Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, it was easy to take for granted how great the area was for road biking. I spent most of my time biking the world class trails in the mountains a short drive from town, but the road biking in the area is just as phenomenal. This little stretch of road is less than two miles from the center of town, yet has several working barns lining each side. With perfect weather forecast, I knew I had to pull together a small shoot along the stretch of road.Read More
I learned to mountain bike on the trails of Rothrock State Forest. They are some of the rockiest technical trails around, but absolutely beautiful as well. Having grown up in the area and riding the trails for years, I took the trails for granted. Now that I'm living in the Twin Cities, I really miss having this beautiful and extremely extensive trail network in my backyard. Each time I come back and ride, I really cherish the opportunity. Many times I've tried to capture these trails with just quick iPhone snaps, but they have only come so close. Tuesday night I joined my old shop's weekly ride (The Bicycle Shop) that meets at the trailhead past Tussey Mountain Ski Area. This time I decided to carry my dSLR despite the weight and potential for damage – its more common to crash on at least one of the many extremely rocky sections than it is to ride all the sections cleanly. With confidence from my test ride last week, I wore my LowePro Photo Sport backpack and carried my D800 with 24-70mm zoom. To be able to get some shots, I'd pull to the side of the trail and whip out my camera, capturing the riders as they would round a switchback. Otherwise, I'd sprint up the trail a minute ahead of the group after each break when we would regroup, finding a section of trail with beautiful light and exceptional scenery. I'm really happy with the images from the ride, with only stopping for photos less than 10 times. Next time I'm in town, I'll definitely be carrying my camera while riding, capturing further the great riding of Rothrock State Forest.
Last weekend I was back in State College Pennsylvania for a short trip back home. The trip was short, but it was great to see family, friends and old colleagues. The Bicycle Shop, where I worked for several years in high school and over a few summers during college, was kind enough to loan me a brand new Specialized Stumpjumper 29er so I could go on my first mountain bike ride of the year.
Somehow I haven't cleaned up my own mountain bike and been out yet this year in Minnesota, but I couldn't pass up at least one ride on the trails in Rothrock State Forest outside State College. I always knew there were a lot of trails just south of town in the state forest, but I just learned that there are actually 300+ miles of trails (I think I have some more exploring to do!). I really miss the riding in PA, the trails are incredibly technical, but so much fun. I only had a time for a hour and a half ride, but hopefully I'll be back later this summer and can do a few longer rides. I only carried my iPhone on the ride this time, but I've tried to capture some of the views, and amazing terrain of Rothrock State Forest.