Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trip Report - Green Mountain Trails, Pittsfield, Vermont

We rode the Green Mountain Trails a couple of weeks ago (May 13th?). I haven't put up a trip report because I've been busy biking the local places (SMBA, Spier Falls, and Luther Forest - I'll report on these soon) and generally just relaxing. We had a guy who was familiar with the trails showing us around, and it's a good thing, too, because I probably would've given up halfway through the opening climb. Here's the map of the place:
We started up "Noodles Revenge" which was a relentless uphill, but it was nice singletrack, so it wasn't as soul crushing as a fire road climb.  Then we took "Lovin' it" to the Green Trail to the top, continuing with the theme of switchbacky, seemingly endless climbs.  Once we reached the top, though, the views were pretty sweet:

We lost ourselves on the top for a little bit on "Warman" and "Zebedee" before we headed towards "Fuster's" for our descent.  The top of Fuster's was just a fast ATV trail that we probably should have skipped (should've taken the cool banked turns of Lovin' It until Fuster's branches off to the north about halfway down - there is a connector). Still, though, the single track was pretty good (despite my non plussed expression in this photo):

After Fuster's, we took a quick uphill on "Escalator" towards Noodle's Revenge so we could head down. Noodle's Revenge, while grueling uphill, was really, really fun on the down.  It wasn't all coasting (there were a couple of times I had to pedal), and it wasn't all buffed smooth (there were some technical sections, tight turns, and stream crossings), but it was fast, flowy, and fun. Then, when we made it back to the parking lot, the best part of the day:

My new favorite beer.  We went into town and got a few more beers, along with some sandwiches, and ate them in a random Gazebo:

All in all, it was a solid day and it was good to explore a new place. I don't know if I'd recommend this place (unless you LOVE climbing), but it's definitely a good trail network to build strength, ride hard, and work out.  There's a road that goes nearly to the top, so there is a possibility for shuttle runs if you're into that sort of thing. I am glad that this network is here and pretty close because I love having options and once a year, it'll be a nice change from my usual flat xc riding.

Monday, May 7, 2012

SMBA Shenanigans

I haven't been posting much, but I've been riding SMBA twice a week or so. I guess I don't post trip reports every time for the same reason that I don't post trip reports from Gore every time I go - it might get a little boring. On the other hand, I always enjoy reading the Gore Reports from the NY Ski Blog or the Saratoga Skier. So maybe I should post more TRs. Maybe if there was something called the NY MTB Blog with a bunch of different contributors, I would post on there.

For now, though, I'll just stick to riding around and making videos every once in a while. Here's a video from yesterday on the "Here to There" trail:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mountain Biking - Oneonta, NY

It's May 1st, so that means it's time for my completely arbitrary switch to summer mode for the blog.  Time to talk mountain biking.

In my quest to broaden my mountain biking horizons, I try to go to a few new places every year. Last year, I rode in a bunch of spots from Maine to Vermont to New York to Arizona.  I'm hoping to get a lot more new places this year.  First on the list is Oneonta, NY, close to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. The mtbr forums mentioned a lot of trail work being done in recent years in a spot near the Oneonta High School.  I really didn't know exactly where I was going because I couldn't find a map online.  Luckily, I made my own:

I'm sure that will be very helpful for everybody.  

The trails were pretty sweet, actually.  The guys at the Oneonta Mountain Bike Club have done a great job of getting the trails together.  They're flowy, with nice ups and downs, stream crossings, wall rollovers and wooden bridge features.  There's also a few jumps and banked turns to encourage some high speed stuff.  It rides like a mini version of Pine Hill Park without all that terrain.

I made a video of my ride, using the GoPro chest harness.  It creates a cool look, but when I was climbing and trying to apply some pressure to the front wheel, the camera just pointed straight down.  And when I was on a downhill out of the saddle, I was kind of bent over, so the camera just pointed straight down.  In fact, the only time you can see the trail in front of me is when I'm sitting and spinning on flat ground. I guess I'll have to go with a helmet mount when I do the Single Speed USA Race at Stowe in July.

Anyway, here's the video: