Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kennerdell & Two Mile Run PA Rides

     I made the trip back to Pennsylvania this weekend to attend a funeral for a family member who had passed last week. Since I was going to have a little free time Saturday morning, I took the Giant with me to get a ride in. My parents live next to the Kennerdell trail, and they are only about 30 minutes from Two Mile State Park, so I decided these would be my destinations for the weekend. I spent the week researching the trails, printed off a few maps, and decided on a plan of attack. I also had my bike tuned up during the week so I was excited to get out and see how it was riding.
      I started my day with Two Mile since it was the furthest away and on paper seemed to be the most fun. After parking at trail head where I was the only one there (I guess I should have realized something up) I started out on my attempted ride. I found entrance to trail and started off on rocky hill climb. 5 minutes in, and I realized I was in trouble. First of all, the bike was not working well at all. The "ghost" shifting and slipping that had been bothering me for the last month, had not been fixed. Not a good thing when you are playing on hills and rocks! However, chain issues and all, I soldiered on. My mistake, as about a mile or two in, the trails started to be difficult to follow. Every where I looked there was a side trail leading off of the main trail, and quite honestly, the map became completely useless. I road around in circles for a while, until I was able to figure out the trail system a little, but by then I was completely frustrated with the trail and the bike. I ended up getting a little over 8 miles in, but this trail system just was not fun. No flow, rocks, and soft track which made it very difficult to get any speed. I got back to the trail head ( I was still the only person riding) and made my way towards Kennerdell.
     Even though I was having troubles with the bike, I was going to tough it out and make it work. I got to the trail head, tried to adjust the rear derailluer a bit, and plotted out my lap. There were a couple locals there, so I chatted them up a bit, and got some advice on the best lap. The trail started out on a gravel fire road (fast riding) and eventually got into the good stuff. Right away, it became apparent that there was going to be some rock and roots, as well as some mud! I met a few other riders down in the woods, and got some more advise on what to stay away from, and continued on. The map worked wonderfully, and I was able to turn a 7 mile lap into a pretty fun ride, even though the damn rear cassette drove me insane. There was so much slippage going on I almost sterilized myself on many occasions. I had heard about the rock gardens here, and they did not let me down. A couple nice downhill rocky sections followed by a nasty rocky climb on ridge trail (time to push) and I was reasonably happy with the ride. I didn't do anywhere near the total miles here; I was riding alone and didn't want to journey down over the mountain to the Allegheny River without someone along for help if needed. Although I will definitely go back again someday and make sure I complete it all.
     Unfortunately I didn't get any pics, although the ridge trail at Kennerdell did have some awesome views overlooking the river! Next time when I am not using GPS on phone, I will be able to take some pics. However, the fact that I didn't get pictures and had issues with the bike and the trails, the ride itself did me some good; I had time to think about my little cousin (RIP Jay) who had passed and spent some time alone thinking about a few things. I also got in a nice workout, saw some nice views and explored some new trail.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for your loss.

    By now I guess you figured out why you was the only one on that first trail. :)


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