Mountain Biking at Moosic Mountain
I would describe myself as a cyclist. I love riding bikes; all kinds of bikes. In fact, I have many bikes stacked up along the walls and hanging from the ceiling in my garage.
I have been a road biker, gravel grinder and bike tourer. But my absolute favorite type of riding is mountain biking.
When the opportunity arises to go riding, I almost always choose my mountain bike. From the cool temps under the tree canopy in summer, to the gritty cold air on my face in winter, I love the peaceful feeling of leaving everything behind.
I got serious about mountain biking about 20 years ago. What drew me in was the intense concentration required to navigate Pennsylvania’s rocky, rooty, twisty single track trails. It was perfect for clearing the mind.
I loved the fact that my world became the 10-20 feet of trail directly in front of me; focusing on selecting the right line, setting the gear and picking my way through a tough section without crashing. There’s no room for distractions or you end up head over wheels.
In the beginning, I fell a lot. I used to tell myself that if I wasn’t falling, I wasn’t learning. Now, my technical skills have improved and I usually ride without falling. But there’s something to be said about staying humble because I still occasionally find myself lying face up in the shrubs wondering what just happened!
I love mountain biking in Pennsylvania—from rocky boulder gardens and twisty, thick-with-fern trails to tough short climbs and gravelly downhills. One of my favorite rides is at The Nature Conservancy’s Dick and Nancy Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain.
In fact, local mountain bikers have purposefully connected the dots of some beautiful, hidden spaces that represent an awesome ride at the Preserve. Biking between the dinosaur-sized rocks of an area called Stonehenge and navigating the twisting switch-back of Gene’s Trail makes it a challenging course, so tough that I’ve never ridden the whole thing clean. But I manage to clear different sections on different days, so there’s always something to look forward to, to strive for, to focus on.