New rider in western PA- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New rider in western PA

    Hi. My name is Jen and I am just getting into biking. I got an '08 Giant Trance X2 2 days ago and am looking to find places to ride near where I live. So, if anyone knows about any good trails north of Pittsburgh (Butler) I'd love to know. Also, If anyone else lives around here and knows about group rides (that are beginner friendly) I would be interested. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hartwood Acres and Moraine.

  3. #3
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    moraine is pretty nice..drive the hour into pittsburgh and ride frick park..

  4. #4
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    We generally ride 4-6 times a week, usaully 2-4 of us. We ride Bavington, Frick, Hartwood, Boyce, Roaring Run and going to start riding Moraine. Although we live in Pittsburgh, many of us post rides in the "Pittsburgh Area" thread. You are more then welcome to join us and learn some trails.

    Check out PORC for a local biking club.

  5. #5
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    we (dorc) will be starting up beginner friendly friday evening rides in frick park this week or next. check out http://dorc-pgh for more info.

  6. #6
    The White Jeff W
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    I have an interview in Pittsburgh tomorrow (Thursday). Hopefully I'll be looking yinz up soon.
    No moss...

  7. #7
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    Awesome, thanks for all the info.

    Does anybody know anything about Boyce Park (in Plum I guess)? My boss mentioned that people ride there and it is only 5 minutes away from where I work.

  8. #8
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    I ride Boyce a couple times a week, about 20+ miles of twisty single track, lots of crossing trails so it can be confusing at first & may take several rides before you get an understanding of your way around the park. The map on the county park website only shows a small portion of the overall trail system. The trails have some nice large log piles & a couple cool sections of trails like the "halfpipe" & "rollercoaster". There has been alot of trail maintenance done this spring & the trails are in great condition....well atleast prior to the rain we got yesterday & today.

  9. #9
    Just a lerker at heart
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    If you want a tour of moraine just let me know. I'll be out saturday at 8am. May be alone or with a group.

  10. #10
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    The good thing about Boyce is even though it is confusing, you really can't get lost in there. Everything pretty much funnels back out to the roads in & around Boyce Park. At worst, if you get lost, you hit the road and ride back, it's a relatively small area. If you take the roads, go uphill to where you parked in Boyce.

  11. #11
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    Okay, so maybe I will have to stop at Boyce after work some day and check it out. I also want to check out Moraine. I am concentrating on getting in shape for a little while though. I haven't really done much riding so I am still just trying to figure everything out.

    Are there any girls that ride in the area?

  12. #12
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    I have one friend that rides moraine, works for the state park service, I can put you in touch with her.

  13. #13
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    Well, I just wouldn't want to be the only girl there if I was to meet up with some people for a group ride.

  14. #14
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    hey female rider here! yes their are a lot of female riders out there! but don't worry about stuff like that it is something you are going to love to do. i have done moraine and boyce and bavington, i have even gone to pisgah in n.c.! i just love to do it! but now i am hooked on the down hill at 7springs! do not worry about crazy stuff all your issues will disappear when you get goin!

  15. #15
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    Good, I am glad to hear that there are girls that ride in the area. The more I look the more I find out about people riding in the area so I am pretty excited to get started.

    Where do you guys think the best place around here would be for someone new?

  16. #16
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    i think the best place to check your skills would be boyce. a lot of challenges but not all so diffuclt. next would be bavington this place will help a lot with your climbs, moraine is fun but you have to make sure you get the right line and make sure you good on rocks big rocks i learned the hard way about 10 yrs or so ago. but all these places are fun and i forgot about hartwood acres this place is great also.are you riding flats or clipless i would do boyce !

  17. #17
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    I have flat pedals for now.

  18. #18
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    maybe after go out once or twice just to feel the bike and to see what the trails are like you might want to switch over to clip-less. they help a lot with going over trees and things. watch out for those flats got a few stitches from those, i learned now i wear shin guards.

  19. #19
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    Okay, I have the clipless pedals that came with my bike so I would just need to get shoes if I decided that I wanted to switch them.

  20. #20
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    try deer lakes park which is north of Tarentum. the trails there are really nice but not quite as demanding/technical as some of the other trails in the SW PA area. from butler it would probably only be 20 or 30 min away. http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/parks/dlfac.aspx

  21. #21
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    Okay, thanks for the suggestion. I live south of Butler so that isn't too far from me at all.

  22. #22
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    Since you work close to Boyce and you are a beginner try pleasent valley park in murrysville. My wife is also a beginner and she perfers PV park over Boyce. Boyce has alot of small log obstacles which she struggles to ride PV park is more beginner friendly with less miles, 2 laps I believe equals 8 miles @ PV park.

  23. #23
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    Okay, i will look into Pleasant Valley. I hate the roads in the Murrysville area

  24. #24
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    http://www.pvpark.org/

    pleasant valley is one of my favorite places to ride. there are only a couple miles of trails there but all the trails are nice flowing singletrack. there are no big hills there or big obstacles, actually i think there are only about 2 logs that you have to cross.

    also in Murrysville there is Duff Park which is right off of RT 22. Duff is a really good place to work on your climbing skills.

  25. #25
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    Going back to the pedals discussion, I would definitely suggest using clipless pedals. I am new to riding and got clipless pedals a couple of weeks ago and the difference is remarkable. I can climb better, go over obstacles easier, overall it definitely made me a better more confident rider. Most of all enjoy mountain biking! I have only been doing it for a couple of months, I thought I would like it, but I am really enjoying it.

  26. #26
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    Hmm,looks like there is a lot to ride in Murrysville, I guess I will have to bring my bike to work some day this week. Thanks!

    Maybe I will look into going clipless once my bank account rebounds.

  27. #27
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    north park by wexford isnt too bad for starting. It can be hilly but it makes for a good ride.
    PORC is a good website, a lot of nice people there. never had any experience with dorc but ive heard good things.
    im only home in the summer but if you want someone to show you around then just PM me.

  28. #28
    The White Jeff W
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    Just came across this page that has trail maps of most of the Pittsburgh area stuff.

    http://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/maps.aspx
    No moss...

  29. #29
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    Yeah, that website is handy.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13
    Had an opportunity to ride the mountain bike trails at Morraine yesterday. Wow. Very nice, but I wouldn't recommend them for a new rider.
    I actually took a new rider out there 2 weeks ago, He enjoyed it. Had to walk some sections, but overall the trip was good.

    Moraine sure makes you work for all of the pleasure you get.

    BTW I'll be out there sunday morning at 8am if anyone is interested.

  31. #31
    The White Jeff W
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    Had an opportunity to ride the mountain bike trails at Morraine yesterday. Wow. Very nice, but I wouldn't recommend them for a new rider.
    No moss...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester1911

    Moraine sure makes you work for all of the pleasure you get.
    No doubt. I thought I had decent chops but that place kicked my ass.

    Can't wait to go back
    No moss...

  33. #33
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    Brady's Run Park in Beaver County is a blast and not too far from Butler. Depending on how you ride it, there's a lot of climbing, but if you start at the recycling center and climb to the top, there is a bunch of singletrack that doesn't have a ton of elevation change that is fun.
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  34. #34
    The White Jeff W
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    I rode there Thursday. I had no idea all that was up there! I parked up by the softball fields & made a counter clockwise loop all the way around the park. Good stuff! Not much in the way of tech, just lots of flowy singletrack. The hills are the challenge there. Bring some oxygen and make sure your brakes are in good order.
    No moss...

  35. #35
    The White Jeff W
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    No moss...

  36. #36
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    most the pittsburgh guys post here and only lurk here its seems...

    www.porcmtbclub.org

    the group rides normally have a girl or 2 around but generally if no girls show up the guys at these rides are nice as well.

    at the bavington ride last sunday maybe a half dozen chika of all ages/abilities showed up.

    tomorrow at 12 noon there is a beginner ride at Frick Park in downtown pittsburgh.

  37. #37
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    I ride at Boyce pretty often and would have to agree it is good for a beginner to test out their skills. I once took a girl to Boyce to try to teach her how to learn and she thought it was ok (except for the logs, of course). There is a nice mix of trails for all skill levels at Boyce, though.

    Another one that is a little south of Butler that is good for beginners is Harrison Hills park. It's a county park just southwest of Freeport PA. I used to hike there when I was little, and there are tons of easy going beginner trails for biking. Lots of folks with dogs though, but you'll get that anywhere.

    Good luck and have fun
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  38. #38
    The White Jeff W
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    Lock up your daughters! I just landed a job on the south side of Pittsburgh and will be moving back to the area in a couple weeks. Can't wait to tear into some new trails!

    No moss...

  39. #39
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    Congratulations!

    If you are going to be living in the South Side you can shot over the hot metal bridge up the rails and trails and be in Schenley Park in 10 minutes.....

    I ride in to Schenley and up into Frick from the Strip, its nice not always having to load the bike and drive.

    Ray

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13
    Lock up your daughters! I just landed a job on the south side of Pittsburgh and will be moving back to the area in a couple weeks. Can't wait to tear into some new trails!


  40. #40
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    Man, I miss Bradys Run. Dont rule out Brush Creek as well. Only like 7 miles of singletrack but fast and enjoyable.

    Maybe I will get back there once this year.

  41. #41

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    I only saw one mention of North Park. Honestly, I came back from State College for last summer and was pretty impressed with the development there. It's a great place for a beginner. Open the GIS Trail Map here. Also, I second Deer Lakes Park for a beginner and Moraine is fun once you get some hopping and rock skills.

  42. #42
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    I used to like North Park but every time I go I find stuff I liked pulled out, even little logs that already had go arounds get dumbed down with super easy smooth down ramps.... its weird in just a couple years it went from stuff I could not ride to being able to ride 90% of it with my commuter.

    Add to that every time I check the PORC web site there is always a few posts on how riders are causing trouble and dont ride this and stay away from that... NP just gives me a negative vibe lately.

    Ray

    Quote Originally Posted by asmxxiv
    I only saw one mention of North Park. Honestly, I came back from State College for last summer and was pretty impressed with the development there. It's a great place for a beginner. Open the GIS Trail Map here. Also, I second Deer Lakes Park for a beginner and Moraine is fun once you get some hopping and rock skills.

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