Monday, August 10, 2009

Raystown Lake

So i missed the the funtabulous racing at Big Bear on Saturday. Meh. Oh well.

From Raystown lake 8-9-09
But I did go check out the brand new trail system at Raystown Lake. The 30ish miles trails were recently completed by IMBA and the friends of Raystown lake.

And its schweet.
From Raystown lake 8-9-09

Eric and I grumbled out to the trail head, which is about 2.5 hours from Pittsburgh, and had no trouble finding the place. Its surprisingly straight forward.
From Raystown lake 8-9-09
"hurrrm? what that shinny lens pointing at me?"
eric does a bike check and discovers chains squeak when they are not lubed
The trails are an absolute blast. They're fast and smooth with jumps and dips all over the place. Swooping turns and ripping descents abound. The system was designed for mountain bikes, and that's all its used for. There are no hikers to be cautious of, no footprints, and most awesomely, no horse shit.
I have to admit, when I first rolled onto the dirt I felt a little out of my element. Everywhere else I ride in PA and WV is covered in rocks, mud, leaves, and dead babies. Sidewalls are slashed, shins turned to burger meat, and souls crushed. Its generally slow going. But Raystown is totally smooth, and the dirt is actually dry enough to be loose. When I came to the first section of downhill jumps, I had a little trouble keeping my tires planted. I wanted to lift off, but I knew that if I did I would end up smashing into a tree and rolling down the side of the hill like a limp fish.

The place really is like a 30 mile long BMX pump track. Its great. We practically sprinted for the first hour of riding and didn't even realize it (or I just didn't realize it.)
As the day wore on, we became accustomed the new style of riding and were actually able to take advantage of all the jumps and whoops.

From Raystown lake 8-9-09

To top off the great riding, the place is also quite lovely
I can't wait to go back. It was worth every minute of the 2+ hour drive. We rode for four hours, and were grinning ear to ear the entire time. Everyone we met on the trail agreed, the place is a winner. Kudos to the guys who designed and built it.

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