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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Month of Mud 2009

About this time of year people begin asking about the Month of Mud race series. Don't fret, the Month of Mud has been going strong for over 20 years and there will be a 2009 Month of Mud series. The schedule usually doesn't come out till a few weeks before the series but MOM has a new web site and there is a little hint of what's to come. Schedule still seems tentative but the first race, The Bavington Time Trails, is set for Sept 20th, 2009.

**** UPDATE ****

Tentative Month of Mud 2009 Race Schedule

9/20 Bavington (MTB)
9/27 Raccoon Township Park(CX)
10/4 Grove City (CX)
10/11 Brady’s Run (MTB)
10/25 Moraine (MTB)

A little bit about the series:

These races are short, fast and intense. They feature trail systems local to the Pittsburgh region and usually include at least one cyclo-cross race. There are no bike restrictions in the cyclocross races so you can use your Mountain Bike and many people do.

Month of Mud Posts and Resources

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PTAG's 4th Annaul Mountain Bike Fest

Pittsburgh Trail Advocacy Group's 4th Annual Mountain Bike Fest Kicks off Thursday evening July 16th at the OTB Bicycle Cafe in the South Side with Beer compliments of Troegs Brewery, REI and Dirt Rag Magazine. Rides and events will be held from Thursday through Monday See the flyer for more detail or check the PORC calendar.

The festival will include four rides:

  • Friday South Park with John Hinderliter.
  • Saturday afternoon North Park followed by a picnic hosted by Brian Delvecchio
  • Sunday Bavington with picnic following hosted by Bob Bannon
  • Monday Boyce Park hosted by Barry Jefferies

Sponsers include:

  • Dirty Harry's Bike Shop
  • REI
  • Allegro Hearth Bakery
  • OTB Bicycle Cafe
  • Troegs Brewy
  • Dirt Rag Magazine
  • Trek of Pittsburgh Bicycle Store
  • Mad Mex

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bavington Mountain Bike Trails

Over 27 miles of single track run through Hillman State Park, located in the state game lands in and around Bavington, known by mountain biker's as just Bavington, it's one of the most beloved mountain biking trail networks in and around Pittsburgh.

These trails feature tight winding single track and rooty trails through young pine forest. These trails are fairly smooth with tight turns with some roots thrown in. The trail offers enough variation to make the trails interesting for advanced riders, novice riders will find these trails a challenge.

The trails follow flat tops and ridge lines and generally have a low grade making them fast both going up and down. You will encounter a few steep climbs but these are fairly short and all of them are ridable. The trails are up above the wet low areas and they generally stay dry. Pine needles covering the forest floor in many areas also help with the water.

Bavington Five Points Road Extension
Bavington 27 Mile Ride

Bavington Trail Maps and Resources
Bavington Trail Maps
Bavington Month of Mud Race Loop
All Bavington Related Posts

Pittsburgh Mountain Bike Fest July 19th

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

North Park Mountain Biking Trails

North Park is an Allegheny County Park, 13 miles north of the city center. There are over 40 miles of mountain bike trails in North Park but putting together a comprehensive and continuous ride can be a challenge. The trails are not continuous and any comprehensive loop will be separated by sections of road. The many branching and spurs can also make these trails difficult to follow but the reset blazing (marking) of trails has done a lot to help.

If you are a first timer to the park picking a section and riding part of the North Park Outer Loop is a good way to get you started. Also the North Ridge Bypass and Extension Trail holds some of the best single track in the park and is a great place to get started. Linking this trail up wit the Bridal trail you can ride 7 or 8 miles with only two road crossings and a small piece of road to link up the end of the trail to the start.

North Park Maps

Entries and Resources for North Park

Monday, July 6, 2009

XC Mountain Bike Race Calendar

It's been a long, long time since I've updated the race calendar, but let me take a minute to give a quick lowdown of the area race scene. There are probably six race series within a reasonable driving distance of Pittsburgh:


West Virginia Mountain Bike Association. A point series with around fifteen races all over West Virginia quite a few within 2 - 3 hours of Pittsburgh. This is probably the best and most noteable series in the region.  Most courses feature spectacular and varied terrain and most venues are very well run. The WVMBA includes a cross-country, short track and ultra endurance series.

Month of Mud

This takes place in the fall. It features Cross Bike and in the spirt of cross, short fast mountain bike races. The shining star of this series is the final race on the formidable Moraine State Park trails.

Bike The Wilds

Coinciding with several local town festivals, reports have been these races are a lot of fun.

Yellow Creek Monthly

These are short races, held every month at Yellow Creek State Park near Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Michaux Series

These take place out near Chambersburg, in south central Pennsylvania

Ohio Mountain Bike Championship Series

Believe this, there is fantastic mountain biking to be had in Ohio. I've done the Lake Hope and ridden the Mohican area and they are both spectacular.

National Ultra Endurance Series (NUE)

Our region brushes up against two of the National  Ultra Endurance series races. The epic Mohican 100, featuring a 100 mile and 100K course with somewhere around 50 miles of single track and covering 3 counties. Also, the epic Wilderness 101 near State College Pennsylvania. Quite a few area racers drive south to  participate in the Shenandoah 100 in the Smokey Mountain of Virginia.

Other notable races outside of these series:

Seven Springs 24 Hour usually held labor day weekend
Roaring Run in Apollo, PA - usually held in September
Big Bear 12x24
12 Hours of Cranky Monkey

and I'm missing a few but that will have to do for now. Feel free to leave what I've missed in the comments.

Old Post

I'm leaving this old post with the 2009 calendar and race map. You may find it handy:

Race destinations around the region and their DT (driving time) from Pittsburgh. Currently this list includes only a couple ultras and no short track or downhill races. For a full sized calendar Click here and then on the agenda tab. To see a map of the remaining West Virginia Mountain Bike Association races (WVMBA) click here. If you see a cross country race missing on the calendar add it to the comments at the bottom of this page and I'll add it to the Calendar.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

North Park 18 Mile Outer Loop

Figuring out the mountain bike trails at North Park can be a little daunting. There's a lot of single track out there but good bit of it is spider webbed. It's hard to tell if you are on the main route or just another spur. The recent marking (blazing) of some of the trails in the park have done a lot to make navigating them easier and if you know how to piece it together, it's easy to make one giant 18+ mile loop of single track around the park. You can ride this loop and at most only travel less than half mile a mile of road to piece it all together. (If you are really clever you can piece this together with barely any road all but I want to try and make the route as simple as possible).

It's going to take a lot of effort to explain this loop in the detail that I'd like, so for now I'm giving an overview and with a little investigation this should be enough to go on if you want to give it a go. The route is roughly outlined on this map:

North Park Outer Loop Map

1. Start at the intersection of Kummer and Lake Shore Drive just off of Ingomar Road. There is some parking along Lake Shore right beside this intersection.

2. Head up the grade on Kummer and find the horse trail that parallels the left side of Kummer. Take this climb up to the golf course.

3. Cross Kummer and find the orange trail that goes right along the edge of the golf course and enters into the woods.

Take the orange trail counter clockwise half way around the golf course.

4. Before the church cross Walter Road and get on the green loop passing Flag Staff pavilion and the park administration building.

5. Cut across the lawn by the bathrooms and find the green trail trail head.

6. The green loop empties you out into the pavilion lawn after this you'll want to hook back up and finish the orange loop.

7. Make a right head down Walters Road and find the jeep track immediately on your left.

8. Make the climb and before the top make a right joining back up with the orange loop. You'll continue around the golf course counter clockwise.

9. Staying on the orange loop travel on the edge of the golf course around the cyclone fence

10. The trail ends dumping you onto McKinney Road.

11. Head up the hill and pass Pidgeon Pavillion and find the trail to your right just past the intersection of Kummer and McKinney.

12. As you travel on the wide trail skip the first right with the white arrow and then take the next right down over the hill.

13. In less than a mile look for a trail off to your right. Before the gas line make the right down the steep down hill. If you come to the gas line you've skipped a part just take the gas line down to the raod.

14. Take the gas line down to the intersection of Lake Shore and Brown.

15. Make a right on Brown travel a short distance to a T at the intersection of Brown and Pearce Mill. At this intersection make a right on Pearce Mill

16. Bike down Pearce about a 1/4 mile to North Ridge Road across from the Hockey rink.

17. Find the trail behind the Olympia shelter. Here you'll enter several miles of fantastic single track on the red dotted trail commonly reffered to as North Ridge Bypass and the Bypass Extension.

18 Following the swich backs and climb towards the top.

19. After you climb a while you'll join with another trail. At the T make a right away from the road. If you go left it takse to a clearing beside North Ridge Road and you'll need to turn around.

20. After a couple miles and two bridge crossings you'll climb up to the lookout tower where the trail runs by North Ridge for a few yards. The trails takes you down a desent across a gas line and immediately across your 3rd bridge. After the switch backs you'll meet North Ridge Bypass, make a right. (A left will quickly take you to the trail head on North Ridge Road.)

21. This meanders for a quite a ways over roots and rocks on some of the best single track in the county. After several climbs it empties out at the Wisconsin shelter along North Ridge Road.

22. Cross North Ridge road at the Wisconsin shelter and make a right onto the bridal trail (solid red) and follow the red squares down to the spill way.

UPDATE: A new section of has been added. At this point continue on the Pfundstein trail. Eventually this will take you back to the spillway adding a another two or so miles of great single track onto your route.

Cross Babcock at the Pearce Mill Road intersection at the spillway. You'll find a trail that follows and crosses Pine Creak and eventually lets out behind the ice cream stand at the intersection of Wildwood and Old Babcock,

Cross Wild Wood and head up Old Babcock.

Cross the small walking bridge across the ditch head up hill across the lawn and find the muddy trail off to your left. Wooden Bridge

Take this trail clockwise and eventually up a long climb. A network of single track circles the road around S ridge drive. Use your best instinct to keep yourself up top taking the trails that parallel the road.

Where S. Ridge divides into a single lane one way cross the road find the trail and make a left. This takes you behind the swimming pool and back onto south ridge.

Make a right on Hemlock at the intersection of S Ridge and Hemlock

Cross Babcock onto West Ridge Road. You'll find the trail on your left after you pass Koto Buki.

A mile or so later, you ride a fantastic downhill and then his trails dumps you across the street from the Police training center. Cross West Ridge road and find the trail to your left.

Finish up taking the trail from the training center to the intersection of Ingmar and Kummer.

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