Friday, December 30, 2022

How a Trail is Born

When you are blasting down a trail, enjoying the flow, or struggling up a climb that seems to go on forever, do you ever wonder how that trail came into being? If so, check out Trails Don't Build Themselves, as part of the MTB 101 series, and wonder no more.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Bay Circuit Trail (Just a Taste)

I was at a trail building workshop recently and one of the questions that was presented to us was, “what’s your favorite trail?” 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

What is Mountain Biking?

What is mountain biking? Definitions may vary, but see how I unpack the different types of riding in this new series MTB 101... class is now in session.

Monday, September 5, 2022

First Aid Kits Only Help If You Bring Them With You

Yes, the same "crash photos" 
seen in a previous post.
I used to carry a first aid kit when I went riding but I had gotten out of the habit. I mostly stopped wearing a hydration pack, and without one, I limited my *stuff* to the bike necessities: tube, CO2, multi-tool; and a couple of water bottles. My recent ride that went a bit sideways made me rethink this approach. 

Let's face it, it's inevitable that you or one of your riding compatriots is going to crash. Hopefully there will be no serious injuries and all you'll get is a good story and a good laugh, maybe make it on to #fridayfail on But, someday, something more significant might happen so you should probably be ready.

In my mind, being ready requires two things: knowledge and supplies. I do happen to have a fair bit of medical knowledge, but until research is done to determine if oak leaves are better for packing a wound over maple leaves, I'd prefer some good old fashioned medical supplies.

If you don't have much medical knowledge, I strongly encourage you to take a first aid class, especially if it can be geared towards the outdoors. You should also take a CPR course and a Stop the Bleed course.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Frontenac Secteur SUD National Park Adventure

It’s not common for a 30 mile gravel ride to rise to the level of needing a story about it, but this one does. This ride wasn’t a ride, it was a journey, an experience, a shit show. A shit show that I got to enjoy with my lovely wife and our two friends, Liz and Dan.

I’m typically tasked with finding and leading rides (or hikes) whenever we travel. I do have a reputation for taking my wife and our friends on rides that are a *bit* harder than I might advertise, or with a wee bit more climbing than mentioned. That’s part of what I do, but I HONESTLY don’t set out to do it. This just sort of happens, there’s “one more hill,” or we’ve only got “a few more miles to go.”

Anyone who has tried to find a ride hundreds of miles from home knows the challenges associated with choosing loops purely based on GPS tracks. Be it TrailForks or RideWithGPS, it’s caveat emptor when you download that GPS file and hit start.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

ECGA Gravel Goodness

On Saturday July 30,  Noah Leavitt and Dan Tieger, along with some other folks, worked with the Essex County Greenbelt Association to host an informal gravel ride starting in West Newbury.

The roughly 25-mile loop included a mix of road and off-road accessing Maudslay State Park, the Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area, the abandoned J.B. Little Road, trails around the Indian Hill Reservoir, and some quiet paved roads.

About 30 riders set out in multiple groups broken down by an estimated average speed. I tried to go back and forth between everyone, but the fast riders were long gone. That being said, I was able to snap a bunch of shots of the majority of the participants, and from the smiling faces, it seemed like everyone was having a good time. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Muddy Onion 2022

I love bikes, Vermont, and hills, and the Muddy Onion gravel ride combines all three. This has been one of my favorite gravel rides since "gravel rides" were a thing, and after being on hold for the past two years because of the 'rona, it was great to be back for this early season test of fitness. 

Rolling out of Montpelier, the Muddy Onion offers two route options, 21 and 39 miles, the latter with about 3500 ft of climbing. I chose the 39'er, as did Jason G and Glen G, and in total there were about 697 other riders lined up with us on Saturday morning.