shore that i have never been to.

    I enjoyed my ride at G-R last night. The short mileage was right on for what i like to do after sitting on my butt all day (about 8 miles). Definitely not a weekend destination. Liked that it was mostly singletrack. Unlike some people were saying it can get confusing in there at times. I ran out of daylight and got back to the car barely able to see. Probably time to bring the headlamp. It was a good suggestion, thanks. It did not have the biog slabs of rock I crave. Lot's of smaller jagged rocks like what i see at HP often.

    It was good talking to Ridge Rider.

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    Idbrian can you post what your loop looked like? I am looking to link up a ride in Willowdale with G-R and am trying to get an idea of what some of the loops might look like. Thanks!

  22. #22
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    I have the unpopular opinion of not liking Mt A very much. I wish the guys that cut trail at Ft Rock would be allowed to have a field day at Mt A and the Watershed. There is so much land potential in there. The parts i enjoy of Mt A / Watershed are separated by many miles of fireroads. Oddly enough i've never found a single other person on here that doesn't love the place. I don't get it.

    There is no need to describe the the loop i took at G-R. Strava makes it rather apparent. I just followed that.

  23. #23
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    I like flat I guess. It's OK if I don't love Mt A. I can understand why others do.

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    I live in Beverly. Quick ride to Greenwood (Beverly Commons), which is my 'go-to'. There are plenty of other trails around the north shore like that. People don't like to talk about them, and I understand that, however those same people love Strava. You can use segment explore and find them.

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    OP, lots of great riding all around. NS Nemba rider and long time trail worker here, you're welcome. At Beverly commons hit up a group ride, the Magnolia bike club should help you out. HP, hit up black ops? I would suggest meeting up with one of our thursday night rides. Ever pedal from HP to ward hill? Can get a 20-30 miler. Especially the front side of the old ski area, we put in 100+ feet of boardwalk. Connects some steep twisties big rocks and switchbacks. So much good riding in HP. Our wicked ride there is October 30th, 20+ miles of marker trails, I'll be the one slinging chili.

  26. #26
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    Hi leeboh. Where is Black Ops? I will try going from HP to Ward Hill. Almost all of the HP trails impress me, and long treks of trail would be awesome. I plan on doing the Wicked Ride, it has been many years since i went. Unless they are mixing it up, i know most of the Wicked Ride trails. Still a good time though so i'll be there.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    List the trails you ride and I'll tell you what you haven't hit. This BB talk is getting me amped to get back over there🤗
    So I went and put together a different for me 14mi loop at BB yesterday with an objective of riding I-Trail. I rode Hemlock from the lot, up Chipmunk, and down I-Trail to Hedgehog and Big Bear back to lot. I am missing a lot of trail names because i was almost always on singletrack, or at least fun jeep roads. The ride up to the top of I-Trail was my only gravel portion. Anyways, that I-trail down to the lot was awesome. If i have ever ridden any of those trails it has been many years and i had forgotten them. Hedgehog and Big Bear would be visually memorable i would think.

    My new bike i built up; Canfield EPO hardtail with 27.5+ is perfect for BB. I've never ridden that place nearly as fast as i did yesterday.

    It was just one of those inspiring rides yesterday. Great trails, great bike, great weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    Hi leeboh. Where is Black Ops? I will try going from HP to Ward Hill. Almost all of the HP trails impress me, and long treks of trail would be awesome. I plan on doing the Wicked Ride, it has been many years since i went. Unless they are mixing it up, i know most of the Wicked Ride trails. Still a good time though so i'll be there.
    We do try to mix up the trails for the wicked ride. Getting to Ward, head out skug river to some AVIS trails to get over there. 1 skinny elevated boardwalk to keep things interesting. Black ops is out by lock and load and the BCT trail. Where? I usually go by sense of smell. Let me dig into this some.

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    ^^^ So, black ops, it is in the same are as lock n load. Try this. From the sterns pond dirt road exit as it hits HP road. Look for another dirt road across the street( rt?) Go up that and lock n load crosses that not far in.

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    Is Black Ops different than 'Ode to Lynn Woods?' Which i only know the name of from Strava Segment Explorer.

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    We, the trail builders call it black ops. I don't know what some random strava person calls it. Hell, I still use paper maps sometimes. They never run out of power or signal.

  32. #32
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    sick of endless washed out rock gardens ?

    turn in your man card

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Kittery? Man come ride Aggy with me. Rock slab features galore. Some of the best riding in NE when you know the ins and outs.
    true

    fatbiking aggie this weekend

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    So great to hear! Awesome riding new trail! I usually take all 3 hemlocks out to campground road snomo trail to the camp ground then take beaver pond trail to lynx to I trail and beyond.......cascades, carr ridge, alp duez are just a few other great singketracks that can be added to your loop. Your bike sounds awesome!
    I know exactly what you are talking about. I chose to avoid the Lynx climb. Alp Duez is great.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    sick of endless washed out rock gardens ?

    turn in your man card
    I used to love that stuff and I just don't anymore. I have a 9 month old and my wife and I take turns in our personal outings versus taking care of him. I want the little riding i get to do to be the best it can be. I like to have a planned out loop before i go and maximize the fun. I have a long way to go with my stamina before i'm riding like most of the people in this forum do.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    I know exactly what you are talking about. I chose to avoid the Lynx climb. Alp Duez is great.
    I typically park & start my ride at the I trail so I usually end climbing Lynx. This climb kills me every time, plus I'm not a big fan of the double-track. This section of the park is BEGGING for some singletrack. A new trail that get's you back up to the I trail and maybe splits with an option to get you to Chipmunk would be awesome.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Yes the place challenges and inspires. Best part? Hiking trails that happen to absolutely rawk on a mtb.
    animal is the best section...doing it 100% no dab is a scenic grunt fest

  38. #38
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    I'd like to see more singletrack at Mt A. A nice long one in the northwest part of the park where there is currently nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    animal is the best section...doing it 100% no dab is a scenic grunt fest
    Dunno, Boulter to all 3 lymes to jail blows animal outta the water, Imo

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    The thing about Aggy is that it's challenging enough where hitting a doubletrack here and there breaks up the burly. To be a mtb'r and only want to ride singletrack is living a pretty limited existence. Imo

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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    The thing about Aggy is that it's challenging enough where hitting a doubletrack here and there breaks up the burly. To be a mtb'r and only want to ride singletrack is living a pretty limited existence. Imo
    Umm, what? Dirt roads and some connecting pave do happen sometimes. Why would any mt. biker NOT want to ride singletrack. It's what keeps me going. Yes, all I want to ride is singletrack.

  42. #42
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    Rode School St yesterday and it was exactly what i asked for. However, what i asked for was very punishing and dangerous to ride solo. I took on an injury when a endo'd onto a recently maintained tree stump that was left 4" out of the ground. It is odd to say that i was lucky to catch it in the ribs. I will go back out there someday but not until i'm a lot better and rock gardens and sharp uphills on flat pedals. And i won't go out there alone again.

    I was thinking of hitting Russell Mill tomorrow. Or maybe fells?

  43. #43
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    I live on the NS. School St. is just the beginning. Feel free to PM if you want some more places to ride. I could show you some places if the scheduling worked.

    Cheers!
    Come stay and play at da Kingdom Trails! - http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3486813

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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    Rode School St yesterday and it was exactly what i asked for. However, what i asked for was very punishing and dangerous to ride solo. I took on an injury when a endo'd onto a recently maintained tree stump that was left 4" out of the ground. It is odd to say that i was lucky to catch it in the ribs. I will go back out there someday but not until i'm a lot better and rock gardens and sharp uphills on flat pedals. And i won't go out there alone again.

    I was thinking of hitting Russell Mill tomorrow. Or maybe fells?
    School / g spot is definitely really awesome for techy fun features. I don't mind riding most places alone, even many with dangerous stuff but I agree on not riding school st solo. Not a lot of people go through there compared to places like greenwood or Lynn woods

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    Vietnam really hit the nail on the head for what I was looking for AND my skill level. I wish it wasn't 1.5hrs from me, but it could be worse.

    I'll head out to School St again next year after work when the days are longer and with a riding partner.

    Would Dogtown fit my bill?

    I really like that area out there around Beverly and Ipswich. Seems like a real nice place to buy a home and have great riding.

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    ^^^ That whole area along 128 has lots of exposed granite. Playground galore. So many options.

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