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.

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