Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Day Riding

Should be ok.... it appears the ice has melted from the tops of the mountains. You may still encounter a small patch or two in the more shaded/protected areas, but certainly nothing that would prevent you from riding. Enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Weekend Ride - Got Ice?

The trails are icy at spots -- I'd say 50-60% covered of thick, hard-to-ride-on ice. I had plans on riding, and switched my plans to a road ride because of the icy trails. Even with the warm temps, I can't say for sure they'd melt -- it stays kinda cold in the woods. Hardy folks would enjoy it -- I saw some tread tracks, but it could be the locals who run studs. If you drive into Minnich's Hit picnic area or anywhere else IN the forest on White Oak road or Lykens road, BEWARE of thick ice on the road too. You'd be better off parking in one of the outlying parking lots (Snowmobile or East end).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Trail Update - Christmas Eve

Right now we are having icy rain, but the outlook is nicer for the weekend. Currently, the trails are ice covered -- maybe an inch or two. Please check back Friday evening for weekend riding (expected high of 51 on Saturday!) as I plan to do a trail run on Friday and will give you a first-hand assessment of trails for riding. You saw the post below on the Firecracker ride in October? That's the last I've been on the trails and would sure like to finally get out riding on Saturday. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dec 21 Trail Update

Ice. Snow. Slippy. Stay home, eat cookies, get fat. Come ride in the spring! Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Northeast PA Trail Building Article

Interesting article here on Trail building efforts by several groups in the White Haven area of Northeast PA. It could link many, many miles of mountain bike trails. I couldn't tell from the article how technical, but suffice it to say they probably aren't like Rock's Ridge! Its worth the read.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trail Update - Dec 4

Trails are clear. Cold, but clear. Have fun!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trail Update - Sunday Nov 30

Still a tiny bit of snow on the mountain tops -- definitely rideable. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trail Update - November 26, 2008

Snow on the trails. You can see the snow on the tops of the mountains from the main road. Its minimal, but snow nonetheless. So be careful. Hunting season starts on Monday too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Flame Ride

Cole and Joel Oberman, Scott Powers, Joe Daversa, and Rick and Jill braved the 37 degree start temps at 10:00 am and enjoyed a picturesque day in the woods in Weiser state forest today. It WAS beautiful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Flame Ride - October 19

10:00 am, Minnich Picnic Area in Weiser State Forest. Sunday, October 19 when the leaves will be at their colorful peak. The long range forecast predicts sunny with a high of 60 - perfect riding weather. We'll ride whatever the group feels like. Rick and Jill will be the group ride leaders/sweep.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Neighboring Club Holds A Ride this Weekend

From Al Pontzer: NMBA will have a group ride at R.B. Winter this Sunday, October 12. We will start the ride at 11 AM from the McCall Dam Picnic area. It will be approximately 23 miles and about 4 hours long. We will ride some of the best trails on that side of the Bald Eagle state forest. You can find information about this ride on our website: http://www.nittanymba.org/

Please pass the word along to members of your groups. I hope to see some riders from LHORBA, TORC, and RCST on Sunday at R.B. Winter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DCNR/RCST Discussion About Creek Crossing on Preserve Line

I mentioned a few posts earlier that Rick and I discovered a spot on Preserve Line trail near Lykens Road, whereby someone cleared a path wide enough for horses to cross the creek. We advised DCNR of the clearing simply because it could potentially be an erosion problem if the horses hooves chew the stream bank up. Rick talked directly with Mike Mazur (state official who works in Weiser), and Mr. Mazur commented that anyone can use any of the trails in the state forest, but erosion is another issue and he'll take a look at it. Rick went to say that he didn't think some of the trails are suitable for horses in certain (wet) conditions. Rick also commented on the wide trimming done on Matter trail -- wide enough for horses, and Mike Mazur knew nothing about it. He said he has not been on the trails, but has been busy with other maintenance in the forests -- drainage ditches, drainage pipes, putting new stone on snowmobile trail, and building a new parking lot at the district building complex for an overflow of maintenance vehicles. Trails haven't been high on his priority list, but he DID acknowledge that the bike club has been involved with the trails for many years.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rock's Ridge King and Queen at the BASH 2008

The 6th annual King and Queen of Rock's Ridge were crowned again at the Rattling Creek Singletrackers BASH with this year's Queen taking on a good sense of humor in addition to some skill with rock-hopping. The contest is all about how well you ride rocks and each year, Shawn Withers and Company - usually Scott Stewart (a.k.a. Skippy), but this year with the help of Trainwreck (a.k.a. Bill Braum from Ohio) and Chris Staerner from Mountainside Ski and Sports, tape off sections on Rock's Ridge. And these aren't the normally ridden sections that would give frequent riders an advantage with knowing the lines -- these are a bit more difficult sections - usually just off to the side. For those unfamiliar with Rock's Ridge, its the most technical trail in the Rattling Creek Trail System. Its rocks, upon rocks, with some serious rockwork done in sections. There are bridges, ramps, and difficult lines. Many people come ride here JUST to get on this trail. The riders of the contest are then asked to start from a dead stop at a tape just from the rock garden, ride the rocky, taped off section, to an ending tape at the other end -- maybe 25-50 feet depending on the difficulty of the section. The rider with the least amount of dabs wins. There are usually about 4-5 sections, done in both directions. If you go over the tape/line, you are finished on that section with an automatic 10 points for that section. This contest is fairly popular each year -- but this year it was slightly light in attendance due to damp (humidity) conditions AND many of the BASHERS just wanted to ride and take advantage of the sunshine on Sunday, and not take time out to "compete." Most years there are at least one-two women entered, but there were NO women this year. Jill tried to get women to enter, but no-can-do...so we had an idle thrown. But have no fear... the creative juices were flowing and at the end of the day, the entrant with the MOST dabs, ended up taking home the Queen title. I can't recall everyone that entered and I'm sorry to those of you I don't mention, but from my damaged brain memory, it was Paul Falkenstern, Greg Waitkus, Greg Spath, Dave Wallace, Jeff Weurthe and Heinz, Darin Kreiss, Mike Carter, Walter Schram and I can't remember the rest. Everyone did an inredible job. It ain't easy going through a rock garden from a dead stop! The hardest part is getting clipped in your pedals and I heard many say "I did that section without getting clipped in." At the end of the day though, it was Darin Kreiss and Mike Carter that were running neck to neck most of the contest, but Darin Kreiss pulled it off to take home the thrown for another year. He was last year's King also. But look out Darin....I heard someone say they are out to dethrown you next year. And the Queen? Well, Paul Falkenstern won that honor. Everyone really did well, but in the end someone had to have the most dabs, and it was Paul. He took his thrown home with a smile on his face - thanks Paul! Very fun day. Next year we're looking to change things up a bit for the 10th anniversary. So watch for changes next year - maybe a new trail? And lastly, kudos to our trophy-maker -- Robin Reinhart, a.k.a. Birdman. He outdoes himself every year with coming up with a creative, beautiful trophy. We all oooo and ahhhhh when he pulls the trophies out of the box. Thank you Birdman.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Notification Went to DCNR About a Potential Trail Problem

Rick and I noticed a potential problem on a portion of the Preserve line trail... someone cut a path down over the stream embankment and through the stream at Preserve Line -- the narrow walking bridge nearest to Lykens Road. We believe, but can't be sure, the section was cut for horses to get through. We certainly can't deny horses the right to ride trail on state lands, but it IS a problem with erosion of stream embankments once the horses start really using it. So Rick wanted to let DCNR know about. Its simply a conservation and protection issue. If this was on Watershed property, they would be posting signs because Keith went to a Watershed meeting a couple years ago when horses damaged Doc Smith Trail, and we were told there would be no horses on the singletrack -- thus the "NO HORSES" signs on Watershed property. DCNR, at the time, agreed no horses should be on singletrack that they should be on snowmobile only. But when the latest map from DCNR came out, it shows Wolf Pond and Rock's Ridge and maybe some others, allowable for horses. We'll keep a watch and in contact with DCNR on the issue.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Successful RCST BASH!

Another year has come and gone of a successful BASH - thanks to 170 (more or less) group of caring, fun, patient (dinner wasn't THAT late!), happy mountain bikers. Its YOU guys that make this thing a big hit. A nice write up is HERE by Darius Mark. Each year, Rick, me and Keith "reflect" on the weekend and each year we say how we always get such good people showing up. Thank you! We're already tossing around 10th year anniversary ideas to make it a little better for you. Pictures will be coming, maybe a longer write-up, and definitely a write-up about the Rock's Ridge Contest (where were the women!!!???). It'll take us a day or two to unload the van(s), pack things away, and reorganize for next year, THEN we'll post pictures, etc.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last Update Before the BASH

The past week has been lively! Rick, Jill and Keith got out on Sunday for final trailwork and as of Sunday, all the trails were clear of treefall and sweet, sweet, sweet. Yesterday, though, we had a torrential downpour go through so Rick is fretting at the moment. Any downed trees or washing you encounter is from yesterday's storm. There are bunches of last-minute changes, additions, and switches to registrations. Its keeping us hopping 'cause we are trying to finalize the print out and its hard with constant changes. So stop doing your last minute shit! (just kidding). We have 7 group ride leaders with much thanks going out to Shawn Withers (long loop - 32 miles), Rick Begley (whole loop/23 miles, moderate pace), Mike Carter (whole loop/23 miles "endurance" pace - but we know what that means!), Joe Daversa (whole loop/23 miles minus Rocks Ridge and Wolf Pond moderate pace), Jill Wiest (3/4 loop/20 miles including Rock's Ridge and Wolf pond - moderate to slow pace), Rick Brown (casual loop/18 miles -- slower pace - driving to East end to start), and Keith Whitcomb (rocky loop - 15-18 miles - driving to Picnic Area to start). We'll have all the group ride routes posted at registration. Mike Carter also offered to do a Thursday evening ride, Friday ride (whenever - whatever folks want to do), and Emory Ehrenfeld will do a Sunday morning ride for those that are not interested in the Rock's Ridge contest. Bill Gentile will be demonstrating and letting folks use LUPINE LIGHTS for Friday evening's ride. Rick has also been busy with all the prep work that goes into the BASH - shopping for groceries/supplies (thanks WALMART!), building an extra shower-stall, packing his tools/supplies, gathering signs/making new signs - (do we have enough signs?), sending e-mail updates (yes, we are dog friendly if the dog is friendly), finalizing registration, answering e-mails (do we have cell phone coverage? - maybe), confirming chicken flavors, confirming if we have enough chicken (NO - some were told Sorry - we had to place our order last week and we are SOLD OUT!), making up ride routes, packing the vans, making the swap list, and so on and so on. I think you get the picture. Keith has been organizing the band(s) and BEER! We now will have two bands on Saturday and none of Friday. But a club (un-named!) is setting up a disco ball in one of the pavilions for a little disco party on Friday after the Chili cookoff. They are kooky! We have 13 confirmed chili cookers, and over 40 "maybe" cookers. So you'll definitely have fun tasting all the chili pots! Oh, and the micro-brew swap is a go on Friday evening also during the chili tasting. We kinda went over our limit for the BASH this year, but Keith and Rick just couldn't say no - especially to regulars that waited until the last minute. Camp Muckleratz will be filled up this year. Fun stuff. See you all THURSDAY!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The BASH - Almost Here -- The Newest Sponsor

Sometimes we take the most basic things for granted, and for the BASH, I think the most basic is the trails we ride on and who owns them -- the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania! And the state is grateful for us -- the mountainbikers. Pennsylvania's Tourism office views mountainbiking as one of the "niche" markets and loves that we ride all over the state in state forests and parks and how tell our friends to come ride in PA. They love us so much, they gave us enough t-shirts for over half of you. So when you stop at registration, if you want one, its yours! Thanks to the PA Tourism office. Ready...Set....Bike!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The BASH is Sold Out! (and we need group ride leaders)

We did it -- 9 days before the official start of the BASH. We are SOLD OUT! Someone called tonight to register 10 people and that pretty much sealed up the registrations. If you didn't already agree to helping out with group rides and would be interested in doing so, please e-mail Jill at rebjsw@epix.net and let her know what route you'd like to do. She plans to post all routes at registration so folks can think about what they might want to ride on Saturday. Thanks! Jill

Sunday, August 24, 2008

BASH Update - Three Bands and a Beer Wagon

Keith is THE man... he lined up three bands AND the Beer wagon! Woohooo.... The Friday evening band is a buddy of his whom used to be part of Ebenezer Screw. Remember them from a few years back at the BASH? Then Saturday, he got an opening band called Iriquois Confederacy whom plays originials of bluesy southern rock. And the headline band is now Blind Justice whom plays medium hard rock (i.e., Black cherry). The Devils Rejects broke up. All other BASH planning is going well and we're just about sold out. It'll be another good time this year.

Trail Update - Sunday Aug 24

Everything is dry and fast. Rick, Keith and Jill got out for some log cutting on Rattling Creek trail so you need not worry about the twin log in the fast downhill section - its clear sailing now. We also fixed the logpile at the top of Rattling Creek. The center was caving in and it just needed some logs to fill it in, so Rick got the idea of cutting the ends off the logs, filling in the caving in section, then having a "go-around" for weenies -- like him. (He said it, not me!) The only other trail maintenance needed that we are aware of is trimming Hop back and possibly a log on Wolf Pond. Emory is riding today so we'll know for sure by day's end what else is needed. We cut back most of the face slappers on the tight stuff and its looking pretty good. Some would argue that its still too tight (we think its good now), and Keith commented yesterday how when he first started mountain biking, you could barely tell there was a trail that everything was grown in big time. So we honored the survey on this BLOG (Is the Singletrack too tight?), and just cut back the face slappers.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A "FEW" Spots Left for the RCST BASH?

Rick keeps telling folks, "there's still a "few" spots left for the BASH. Get your registrations in." And he doesn't want me to say exactly how "few", but I have to share with everyone this fact: we're going to sell out again this year (over the 150 limit). Last year we sold out the weekend of the BASH, this year we'll likely sellout 2 weeks prior. That's how "few" spots remain. I believe most of the regulars got their registrations in, but if you didn't, you better do it really fast.

Monday, August 18, 2008

All Coming Together

The trails...the BASH...the riders...the registrations. Everything is falling into place for the 9th annual BASH! We've been collecting SWAG from our AWESOME sponsors... Bicycle Outfitters in Elizabethtown, Mountainside Ski and Sports in Mechanicsburg, Lyman Glass Sculptures, CLIF Bar, Boligs Gas and Propane (hot showers!), Shawn Withers, Spokes Bicycle is coming again with Mike Carter as the Spokes Team representative, Robin Reinhart -- trophy maker extraordinaire -- will be back with his incredible ironworks, and Keith and Rick's hard work in making phone calls to line everything up. Me? (Jill)...I'm just a slacker these days. Actually, I carry the chainsaw for Rick when we do the trailwork (ha!). No really, the trails are getting cleared and some of you are worried they are too tight...getting overgrown. We're going to try to cut back the taller stuff that slaps the face, but the underbrush -- the blueberries -- will start to die back by the BASH so we likely will not get the brush hog out for that. There's one spot that someone said is really, really overgrown that we may get at -- on Rugged Trail. Someone else mentioned poison on Hopback, so we'll search for that and banish it from the trails. Its gonna be another awesome year!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

BASH - Band and Beer and Rock's Ridge

Keith did his duty -- he got the BEER WAGON reserved and found a replacement Band for Whisker Bisket whom everyone agrees wasn't quite as good without the lead singer we've grown to find quite entertaining. DEVIL'S REJECTS is the new band this year. Its a head-banging heavy metal band singing tunes of Seether, Slayer, Black Sabbath, etc. -- you know the type. Keith spent many a night looking for the best band to come to the Bash, and the Rejects got the gig. He's talking like there may be some musical entertainment prior to the band too.

Shawn and Skippy will return to run and judge the King and Queen of Rock's Ridge contest. They are talking of changing some things up this year, so watch for something different. They really wanted to move it to Wolf pond Trail, but we are saving that move for the 10th anniversary next year.

Summing up the BASH planning: we got the grub (Gonder's Grub House), the Beer Wagon, the Band, Camp Muckleratz, 2/3 of you confirming your return (NOTE: if you didn't get your registration in, you better do it soon or you may lose your spot when we sell out in the next couple weeks), four shitters, registration with DCNR is done, the insurance, a couple sponsors (confirmed is SPOKES, GRIZ, CLIFBAR, Mountainside) sweet singletrack, and some SWAG at registration. I think we're gonna have another awesome BASH! Can't wait.

Trail Work Update

Rick and I got out again today to do some trailwork. He had a tough time pulling me away from the blueberries, but we managed to completely finish up Fawn Kill. We cut logs out, trimmed back some face slappers, and re-did a ramp someone took some time to build, but it wasn't quite enough (they only ramped one side -- we're guessing to get some air, but we aren't sure). So we ramped both sides of the log. The plan is to get out again next weekend and cut the log on Rock's Ridge, and work on the face slappers on Schreffler, Dry Run, and Rattling Creek. We hope to also stop after work one night and cut back Hop Back which we're fairly certain is overgrown by now. I hate to admit, but I haven't ridden the trails in weeks. Only what we do on trail work days (for now that's only been Fawn Kill and Doc Smith) is about all I've been riding. So if you know of treefall that definitely needs attention, let us know! rebjsw@epix.net

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trailwork Update - Sunday July 27

Rick and Jill got out (finally!) to do a little trailwork. They cleared Doc Smith and started down Fawn Kill only to met with green wood, petrified wood, and a dull chain saw blade as a result. So the diagnoal log just before (or after depending on your riding direction) the biggest rock garden on Fawn Kill Trail, is still there. Next time. We have full intentions of getting out the next couple weeks on our way home from work. Sorry it took so long. Be sure to take the survey on the tightness of the singletrack. Some like it, others don't. So we thought we'd do a little survey to find out for sure.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Endurance Horse Ride/Competition in Weiser This Weekend

There's going to be a competitive horse ride on the Snowmobile trails and fire roads in Weiser State Forest this weekend. Much like the Rattling Creek Bash, Camp Muckleratz is "base" where equestrian folks will be camping and starting the competition from. It starts at 7:00 am on Sunday morning, July 27 and the horses will be off the trails by noonish or earlier -- more than likely around 10:00ish. They'll be using Deep Hollow, Wolf Pond Road, Matter, Boundary, Rim, Lukes Trail, Grim, White Oak, Minnich, Matter, and Ironmine. Rick rode the 12 mile loop for exact mileage for the competition. The horses will do two 2 loops and the organizers received the permits from DCNR (just like we do!). Its actually quite interesting -- here's how the horse competition works:

A competitive trail ride is not really a race - there is a minimum and a maximum time allowed for completing the ride. For 25 miles, the window is 4 hrs 20 mins to 4 hrs 50 mins. The winner is not the fastest but the horse that is in the best condition. each horse starts with 100 points, we have 2 judges, one of which is a vet. They check the horse before the ride and again afterwards. Points are deducted for changes in condition. In addition pulse & respiration are checked at the half way point and horses are not allowed to continue if they do not recover to the required parameters. P & R's are again checked at the end - 20 minutes after finishing the ride and points are deducted if they don't recover to normal. The horse with the highest remaining points is the winner.

The horses will not be on singletrack and given the time frames of the event, if you park in the East lot and start around 9:00ish or so, the horses will likely be out of the woods by the time you get to Rock's Ridge from the East Park Lot. But be careful if you start from the Minnich Hit picnic area 9:00 or 10:oo, the horses may be hitting Minnich and Matter between 9 and 10 and we know Minnich is a connector to Rocks Ridge. Also be careful if you head up Rim to Wolf Pond too -- the horses will be coming DOWN Rim between 8 and 10 or around that time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Firecracker Ride report

Ma Nature did it again...she scared everyone away! Well, not everyone. Emory Ehrenfeld and Rick Begley did their own group 'cause Jill, being the handicap, kept the pace slow for Rick Brown and Dave Reed. Actually, Rick and Dave dusted Jill and had to wait on her at spots. Rick was feeling pretty full of himself! Emory and Rick Begley were out about 3 hours and the other group came in after about 1 3/4 hrs. We still grilled meat and veges, and enjoyed some socializing. Mother nature pretty much spritzed all day with some breaks inbetween. There was another group of 3 from the Lancaster area that joined in on the picnic, an yet another group of 3 that was riding from another part of the forest, stopping to get some eats. We certainly had plenty! Oh, and Emory reports there are some more trees down. Rick and Jill should be getting to them soon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Firecracker Ride

Friday, the 4th of July, is the RCST Firecracker ride. It'll be same deal as the Memorial Weekend Ride. We meet at 10:00 am at the Minnich picnic area. Directions are here. And afterwards, the club will cook up dogs, burgers, and have some munchies for ya (chips, pretzels). Judging from other year's firecracker rides, this group is usually semi-small. So we'll decide the day of the ride on the groups. As of today, Ricky Brown is the only ride leader we have which is certainly the best person to show you the trails. Jill is still recouperating from a crash and can't ride "strenuous", so she's doing a 5 mile snowmobile trail ride if anyone wants to go slow and not far. Keith isn't sure if he's coming (WHAT!). So Rick and I will be there for sure along with some decent weather we are hearing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Trails Remain in good Shape

No changes on the trails...they are still dry, fast, and good to go with the exception of a couple trees here and there. Rick and I will likely be able to get out and take care of them over the next couple weeks since my training and racing is done for the season. For those that didn't hear, I went over the handle bars and landed on my face at the Richmond Xterra doing a pre-ride and ended up in the hospital for 4 days with a head trauma/brain bleed. But I'm recovering now and hope to be back in the groove in a couple weeks (ez groove). I'll be the head cook at the firecracker ride on July 4. I'm not to do any "strenuous activity" for 1 month. Little do the docotors know cooking is strenuous activity to me!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Weekend Ride Report

RCST hosted the 8th annual Memorial Weekend Ride on Sunday to about 20 riders. Despite the picture perfect weather, the group was much smaller than past years -- I'm blaming the gas prices. Three groups went out: Rick Begley starting at 9:00 with Rick Michael, Mike Funk, Sam, Bernie, Keelie, and Scott Corbin. Rick Michael broke his frame, and Keith gave him a lift out of the woods. Since the 10:00 crew was small, we broke it into two groups. Emory led Ricky Brown, Tony Labato, and the Reedinger boys onto Shale Run and smoother singletrack to start; while Andy Miller and Dave Daversa led Andrea Strubhar, Brian Arnold, Joe Daversa, Mark from Carlisle and me to the rocky trails. We had 1 flat, and were back to the picnic area by 12:30 and 1:00 (some split off a little earlier, while some finished up on Fawn Kill trail). Keith, Candy, and Mary hiked while the rest of us rode. We shot the breeze and ate burgers and dogs when it was all over, enjoying the fantastic weather.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Weekend (Sunday) Ride Update - there's a 9:00 group going out

For you earlybirds, Rick Begley and company (Paul Konhaus and Bernie, Sam, Mike and Andy) will be leaving the Minnich Spring Picnic area at 9:00ish for a whole loop ride. The pace will be mediumish to probably a little fast for the front guys. So just in case you want to catch the early crowd, there will be a group going out. Keith is planning to ride at the Memorial Day ride! I believe this may be his first time back on the bike since his surgery, so go easy on him who ever is in his group! We're getting a good response -- here are the folks that I know for sure are coming so far - this list be long by Sunday with the prediction of nice weather.

Ricky Brown
Keith Whitcomb
Emory Ehrenfeld and Mary (Mary will likely hike)
Rick Begley (9:00)
Paul Konhaus (9:00)
Bernie (9:00)
Sam (9:00)
Mike (9:00)
Andy (9:00)
Andy Miller
Shawn Withers
Joe Daversa
Dave Daversa
Mike Ostrowski and Company from Wilkes Barre/Scranton
Dan Killingsworth (If Granogue doesn't wipe him out)
Matt Morrison (If Granogue doesn't wipe him out)
Don Don Andrews found fun elsewhere now and ain't coming
Legendary Tony Labato

Oh, and my group will simply be having fun on the rocks. I ain't riding at no breakneck speed or anything -- just fun schtuff for a change. I even ditched the heart rate monitor so no more heart rate Harriet. I may switch up the route and do Wolf Pond first, THEN Rock's Ridge, Matter, and the preferred DOWN Rattling Creek, which means the trip back will be UP FAWN Kill or road. total miles will be about 16 or 17 miles at a comfortable pace.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rides and Ride Leaders for the Memorial Weekend Ride

Our leaders are set -- thank you Emory, Andy, Ricky, Don (if he gets a ride) and me. Here's the plan:

Emory - about 20 miles, 3 to 3.5 hours. He'll do the majority of the loop likely at a comfortable pace. All types of trails (rocks and easy).

Andy - Our local expert rider will likely do the entire loop (23+ miles) at an expert pace.

Ricky - the Casual group ride guru. 10-15 miles on the easier trails.

Jill/Don (if he gets a ride) - I'll substitute for Keith and do the rock hoppin loop - maybe 15ish miles starting with Rock's Ridge, then Wolf Pond, then Shale Run/Preserve Line/Fawn Kill. Will head back up Rattling Creek/Dry Run to finish up.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Memorial Weekend Ride - Sunday May 25

Its our 7th freaking year doing this thang! It started out as "neighboring clubs ride" and we attempting to gather together all our neighbor clubs like VMB (I don't they were called that then), NMBA (yup, they WERE called that then), LHORBA (they are old too), SAMBA (newly organized) and I can't remember who else. In return, RCST attempted to get to some of their rides. Well, more like Emory and Rick Begley mostly got to other rides. Me, Rick, and Keith (mostly Keith) never left Lykens. That's not true. We get out and about sometimes. The Memorial Weekend ride has become a tradition of bikin' buddies gathering together to have some fun in the woods on our bikes and then eat burgers and dogs on the grill afterwards -- courtesy RCST. We cater to all skill levels. Ricky usually does a "casual" group -- a slower pace, and not so far. Maybe he'll go 12-15 miles. And he usually bases where he goes on who is in the group. If there are folks that would rather not do rocks, they'll go on easier trails. Actually, its RICK who would rather not do rocks so they almost always go on easier trails. Keith likes to do an intermediate ride on rocks. But that ain't gonna happen this year with his healing wrists. So we are on a search for an intermediate rock hopper ride leader. Maybe I'll end up with that one. I used to do a long slow group ride, but this year I plan to lead a group where-ever there's a need for a ride leader. After I canvas some potential group leaders, I'll take what's leftover, or sweep for one of them. We usually get between 40 and 50 people, so we'll figure on that many for burgers and dogs. We typically do groups of 10-12, sometimes 15. Last year, Sean Wither's group was the biggest. He started with about 15 -- but I think there was 3 of them that actually made the entire loop. We usually have black and white maps to give to folks that need to bail and find their way back. The ride STARTS at 10:00 AM! That's not get there at 10:00 am, that's leaving at 10:00 am. It starts at the Minnich Hit Picnic Area.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Singlespeed for Sale

Black. Singley Speed. brand spanky new. rode to church only twice. really. i'm not lying. it was seriously ridden, like, one time. contact Brett Weiser at rabbitlugboot@gmail.com

Size Large, 19"

FramePlatinum Series ZR9000 SS internally and externally butted aluminum w/ eccentric bottom bracket Genesis 29" Geometry
WheelsBontrager Race 29 Disc SS wheelsystem Bontrager Jones ACX K 29x2.25/2.2
ComponentryBontrager Race Lite SS 32t crank Avid BB 7 mechanical disc brakes w/6" rotor w/Avid FR-5 levers Shimano M505 ATB clipless pedals
SuspensionRockShox Reba SL Dual Air 29 / External rebound, internal floodgate, external compression and lock-out Butted aluminum steerer 80mm travel

Monday, May 12, 2008

Trail Update - Comment on riding OVER rocks

We're slowly getting some logs off trails...but with Keith still recovering from carpal tunnel, and Rick having tennis elbow issues, its a slowwww process. We'll eventually get to them all. But until then, thanks to those that have been stopping and moving what they can off the trail. The trails are in great shape with the exception of two things: 1) I noticed they are washing at spots - not from use, but from mother nature. There's not a whole lot we can do about that except maybe rethink some reroutes which I don't think is going to happen any time soon. And 2) there are some significantly noticeable new lines forming with folks going around rocks! Kids -- mountain biking is about riding mountain trails, and that means OVER the rocks and logs, not around them. Rick said I shouldn't comment about it, that if folks prefer not to ride rocks, then they don't have to and he's right. But I can't help but still make the comment that some of the the trails are purposely built for you to go OVER the rocks, not around. So for those that are avoiding rocks, try going over next time. In some spots, its actually much easier to go over the top of them. Next up -- the Memorial Day ride.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Trail conditions little changed after rains

We got out Sunday and cut a fallen tree off of Doc Smith Trail. Bothersome spot right after a tabletop rock going east or just before, killing momentum if you were going west toward Rattling Creek Trail.
Very little evidence of washing or even much running water from the previous storm and last evening and today's rains were spread over a long period with no real downpours so I would expect no change in trail conditions.
Trails should be in good shape save for a few trees down that we need to get to yet. One on Fawn Kill near the reroute is in the plans to get taken out next time we take the chainsaw for a walk !

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Trail Conditions


Plenty of percipitation over nigth. The link above to the Harrisburg USGS percipitation gauge measured a little over an inch of rain between 7pm(Sat-26th) and midnight.

Trails will likely be wet with some running water in the usual places. Trails were in near perfect conditions before the rain, dry and fast with lots of leaf cover. With an inch or more of rain over just a few hours watch for washed areas and possible newly downed trees, although this storm didn't bring the really high winds that usually blow trees over.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trail Conditions ??

FYI. We had some rain and wind here Sunday night. There was a tornado warning south of here and they got lots of rain in the southern portions of the state. The Harrisburg gauge registered about 1.25". Not sure exactly how much rain we got on the trails but enought to have had some effects on trail conditions. I would expect some washing and with the windy conditions expect soem new blowdowns.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trail Conditions

We got out and cleared downed trees off of Rugged Trail Saturday. I didn't relaize just how many sizable trees were down on that trail alone. Must have been over a dozen.

Trails are dry and in great shape !! Still lots of dead leaves covering the trail tread. With no significant rain for the area in sight trails should stay in great condition for riding.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weekend Events and Trail Update

The RCST schedule has this weekend planned as a trailwork weekend, meeting at 9:00 am in the EAST PARKING LOT. Please don't be late -- we won't be there after 9:00. Initially, we hoped to get out and clear logs, but now that tomorrow is opening turkey hunting season for juniors until noon, we'll head to the Minnich Hit Picnic Area and take a look at the handicap trail started some time ago. If there are chain-saw experienced folks in the group yet after noon, possibly some logs can be cut later in the day or maybe Sunday. Keith will be the TRAIL SUPERVISOR both days since he can't pitch in and help with his recouperating wrists (carpal tunnel surgery). Rick and I will be there Saturday morning until about 1:00ish; but we will not be around on Sunday and none of us will be riding -- but you are certainly welcome to come ride. Trails are getting very dry.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday's Ride - a Group of Raindrop Dodgers

5 die-hards fought off raindrops on Sunday morning to make the trek up Deep Hollow to make the spaceship siting official and on record. Well, that was Jill's stupid idea, the rest really wanted to just get a good ride in. Donna and Brett Weiser, Christina Bohensky, Don Pagano and the Spaceship Chaser bundled up, then decided to un-bundle by the time we got to the top of the mountain.
The chosen route made a right—hand turn toward the hang-glider launch to continue to the alien spaceship. Upon arrival, a praise was in order and a promise from the aliens of no anal probes; then the blessing of the ship and ground it sits on. The curious question of the day… “Does anyone know this is here?” There’s no fence, no “stay away” signs…just the ship in the middle of the field. And knowing the kids, and what they do up there… “dr…smo…f…” they are bound to find this too. (but we hope we are all wrong).

Onward we plodded… starting on Rock’s Ridge West, we hopped, bounced, and trudged through some rocks – Chrissy and Don leading the way and losing the rest of us rather quickly. B and J stopped for D, at which time D decided possibly the rocks were a bit too wet, and a bit too much today, so D and J opted for a more enduring ride, rather than a damaging ride (in more ways than one!). They continued across the top of the ridge doing a huge loop, passing the new NWTF Hunting Ramp off Lukes Trail, then down the mountain, and started back in Lykens road/Doc smith, then Lykens road to White oak and back home via IronMine. Don/Chrissy/Brettster enjoyed the remainder of Rock’s Ridge, Matter, Dry run, Rattling Creek, and I’m not sure what they did after that, but I know they ended up climbing White oak. There was some discussion and very hard looks and laughter at some point about “sucking Don…” but actually it was “sucking Dawn…" after cleaning the camelbak with Dawn detergent. But it didn’t quite come out right making it funny as hell – thanks for the chuckles Miss Chuckler, Chrissy! The 3-hour tour ended with some sunshine and temps of about 50. No blood, broken bones, nor broken bikes… some would say that wasn’t a good ride. But I believe we all felt it was a fine day in Weiser. And the odds are growing folks…it was a 60/40 ride –3 niners and 2 26’ers. And the future may hold a 80/20 ride with this same group. Niners ROCK.

Spring Gobbler Season Starting

Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a special Junior Season of Spring Gobbler Hunting starting Saturday April 19, 2008
The regular season is starting Saturday April 26th thru Monday May 26th
Please stay off singletrack until after noon Monday thru Saturday
during the wild turkey hunting season.
Thanks from RCST and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

NWTF Installs a New Addition to Weiser

The National Wild Turkey Federation (a supporter of RCST and makes donations because they too use the trails!), installed a nice ramp along Lukes Trail, near the Gamelands Gate. It appears to be for handicap accessible hunting. Very nice.

Picture of the Spaceship!

Finally! I got a picture of the Weather station on top of Broad mountain. The link at the top of this Blog takes you directly to the website that's reporting weather from this station.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Weekend of April 12 -13 Trail Conditions

Go Ride.. Things are a repeat of last weekend and the trails are good to go. Sorry we haven't gotten out to cut any more trees. The plan is to use the Earth Day Trail Work weekend (April 19) to cut more logs. Have fun! Jill

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trail Update for March 29 weekend

Light rains are predicted today/tomorrow, so trails should be fine for the weekend. Snow is gone (YEH!!!!). Temps in mid 40's. It will be windy Saturday, but Sunday should be decent. I've GOT to get a picture of the weather station this weekend. It's really, really neat looking. jill

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Weather Link

You'll see a new link at the top of this page...thanks to Joe Daversa, he found the link with "Wolf Pond" on it when he was checking his weather links. Yes, we believe its the newly installed weather station on top of the mountain. So now you can get the weather, straight from the top of the mountain! How cool is that. Thanks Joe for the link!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trail Conditions - Easter Day

Got out with the chainsaw and cleared a few trees on Preserve Line and Shale Run Trails. A thin coating of snow left on trails in most places. Ground was frozen with temps near freezing by 10am. When trails start to thaw out they will be a little soft. The sections of trail we were on today looked good with little washing and still some leaf cover on the trails under the snow.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Evening, Post snow Trail Update

We can see whitecaps on the mountains, even though most snow melted in the valleys. The trails may be snowless by noonish on Easter, but expect soggy conditions. Ride with care. Rick, me, and Keith plan to get out with a chainsaw tomorrow and get rid of the nastiest of treefall -- the spear on Preserve line, and then we'll proceed up Shale and clear any other downed trees. jill

Trail Conditions Mar 22, 2008

Spring is here ???? Not according to Mother Nature !!! Woke up to freezing temps and a few inches of wet snow here in the Lykens Valley this morning. Trails will be wet and snow covered for a day or two. FYI.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good Friday and Easter Weekend Riding

It's on! You may encounter some very cold temps and snow on Saturday morning (calling for 22 degrees and chance of snow), but Good Friday should be decent and possibly Easter if the weather stays away for Friday evening. Watch for downed trees in fast sections. Don't get speared on Shale Run.

We DO have some trail gods to thank. I really don't know who they are, but there's always evidence that folks stop and clear what they can off the trails. Rick carries a saw with him, obviously others do too - so THANK YOU! I'm trying to talk Rick into riding on Friday and if we do, we'll try to clear as many trees off the trails as we can. The majority of trees will need a trail crew and a chainsaw, but there's a couple we may be able to do ourselves. Possibly the Earth Day weekend we could clear trees with chain saw.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Space Ship Update

Rick didn't want to drive to the top of the mountain yesterday just to get a picture of the spaceship, so I'm improvising and sharing a picture of a similar ship. Yes, I know its not something from Mars -- its a weather station. But its the biggest dang weather station I ever saw and it really is funky looking -- like a martian is about to crawl out of it. As soon as we get a picture, I'll share. In the meantime, this is a similar-looking weatherstation. If you didn't read the other post, it is located on the top of Broad Mountain near the hang glider launch area, in the huge field on the very top. It sits dead-center in the middle of the field.

Snow was Short-lived - Trails should be ok

The snow came and went yesterday. We saw white at the tops of the mountains up to about 1:00 pm, and then gone by 3:00 pm, so the trails should be clear of snow. You'll still encounter a bumpy ride from rain washing and downed trees. Keep an eye out when riding some of the faster sections - there may be a tree in front of you. jill

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday March 16 Trail Update 7:30 am - Snow

If you are planning to head to the Weiser State forest to ride the RCST trails today - don't! Well, if you really want too you can, but expect snow, wet and cold conditions. It's currently snowing at 7:34 am. It's a wet snow, but it'll make trail riding less than fun today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

There's a Space Ship on Top of Broad Mountain In Weiser

It sure looks like a space ship...I was wishing I had a camera to get a picture. It's in the huge field on the very top near the hang-glider launch. Rim Trail acutally circles around the field where the ship is sitting. I'm sure Rick and I will be over there tomorrow to get pictures. Its really cool. Big...weird...all kinds of gadgets on it.

I FINALLY got on the trails today and have much to report.

  • Dismounted no less than 10 times to crawl over, under and around downed trees. We have work to do. Keith said he'll be "Trail Boss" now that he can't ride until his wrists heal.
  • Was thinking how bumpy the trails seemed. Duh...maybe it's because it poured raining two weeks ago? And maybe the trails are really washed at spots. Yup...you will notice a much more bumpy ride. There's some serious washing at spots and rocks are exposed. Most noteable washed areas:
  • Rattling Creek at the "gully" where the water is supposed to run (its one of the biggest rock gardens on Rattling Creek).
  • Fawn Kill at the log pile -- there's actually standing water in there.
  • Shale Run - watch for the tree on the downhill with a branch sticking deadon in front of you -- I wish i could have moved 'cause that one is dangerous if you don't see it coming and are flying down there.
  • Schreffler to the turn on Dry Run. Very washed, still soggy, a tree or two will slow you down if the washing doesn't. Its not screaming fast anymore!

Will try to get out and get a pic of the space ship tomorrow. Amazingly, even with standing water in spots and several soft spots - there's no mud! I love our trails. I bagged a race today at Blue Marsh 'cause I knew after last night's rain Blue Marsh would be a quagmire of mud. I'm glad I bagged it...was a great day in the woods.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday, March 14 Trail Update for Weekend

GO RIDE! With only light rains predicted for the area this afternoon and this evening, the trails should be ok (but not completely dry) for this weekend. Still watch for soft spots and don't go around them -- go through them. The waterfall on Doc Smith is running nicely, so you'll have that to contend with, and Rattling Creek is flowing nicely -- you'll want to stop and admire it! Rick was admiring it so much last weekend (it was up maybe 2 feet from normal) he was picturing himself in it with his kayak. ARGH!
Maybe I'll run into one of you this weekend sometime - Jill

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mo Rain, Mo Soft, Gooshie Trails - But Maybe Ok to Ride

Ma Nature is a bit unpredictable this month -- as suspected. The next few days will tell the story for weekend riding on RCST trails. Weather.com and Accuweather.com have differing forecasts - weather.com says showers and Accuweather says chance of a shower Saturday afternoon, so I can't say for sure what the conditions will be like come the weekend. It doesn't appear there will be a downpour like last week, so we may be safe in getting out and riding. BUT, if you do, you may encounter some soft spots and if you do, remember the golden rules of keeping singletrack singletrack:
  • Ride THROUGH the center of the puddle or mud.
  • Do NOT go out around the soft section. If you do, we'll track you down using CSI methods of analyzing your tire tracks.

ps. Rick and I had planned on getting on trails on Sunday since we haven't been there since who-knows-when (October?!), but appears its won't be warm enough for Rick (high of 40). So its a wait-and-see-game.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

How's Keith?

Some of you may have heard Keith had surgery this past Monday for carpal tunnel and a related arm issue. He's doing just fine...he's checking out bands tonight to find a new one for the BASH this year. He ain't sitting still!

Trail Update - After the Rains

Rick and I got out and hiked some of the Rattling Creek Trails today. The trails are soggy, soft and there was some washing from the heavy rains. There's a bit of washing at some of the turns on Rattling Creek, but nothing serious that we saw. We recommend no riding singletrack for a couple more days -- definitely not tomorrow, Sunday. There's bunches of snowmobile trail you are welcome to ride. And the fire roads are in good shape too. Watch the pot holes!

Friday, March 7, 2008

March 7 Trail Update

Weiser Forest and the RCST singletrack has seen siginifant rainfall, snowmelt, and water washing the past few days and the singletrack is soft, soft, soft. Please, if at all possible, try to refrain from riding singletrack this weekend. Better days are ahead without a doubt. At least the snow is now officially gone and warming temps are coming back. I may get out on snowmobile trail sometime this weekend and if I do, I'll give an update on those. jill

Sunday, March 2, 2008

More BASH Planning - SWAG bag planning about done

We're starting a little early this year to save some last minute rush when we want to be doing other fun stuff like biking and kayaking. The swag bags for registrants came together nicely this year. No water bottles this year, but something semi-similar and useful. And I'm waiting to hear from CLIF and I also have SIMBREE on board as a sponsor - so hopefully some samples from them. There's one other product I'd like to put in the bag, but I haven't heard back from those folks so they may not come through -- but we have enough (I think). And there will be a very fun surprise in everyone's swag bag too -- I think you'll all get a chuckle out of it. It relates to the Chili Cookoff. Say no more on that front :)

Trail Update - 3-2-2008

About 2 inches of snow is melting nicely. We recommend NOT riding right now -- slushy, wet, and with the warm temps will be muddy and could cause some trail damage. Will post back later in the week for the weekend of March 9.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

BASH Planning Underway

Two of the most important parts of the BASH for 2008 are CONFIRMED -- no not the trailer of beer -- but Camp Muckelratz if reserved for the weekend from Thursday evening around 4:00ish, to Sunday afternoon around 4:00ish, and of course our famed caterer, GONDER's GRUBB HOUSE is confirmed. Last year, we almost lost Gonder for the Day. Between Gonder and his yellow sticky notes everywhere not exactly sure what's on his calendar and what's not, and Keith not quite remembering if 1) he called Gonder and 2) did he give him the right date, when the time finally came to confirm, Gonder didn't have us on his calender! And he had 3 other events that same day. So...Gonder loving as much as he does, figured it all out, called in the extra help, and showed up with his belly-bustin yummy chicken. So this year, when he got his new calendar on January 1, I was on the phone with him on January 2 confirming the dates. He laughed like hell when I called and said "you're calling already!@!!" And I said, YUP! We ain't messin' up this year. Turns out Gonder DID already have a wedding on his calendar, but its not unusual for him to do 2-3 events in one day. So he's confirmed and has us down for the BASH, and we're happy to have him back again as you are too, I'm sure! We did have to change the price of the extra chicken dinners to $8.00 this year cause that's what Gonder charges us. We were losing money on the extra dinners other years! DOH!

Latest update on Rattling Marathon 2008

In a previous post, I mentioned that the Mountainside Bike Team was approached about putting on the Rattling Marathon -- that last year's promoter, Mike Kuhn, bit off more than he could chew and didn't' think he could promote the race this year. Well, Mountainside can't do it, so as of today, the Marathon is still up in the air.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

First 2008 BASH Sponsor Signs On

Our first 2008 BASH Sponsor has signed on and its a new one this year. SIMBREE, A Seattle, Washington company is producing organic energy bars, bites and granola that is incredible tasting. I discovered them in Orlando last year and have been hooked since. They use all organic ingredients with non-GMO soybeans AND minimal additives. Awesome product. Check them out!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rattling Marathon in 2008?

Last year saw the first race on the Rattling Creek trails. And it didn't come about without a little controversy amongst some of the trail builders in the club. For the most part, the club members were fairly divided -- since the race was a "Marathon" and the riders wouldn't be tearing things up like a typical XC race, coupled with the fact a Marathon isn't going to draw the entries like a XC race, many felt the race would be acceptable and minimal damage would occur. The opposition felt ANY "racing" would damage trails and should be avoided. In the end, since it was pretty much a half and half vote, the club stood "opposed" in the interests of our dedicated builders, but at the same time certainly couldn't deny the race happening since it IS public lands. So the race went on, with conditions -- alternate course if wet (it would have been all fire road/snowmobile trail and maybe Rock's Ridge and Wolf Pond), the trail inspectors would be surveying after the race to check for damage and if there WAS damage, no race in 2008. Post race, all trails held up well and saw minimal impact with the exception of Doc Smith which was rode twice in the race AND is not as rock-strewn as the others, so some of the turns were ever-so-slightly banked on Doc Smith, but certainly not "damaged." So the race-day guru, Ricky Brown, was ok with the turnout of the race, as were our very-concerned volunteers who came out to help assure the trails would be "protected." So this year? Not sure yet. The race promoter cannot do as many races as last year -- he bit off more than he could chew. So the search is on for a new race promoter of which the Club already said no, they are not interested in promoting a race mainly because they already do the BASH which is a pretty big deal for them. Kuhndog approached Mountainside Ski and Sports as a Team to put the race on, but the jury is still out on that. Bottom line, it takes a lot to organize and run a race and no one simply has the time. Sure, lots of folks said they'd "help", but it takes that one person to glue it all together and make it happen.