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.

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I'm just here to read the meter!

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Here is my butt.


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South Park Full Loop (improved) – 8/14/2010

Second time attempting this loop and this time I added in the super technical section at the end instead of avoiding it this time.  Every time I ride this section, something on the bike breaks, and this wasn’t any exception.

Last time I attempted this loop, about 7 miles in I hit a wall so hard I had to curl into the fetal position for about 20 minutes.  This time, I did the whole loop strong, only taking a single break at about the mid-point.

Last time I road the Rockhopper,  I managed to shear the rear derailleur and hanger off the back of the bike using a trail the runs along the top of a wall.  When you slip into a spillway, well bad things are bound to happen.  I haven’t used that trail since, but I’ve been missing out because it’s a ridiculously fun little ride.  Some pictures of it are below.

This loop has about 1000′ of climbing.

10.5 miles — 2730 calories — 1 OTB



GPSies - 08/14/2010 South Park Full Loop (improved)Click to see full track

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This trail will swallow your soul.

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Looks harmless, right?


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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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South Park Full Loop

One of my first attempts to string all of the known trails that circle Corrigan Drive into a single ride. I’ve always known that this was possible, but could never fathom the best way to do it. The issue is the monstrous “Lost Springs” climb, which toward the end of a ride seems terribly daunting. So the answer is to do it backwards! Come up the back side of the kill, that I would normally descend. And do it early in the ride, this time, I did it first. Worked out pretty well!

Left to try is to add in the grueling trail that connects the Fair Grounds to the Montour Trail section, and make it all one fluid ride from my house to the South Park loops.  Also, need to figure out a way to the BMX track via back trails.  I haven’t found that yet.

2700 Calories burned, 10.5 miles, 1 OTB (yea baby!), 1 hellacious leg cramp (I got better)

GPSies - 08/08/2010 South Park Full LoopClick to see the full track

Also, since there are no accompanying pictures. Here are some macro shots I took at the zoo recently.

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