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
It has been a little while since I've made a new post on the blog, and not for any lack of making images. I spent the last week of May back in my home town of State College, Pennsylvania for a close friend's wedding, but also for a little vacation riding the mountain bike trials that fill Rothrock State Forest. As always, The Bicycle Shop, where I used to work, treated me well and loaned me a demo bike for the week. This time it was an awesome high-end Specialized carbon Epic 29er. Memorial day morning I hit the trails for the first time of the week, climbing up to one of the classic ridge top trails, riding the rocky and rolling ridge, before dropping a steep, fast descent to make my way back to the trail head.
Tuesday I found out I had been riding only a few ridges over from one of the biggest mountain bike races held in the area all year. Somehow I had totally missed that the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic was happening while I was in Pennsylvania. The TSE is a seven day mountain bike stage race, covering much of Rothrock State Forest, and few other local riding areas. Wednesday morning I set to watch one of the best spectator days of the race, the Enduro stage where riders only are timed on five big descents, but still climb up the gravel roads between. The course took the riders over a number of trails I know well, including the trail I had just climbed to the ridge top on Monday. In the end I was able to catch the racers on three of the five timed descents. The trails of Rothrock are technically difficult, resulting in a few crashes, but the challenge is one of the parts I love coming back to. After watching all the fun, it was time to head out another of my own mini epic rides.
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.