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