Monday, December 5, 2011

An Incredible Feat Accomplished - And Then Some! The Bridges are Back

First, we can't thank the 27 folks ENOUGH who came out and made this project happen.  They include: Doug Bailey (he's the main guy that made this happen - thanks Doug!), Erik Bolig, George Harman, Emory Ehrenfeld, Joe Ketrick, Dale Shomper, Alan Murak, Rick Begley, Matt Hollenbach, Mike Kuhn, Keith Whitcomb, Chris Jones, Saysana Inthauungsa, Joe Daversa, Clayton Bouchard, Jason Petroff, John Haines, Fred Bellis, Brian Despot, Martha Ruff, Joe Lauver, Steve Miller, Kory Jones, Ed Hidden, Shawn Withers, Rick Brown and Jill Wiest.   A special thanks to Ed Hidden for the below YouTube Video.  It's heartwarming to see the teamwork and hardwork that went into dismantling, moving, and reassembling the bridges.  Here's the You Tube Vid, courtesy Ed Hidden.

And here are Rick's Pictures.  Definitely worth a look along with the You Tube Vid by Ed.  In both these cases, a picture is worth a thousand words, fer shure!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Update on Bridge Retrieval for Dec 4

The December 4 workday is ON.  Doug and his "crew" (Nathan and Jack) were doing some rock work on Sunday and helped cut in the trail for the bridge beam carrying.  The footer for the bridge beams will be reinforced this weekend and that should put everything in place for December 4.  Clayton and his friends put the small bridge back over Rattling Creek downstream a ways where it landed.  This will serve as a perfect temporary detour until the big bridge is completed.  We're not sure if we'll finish on December 4.  The detour is off of Doc Smith trail -- look for the orange ribbons.  Rick and Jill cleared a path from Doc Smith to the bridge, and Clayton cut a path from the bridge almost to Rattling Creek.  Rick and Jill finished the connection.  It's a good temporary go-around. Thanks Clayton for doing this.  The trail is mostly rideable.  We're concerned though if there's a downpour some of it will be underwater.   For December 4, we're not quite at twenty folks on the list of folks helping that have confirmed with Rick/Jill, but feel confident we'll have enough because many have said they'd help.  Please, if you plan on coming, let us know.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rattling Creek Named IMBA Epic - Now Let's Retrieve a Bridge

Little ole' Rattling Creek has its 10 minutes of fame - an IMBA Epic.  Heck, even Keith is mentioned in the article - so that means he's famous too!   IMBA talks about the trails being a labor of love, and they truly were for many years.  You can read the entire press release here


Since everyone loves these trails so much, please help us bring the bridges back.  

DECEMBER 4 - 10:00 am - meeting at the Rattling Creek end of Doc Smith Trail.  BRIDGE RETRIEVAL DAY.  

Thanks to a couple locals (Doug, Clayton) and a fellow SAMBA rider (Kory), the effort to retrieve the bridges is alive and well and planned for December 4.  We need manpower to make this happen.   Below is what was discussed to get the beams back in place.    Be prepared to get wet feet -- bring a change of clothes.  And of course bring your bike to ride the "Epic" trail system afterwards. Please let us know if you can make it: We need a head count to make sure this can happen.

We discussed a possible method using sets of straps as hand holds allowing one person on each side of a strap to lift or drag the beams out of the creek and back up to a location on the far side of the creek along the original trail. We are looking into how to fashion sets of straps or ropes with hand holds to allow many people lift or drag a beam.

 Doug had also mentioned how they use small diameter logs under the ferry boats when they move them out of the water and onto the shore for winter. We thought that we may be able to work something like that out to help us drag the beams back up the makeshift trail I cut some weeks ago. If nothing else, placing short sections of logs under the beam while trying to move it will allow it to slide over the ground and not get hung up on everything. The distance the beams need to be moved is short enough that we feel this method of lifting or dragging with straps or ropes may be able to be used.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Downstream Bridge Pictures

Rick got out to get some pictures of the washed out bridges to assess the situation and share what he found with someone that might be able to organize a community group project to retrieve them.  We'll keep you posted.   Here are the links to the bridges. 

Small Bridge

Big Bridge

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oct 8 Bridge Retrieval CANCELLED

Due to lack of response, the bridge retrieval trail work day for this Saturday, October 8 is CANCELLED.  Looks like we'll be bridgeless for a while.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bridge Retrieval Work Day - October 8 at 9:30 am.

Please try to make the bridge retrieval work day on October 8 at 9:30, meeting at the Rattling Creek end of Doc Smith Trail.  Kory would greatly appreciate your responding to him to let him know if you can make it.  As mentioned before, he needs at least 10 people for this project and only 4 responded last week.  The weather certainly played a big factor last week, so maybe the 8th will see lower water levels for a change with more folks available to help.  Please contact Kory at .  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trail Bridges Across Rattling Creek still Downstream - Beware

Please be careful crossing the creeks where the bridges used to be.  There was to be a work session last week, but I haven't heard the results other than seeing they aren't back in place. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saturday Work Session -- Putting the Bridges Back

9:30 Saturday , 9-24, at the trail head for Doc Smith Trail, Rattling Creek End.  Many thanks to Kory Jones for coordinating the bridge retrieval.  He'd really like someone there that participated in the last retrieval - Rick nor I are able to be there on Saturday.  I'm sharing this e-mail with folks that attended the BASH because some expressed an interest in helping out.   Rick wanted to share basic tools you'll need to bring: hammer, crow bar, a saw, rope.   These beams are quite a bit heavier than the smaller bridge we moved back last time.  A come along or some other mechanical advantage could be helpful if available.  A group of at least 8-10 would be the best.  Rick can't recall how many fit on the 22 foot beam, but he's thinking somewhere between 10-12 for the 30 foot beams would work.  Please let Kory know if you can make it and what tools you might be able to bring.   You can contact him at  Thanks to all.  Sorry we will be missing this important session. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Happy BASH - the LAST BASH

Lots of happy campers once again at the LAST BASH.  Ricks pictures are here that show the evidence of happiness in many ways.     Thanks to all of you for making all 12 years memorable.  (11 years technically for me... 10 for Rick.... 12 for Keith).  We enjoy having you as much as you enjoy coming -- even if some of you don't like heavy metal.      Yes, it was the Last Bash for RCST, but possibly not the last Bash - VMB may take it over.   Did you really think it would die??    Ride on...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bridges Downstream -- Anyone Care to Retrieve?

Several fellow-mountainbikers have spotted the bridges downstream.  The largest is about 100 yards downstream and smaller is about 1/4 mile own dnot far from Doc-Smith trail.  One of the spotters is at the BASH and he commented how there's certainly enough of manpower at the BASH, maybe a bridge-retrieval possy should be organized and go get them.  And I said, "would you like to do that??"  He didn't (that I know of).  The club and those that ride the trails would be very grateful if someone would step forward, take leadership, and organize this effort.  As mentioned before, I'd be glad to get the word out via this BLOG and maybe to those who are attending the BASH this year and I'm sure you'd get enough helping hands to retrieve.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rattling Creek Trail Assessment After Lee and Irene

Where a bridge used to be on Rattling Creek Trail
The RCST trails were hammered first with the winds of Irene three weeks ago and now with the rains of Lee.  We estimate this area saw somewhere between 12 and 15 inches of rain over a 4-day period and where there's rushing water, there's bound to be some damage.   The trees are removable which we've accomplished (the majority of them).  The high waters of Lee, however, took its toll on the bridges over Rattling Creek on Rattling Creek trail.  They are gone.  In 2004, Ivan did the same thing with the smaller of the two bridges and the club retrieved the bridge from downstream, dismantled it, and returned it to its home.  This time both are gone including the largest 32-foot span.  As of today, there are no plans to retrieve.  If you would like to take the lead in this effort to rebuild the bridges, let us know and we'll help you get the word out.  As for the remainder of the trails after the heavy rain washing, be prepared for more rocks.  Many of the trails acted as streams to carry the rushing water and you can visibly see the washing.  All are still rideable, but very rocky at spots.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Before and After Lee - Rattling Creek Trail Bridges


 and after
Thanks to Clayton for the second photo at high water level on Wednesday after the bridges were washed away.   More shots coming later today. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

More Update on the Trails and Weather

Thanks to those of you who e-mailed about helping with cutting trees.  We have bigger fish to fry now -- a flood and washed trails.   Both bridges are washed out on Rattling Creek trail an anonymous post reported.  Rick and I heading to the woods tomorrow to scope the situation out.   Not sure how much we'll get "repaired" before the LAST BASH.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weather Update and the Trails

Irene downed about 25ish trees on the trails and thanks to Em, most brush is cleared and 5 of those trees. We got two of the trees this past weekend and will get out again this weekend.  Our next concern are the bridges over Rattling Creek.  In Ivan (2004), a bridge washed away.  Lee's rains the past 48 hours were comparable, so we are thinking we may be missing a bridge or two.  Will keep you posted.   The club only has one chainsaw.  If you have a chainsaw and are available this weekend, please email us and maybe we can coordinate a quicky trailwork session.  Fawn Kill had the most downed trees at 14.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last BASH Itinerary 2011

The (2011) 12th and Last RCST Mountain Bike BASH
Happenings and Times

Thursday 5 pm – Camp gate opens

Friday 7-8:30am – Breakfast
Friday (all day) – Informal Rides(self guided)
ask us for trail maps
Friday 6 pm-? – Pizza – Bring your own ingredients - Bake in Bunk House
Friday 6 pm – Micro-Brew Swap
Friday 7:00ish-? – Live Band

Saturday 7-8:30 am – Breakfast
Saturday 10:00 am – Organized Group Rides
Meet by pavilions
Saturday 4 pm – Troegs tasting begins
Saturday 5 or 5:30 pm – Chicken Dinner
Saturday 7 pm – Prize Drawings
Saturday 8:00ish-? – Live Band

Sunday 7-8:30 am – Breakfast
Sunday – On your own Rides
Sunday 3:00 pm – Camp gate closes
Please be out by 3pm

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last BASH Itinerary Coming Shortly

We are putting the finishing touches on the itinerary for the weekend and will post to this blog and send via e-mail to all registrants when ready.  In a nutshell, same as prior years: a live band Friday AND Saturday evening, beverage exchange friday evening, beverage wagon saturday evening, Gonder's Grubhouse chicken/vegetarian dinner on Saturday evening, swag drawing Saturday evening, etc.  We will NOT be having the chili cook-off on Friday evening.  Instead, we will be inviting folks to BYOP (Bring Your Own Pizza) supplies and put together your own creation on Friday evening in the bunkhouse kitchen.  There are two really nice ovens you are welcome to use to make pizza.  The PORC folks did this last year and had a ton of fun.  There's a bunch more ride-on-your-own time this year too with nothing planned for Sunday but recovery from Saturday and ride when you feel. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BASH Registration is now CLOSED


Only 5 Spots Remain for the BASH

Almost gone!   5 spots left for the BASH.  Get them before BikeReg shuts down.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Last Bash - Almost Full - 12 Spots Remain

As of today, there are only 12 spots left for the Last Bash.  Just as a reminder, when we hit the limit, registration will be closed and we will begin turning folks away. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 LAST BASH Approaches Maximum Capacity

Email send to 2010 BASH Attendees:

If you haven't already registered for the 2011 BASH and had planned on doing so, you better do it quick. We've hit the maximum of 150 and decided since this is the last bash, we'll go to 200. We only have 38 slots remaining with just over two months until the BASH. When the entries hit 200, we will be officially closed. So get your entry in before it closes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The LAST BASH Registrations Keep Rolling in.

Right now, the count for the LAST BASH is at 139 with two months to go. Each year, we cap the registrations at 150, but this year, since its the last year, we'll make an exception and cap it at 200. 200 is a FIRM number. When we hit 200, we truly will be shut down for any more entries. Registration is on the sidebar.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Outdoor Experience Organization -- Riding Part of the Trans-Sylvania Epic

Most of you have probably heard of the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic by now -- the 7-day staged mountain bike race based out of Seven Mountains Boy Scout Camp near State College. The organizers are giving you a chance to ride one of the stages. Go here for info. Did you know that by riding that one day, the proceeds will help towards maintaining the Rattling Creek Trails? The Outdoor Experience Organization's mission is:
to build and create, improve upon, and document forest trails in the state of Pennsylvania for the use of foot traffic, bicycles, cross-country skiers, equestrians and other user groups in order to increase interest in sustainable, healthy, and enjoyable outdoor oriented activities; build outdoor recreation tourism in Pennsylvania; and contribute to improved community health and wellness by increasing availability of fitness-related outdoor recreational activities and enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities.
This includes Rattling Creek and if you go to the Organization's website, you'll see there's something in the works for the trails. Soo.... if you have nothing to do on Memorial Day, why not sign up for a ride on the hardest stage of the now infamous Trans-Sylvania Epic and at the same time, support the trails of Rattling Creek? Sign up here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trail Gods Were At It Again

Mountain bikers are a caring, good bunch of gents and gals. We see it at the Bash, at other events, races, and I witness it numerous times on the trails. They care about each other, about the trails, about the event they are at. They aren't afraid to chip in, help out, share, or lend a hand. They remove tree limbs, ramp up logs, and will stop and take a minute to do a little trail maintenance. I even know a couple guys who will carry a small folding saw with them to do some maintenance while riding. Today, I saw no less than 5 or 6 trees that were chain sawed to get them off the trail. Someone took a bunch of time to walk all of Fawn Kill (about 3 miles) and also got a huge tree on Doc Smith. THANK YOU. You know who you are, but I don't know who you are or I'd send you a personal thank you. Mountain bikers ROCK!!! Thanks guys and gals - you're all the best.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Trail Update March 18, 2011

RIDE ON! No ice, snow, or even gushing water at this point. Just a couple trees to hop over every now and then, but hey - that's mountain biking! Hello springtime - nice to have you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Water Water Everywhere

If you ride on Sunday, March 13, be prepared to get wet. There's some serious water flowing in the woods and all those runs that are normally dry, are now true runs. Rattling Creek trail is very wet and there's many sections of the trail that the water is running straight down it. The trail normally flows beautifully, but today its flowing with water so beware.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Trail Update - Icy Roads and Some Snow

There's still snow at spots on the trails and the fire roads and snowmobile trails are thick ice. I can't tell you not to ride 'cause there were some hearty souls on the trails today; but I didn't last an hour on the ice and in the 4-6ish inches of snow in some of the low lying, shady spots. Its like a different world in the woods. I left home with temps near 40 and it was 28 degrees in the forest. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Last Bash - Setting a Record

Registration is open less than a week and we are 1/3 filled-up with attendees already for the Last Bash. If that's any indication of the attendance this year, we'll be bursting at the seams! Rick's been making his list(s) and checking them twice. We're sure to have all details covered with Mr. Brown finalizing specifics. What the hell -- maybe we'll even throw in an extra Porta-John this year. It IS the Last Bash - so we need to go out with a Bang! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Last BASH - 2011

It's official. The final episode. The last chapter. The end to the BASH is near. This September will mark the last year for the annual BASH. After 12 years of organizing, we're calling it quits. There's a couple changes for this year: no Chili cook-off on Friday night. Our entries were down; thus, not enough food! We're tossing around other ideas for Friday night dinner -- maybe a pizza party in the bunk house. And there's no Rock's Ridge nor Hill Climb for Sunday. It's a free day to do as you please. Everything else is the same -- Camp Muckleratz, Gonder's Grub House on Saturday evening, entertainment both Friday and Saturday, the beverage wagon, organized rides on Saturday, same $45.00 registration. Oh, and we're giving you a t-shirt with registration for the LAST BASH too. Can you guess what will be on it?? So sign up here and be one of the 150 final attendees.