Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snowfall - Dec 31, 2009

It was about 2 inches or so we're guessing. Your choice on to ride or not to ride.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

12-27-09 Trail Update

The rain washed the majority of the snow away but there's a LOT of run-off and very wet conditions. We didn't get out on all the trails, but there's sure to be tree fall also with the wind that accompanied the rain all day Saturday. So watch for wet spots, run off, washed creek crossings (maybe - not sure, but possible), and downed trees. Enjoy the day!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow. Snow. Snow. Ski. Ski. Ski.

It's beautiful! The trails are open for skiing. We had about 8 inches which should put down a real nice base for back country skiing. The best skiing location is Lukes Trail on the top of the mountain. The snowmobilers usually have it packed nicely and from Lukes you can get to the rest of the trail system to check things out. Rick and I usually run out of gas by the time we do Lukes and Rim to the hang glider launch, so we end up heading back the same way we came. That's about a 3 hour tour on back country skis. If you are skating (yes, you can skate on Lukes and Rim because the snowmobiles groom things fairly nicely for skating), stay on the areas where the snowmobiles keep it packed. Have fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

No Takers for RCST Trail Advocate

We didn't get any takers for the Trail Advocacy Post for RCST. What will we do? Frank suggested a committee. But that would still require someone to take the lead. Anyone?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Help Wanted: RCST Trail Advocate

RCST is looking for a trail advocate representative. Keith, Rick, nor myself no longer can dedicate the time to this and the club could use a fresh face in this area. I’m sure you noticed less and less trailwork sessions (although the trails really have been awesome and we have lots of members that will do a little trail work while going for a ride).

What the job involves:
o Attending bi-annual, statewide meeting of mountain bike clubs to hear/talk about trail advocacy.
o Working with DCNR and other users groups (equine/hikers) on organized trailwork sessions. Maybe be part of a “Friends” group of Weiser.
o Help organize trail work as needed (working with the Equine folks).
o Coordinate club members for trail work as needed.
o Follow IMBA’s guidelines on trail advocacy, trail building, trail maintenance.
o Communicate any info you receive with the club membership. That could be done through the BLOG (or maybe our soon-to-be redesigned website).

This is volunteer work, but if you have a passion for mountainbiking and the RCST trails, its well worth the time and effort. If you do it right (you are calling the shots!), you’ll get to RIDE every time there’s a meeting or trail work session.

Please let Jill know ( of your interest and she’ll take care of connecting you with the appropriate folks (i.e., IMBA, DCNR, and Jim Theurer of the Equine Assoc to start). There’s already a session underway by Jim to have someone take a look at Preserve line trail. He’s also planning to have someone show them some trail building techniques so this is a perfect time for those of you wanting to get involved to join ranks with Jim, Thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meeting with DCNR and Equine Groups Held

DCNR called a meeting between the Rattling Creek Singletrackers and and the Equine folks. DCNR wanted to simply get folks together and talk about trail use, maintenance, and next steps for trails within Weiser State Forest. The Lykens Watershed trails (Rattling Creek, Doc Smith, Fawn Kill, Rugged, and Hopback) were not discussed and are not part of the trails the Equine groups ride. Those in attendance were Keith Whitcomb, Rick Brown (and Jill) from RCST; Jim Theurer, "Dee", and another gal (forgot her name - doh!) from the Equine groups; and Nick Zulli and Mark Deibler from DCNR. It was a good discussion that primarily focused on trail maintenance and the horse groups were enthusiastic to help with trail work. So much so, that Jim took the lead and will proceed with contacting Bud Wills of the PA Equine Council (Frank McGuire works closely with Mr. Wills on trail usage) to have him come to Weiser and look at Preserve line trail for a possible re-route. While the portion of Preserve line to be re-routed (the creek end) isn't a regularly used trail of the mountain bikes, it IS a primary trail for the horses and there's some concern the trail is too much on the "fall line" and erosion will occur eventually. DCNR agreed this has been a problem for years. The equine folks asked DCNR if regular trail maintenance could be set up and DCNR stated they do not have the manpower to do such maintenance. DCNR depends on folks like us -- the users -- to tell them what is needed and volunteer the hours (Like RCST has been doing for many years. We did talk about regular sessions of the past). DCNR commented we probably know the trails better than anyone and rely on us for any issues that arise. I'd like to thank DCNR for recognizing the work RCST put into the trail network. "If we didn't have you guys, there probably wouldn't be a trail system today." The Equine groups asked DCNR for better maps and that may not happen too soon due to budgetary constraints. DCNR also commented they would love to see a "Friends of Weiser" group formed consisting of all of us to regularly maintain trails. Not sure what the program is -- I'll have to research a little more.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall Trail Conditions and Update

With all the rain we've been having, the trails are super soft and have water standing in some spots. Wolf Pond is full and overflowing and the flow goes through Matter Snowmobile. All the springs are flowing full, thus the small stream crossings are medium stream crossings right now (waterfall on Doc Smith). It's actually relaxing and nice being in the woods on a wet day and hearing all the springs flowing. All you hear is water. No phones, cars, media, or people. Just the water. Very soothing. Even the hunters are quiet right now -- its archery season! There were several trucks parked throughout Weiser.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Thanks to mom nature, the Fall Flame Ride on the Rattling Creek Trails this Sunday, October 18 is CANCELLED. See you all next year.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hunting Season is Upon Us - Refrain from Saturday Riding

We've (RCST) always respected hunting season and ask you to also respect the hunters and NOT ride on Saturdays. The National Wild Turkey Federation folks have already made a donation to the RCST for trail building. Why? Because they too like the open trails to drag out their kill. Tomorrow starts archery season and if I'm not mistaken, there's something in nearly every week from now until January sometime. The full hunting schedule is here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More BASH 10th Anniversary Pics

More BASH pictures are up from the famous Uncle Don (Don Pagano). Very nice shots Don!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More 2009 BASH Pics

Courtesy Dean, the Bikeman. Thanks Dean! Nice shots.

2009 BASH Pics by Dean the Bikeman

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2009 BASH Recap

What a weekend! We’re finally getting a chance to regroup and have a little time to recap the 10th Annual RCST Mountain Bike Bash. First, thanks to all of YOU for making it happen. It rained all day Friday – no it poured all day Friday – but that didn’t stop folks from contenting themselves with other extra-curricular activities rather than riding. The rain didn’t stop the Chili Cook off, the beer wagon tapping, nor the Jay DeJesus skills clinic. 12 folks prepared a pot of Chili for everyone to vote on and in the end; Don Olson won another “Chile” trophy. Runners up were Karen Egolf and Scott Christina. Saturday started with dry skies and wet trails, but nearly everyone headed out anyway for a day on the trails. The skies broke lose again in the afternoon while many were on their way back to camp so most folks were “looking awesome dude” coated with mud. Saturday evening festivities started with the famed Gonder’s Grubhouse chicken dinner at 5:30, followed by the very entertaining and soothing acoustic duo, Accouco. We want them back next year!!! The prize drawing went off at about 8:00 and the table was non-too short on quality prizes. Camelbacks, a trainer, a bike stand, bike computers, bike chains, sunglasses, Forze bars, Dirt Rag glasses and the prized possession of the 10th annual bash – specially created 10” anniversary GRIZ mugs. Sunday’s Rock’s ridge contest was questionable with the weather; so we shortened it so folks could ride – and ride the trails they did ‘cause only 4 folks showed up to battle for the crowns. In the end, Brad Doxtater unseated the reigning King, Darrin Kreis for the King trophy. Yours truly, Jill Wiest, was “the only girl with balls” to attempt it and took home the queen honors. This was the last year for the Rock’s Ridge King and Queen – we’ll replace it with something equally fun next year. The rain took a toll on Camp Muckleratz this year and the field endured a lot of wet conditions leaving a very rutty entrance down the middle of the field. The land owner was happy we did the best we could and raked the muddy sections, and he told Rick, “what I should have is a roller.” Rick was more than happy to share his roller with the Camp caretaker. We haven't confirmed the dates yet with Ken the Camp caretaker, but we're looking at September 16, 17, 18, and 19. We'll confirm when we confirm Muckleratz availability.

2009 BASH Pics are Rolling In

Here's the first group of BASH pics -- thank you Jon Pratt!

Monday, September 14, 2009

10th Annual RCST BASH Recap (a short one)

We're too exhausted to do a thorough recap at this point. Suffice it to say, it was yet another memorable event -- in more ways than one. It rained for 48 hours. The Acoustic guys, Accouco, were very well liked. All the kegs were kicked. The trails held up (sort of). The Rock's Ridge competition dwindled immensely this year -- 3 guys and a girl with balls -- could it be the wet rocks scared them away? Gonder's chicken was again awesome. 12 folks cooked up chili and Don Olson won (again!). We had a Friday night band for the first time. And that 48 hours of rain took a toll on the field and 6 tired souls raked, shoveled, and tamped the ruts back into place so the property owner wouldn't have a fit (we don't think he will). Thanks to everyone who made the BASH yet another success. But a special thank you to Shawn Withers, Trainwreck and Esther, Scott Corbin, Rick Begley, Rick, and Keith for toughing it out to the bitter end and helping with the final clean up of ashes, fire rings (they had to be dismantled), and tossed firewood (it went back to the wood pile), and filling in those muddy ruts. Tom Gibson and Mike Bega get an honorable mention too for helping moving those monstrous picnic tables back to their starting point. And a thanks to all of you who helped toss trash in the dumpster on the way out. Feel free to post your comments - we'd love to here them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We're Off to the BASH!

The Rattling Creek Single Trackers BASH organizers are heading off to Camp Muckleratz today so don't try to contact us anymore -- we ain't home! The gates open at 4:00 pm. Everything is ready for good time. The weather? Don't worry about it -- even a hurricane (Ivan!! in 2004?) didn't "dampen" our spirits. We rode, partied, and had a good time even with a downpour. It's all fun and that's what the BASH is all about. See you at Camp!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Four Days and Counting -- And Princess Is Coming!

We thought for sure Princess had the weekends mixed up and was thinking the BASH was the weekend of the 17-20; but today we got an e-mail... "Hey, I'll be there." Princess is one of the few folks that have been at every single BASH - all 10 of them. What would the BASH be without our dear princess? Making messes in the kitchen, lounging in the hammock, hanging clothes from the fan to dry (yes, while it was going), trying to eat a pizza that was water soaked from melted ice. What a princess! We're pretty much done preparing and have started to load the vans (Rick is anal like that -- he "packs" the vans to make the best use of space). "It's like a reunion man." We're ready.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Groups" of Horses on Singletrack -- Again.

A "Wise" soul from Michaux commented if you don't nip in the bud, they'll be back, and he was right... the horses were out in force again today on the Weiser single track. Rick saw 7 of them in one group, and another 2 were riding in another group, and on our way out of the woods, we saw about 6 more. The snowmobile parking lot had about a dozen trailers. And the trails? They continue to show signs of degradation. Matter, Shale Run, and Preserve Line are the worse. It's been dry all week, yet these trails are wet, muddy at spots, and very soft. This is a direct result of the horse event earlier this year. These trails will continue to degrade unless DCNR opts to keep the horses off the single track. Surprisingly, they asked Keith when we could sit down with them along with the horses folks and work this out. So it appears there's a meeting in the future between DCNR, us, and the equine group to hammer out what IS ok and what isn't. I'm looking forward to that because its very sad to see all of our hard work get chewed up so badly.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Swag List -- Stop your Drooling!

We pretty much have an exclusive bike shop sponsor this year -- MOUNTAINSIDE SKI AND SPORTS! Its not that we were dissing anyone else, it just worked out to get most of the swag from Mountainside. Mountainside is located in Mechanicsburg and they double as THE place to go for downhill ski equipment too. They helped us out with an incredible list of swag:

Park Bike Stand
Kinetic Trainer (better than Cyclops)
Chain Cleaner kits
3 different kinds of sets of pedals including egg beaters and Shimano 540
3 bike computers
4 or 5 camelbaks
tubes (including 29 inch!)
Dirt Rag Pint glasses (12)
Custom Griz mugs (8)
Water bottles

Massage Anyone??? How 'Bout at the BASH?

We're delighted to have a Holistic Health Practitioner at the BASH this year and she'll be offering massages to those interested. Melissa Doxtater of Good Karma Better Health specializes in things like energy therapies, massage, nutritional counseling and health and well being and she'll be set up at the BASH with not only the massages, but also some organic health products too. Visit her website -- its interesting stuff.

Friday, September 4, 2009

No One Will Be Turned Away

Even though the chicken and t-shirts have been ordered (with a handful of extras) and reserved for the pre-registrants, we want you to know we won't turn anyone away from enjoying the festivities of the BASH. You may not get food or a t-shirt, but you sure can still come ride and enjoy the camaraderie the BASH is known for. How could we deny anyone from having a good time!? At least that's the attitude of the organizers... its all fun and good and we want YOU to enjoy the party. "It's like a reunion man...." Please be sure to still e-mail us if you plan to show up even though the chicken/t-shirts are gone -- there will still be a charge for the weekend for camping/raffle drawing/etc.

Ride on!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Info for the BASH Virgins

Boy are you first-timers in for a treat! I'm sure by now you've heard about all the hoopla from your friends on how great of a time the BASH is. They weren't kidding. It's laid back and easy-going - not a lot of rules. So here's some basic info if its your first time.
Gates open at 4:00 on Thursday.
  • Drive all the way to the end of the driveway to a cinder block building -- that's registration and check-in. You'll pass two pavilions -- that's where the chili cook off and the Sat evening dinner is will be, along with the prize drawings and maybe the band.
  • There's no announcements or loud speakers saying what's going on -- so watch your clock for the times on the schedule of events and happenings.
  • They'll be a schedule at check-in, along with other goodies like:
  • Group rides. We try to post who is doing what kind of ride on Saturday, and that will be hanging in the bunkhouse to give you an idea of what kind of ride you might want to do.
  • We'll provide a black and white map so you can find your way on your own on Thurs eve and Friday. Only Saturday is organized rides unless we can find folks willing to lead a group or two on Friday.
  • A full kitchen is in the bunkhouse. Feel free to use it! You can cook if you want, the water is good to drink and fill up for rides, and the bunkhouse is where bagels and coffee are located for breakfast. There's a microwave and a nice gas stove and oven.
  • Porta-potties - there will be 5 this year, thanks to the generous donation of an un-named regular who thinks we never have enough.
  • Showers -- are primitive. Ricky Brown builds 3 "porta-showers" with curtains and we have a club member who supplies a water heater. So its actually not bad. But remember there's going to be about 200 people wanting to shower. So think that through. There's also a nice, private washroom in the bunkhouse with 3 bowls to wash, brush your teeth, change. Feel free to use that. One of my friends said they never "shower" at the BASH -- showering is over-rated. (???)
  • Camping - first come first served. No reserved spots. But don't fret - its BIG and there are lots of spaces. It's help yourself. If you don't want to tent camp, you're welcome to the bunkhouse which has about 40 bunk beds. There's usually about a dozen or so used during the BASH. Remember though -- its a CAMP. It has that wonderful campy smell to it :)
  • Saturday evening hoopla -- the Beer Wagon (yup, there's a WAGON with 4 or so taps on the side of it) is fired up about 4:00 ish (I think) and it's included in your registration fee so help yourself! Dinner arrives about 5:30ish and most folks bring a chair and sit under the pavilion and relax a little. About 7:00ish, Keith, Jill, and Rick do the raffle drawing. If you registered for the whole weekend, you're name is in the drawing. Other years we had prizes for everyone, but it took WAY too long so we cut the prizes back to about 40 or 50 NICE things. So many of you will walk away with a nice prize.
  • The Trails. Ahhhh... the best part. The trail system is about 27 miles total if you ride from camp. Riding from camp means a 2 mile, 800 foot elevation climb. But you get to come back DOWN that at the end of the ride, so its all good. We'll have black and white maps for you. Many folks drive to the top of the mountain to skip the climb and just go for the meat of the trails -- the oh-so-sweet singletrack. Some will ride Rock's Ridge over and over again to get ready for....
  • Rock's Ridge Contest on Sunday. It starts at 10:00 this year. You just show up at the Schreffler Trail end and get your number plate (a paper plate). The judges mark a start-point and end-point in the rockiest sections of the trail and YOU get to TRY to dead start and make it through the rocks. That's right -- no running start -- its a dead start and it ain't easy! But it sure is fun. Please tell the GIRLS to enter. We didn't have any last year and other years were sparse. Last year we had to give the queen trophy to the last place guy! He was such a trooper and had SUCH a good attitude. GIRLS -- ENTER THIS!! Its really fun.
  • Closing time. You gotta be out by 3:00 on Sunday! and we mean OUT by 3:00. Last year we had to rush some guys 'cause the camp owner was there to lock things up and he wasn't happy waiting around. So please respect the property owner and be out by 3:00.
  • Campfires. You are welcome to build them - but bring your own firewood. The camp is out of firewood this year. We're trying to locate some for the big bonfire in the middle, but that hasn't happened yet. When you are done for the weekend, the ashes need taken to the big bonfire in the middle and your ring must be covered over.

You'll get all this info at check-in too. Welcome!!!

RCST Chili Cook-off - Sept 11, 2009 6:00 pm

Yup… we’re doing it again this year. Friday evening, September 11, 2009 at 6:00 begins the “contest” to see who is the creator of the best chili in Camp. It’s a simple thing… just brew up a pot of Chili, bring it to the pavilion between 5:30 and 6:00, and at 6:00 the troops start tasting them all and casting votes on which one they think is the best. There are no rules on what goes in the Chili. We keep it simple. Yes, meat competes against meatless – no holds barred. (BTW, a meatless chili was tied for 2nd last year.) And the judging is pretty simple too. Cast your vote by writing the number of your favorite chili on the piece of paper and throw it in the voting can between 6:00 and 7:00 pm. At about 7:15 or 7:30 (while you all enjoy swapping micro-brews), the top 3 winners will be announced with the winner taking home a specially made trophy (courtesy Reinhart Ironworks!) for the BASH Chili cook off. It’s all good fun. Chili creators are welcome to use the kitchen in the bunkhouse to cook up your chili. There’s a nice gas stove, ovens, and a microwave. There’s usually space in the frig to store your prepared Chili prior to the cook-off too. And here’s a tiny word of advice – make sure its heated up and ready for taste tasting at 6:00!!! I’ve seen some beautiful looking pots of chili go uneaten and not voted on because they were cold. Don’t let your creation fall into this “blah, it’s cold!” category! It coulda been a winner if only it was warm. So cook up some chili – there’s about 150 people waiting to taste it.

p.s. BTW, only make a normal “batch” – don’t make enough for 150 people! Folks will only take a taste of each pot so that pot should go a long way except when they love it and come back for more. Last year all of the pots were empty (if I remember correctly). There were 16 (?) pots. The year before there was 13. So bring along a pot of chili. Past winners “secret’ ingredients include beer and smoky chipotle peppers.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jay de Jesus/EWR Bikes Skills Clinic at the BASH

Oh is this going to be fun. Famed Jay de Jesus will be offering "Beginner/Intermediate Technical Skills Clinic by Jay de Jesus of EWR Bikes". They'll be two clinics at Camp Muckelratz -- one on Friday evening and one on Saturday morning before everyone heads out for a day of riding which is actually perfect 'cause you can use the new-found skills on the trail. We'll have exact times on the final schedule when you check in, but more than likely you won't miss when it's going on 'cause there will be a crowd around the cones and logs (which you also won't miss 'cause they will be near the entrance driveway somewhere). Here's what the clinic will involve:

1) bike set-up and body position
2) balance and stance
3) cornering
4) logs - general and uphill
5) bunnyhopping
6) whatever else we have time for

There will be a "course" set up at the camp for this clinic and it should be a ton of fun - and you just might learn a thing or two too!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 RCST BASH Final Days of Registration

We're at the deadline for registrations for the 2009 10th anniversary BASH. If you haven't registered by now, you may miss the boat. We're calling in the chicken order tomorrow (Gonder's Grubhouse wanted two weeks notice) and the t-shirt orders are going in on Monday. At this point, PLEASE E-MAIL US IF YOU HAVEN'T SENT YOUR REGISTRATION. We need to know chicken flavors for tomorrow's (Friday, August 28) order placing. Our e-mail is And the t-shirt sizes are s,m,l,xl, and xxl.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rattling Creek Single Trackers DCNR Volunteer Group of the Year 2006

I think its ironic the RCST club was selected as volunteer group of the year in 2006 (I just found this press release on the DCNR website -- sorry for taking 3 years to share with you!!), and the DCNR folks in Weiser, Haldeman Tract aren't exactly cooperative these days when it comes to the club's views of sustainable trails. Interesting. Check out the press release! I'll be sure to share all this information with DCNR in November when I attend the PA Mountain Bike Summit to share our recent story of horses on the single track.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 RCST Mountain Bike BASH Schedule!

Finally.... here's the 2009 schedule -- subject to change slightly (not the times except for Jay's clinics). We'll have the final, final schedule for you at check-in.

4:00 pm – Gates and check-in/registration opens for the weekend
All evening – on-your-own riding

7-8:30 am Coffee and Bagels in Bunkhouse
??? Jay DeJesus Mountain Bike Skills Clinic (time to be determined)
6:00 pm Chili Cookoff! (pavilion)
6:00 pm Micro-brew swap! (pavilion)
All day and evening; on-your-own riding

7-8:30 am Coffee and Bagels in Bunkhouse
9:30 am Organized group rides depart (meet at bunkhouse/pavilion area) Note: Social/casual group(s) drive to starting location – have bike loaded and ready to roll at 9:30.
??? Jay DeJesus Mountain Bike Skills Clinic (time to be determined)
4:00 pm Troegs tasting begins (at pavilion)
5:30 pm Dinner at pavillion
7:00 pm Prize Drawings (at pavilion)
8:00 ish “Accouco” Acoustic duo – will set up near bonfire in camp area.

7-8:30 am Coffee and Bagels in Bunkhouse
10:00 am Rock’s Ridge Competition – meet at Matter Trail end of Rock’s Ridge (off White Oak Road)
3:00 am Gates Close to campers. Please be out by 3:00. Respect the property owner!

All weekend
Swap Meet/Sale. Located at the registration area in the Bunk house. Bring your items you’d like to sell, tag (price), and put on the swap table. You never know what others might be interested in!

Scarlet O'Hara's Southern BBQ Menu

We'd like to have Scarlet at the BASH, but we're having issues with getting power to her. Sooo.... be sure to visit her on Route 209, outside of Elizabethville. She's "parked" in the parking lot a Rita's, adjacent to the bowling alley, about 1/4 mile from Walmart (on opposite side of street from Walmart).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rattling Creek Trail Woes

Yesterday was the Rattling 50 Marathon and about 40-50 riders were on the trails. Luckily, it appeared the rain held off for them (I wasn't around to check things out unfortunately). I plan to contact Frank McGuire of IMBA and try to figure out how to deal with DCNR after seeing the trails today after the bike race. It's NOT the bikers that are the problem. I'm sorry to say the DCNR singletrack the horses were on are now super soft, and after a week of wet conditions and bike race on the singletrack, it's obvious the DCNR singletrack trails will not hold up. They were fairly soft and mucky with clear bike lines (muddy). The Rattling creek trail system hardly ever had a muddy spot for many years. Now, after a horse event, the single track the horses traveled on are showing signs of wear and tear. It was most evident after the bike race. Two years ago after the Rattling Marathon, club members purposely checked the trails the next day to make sure they were "ok", and they were. The only sign of 100 bikes on the trails were on Doc Smith on a fast turn or two. Hardly no evidence of 100 bikes racing. Yesterday? 50 bikes and it was obvious on the DCNR singletrack. Something was also very obvious on the Lykens Watershed trails -- trails the same 40-50 bike traveled on -- showed NO signs of a race. There was hardly a bike track and nothing but hard-packed, smooth trail. The watershed policy is no horses on watershed singletrack and it DOES make a huge difference on the singletrack. I'm hopeful there's a resolution -- but the vibes we are getting from DCNR is the trails are for everyone. Frank, help!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hopping Along Again on Hopback!

You regular riders know how Hopback trail gets grown in pretty bad and needs regular trimming. Well thanks to Ricky Brown and having too much vacation time on his hands, he spent 5 hours trimming Hop back 2 weeks ago. It's rideable again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

8-14-09 BASH Update - Get Your Registrations in!

We're down to the final two weeks of getting everyone registered so you can get a t-shirt and chicken dinner. I mentioned in the previous post, the t-shirt guy and the chicken guys need the orders by the end of August. So click on the below link (previous post) and get registered! And for you vegetarians -- we just confirmed VEGAN lasagna this year; no eggs, no dairy, no meat. You'll get the lasagna in place of the chicken and still get all the fixings that come with the chicken (tater, cole slaw, roll). Keith confirmed two acoustic guys for the Saturday evening entertainment. You asked and you received. Folks were not happy with the bands and the suggestion was made for something a little more camper-friendly (at the campsites), so these guys will be down by the campsites on Saturday evening rather than sitting under the pavillion all night. Lastly, Keith was contacted by a gal who has a food truck and wondered if we'd be interested in her setting up for the weekend. We're still working out the details on that and will let folks know via e-mail if confirmed. She sells things like pulled pork, BBQ, eggs, etc -- the normal "food truck" types of things. Might be nice for people who don't really want to camp-cook. Fun stuff! It's all coming together -- just like other years. Gonna be a good time again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

10th Anniversary BASH T-shirts -- Need Your Registration by Aug 31

The t-shirt maker will need our order for the special BASH 10th Anniversary t-shirts by September 1. Sooo….. we need to have your registration in our mailbox by the 31st. So if you want a shirt get registered ASAP !! We may, (or may not) order some extra shirts in whatever sizes, so if you register after Aug 31st there are two possibilities. (1)you may get a shirt, that may (or may not) fit. Or....(2) you may not get a shirt at all.

So please get your registration and preferred t-shirt size to us by Aug 31. Registration info can be found at the RCST website BASH page. Thanks! Jill

Friday, July 31, 2009

Checkin The Trails

If you get out riding this weekend on the Rattling Creek Trails, we'd appreciate your assessment of trails (the trails the horses were on last weekend... Shale Run, Preserve Line, Matter, Wolf Pond, and Rock's Ridge far West) if you could take a moment and comment to this post. Keith (yup Keith!), Rick (Yup, Rick too! Neither have been riding much) and myself will do some riding this weekend to see how things are to get ready for the BASH. Of course, we need to see how Shale Run and Preserve Line held up to heavy rain this week, now that the trails are rototilled. Rick is predicting a nice washing off of topsoil at spots with bare rocks showing through. We'll check it out and let you know. Let us know what you think of Shale run. Thx.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A First Hand Rider's Assessment of "Horse Trails"

I decided to be totally objective when making my assessment of the singletrack the horses were on this weekend. Forget what's been said, forget what's been written, and simply ride and see for myself. This is Rick's 4th day in a row he's been at the trails looking them over. You've read his opinions and of course DCNR's assessment -- now its my turn.

I've been on dozens and dozens of all types of trails in all types of conditions and yes, there IS some damage, but not significant (as DCNR stated) -- YET (more on that shortly). What came to mind most when I was riding was growing up on the farm and me and my brother would grab our bikes and head out across the horse fields on the trails the horses would make. They were rutty, bumpy, rocky, and bro and I would get a kick out of seeing if we could make it up this one hill that was slippy from the horses chewing up the gravel and making it loose. Yup, that's the impression I got of the trail. Bumpy, rutty (they are drying out now and after digging it up in wet conditions, they are becoming rutty), hard to climb on the steep sections because of the looseness, and full of horse shit. Before I even started riding, I tried to get on my bike and slipped and fell in rocks -- in horse shit! Stupid me.

Now my verdict -- at present, the trails are definitely rideable, but bumpy and loose at spots. The worst parts are minimal - maybe 25% of entire length of trail? The bumps will likely smooth out over time with bike traffic and a couple rains; unless the rains are SO hard it starts to wash which is my next verdict. I think over time there will be areas that will begin to erode and that's the part I'm not so sure DCNR was really thinking about - how will these trails hold up over time with this kind of traffic. But time will tell that story. I can't imagine the horses will be back for another year - at least not in the numbers they were in this past weekend. We may see a horse or two every now and again, but one or two may not cause that much trouble.

So... get out and ride and smooth out the trails! Ride Shale Run, Preserve Line, Matter Singletrack, Rock's Ridge West and Wolf Pond.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RCST Prez and Vice Prez Comments on Horse Event

In case folks don't open comments to posts; I wanted to be sure everyone saw the comments of the RCST Prez, Keith Whitcomb, and the Club's Vice Prez, Ricky Brown. These comments were in response to a sort of confrontation equestrian rider. As as an FYI, Keith is a graduate of IMBA's (International Mountain Biking Association) Trailbuilding school, so he just might know what he's talking about! Here the comments:

My name is Rick Brown. I'm the biker that came over to camp to talk to Jim Saturday eve.I'm not sure what you are imagining I said or did that was unsportsman like but I was anything but. I was respectful and simply voiced my concerns for damage to the trails due to soft trail conditions.As far as the trails, bikers built them for biking and hiking. We know that the trails cannot take horse traffic with out considerable damage over time. There's no room for discussion on this point. We've seen the results of horses on these trail before and it's unacceptable.When Jim ran this event last year I actaully helped mark the course and we had an understanding that he would not use singletrack bike trails. That was great. But now this year we were not involved and he used trails because DCNR gave him the go ahead. He should have had an alternate course laid out just in case of bad trail conditions so he could have used it and avoided the damage that was done today, especially after the heavy rains last night.If you spent years developing a trail system for a certain purpose and had anther user group come in and in a weekend of use do damage to those trails you wouldn't be happy.I was also back over there today, taking pictures of the results of the ride. Hopefully when DCNR comes in to inspect the trails tomorrow they will agree that horses should not be on the singletrack trails. Running the course on the trails after the rain we had the night before, after I voiced concerns for trail conditions, may actaully have been a mistake on Jim's part.Those trails can take horse traffic if conditions are good. Today conditions were not and if you were out there on the trail today you could see the results of it.I've posted pictures and sent e-mails to DCNR and Lykens Borough Watershed letting them know of our concerns.About half of the singletrack trails are on Lykens Borough property and due to previous horse damage to the trails they have gave us permission years ago to post all those trails off limits to horses. Hopefully DCNR will see things from the same perspective after inspecting the trails after this weekend.

Keith Whitcomb said...
Ok, here we go. My name is Keith Whitcomb and I'm one of the guys who laid out the Rattling Creek Trail System.First, I'll tell you that we took about 2 years just hiking the mountains with a topo map in hand just to figure out where to go and where not to go with the trails. We made meticulous notes of wet areas, steep slopes, etc. when we were looking at building a connector or new section of trail. Some of the trails already existed on DCNR property and the topo map so we opened them up because they were grown in at the time. We actually rerouted some sections, such as on Wolf Pond Trail. The old section of Wolf Pond Trail went through vernal ponds so we rerouted out of that wet area. Our plan was to open up existing stuff and then asess them later to see if we need to reroute, which we did.All of the new trail or connectors were laid out to minimize impact and/or trail maintenance. We used IMBA guidlines for this. Many of our club memebers have attended IMBA Trailbuilding Schools and are knowledgable on how and how not to build trails.So to see damage like this in one weekend is just very frustrating for me. I understand that this is public land but I don't think that this event was coordinated using a common sense approach. At the very least there should have been a contingency plan in case of soft trail conditions. The snowmobile trails or roads could have been used in lieu of the soft singletrack. Also, even in dry conditions the route should not have went up and down an approximately 20% grade into a stream bed. (Preserve Line Trail)That section of trail definately needs rerouted.
July 27, 2009 1:45 PM
Keith Whitcomb said...
I don't hate horses or equestrians. That's not the issue here, trail degredation is. Hikers and mountain bikers have an initmate relationship with the trail surface itself. What I'm trying to say is that the damage that has been done will not be felt or noticed by equestrians but it will be by hikers and bikers. So with that being said I hope you all understand that your impact will be noticed by other users, and eventually maybe to the point that those other user groups will no longer be able to use those trails.I, or our club is not looking for any recognition here, but the truth of the matter is if RCST didn't exist, most of that singetrack wouldn't exist. We have logged 3,000 to 4,000 volunteer hours to build that trail system. I spent many lonely days in those woods with my brushcutter. We have also done a lot of meticulous rock work to make impassable sections walkable and/or rideable. We had a fiord built across wolf run so we wouldn't rut the streambed. So much work, can some you see where I'm coming from?I'm not saying that bikes can't do damage either, that's why we rerouted some sections. A good comparison to this is secondary and rural back roads. Did any of you ever see a sign on a back road saying no vehicles over 10,000 pounds? That's because that road can't handle that kind of impact, especially if repeated over and over again.There are plenty of studies and data out there comparing the impacts of user groups. Horses are right up there with motorized users. Hikers being the least and bikes usually second in most cases.The issue isn't the people in the user group or even the horse itself, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE IMPACT AND HOW THAT IMPACT EFFECTS THE EXPERIENCE OF THE OTHER USER GROUPS.Rick tried to get Jim to see our point of view but I guess he didn't. He wasn't being "unsportmanlike" he was being "passionate" about the work we have done. All we're looking for here is for you to work with us and try to understand our point of view. We feel that there is no respect for what we have done in Weiser Forest.If there is mutual respect you will try to work with us and also put some sweat equity into this great trail system. We just feel that we shouldn't have keep repairing damage if we aren't the ones making these huge impacts. Like I said earlier, equestrians might not notice these impacts/changes to the trail, but someone on foot or bike will. I know GOD made the forest for all animals, again, that's not the issue. If this was the 1800's we wouldn't be having this conversation. But it's not the 1800's and this is public land, so in my opinion should be managed that way. It's funded by taxpayer dollars and VOLUNTEER sweat and equity. There are no simple solutions but I think we can find a way not to hate each other, but we also have to respect each other and each other's concerns.Keith Whitcomb, RCST
July 27, 2009 1:46 PM

DCNR Trail Assessment of Sunday's Equestrian Event

From DCNR - their assessment of the trails:

From: "Nicola R Zulli" To:,, "jim theurer"
Cc: "Michael Mazur" , "Mark W Deibler"
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 2:49:02 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Damage to Single Track Trails
Hello All,
I spent most of the day today hiking the single tract trails used by the
equestrian event held this past weekend. I will agree the trails did show
signs that horses had traveled them after a rain event. I did not see major
damage to the extent that the trails are unusable for biking or hiking.
There were some small holes made by the horse's hooves and I did find one
hole that was a foot deep or so, probably from a rock being moved. The
stream bed had no damage to it and the stream banks had minor damage, that I
believe will have little impact to the stream and water quality. Over all I
am impressed the trails held up the way they did with having a down pour for
a couple hours and then having 29 horses travel over them.
I have spoken with Jim in person and he is going to go over the trail and
fix any holes that were made by horses and special attention to Preserve
Line Trail and Shale Run Trail. This work will be done in the next day or
two. Once this work is completed, Jim please let me know and I will walk
the trails again.
Also, while I was talking to Jim, he mentioned he is willing to help do
maintenance on the trails with the Rattling Creek Single Trackers, he would
just have to be notified in advance.
If any one has any comments or questions please contact me.
Nick Zulli

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pictures of the Horse Damage on Shale Run and Preserve Line Trail

Here is the link to pictures of the horses on soft singletrack. These pictures were shared with DCNR and the Lykens Watershed for erosion concerns in the West Branch of Rattling Creek. We plan to also talk directly to DCNR.

Please, keep the comments non-confrontational. Our intent is NOT to prevent anyone from using the public land -- but to work with the landowners to conserve the land. There are many, many miles of trails that can appropriately be used by numerous user groups. Last year's equestrian event was ideal -- we worked directly with Jim Theurer to develop the course to prevent any trail damage and it worked out fine. We were not contacted for this year's event, thus, trail damage on soft singletrack. We've never had any issues with horses using the snowmobile trails which are built to sustain the horse traffic.

I also have to make one more personal comment to the horse folks. I was raised on a horse farm and still live near the horses. I have all the respect in the world for these beautiful creatures and certainly hold nothing against the horses. This is simply a situation of the mountain biking club trying to maintain the quality of the trail system they volunteered hundreds of hours building.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

HORSES - Sunday July 26

The horse competition I mentioned in the previous post will continue on Sunday, July 26. Horses will be on SHALE RUN, PRESERVE LINE, MATTER SINGLETRACK, maybe WOLF POND and ROCK'S RIDGE! Rick talked to the organizer tonight about horses on soft trail and the organizer said DCNR told them they could use whatever they wanted. So they are. They are not on watershed trails (Rattling Creek, Fawn Kill, Rugged, Doc Smith). Rick will be taking pictures on Sunday of the trails after the horses go through and he plans to share with DCNR and the Lykens Watershed. We just had a good downpour and 40 or so horses on Shale Run today will not be a pretty sight. There are several concerns: 1) they are using the streambank of Rattling Creek on Preserve line -- that could start an erosion process which the Watershed folks may have issue with, 2) The Rattling Creek Membership built many of the trails and while yes, we volunteered our time realizing the trails are multi-use, we didn't build them to be torn up by another user group that is not planning to return and repair the damage, and 3) We explained to both the watershed and DCNR the trails can't sustain a thousand pound animal in soft conditions - thus, the "NO HORSES" signs went up - both DCNR and the Lykens Watershed agreed to this. Since that time, a new forrester took over and his views differ from Ellen Roane's (we miss her!). Horses on soft single track is a problem and we'll do our best to resolve.

Sat July 25 Trail Report - Horses!

I'm sorry to say the club had NO idea there was going to be a horse competition on the trails today -- so my apologies to those who "tried" to ride today. We aren't talking a horse or two -- we are talking 50 or so horses doing "loops" on the trails. Last year, Rick helped the organizer layout a course using a 12 mile, mostly-snowmobile (and some fire road) course and the horses did two loops on this course. So when I started riding, I said to my riding partner, "don't worry, when we jump on the single track, we'll be fine." WRONG! Much to my surprise and disappointment, the course was laid out this year to include the far west end of Rock's Ridge (behind Wolf Pond where its the softest and yes, the trails were soft today), the first half of Wolf Pond Trail before the big rock gardens, all of shale run and Preserve line (ARGH! and it was soft too), and I'm fairly certain Matter single track which may have been fairly solid. The horses were NOT on Rattling creek, Fawn Kill, or Rugged (watershed territory). We were not contacted this year to help with the course and we had no idea it was going on. You can't imagine the frustration when I saw the hooves digging in the soft single track and they were the first 3 of 50 doing two loops on that section. I was truly afraid to go back and check what it looked like when they were done. Not sure what we'll do if anything. It IS public land afterall. But -- its possible the horse folks have a trail work session scheduled to fix what may be rutted (maybe?). In the meantime, watch for horse ruts on Rock's Ridge West (far end), Wolf Pond, Shale Run, Preserve Line, and Matter Single track (unless they fixed it today when they were done).

Monday, July 20, 2009

The RCST Website is Down - Maybe for Good

If you've been checking the website and have been wondering why no recent updates, it's because our other computer died along with the software to update the website and we haven't quite figured out what to do just yet other than maybe use this here Blog, which works fine. Yes, that site was antiquated and needed a faceflift, but we didn't think it would happen this way. One of our wonderful club members offered to do a website -- but for a cost (he works for an IT company), and we really didn't want to take on another monthly cost for the club. Sooo.... after the BASH, that website will likely disappear and you'll see a permanent link to this blog.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4 Firecracker Ride

It was a nice turnout for the ride. Some familiar faces, and some familiar faces we haven't seen in a while too! Andy Miller, Andrea Strubhar, Brian Arnold, Shawn Withers, Chris from Mountainside Ski and Sports, Joe Daversa, and some other folks I didn't know showed up for the ride. While Rick nor I could partake in the fun and festivities the rest of the group had on the 4th due to family obligations, I'm sure the group had a great time. Isn't it all good??

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

July 4 Firecracker Ride - BYOB(urgers)

It turns out we have to make some changes to the July 4 Firecracker ride this year. Yes, we're still doing group rides -- it'll be Rick with a more casual group and Jill with whatever else everyone else wants to ride. Keith won't make it, and Jill and Rick have family visiting from out of town so they won't be able to stay after the ride to cook up dead meat and chat. You all are certainly welcome to bring your own eats. There are charcoal grills at the picnic area you are welcome to use. You'll have to supply your own charcoal for the grills, and of course the dead meat, rolls, and snacks. So come on out for the ride! 10:00 am at the Minnich Hit picnic area. See for directions to the Minnich hit picnic area.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Trail Report, June 14, 2009

18 horses, 7 mountain bikers, a family of hikers, 2 turkeys, 1 ruffed grouse, a chipmunk and a tick or two -- not bad for a sunny day in the woods. The horse people were very nice folks on gorgeous animals - I was impressed. The horses were all very well behaved as they passed me -- maybe it's cause I WASN'T in neon? Might make a difference. :) Of course about 15 minutes later I wasn't as happy when I rolled over some leave-behinds of the horses. Nice. My bike needed a good scrubbing anyway. Don't worry, the horses weren't on single track - it was Rim trail. They tend to stick to the roads or snowmobile trail. The trails are still in awesome shape. There are a couple face slappers here and there, but nothing we can't live with. It's also getting easier to get over some of the logs we talked about removing -- maybe we'll let them stay. Have Fun!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Trail Report - June 8, 2009

We have another trail god to thank. If you notice trees removed - thank Emory Ehrenfeld the next time you see him. He spent several hours on the Rattling Creek trails on Sunday not only riding, but clearing trees. Our club has some dedicated folks and Emory is one of them. The trails are still in pretty good shape with everything grown in now. I noticed a couple face slappers on Doc Smith and Rattling Creek that we'll have to get to, but all in all, even with all the rain, the trails were good to go with few wet/soggy spots. There are two really big trees down on Rattling Creek that we'll have to hike in with a chainsaw - but it appears some folks are getting over them with the chain ring marks on them. There's some serious gypsy moth feasting going on and its quite obvious on Rattling Creek and other areas where there's a concentration of oak trees. You can see chewed leaves on the trail and if its calm, you can hear them! No, I'm not kidding. They have voracious appetites and will clean a tree in a couple weeks. And I also noticed two deer INSIDE the Deer EXCLOSURE. Poor things. Rick said water could be a problem for them -- but I commented if they got in, they can get out. They're not so dumb.

Friday, June 5, 2009

IMBA Action Alert - PA State Parks!

From IMBA:

Take Action to Protect Pennsylvania’s Parks and Forests
IMBA’s Mid-Atlantic office urges mountain bikers to help protect vital natural resources, including singletrack, by asking the Pennsylvania legislature to reconsider drastic budget cuts. The proposed cuts would negatively impact 117 parks and 2.1 million acres of forests managed by the state.Take Action by speaking in favor of strong funding for Pennsylvania’s treasured parks and forests. IMBA’s online form allows you to easily contact your state legislator and let him or her know that you support an equitable review off all state programs, and that state parks and forests are critical to the economic well being of the state and the health of its citizens. Additional InformationThe Senate’s current budget plan (Senate Bill 850, now in the House as Bill 1416) reduces the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) budget by about $19 million more than Governor Rendell’s current proposal. This could force DCNR to close between 35 and 50 state parks, and close more than 1,000 miles of State Forestry roads. Prime mountain bike trails in state parks such as Blue Knob, Laurel Summit, and RB Winter would be affected. The list of closures centers disproportionately on the central region of the state, where the state parks are vital to tourism and local businesses. For example, every park that the Wilderness 101 ultra endurance race passes through would be closed. The State Forest system itself would need to close 20 percent of their forest road inventory to meet the proposed budget. Read the DCNR press release. While IMBA appreciates that in these tough economic times we all need to tighten our belts, the Senate’s plan cuts a disproportionate amount from the DCNR budget. The proposal cuts the state park budget by 14 percent and the state forest budget by 30.5percent (a 17-percent reduction to DCNR overall). State parks and state forests have already taken strong cost-cutting measures to accommodate the economic downturn: reduced maintenance, limited purchasing and reductions in travel and training. The next step, should the Senate bill pass the House, would be closure and reduction in programs. DCNR is already facing a loss of their trust to the tune of $174 million, a fund created by resource extraction fees and leases.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Weekend Ride Report

Oh what a beautiful day -- the rains held out, the trails are in tremendous shape, no mechanicals, and a group of about 9 made for a perfect group ride day. Since the group was small, we all rode together and those that felt like they were done, headed back when they felt like it. The group was Ricky Brown, Keith Whitcomb, Brian Arnold, Andrea Strubhar, Mike Althouse, Joe Daversa, Emory (who actually went on his own with two folks unfamiliar with the trails), Rick Michael, and jill. There was a 9:00am crowd too - Rick Begley and company (why don't they ever ride with us????). Dale Shomper gets man-of-the-day recognition. He took the chainsaw while the rest of us were riding, and got down some of the nasty logs that have been hanging around for awhile -- mainly the one on the top of Rattling Creek that you had to crawl under and wondered when that sucker was going to fall on top of you. We can't thank Dale enough. That one required about a mile hike in with chainsaw in hand. Emory also did his deed on Doc Smith with a nice hand saw. Our club has some of the best members - thank you, thank you, thank you. The ride? Excellent. Its rare there are no mechanicals, but today was the day. The group started breaking apart at about mile marker 10, and two die-hards stuck it out the whole loop. Food awaited and the festivities of the welcome summer biker-picnic began. The 9:00 am crowd joined in on the socializing and all had a good time - thanks for coming out!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Coming Up - Memorial Weekend Ride, Sunday May 24

The RCST schedule has the annual Memorial weekend ride slated for Sunday, May 24 at 10:00 am. The ride starts at the Minnich Hit Picnic area -- plan to start RIDING at 10:00 am - not get there, change a flat, change your clothes, get your food/drink ready, then ride at 10:30. 10:00 AM SHARP the groups leave! If there's no one there at 10:01 a.m. when you arrive, don't say you weren't warned! The groups will be based on the turnout and who feels like riding what. Rick, for sure, will be taking a shorter, easier ride -- maybe 10-15 miles on the easiest trails with fireroad and snowmobile trail mixed in. I'm not sure what Keith is doing -- last year he didn't ride because of carpal tunnel surgery, but I'm not sure about this year. I'll do whatever folks want to do. I'm (jill) good for all the rocks and the entire loop if that's what people want to do. Don't expect any race pace though. For you racers, hopefully someone like Shawn Withers, or maybe even ANDY! will show up and you follow them through the woods. But we'll have to wait and see. Weather plays a huge factor. I'll try to keep you posted as it gets closer.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How RCST all BEGAN - circa 1990

The below is from 1995 - the club is not as active as prior years with trailbuilding and involvement with DCNR due to a change in leadership efforts. New leadership is always being sought out to continue the RCST legacy of building great trails).

The Club
RCST is a mountain bike club that rides and maintains a network of trails in Weiser State Forest and Lykens Borough Watershed, a Central Pennsylvania forest located near Elizabethville and Lykens. You can find a club member riding nearly every weekend in good weather (and some in bad weather too!). Any one of them would be happy to show you the trails. Club members are young, not-so-young, male, female, and all skill levels. Some race, some wish they could, and some just enjoy being in the woods and take their good old time on rides. Our AffiliationsAs an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) affiliated club, RCST is dedicated to furthering the mission of each organization. IMBA's mission is to promote mountain bicycling opportunities that are environmentally sound and socially responsible. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and innovative trail management solutions. And DCNR is the state government agency who manages the state-owned forests -- one of our land managers. RCST initially was registered conservation volunteer group with DCNR . What that meant was RCST got a crew together on a regular basis and helped DCNR maintain the state forest where the singletrack is located by creating new trails and maintaining existing. Currently, general occassional maintenance includes removing fallen trees and fixing bike-related damaged areas. When we see erosion, the trail is rerouted to prevent more. By helping DCNR with the trails, RCST is spreading environment awareness to its members and other trail users, and doing their part in keeping Pennsylvania's forests in balance. Other parts of the DCNR conservation program include maintaining wildlife habitat and environmental education. The other land manager who works with us is the Lykens Borough Watershed.

The Trails
The RCST trails in the Haldeman Tract of Weiser State Forest in Central Pennsylvania are the result of five years of advocacy, planning, cooperation, volunteerism, and implementation maturing into sweet "world-class" single track trails of challenge, variety, exhilaration, stimulation and good old-fashioned fun for all mountain biking skill levels. Approx. 20+ miles of handcrafted single track were born through the enthusiasm of a couple guys with a great idea and the guidance of IMBA's trail building expertise. Having a thousand or more acres of public mountain land, cooperative land managers, and dedicated club members willing to help out, the trails have grown and are now maintained and the troops are cheering "atta boy!" The flowing single track trails wind through scenic Penn's woods, complete with 6 RCST club-built bridges, native out-cropping of rock gardens, switchback sections and tailored turns that guide the biker through forest. 40+ miles of snowmobile trail, gravel road, and single track trails crisscross at numerous points to produce a fantastic network of riding pleasure.The Rattling Creek Single Trackers Bike Club worked with the land managers every step of the way. Tourism is the state's #2 industry, and attracting bikers to state forests makes good economic sense and continues to be a priority of state government. The Pennsylvania State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of Forestry is delighted to have and welcomes the RCST club building trails in Haldeman Tract of Weiser State Forest. Tim Cusick, former PA State IMBA Representative talked about trail advocacy at the RCST 2nd annual Mountain Bike Bash, September 9, 2001 -- "It's critically important to work with the land managers in developing trails.... Keith and what the RCST members did here (in Lykens) is a great example. They talked to the Forestry and Lykens watershed folks while creating the single track, and you rode the results." Other trail user groups are also grateful for the creation and maintenance of the trails - a local hunting club made an unsolicited donation to the RCST, just as a token of appreciation. Turkey hunters need trails too!And the even better part of the trails? The ride, of course! They keep coming back for more - again and again and again. Perfectly placed rocks and turns through trees don't just happen on 20 miles of single track. It's obvious the trails were very well planned down to every placement of a stone and construction of bridges with approach ramps. After short climbs, the trails flow downward and have just the right amount of technical sections for the skilled to challenge themselves, yet allows the novice to learn. Every age level and skill group can enjoy themselves -- build speed on sloped sections, clean Rocks Ridge trail, or enjoy the scenery of native wildlife in the deep woods and the spectacular view of the hang-glider launch site. The combinations of snowmobile trail, fire road and singletrack, and everything else just mentioned, make these trails a memorable ride.

Directions to the Rattling Creek Trails

Where are we?
The RCST trails are located in PA, approx. 25 miles North of Harrisburg.  If using a GPS, plug in the address 2800 White Oak Road, Halifax, Pennsylvania.  This will get you to the DCNR Buildings just as you enter the forest from the East end.  Camp Muckleratz is about 1/4 west of this address.  There's a sign, "Camp Muckleratz."

From the East, South and South West:
Use major routes to the Harrisburg area and follow Route 322 West to Route 225 North (Halifax Exit). Proceed to Halifax. On Route 225 North in Halifax you will come to a stop sign at a 'T' intersection. Turn right and continue on Route 225 North for 8 miles toward Elizabethville. Turn right onto Quarry Road at the top of the Elizabethville Mountain just before the stone quarry. Quarry Road will bear onto Detrich Road (you have the right of way - no stop). Continue to a split (Y) in the road and bear right onto White Oak (gravel) Road. You will be entering Weiser State Forest. See below to trailheads.

From the West: Use Route 322 East to Route 147 North. Proceed to Halifax. Turn Left onto Route 225 North. On Route 225 North in Halifax you will come to a stop sign at a 'T' intersection. Turn right and continue on Route 225 North for 8 miles toward Elizabethville. Turn right onto Quarry Road at the top of the Elizabethville Mountain just before the stone quarry. Quarry Road will bear onto Detrich Road(you have the right of way- no stop). Continue to a split (Y) in the road and bear right onto White Oak (gravel) Road. You will be entering Weiser State Forest. See below to trailheads.

From the North: Using Interstate 81 South to Route 209 South (Tower City Exit). Proceed on 209 South to Elizabethville. At the light in Elizabethville, turn left continuing on Route 225 South approx. 1 mile to the top of the mountain and turn left onto Quarry Road (immediately after the stone quarry). Quarry Road will bear onto Detrich Road(you have the right of way- no stop). Continue to a split (Y) in the road and bear right onto White Oak (gravel) Road. You will be entering Weiser State Forest. See below to trailheads.


To start your ride with climbing: Just after entering Weiser State Forest (approx 1/4 mile) you can turn right into the Snowmobile Parking Lot. In the far upper corner of the parking lot you will find the start of Iron Mine Snowmobile Trail. It will intersect with Deep Hollow Snowmobile Trail within a few hundred yards. This is for those that like to climb! These two snowmobile trails, Iron Mine and Deep Hollow take you to the top of the Mountain, 800 ft ascent for 2 miles. One leads to the Hang Glider Launch area and the other leads to the top of the mountain near White Oak Road.

If you don't like climbing that much you can continue on White Oak Road to Minnich Hit Picnic Area. Approx 4 miles after entering Weiser State Forest. Along the way you will pass by Wolf Pond Road (leads out across the top of the mountain to the Hang Glider Launch - approx 2.5 miles), cross over the top of the mountain and down the other side, pass by Lykens (gravel) Road. A left turn onto Lykens Road will lead you to the Eastern end of the RCST trails. From White Oak Road you can access singletrack trail: Matter. Snowmobile trails: Deep Hollow, Schreffler, Matter, Minnich Hit, Grimm, Rim and Luke's. From Wolf Pond Road you can access singletrack trails: Rock's Ridge and Wolf Pond. Snowmobile trails: Iron Mine, Matter, Deep Hollow and Rim.From Lykens (gravel) Road you can access singletrack trails: Preserve Line, Fawn Kill and Doc Smith. Snowmobile trail: Preserve Line.

For the Bash, approx 1/2 mile after entering Weiser State Forest on White Oak Road turn left onto a dirt road marked by the green "Camp Muckleratz" sign. The Weiser State forest maps and the snowmobile maps available through the links below should be enough to get you to the area and onto the double track/snowmobile trails. The single track trails are marked with 4X4 sign posts but may still be hard to find.

State Forest Map
DCNR Snowmobile Trail Map

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Raystown Weekend

For those of you who aren't already in the know, the Raystown Mountain Bikers Association finished up some new trail at Raystown Lake and May 9-10 is the big grand opening weekend. You can register for the weekend at Bike Reg. Here's the link. 32 miles of trail in the works since 2002. Looks sweet.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Trail Update - April 10

With the rains we've been having, you'll be running into a couple wet areas, but nothing that we'd have to deem "off limits." Dry Run at the sign post is wet and it appears a four-wheeler of some sort decided to try to run the trail (no damage to the trail, but you can see tracks on each side of the trail). Rattling Creek has some standing water too. But you are all good riders and know what to do when you come across a wet spot, don't you? RIDE STRAIGHT THROUGH THE WATER. Don't go around, don't go down the extreme sides -- go straight down the middle and don't worry about a wet bike or feet. Save the trail from widening.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Woods Report - March 27

The trail angels were at it again. And you know who you are and we can't thank you enough over and over and over again. I noticed some rather hulky logs were moved - musta been a bunch of you to move that sucker! And I noticed some ramping of logs, and some nice go-around paths starting. It's all good, and the trails are in great, great shape. Except for the tightness. Even without the leaves on the blueberry underbrush, the brush was scratching my legs. So wear your long socks this year -- at least until we get some time to start trimming back the sides. They will ALL need trimmed. The extra tight sections are on Rattling Creek -- the longest trail which will take the most time to trim. And we mentioned it before, but it's worth mentioning again. Weiser state forest is public land and anyone is allowed on the trails. So watch for horses. It appears someone is starting to clear Shale Run to use it, so beware if you are riding Shale Run/Preserve line. It's possible they are heading out Fawn Kill also because last year Rick and I noticed some "widening" of the trail at spots (as they did Matter which was fine with us 'cause it was less trailwork we had to do!). We're just not certain because the only contact we have with a horse group (Jim Theurer) says they stay on snowmobile trail and never use the singletrack. All in all, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rattling 50 Marathon Update

It's on. Registration is up at for the Rattling 50 Marathon, being put on by and Mountain Bike Team. $70 bucks, 50 miles, or $25 bucks for 17 miles. Base camp is the Girl Scout Camp on the other side of the mountain near Carsonville. And if you don't feel like going into Bike Reg to read about it, here's the write-up -- he talks about YOU GUYS and your stellar trail building skills. Oh, and the BASH is mentioned, so get your registration in early (we are 1/6 filled already):

Weee're Baaaaaack!! That's right kids here we go again. 50 Rattling Miles is back on the schedule because I need to put on another race like a junkie needs another fix. This is a killer course. Don't believe it just ask me. Better yet, send me your money and come try it out for yourself. Or just send me your money and don't come. I don't really care as long as I get the cash. The Rattling Creek Singletrackers (RCST - google "Rattling Creek Singletrackers") have done a stellar job creating an incredible network of trails on this wide ridge in central PA. RCTS got on board with the IMBA way of trail building early on and built a showcase of what can be accomplished when mountain bikers and property owners and governmental organizations work together. Now you get to race on their creation. Thank you RCST!! Yinzers Rawk!! The trails are killer and the camp is sweet too with camping available on site for a nominal fee. Please note that the camp is ours from Friday through Saturday evening so do not plan to spend Sat night on site. And, if you like the race you ought to come back and check out the RCST Bash Sept 10-13 to ride the trails and eat chili and see if you can navigate Rock's Ridge without a single dab and become King or Queen of the Bash! There will be three checkpoints on the course for all marathon racers. We will transport bags to CP#1 which doubles as CP#3. We will stock CP#2 with an assortment of yummy stuff that you'll probably regurgitate on the climb out of there...yummy!! New for 2009 is a little Open XC race. This is mostly for fun and frolic and for those of you not into a long long day in the saddle. Prizes are small, but then so is the entry fee so come out and have a blast with us and see if you can't kick your buddies' butts.Looking for lodging for the weekend? Then check out and while you're there see what other things you might find to do in Harrisburg, Hershey or any of the rest of central PA one your way to the race or home. is a killer way to find new things to do and see in PA even if you've lived here your whole life. You can also get pics of the sexy team members on the site and if that doesn't make you want to click on over then I don't know what will!Get reg'd up in advance because I stick you with late charges on the day of! I'm a bastard that way. $20 more if you can't sign up for the Marathon in advance and $10 more if you're too lame to pre-reg for the xc event! More info on the event website at

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Woods Report - 3-14-09

Things are DRY - way too dry for spring. Wolf Pond is completely dried up and the trails have very few soggy spots and at this time of the year, there's usually water running everywhere and a lot of mushiness. Wolf Pond road was the only area I saw some mud and slop. Everything else is dry, dry, dry. The woods were quiet yesterday -- very calm, little activity or visitors. All you could heard were flocks of geese heading north. I saw two backpackers (rare for Weiser), and two local walkers, a ruffed grouse and a bunch of crows. The weather station is intact, although I'm not so sure its working 'cause everytime you go into the link from this Blog, it says "off line." I expected to see it laying over or something... but it wasn't. So I'm not sure what's up with it. No other mountain bikers around - at least not where I was riding (West side).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gotta Love Those GRIZ Mugs!

Here's a sneak preview at the 10th Anniversary BASH Mug. Yup, we got Griz working on them EARLY -- actually we got Griz WORKING instead of playing all the time. That bum.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Woods Report - 3-7-09, Thank You to Some Trail Gods!

There were about 9 or so folks riding in Weiser yesterday -- nice. Who could refuse on a such a perfect weather day. There were a handful of soft sections on the trails, but not to the point of muddy. And YOU know who you are but, but we don't - so we have to THANK YOU publicly. Someone has been cutting treefall off the trail. (Dale???) We knew there were several, but we noticed several were removed and there's now only a couple. We have the best trail riders -- they stop and clear things, replace rocks that got kicked out, and generally are simply good stewards of the trail -- thank you, thank you, thank you. At first, I thought maybe it could have been horse people, and Rick said no, there's no evidence of horses on the trails (they typically don't use Fawn Kill). All in all, we are very grateful for everything folks do to help out. You could see evidence of people stopping to throw limbs off the trail. Awesome. We also noticed some fresh blazing on Fawn Kill. We have no idea who's doing that either. Last year, DCNR blazed Rock's Ridge (at least we thought it was DCNR), this year its Fawn Kill. They'll likely do the other trails also. I'll continue to keep folks updated on trail happenings. Aren't blogs great!?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ride, Ride, Ride!

Weekend is looking A.W.E.S.O.M.E. and the trails are clear -- except for a tree here and there -- so be on the lookout for tree fall. Rick and I will be out riding Saturday afternoon -- so we may run into you. We'll be the slow moving couple (VERY slow moving) enjoying the scenery and weather, and stopping every now and then to clear the trails.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Volunteers Needed to Put On a Rattling 50 Marathon

Kuhndog of is planning to run the Rattling 50 Marathon again this year. The 50-mile marathon was run in 2007 with about 100 attendees and is part of the MASS. Last year it wasn't held, and this year its back on. It will be August 22. Please e-mail me if you can help run the race and I'll forward your name to Kuhn. The help Rick and I will be doing is trying to keep the trails open this summer so people can ride. Please e-mail me if you can help Kuhn with the race I'll pass your name onto him. Many thanks, Jill

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The 2009 RCST Mountain Bike BASH Update

The BASH - to be held September 10, 11, 12, and 13 this year -- has been and always will be capped at 150 attendees. It keeps it manageable for the organizers and also maintains that close-knit, family-like bonding feeling you've all grown to love so much. You know, the mountain biker camaraderie at its best. The past two years we sold out as the word spread about the family reunion we hold each fall. In 2007, we just hit the limit and last year, we went over by about 20 with late arrivals. And this year? Its February, and we're already at 25 paid, registered comrades. We're planning the best yet -- complete with 10th anniversary t-shirts, a VEGAN meal rather than vegetarian (you meat eaters wouldn't understand), GONDER'S is confirmed (he giggled when I called to reserve the date -- one year Keith "forgot" to call Gonder and we almost didn't get him -- ever since that Gonder laughs when I call, and not Keith.), and the prize table will have QUALITY items this year, not quantity. Griz is firing up the oven for 8 custom RCST mugs. We plan to have maybe 20, really nice swag items this year (think bike stand, maybe a fork, maybe a set of pedals - items to be determined - ideas welcome). Oh, and the design is done for the t-shirt, subject to the club president's approval. But we think he'll like it. So the BASH planning is coming along nicely. If you were late with registration last year - I'd recommend you NOT be late this year! Do you want turned away???

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trail Update - Feb 21-22

We had a light dusting of snow last weekend, and some slushy garbage yesterday, but certainly nothing that would make me say the trails are not rideable --I believe you'll be ok -- especially with today's temps hitting 40. Whatever snow/slush is there should be gone by the weekend. Rick and I may even try to get out for a change. We've been talking about doing some trailwork for months, and on Saturday we are going to try to get in on Hop Back and start cutting it back big time. Not sure yet on that. Have fun riding!

Friday, February 13, 2009

President's Day Weekend - No Snow

All it took was 2-3 days between 40 and 60 degrees and the snow is gone. The trails are clear. Well, except for some treefall that I'm sure happened with the high winds we just had. Enjoy the weekend! Ride safe.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Watching the Snow Melt -- Soon!

I know some of you pay no attention to snow/ice and ride anyway (you freaks!)... but us fair weather maidens are watching for the snow to melt and will keep you posted when its gone. The last couple warm days really melted the majority of it, but we still see snow at the tops of the mountains. I'll keep a watch and let you know at the end of the week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Still Snow Covered - February 7 and 8, 2009

Yup -- the trails are still covered with snow and ice. Rick doesn't think it will melt this weekend, but I'm thinking maybe by next we'll be seeing dirt again. So we'll keep you posted on the trail conditions. Definitely not good for this weekend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

BASH and 2009 MASS Finals Conflict

As an FYI, there's a conflict this year with the BASH and the Mid-Atlantic Super series finals. We're sorry that this may cause aconflict for some of you, but we've been holding the BASH that same 2ndweekend in September for the past 10 years, so we will not be changingthe date. See you the weekend of September 10-13!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Trail Update - Super Bowl Weekend

Stay home and watch the superbowl. The trails are snow/ice-covered with about 3-4 inches of goop. Even if it starts to melt (doubtful) with 40 degree temps, it'll be very slushy and sloppy -- non-rideable.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Trail Update - January 24

Trails continue to be snowcovered with 3-4 inches of snow. Dave Daversa commented it was "slow going, but still fun." Spoken like a true trooper!

Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Rattling Marathon

Mike Kuhn, Race Promoter Extraordinaire is contemplating the Rattling 50 again this year in Weiser State Forest on the beloved Rattling Creek trails. The Marathon was put on in 2007 after much controversy between pro and anti-race club members. When it was all said and done, the club was divided at 50/50 but the Club officially took an “opposed" position out of respect for the original trailbuilders who were opposed to the race. But the race went on because it IS public lands afterall. When it was all said and done, we had a dozen or so club members who helped out (thank you once again) and the only noticeable effect the Marathon had on the trails was on Doc Smith which was ridden both directions. And that wear was minimal – mostly on a fast, banked turn or two. Sooo…. please be sure to check yeh or nay to the 2009 Marathon on the latest survey. And if you can help? Email me and I’ll share the volunteer list with Mr. Kuhn. As an FYI, the trails will need some work this year – nearly all of them will need cut back because the blueberry crops are prolific and want to cover the trails! And to be honest, Rick and I will be kayaking most of the summer (again) so who wants instruction on operating the bush hog??? Thx, Jill

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trail Update - January 11

Snow covered trails! And they'll be that way for at least a couple weeks with the predicted cold temps. Time to break out the skis, or the trainer, and wait for warmer temps.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Weekend Trail Update - January 3 and 4

Trails are in good shape -- no snow or ice. Watch for a couple downed trees. Rick and Dale got out on New Year's Day to clean up Doc Smith and Rugged, but we know there are others that we haven't got to yet (Hop Back). Have Fun!