RR: Jim Thorpe Bimping Weekend - Long w/Pics



A beautiful fall weekend comes to an end, but not before some incredible
riding has been done. The annual fall JAR (Jersey Action Riders)
bimping (biking and camping) trip heads to the Fruita of Pennsylvania,
Jim Thorpe. This is the destination for mountain biking in my part of
the world. Fantastic mountains offering incredible climbs and rocky
descents. History and more surround this area

Friday 10/8/04

Mike and I head up early to the campground. Our reasons are two fold.
I hate setting up a tent in the dark and we figured we'd have enough
time for a warm up ride. We reach the grounds by 12:30, setup, and head
over to the Broad Mountain Loop. This is basically a fire road that
follows the ridge of Broad Mountain but is also the lead in to other
famous trails such as the Deer Path. We stick to the 10 mile loop which
has quite a bit of downhill.


It's pretty much smooth sailing for a while.


We through in a few rocks to add some challenge.


We skirt down one of the off-shoots to take in the views of the Lehigh
Valley and Jim Thorpe below.


Yup, that's stupid me. I was too lazy to change out of my regular
clothes into riding gear. Needless to say, it all ending up in a
plastic bag at the end of the day.

Ten miles went fast, but it was a good start to the weekend ahead. Back
to camp for some food and sleep and a big day on Saturday.

Saturday 10/09/04

10:00 AM arrives and the group assembles for today's ride. A few checks
to make sure things are working and some food. I blew up my car on
Monday, and had to get a new one which you'll see on the right. No more
roller skate cars for me! I'm back to a gas guzzling SUV!


We're 22 strong including a group of visiting Belgiums we pick up along
the way. This was one of the largest groups I have ever ridden with.


We head out of the campground to the end of the switchback trail. Check
out the history of it in the link at the top of this report. It was the
world's first rollercoaster. We head up Flagstaff road to the Flagstaff
Inn. This is a three mile, 1500 foot climb to a bar perched high above
JT. Last time I was here this was a gravel road, but they've paved it.
The goal today is the Twin Peaks ride. It's a 20+ mile trek over to
mountains.We then hit an incredibly fun trail called Psycho Betty's
Revenge. It's a few miles of babyhead wonderment.


This trail would turn out to claim my helmet cam. Warning to all the
vertically challenged people out there: Don't ride behind 6'5" guys on
XXL bikes. I couldn't see the tree branched and snagged the camera
wire. Luckily Tim recovers the camera and Mike manages to splice things
together at the end of the day. Betty finally lets us out by the
powerline trail. The rocks here are not as forgiving.


The guy on the right in the pic above is 6'5" Wolfgang. I am 5'5".

We slide our way down the powerlines and try one of the side trails.
Wrong way into a swamp and a few annoyed people.


We get over it but not before hike-a-biking this nasty stuff. It may
not look bad but it's very steep, very loose, and after witnessing a
nice knee jarring endo, walking was the smart choice.


We go up a paved road a bit and some people try to climb the gravity
railroad (another piece of Jim Thorpe history. I already know what
that's like, so I opt for the roadie ride up. We had to do a fair share
of hiking. What you do not see in the pick below are the landslide


But it's worth it when we get to the top of the second peak. Jay's
smile says it all.


Another bit of gravely ride to the gorge.


Another hike-a-bike down the side of the mountain. There is supposed to
be a trail here somewhere.


We make it back to the switchback railroad trail and then buzz back
downhill to the camp. Video will be available soon!

Sunday 10/10/04

Didn't bring the camera today. The group split up for our final ride of
the weekend. Some opted for Tomaqua (sp?) and the rest (8) of us opted
for the most famous Jim Thorpe trail. For the sake of preserving the
peace, we'll just say it's a very STANDARD trail. It's hard to describe
something you've read about a hundred times and do it justice. The
video I shot we'll show some of it. We start off not to fair from the
Broad Mountain loop I did on Friday and head into the trail.
Immediately you are presented with rock after rock of twisty turny head
chopping branch fun. Concentration and speed are the name of the game.
You need to see what it ahead and carry your speed over the rocks.
There are some climbs to be made, again with rocks. The reward comes
before you reach the landmark that this trail is famous for. A super
fast rocky downhill that turns and undulates through the forest. This
was one of those times when the six inch travel I get razzed about payed
off. I wish I had a camera pointed on my fast to capture the smile
going from ear to ear. Of course all good things have to come to an
end, which I did with a very ungraceful endo at the bottom.

We actually finished this trail by reversing our direction when one of
the riders busted a derailleur hanger at the furthest point in.
Needless to say it was a long walk out for him

An incredible weekend of biking and fun! I can't wait to do it again in
the spring!
o-o-o-o Ride-A-Lot o-o-o-o