Another PA newbie, near Reading - where to ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Another PA newbie, near Reading - where to ride?

    Hi, I'm Jeff, another PA newbie here, I recently started riding again after a leave of absence, but I am here now and want to ride! I was looking over some other threads here, and I want to hit up Mt Gretna, Rocky Ridge and Camp Mack at some point, as they all look like fun and are relatively local to me.

    I rode the Blue marsh loop the other day, however I used the "lazy man bike" - but I am fairly confident I could have done it on my normal bike, it just would have taken twice as long. One run I like to do on a very regular basis is from my house (I'm about 2 miles from blue marsh) down to the Union canal towpath trail into downtown Reading, loop at the community college and ride home. I do that because I don't have to drive anywhere, but I am not against that... it's just a fun / easy run.

    Union Canal Towpath Trail

    Sometimes I park at the college and ride the Schuylkill river trail, and ride south to see how far I can run. Any other "must ride" trails say within 2 hours of Reading PA? I enjoy steep single tracks, but I also like flat cruiser trails on old rail lines, tow-paths's etc as long as there are some interesting sights along the way. I really like the union canal tow path for all the interesting things to see along the way. The longest covered bridge left in PA is a really neat thing to see / ride over.

  2. #2
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    You should give French Creek State Park a try, you will be able to find some steep and rocky climbs there.
    Nockamixon (Bucks County), Marsh Creek (Chester County) and Swatara (north of Lebanon) are nice places to ride and they are within 2 hrs drive.

  3. #3
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    Check out Sals(Walking Purchase Park) over by Allentown. Some climbs there and lots of rocky technical sections.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  4. #4
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    Since you're using an Ebike I'm not sure what rules are on the trails about those. But for distance riding you won't find anything IMO as long as Blue. I ride Mack all the time and its relatively small compared to the other places you listed but very fun. Gretna Trail 15 is very technical. Neversink Mountain is decent riding if you want a scenic loop. I love riding Mt. Penn. But like I said I don't know what the rules are for E-Bikes for all these places. You would have to probably contact BAMBA for that.

  5. #5
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    Take your "normal" bike to Mt Penn, it's definitely the best riding around. Find a local to show you around as the trails aren't marked, or even better, go exploring! If you're riding from Reading, find Duryea road and ride up to the fire tower, then just ride from there.

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    Mt Penn is the best riding for sure. I ate it good yesterday trying to do back to back jumps down the raceline yesterday. I am often humbled on Mt Penn.

  7. #7
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    Mt Penn is high on my list. I suspect that's going to be a hard ride, I ran the Duryea hill-climb last weekend, and really really fast cars could do it in less than 1 minute 20 seconds up the hill. I was running in the 140's

    I am thinking I might be able to pull that hill under my own power in 20 minutes? haha. we'll see I guess. I have a nice trail map from the hill climb which has the trails listed but does anyone have any other good maps of the hill?

  8. #8
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    There really isn't a map for the area that I can really find. There's loopish type rides you might find but none of the trails are really marked. I rode with a local and that's how I got an idea of how to ride the area.

  9. #9
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    A lot of the locals there seemed to be running 2 stroke home made gas powered bikes when I was there last weekend... is this typical to come across? They seemed to make quite a racket when running.

  10. #10
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    Gretna trail 15 is really technical! Otherwise a pretty nice park of single/doubletrack with hills and good ice cream at the bottom until labor day Like Rocky Ridge, good for looping although 15 will take a good long while. Last time that segment took me almost an hour...
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  11. #11
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    Mt Penn rules! Its hard to get truly lost there, but also hard to find certain places (It took me like 5 rides to find my way back to home tree after the first time I saw it, and thats one of the easier things to find haha).

    One of my friends is working on a site with the goal of "solving" trail networks and generating maps. Its not there yet, but you can choose a location from the list, and then use shift+click to highlight all of the activities (rides) for a location and get a good idea of what things look like. I use a screenshot tool to get an image of the map and then print that. This link should load with all the Mt Penn rides hes got (so far) highlighted: Zugunroute : Explore
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeLorean View Post
    A lot of the locals there seemed to be running 2 stroke home made gas powered bikes when I was there last weekend... is this typical to come across? They seemed to make quite a racket when running.


    I've never seen this riding there. But I can't say I'm a true local rider there I just ride there on the weekends.
    Last edited by I_AM; 08-22-2014 at 06:58 AM. Reason: grammar

  13. #13
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    AlexCuse, that is awesome! I will definitely be biking there and that will be a helpful tool I'm sure. Thanks for that.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeLorean View Post
    A lot of the locals there seemed to be running 2 stroke home made gas powered bikes when I was there last weekend... is this typical to come across? They seemed to make quite a racket when running.
    Delorean, I have yet to see any of these two stroke bicycles or have not heard any other reports as of yet, thanks for the report, BAMBA will be looking into this.

  15. #15
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    I have seen a the 2-strokers along the Thun trail and other places in and around Lancaster Ave.

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