Pennsylvania Large Fauna — South Park 8/16/10

Not too often I’ll come across interesting beasts in the woods.  A hawk, some squirrels, a fat couple humping (it’s true)…  Thankfully all it was this time was a semi-disinterested deer.  I rolled to a stop about 5 feet away from him.  He’s a big 8 point, with antlers still velvet. He had stalked another 2 feet away before I was able to get the camera out, then he showed me his butt.  Thanks a million.

1930 Calories — 8.5 miles — 0 OTB

GPSies - South Park three quarter loop -- 08/16/2010Download the full track here.


I'm just here to read the meter!


Here is my butt.

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High average MPH on a mountain bike?

I hear my mountain bike friends bragging about having maintained an average speed on their rides of 20+ mph.  I’ve never approached that.  If I break 10mph average on a singletrack ride, I consider that a success.  I attributed it to the hilly terrain around me.

So decided to see exactly what I could pull off, speed wise.

I only had about a half hour to an hour for a ride, so for “fun” I decided to stick to the mostly level roads in South Park on Corrigan Drive, and see exactly what I could pull off.  I kept it primarily on the highest chain rings, and went as hard as I could muster for a half hour solid.  I stopped only at a single intersection, and accelerated back up to speed as quickly as I could.

Best I could do?  Overall average of 15 MPH.  Moving average was slightly higher, 15.7.  So how do people maintain an average MPH over 20 on a mountain bike?  I cannot believe that there is that much variance in how mountain bikes are geared to make a difference of 10 MPH on average.

Not that I care, I do this for fun and to me fun is a heavy climb followed by bombing hard through the woods on a slick backwoods trail.  Not monitoring my BPM up and down Corrigan.  I do it primarily for the fun factor.

Also interesting to note, based upon the heart rate monitor, this method was an extremely inefficient workout compared to my typical hilly rides.  I never even approached my max heart rate (~190bpm), and I felt like I could have done another 10 or miles of this pretty easily.  I wonder exactly how efficient my steep 10 mile loop is compared to say an average flat 5k run..  I bet it’s harder core.

8.75 miles, 900 calories, 0 OTB, 0 fun had

GPSies - 08/11/2010 South Park Road WorkClick to see the whole boring track

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How come no one rides Mingo?

How come no one rides Mingo Creek?

It’s a great little park with single track and creek crossings and wildlife and open glades of tall grass.  Some of the singletrack is more “single” them any I’ve ever ridden.  At times your running over a foot path through the tall grass, then once it hits the woods it widens into a nice windy singletrack cut through the trees.  There’s obviously horse traffic (funny colored dirt).

Beware if you go though.  Make sure you take a look at my elevation chart.  The climbs are grueling.  Mingo is much more hilly then South Park.  South Park has some good climbs (the wave pool, the buffalo pen) but they’re cake walk compared to some of the climbs in mingo.  BUT, the good part of a tough climbs is that there is usually a fast descent afterward, which Mingo delivers.

Because of the difficulty of some of the climbs, I didn’t hit my 15 mile target.  I do believe I am becoming a light weight.  I intended to do the entire outer horse ring (13 miles) and ended up cutting most of it off, and only ended up with 10 miles total.  The trail is that damn tough.

And surprisingly, the entire park was packed, but I encountered not one person using the trails.  Which is a real shame, because I love taking pictures of people’s dogs on the trails.

And, oh my! From the look of this GPS track I strayed outside of the park a little. I hope whoever owns the land I was riding is OK with me riding it again in the future, because I’m totally gonna do it.

“It never really gets easier — you just go faster.” -Lance

“Whoever has tamed oneself will find delight in the forest” – The Dhammapada

Stats: 10 miles, 2600 calories, 1 OTB (over the bar)

GPSies - 05/30/2010 - Mingo Creek Park RideSee the full GPS entry for this ride here


Little single track that loops through the woods, but what you often see in Mingo is a steep drop off on one side of it.  You want to ride aggressive in this park, but often times there really is no room of error.


Long glade of tall grass and you can barely see the path that cuts through it.


View from the observatory.


This is a deep wooded gorge.  Unfortunately the picture flattens it, and you don’t get a sense of the tumble you’ll take if you fall into it.


Mingo Creek

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