Biking Vacations

Bike touring in Savannah, Georgia Bike Tour Recon!!!

Biking in Georgia Wilderness Voyageurs

Georgia bike tour development is looking to be a good gig,  Savannah has greeted us with clear blue, sunny skies, bike tour perfect!  After a lengthy road trip I was eager to ditch my car and substitute the four wheels for my preferred two wheels!  We are here on a mission to finalize some bike routes and decide on the final restaurants for our Georgia Gold Coast Bike Tour.

After a taking a few seconds to figure out Savannah’s metered parking system, I gladly took to the saddle of my bike!  First order of business – Savannah, GA’s bike lanes!  How cyclist friendly is the Southern Belle?  Is it worth riding for purposes beyond commuting?  What’s the deal with this Spanish Moss?  Where is the Historic District?  I wonder where the locals eat?  How much time is left on my meter …

All of a sudden the chitter chatter in my mind came to a halt.  I felt relaxed, calm, at peace … I was looking towards the sky, enchanted by the blanket of Spanish Moss overhead.  What is with this stuff?  Why am I so mesmerized by it?  As I approach Forsyth Park,  I decide to enjoy a snack on a bench under one of the fairy tale trees.  The park is full of life.  Children are playing, dogs chasing Frisbees or tennis balls, others are exercising. I spot a couple with the same idea as me – only they have a longer rest planned.  They came prepared with a basket of snacks and supplies and a large tapestry to host their picnic.  I smile and think of my favorite picnic spot back home.  A secret field atop the Laurel Highlands . .

Savannah Park biking Wilderness Voyageurs

I stuff the wrapper of my granola bar in the back pocket of my jersey in exchange for my map of Savannah.  Taking a sip from my water bottle, I examine the map and plan my next move.  I continue to follow the bike lane and find myself in awe.  I ride along Gaston Street, the heart of Savannah’s Historic District, amazed by the beauty and size of the mansions, Live Oaks and yes, you guessed it, more Spanish Moss!  This stretch of 4-5 blocks is stunning.  Time seems to slow down.  There is something about Historic Districts  that always does this to me.  I imagine the cars parked along the side of the road as horse and buggies combinations.  People talking on their cell phones become vendors of roses, milk, bread and various treats, in my mind.  The honk of a car brings me back to reality.   The light changed from red to green as traffic hurtles forward.  I shake my head and laugh a little at myself before pedaling away from my time machine street.

I find myself back at my car, lock up my bike, feed the meter and decide its time to feed myself too!  I walk down to the Riverfront District to check out the scene.  An ancient set of steps takes me down to an uneven brick road, stretching along the Savannah River.  A horse and buggy clomp by and I chuckle.  Food.  Ok, how to pick? There are so many options! After checking out a few menus, all I find is pub food.  Bacon cheeseburgers, crispy french fires, all washed down with an ice-cold draft . . . Nope, not today.  I’m in the mood for something else, something different . . .

I walk two blocks to my left and find a café who has just one spot at the bar left.  I duck in and instantly know I’ve found what I was looking for, the  Kayak Kafe.  The menu has a variety of carnivore, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and fish taco options!  Yahoo,,deciding on lunch took some time,  fish tacos with a citrus Pico of grapefruit, oranges, cilantro, jalapenos and white corn topped with avocado or a vegetarian Panini with walnut pesto and fresh mozzarella… (yumm) “Would you like more time to look over our menu?” Time to got to the pro, and inquire, “If you were in my shoes, would you get fish tacos or a sandwich?”  “I’d go for a sandwich, our bread is homemade and it’s amazing!  You can get fish tacos most other places and they are easy to make at home.”  I order the vegetarian Panini and thank the barmaid for her opinion.  I could not have been more satisfied with my sandwich.  The bread really is something you wouldn’t want to miss.  Now this is the type of place we like to include in our road bike tours!  I grab an Americano and hit the streets.

Turns out that touring Savannah, GA by bike is a blast!  It’s a great way to see the city at your own pace!  I think I have Day 1 of the Georgia Bike Tour dialed in.  Time to head south along the coast and figure out 3 more days of biking bliss.

Savannah Bike touring Wilderness Voyageurs

Due to the friendly terrain and the moderate weather, Georgia is an excellent biking destination to either get your bike season rolling, or bring it to an end. Join us on one of the Georgia fall bike vacation departure dates:

October 26th, 2014

November 2nd, 2014

Stay tuned for the next chapter of building a Georgia bike tour, this chapter was brought to you by Erin Graber, Director of Bike Tours here at Wilderness Voyageurs.

Wilderness Voyageurs – 103 Garrett Street, Ohiopyle, PA  15470

800-272-4141

#bikingvacations

#georgiabiking

Categories: Biking Vacations, Georgia Bike tours | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Erin Graber, Wilderness Voyageurs new bike tour manager

Bill Hall, our beloved bike tour manager, moved away to the mountains of Idaho this summer. We’ll miss him, but we’ve got a bright new face filling in–Erin Graber.

Erin Graber

While working on her business administration degree at Shepherd University, Erin Graber spent her weekends guiding rafts on the Shenandoah River. After college, she moved to Morgantown, WV to sell outdoor gear at Pathfinder. She got her sweat on at Power Yoga Morgantown every week and made friends with the owners, a pair of boaters from Ohiopyle.  Through them, Graber hooked up with Wilderness Voyageurs in Ohiopyle and trained to guide on the Youghiogheny.

“I just love the whitewater industry and the people associated with it,” she says with a characteristic, sweet smile. “And the staff is like family. We take care of business and have as much fun as we can while doing it.”

GLY_062313_1230_116_Erin_6

But Graber has another passion—cycling.

“My dad’s an avid cyclist,” Graber explains, “So I’ve been biking as long as I can remember.” While she was growing up, Graber mountain biked at Cooper’s Rock State Park.  She started road riding when she moved to Morgantown. “Then I had access to all the cool bikes at Pathfinder,” she grins.

After spending a couple months rafting, she heard that Wilderness Voyageurs was hiring a new bike tour manager. So she applied. After a whirlwind interview session, Graber snagged the job. She moved out of her place in Morgantown and set up a tent in Ohiopyle. (Until she found another apartment, of course.)

Since she started working, Graber’s been able to sample a few of Wilderness Voyageurs’  cycling tours. She’s pedaled the six-day Great Allegheny Passage tour,  the GAP and C&O Canal Highlight Tour,  the Civil War Bike Tour, and the Katy Trail Tour in Missouri.  And there are more in her future.

“I love going on bike tours,” she says. “The bed and breakfast’s we stay in are awesome, and the food’s great. It sure beats living out of a tent.” She laughs.

As the new manager, Graber hopes to use her passion for outdoor travel to add some fresh new flavor to the bike tour scene. She’s working on adding some new tours to Wilderness Voyageurs’ repertoire, including one in Washington State and another in Colorado.

“Right now I’m working on an all-female bike tour that would be a mix of road and mountain biking,” she says. “I’d also love to include some yoga classes and cooking instruction. It would be fun to add in some different activities to the bike tours that would appeal to lady cyclists like me.”

The job’s got a lot of perks, especially her new company vehicle: a tricked-out Kona Rove. Plus she scored a Cannondale shop shirt (unfortunately it wasn’t the design with the humping bunnies on the collar).

Interested in “Living the Dream” and working as a bike tour guide or working in Ohiopyle. contact us at
Wilderness Voyageurs Outfitters Inc
103 Garrett Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470
800-272-4141
http://www.wilderness-voyageurs.com

Categories: Biking Vacations, Ohiopyle, Wilderness Voyageurs | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Riding from Ohiopyle, PA to Davis, West Virginia and back

Posted by Montana

“You know it’s supposed to thunderstorm all day,” says Colleen.

“I think I’ll be alright. It might miss me,” I say.

“Ok, I just don’t want you to be miserable and come home complaining about it,” Colleen says.

I futz around, pack the rest of my stuff onto my bike. Got the camera, got my sleeping stuff, have a dry pair of underwear. No room for a rain jacket. Maybe I won’t need it. I roll out the door. No better grab it. Back in the door. I strap the jacket to the top of my bars roll away from the house again.

Up the first climb out Ohiopyle. I’m a little nervous. Davis is 75 miles away, I don’t know my route, and black clouds are puffing and sliding across the sky. I pull out the cue sheet, sweat drips off my forehead and splotches some of the ink. Nuts. I wipe my eyebrows. Can’t be doing that.

Alright, I need to go right on Glades Road, left on McCracken School. I put the sheet away. Left on Glades, right on McCracken. Left on Glades, right on McCracken. No that’s not right, right? I check the sheet again. Left on Glades, not right.

I turn left on McCracken, and ride down the road a few hundred feet. Wait, this isn’t right, I should have gone right. I spin around, and roll onto the first dirt of the day. A few miles later, I scan for my next turn. There’s an unmarked trail off to the left, but it sure doesn’t look like Mason Dixon Road. I check the map on my phone. It is. These cues are going to be impossible to follow without road signs. I tuck away the paper directions.

I cross the border into West Virginia, ride a bridge across I-68, and bounce down some rutted, rocky, single-lane tracks into Cuzzart.

Welcome to the Cuzzart General Store! Hours - None

Cuzzart General Store – Hours – None

I ride past one farm house, where the road turns from dirt to trail, and a short brown dog rushes out of a garage.

“Sit! Sit down!” I yell.

“Bark bark bark!” he yells.

“Sit the hell down!” I yell.

“Bark bark bark!” he yells.

This conversation clearly isn’t getting either of us anywhere. I pedal faster and the dog finally gives up the chase. I drop into the woods.

West Virginia road

A puddle. With ridges, for flavor.

A few miles later, I ride past a group of eight people on five ATVs. All the people are staring at the road. I wave and say hello. They all wave back in unison and look at me blankly. Weird.

Around the next bend, there’s a black plastic hose sticking out of the dirt, pumping water onto a little pallet platform. Perfect. I was almost out of water. I fill both bottles. The sky rumbles. That doesn’t sound great. The road turns from trail to dirt to gravel to pavement. The wind picks up, grey clouds roll like waves. The hills thump and echo. I better find some shelter before this storm hits.

I run into a little pavilion next to a white church. The rain pings sharply against the metal roof. Louder, louder until I can’t hear myself talk to myself. Lighting strikes the steeple. The thunder blasts. Jesus that was close.

The storm starts to let off. I put my rain jacket on, which I’m very glad I went back for, and get back on my bike. The lightning is gone, but it’s still raining. I ride a flat gravel road over Snaggy Mountain which is more of a Snaggy Bump and hide from the rain in an old log cabin. At this point I kind of want to go home. I’m all wet and uncomfortable. Then the sun starts to come out. Oh boy. I fold up my coat and ride into the nice weather.

Storms and sun

20 more miles of dirt and pavement until I get to the bottom of the climb into Tucker County, where I drink my last drop of water. 15 miles to go. My only food today has been a bag of peanuts, so I’m feeling a little out of gas, but I should be able to make it to the Purple Fiddle in Thomas. I start grinding up the hill.

A while later, my stomach is contracting. Gotta keep going. Beef wraps at the top. A trickle of water runs down the hillside. No, don’t stop. Just keep rolling.

I finally make it to the Fiddle, and order a beef wrap and a Seneca IPA in a mason jar and sit across from a chubby kid with eyes that are permanently sunk into his game playing thing.

After I finish eating, I get back on my bike and head for camp.

I ride out of Thomas and up the windy road a few miles to Davis. The elevated sidewalks are pretty empty for a Saturday afternoon. I roll past the Shop n’ Save on the edge of town and cross the bridge onto the dirt road that borders the Black Water River. Muted, far-off thunder booms.

Time to find a spot to camp. Up and down the road, scanning the woods. The thunder rumbles again. Man, I better find a spot quick. I scamper into the woods. This place is full of rocks. Damn. I wish I would have brought my hammock. I find a little crack between two boulders, string my tarp and blow up my sleeping pad.

I’m swarmed by mosquitoes. I swat my face and arms. They keep swarming. I need to go get some chemicals to repel these little bastards. I crash back through the weeds and onto the road, and ride back to the Shop n’ Save to get bug spray, a bomber of Torpedo, and a coffee cake.

On the way back, I walk down to the river to wash off. The water is deep orange. I cup some into my hands, it looks like iodine. I wonder if I should bathe in this stuff. Well, it’ll probably be alright. I soap up.

The storm hasn’t started yet, so maybe I can find a better camping spot. I roll up all my stuff and ride farther down the road. A few miles in, there’s a nice clearing by the river. I reset my campsite, read until the sun sets, then go to sleep.

A mosquito buzzes in my ear. I slap it. It buzzes again. I crush it against my head. Silence for a few minutes. The buzz comes back. Christ. I’m covered in deet you little beasts, leave me alone. I pull a t-shirt over my face and pass out.

Black Water Camping

I crawl out of the tarp the next morning, and into a big mass of poison ivy. That’s fantastic. I guess I’ll find out if I’m still immune to the stuff in the next few days. I repack my bike, and roll back into town to the Bright Morning Inn for breakfast. I eat a big stack of banana-walnut-blueberry-pancakes with thick cut bacon, drink four cups of coffee, then head back towards Thomas, and on to Ohiopyle.

Since my phone is out of battery, and I can’t navigate on all the confusing back West Virginia trail roads, I decide to take the more straightforward route through Oakland, Deep Creek, and Friendsville, Maryland.

Tucker County windmill

Top of Tucker County

I coast down out of Tucker County. Into the rolling farmland and red roads in Maryland. I’m spinning my highest gear, making great time. Through Deep Creek, up a climb then steep descent to Friendsville, then up another hill to Markleysburg. I start toward Confluence, the closest town to Ohiopyle. The road pitches up steeply, I shift into my lowest gear. I’m starting to lose energy now, I’ve come 60 miles on two bottles and one cliff bar.

Up, up, up. The road finally levels out at an old church. I pull off the road. I could climb up another 1000 feet over Sugarloaf Knob, then descend all the way back to Ohiopyle, or I could drop into Confluence, get a burger, then roll back into town on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

Hell, I’ll just take the mountain. It’ll be five miles shorter. I pedal a hundred feet up the road. Nope. Out of gas. I turn around and coast down the hill to the Lucky Dog Café.

Great Allegheny Passage Trail

After a pretty decent burger, (not as good as a Falls City Pub burger) I roll onto the GAP Trail, and burn the last 12 miles into Ohiopyle.

That was a great little mini tour. 151 miles total, a ton of climbing, and lots of time in the saddle. I’ll have to do some more of those.

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Three tips to get you ready for the spring biking season

With plenty of cool sunny days, spring is one of the best times of the year to hit the trail in Ohiopyle. And if you start riding now, you’ll have the fitness to put in some big rides this summer.

Ohiopyle bike Bridge Wilderness Voyageurs

The High Bridge just outside of Ohiopyle

Here are some tips to get you ready to ride:

Get a tune-up

Take your bike to your local shop (if you’re in the Ohiopyle area, that’s us) and have the mechanics tune it up. Fresh cables, brake pads, and tires will make your ride way more fun.

Check your tire pressure before every ride. The maximum recommended pressure is stamped on the sidewall of tire, but that’s usually a much higher pressure than you should ride (think of the max pressure stamped on your car’s sidewalls. My truck tires say 60 psi, and if I pumped the tires up that hard I’d be all over the road.)

Correct tire pressure depends on your weight, so you’ll have to play around with it a little. The tires shouldn’t be so hard that they bounce you all over the trail, and they shouldn’t be so squishy that they squirm under the bike. Also, pumping the tires up extra hard won’t make you go faster. A tire is most efficient when it can conform to the bumps it’s rolling over.

Check your saddle height

Seat height is really important to being comfortable on your bike. If the saddle is too low, you won’t be able to pedal efficiently and you’ll destroy your knees. Too high, and your hips will rock back and forth until you get super unpleasant saddle sores.

So to check your seat height, find a wall to lean against, get on the bike, then put your heels on the pedals. When you pedal backwards, your leg should be fully extended and your knee almost locked out. Spinning with the ball of your foot on the pedals, there should be about a 30 degree bend in your leg.

For a visual explanation check out this video, which features the handsomest bike mechanic in Ohiopyle. Or consider making an appointment for a bike fitting. 

Just remember, being able to touch the ground from the saddle has nothing to do with correct saddle height. Get off the saddle before you need to stop the bike.

Get on the bike as often as possible

You might not have time to do a long ride every day, but if you ride around the neighborhood for a half an hour everyday, your bike fitness will increase dramatically. It’s all about getting your body used to pedaling.

If you can only ride three hours a week, split that time into short rides everyday. Riding a bike will become routine, and longer rides won’t be a problem. In contrast, riding three hours one day on the weekend will just be a shock to your system, and probably a miserable time.

And if you can, commute to work on your bike. Along with all the hippy-feel-good benefits that come with bike commuting, it’s the absolute best way to become a better cyclist. Riding to work gives you a reason to ride (actually going somewhere), and will get you riding more than ever. After all, bikes aren’t just for recreation, they’re also a serious and efficient way to get around.

Swing through the shop if you are on the Great Allegheny Passage, or road riding through on RT 381.

Wilderness Voyageurs, 103 Garrett Street, Ohiopyle Pa, 15470

800-272-4141

#ohiopyle

#greatalleghenypassage

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Mountain Biking, Ohiopyle, Wilderness Voyageurs | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

NEW! Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Bike Tour – Best of GAP 4 Day

Ride the GAP End to End in 2013!   Wilderness Voyageurs is introducing a new 4 day Inn to Inn journey from Homestead, PA to Cumberland, Maryland.  This trip will cover the Great Allegheny Passage at a relaxed pace and will allow for plenty of time to explore the trailside, small towns, and soak your feet in the Youghiogheny River.  This bike tour will average about 35 miles a day, as opposed to our 6 day Pittsburgh to Washington DC tour that averages 60 miles a day.

Great Allegheny Passage- Wilderness Voyageurs

The GAP Trail crossing the Cassellman River on the spectacular Salisbury Viaduct

Wilderness Voyageurs has been conducting tours on the Great Allegheny Passage since 1999, today we are the largest bike outfitter operating in the corridor. Why is this important?  Because, you get more time to enjoy your vacation when you put our 14 years of experience to work for you taking care of  all of the details, luggage moving, snack breaks, meals, lodging, and bike tuning.  We make it easy to explore and enjoy the trail.

You will meet your guides and fellow travelers at the Wilderness Voyageurs’ base in Ohiopyle, PA.  Here you will park your car and have your luggage loaded into the SAG vehicle.   Munch on a bagel while the guides load your bikes and attend to any last minute bike tuning before we load up to head for Homestead, PA and the start of your vacation.  You will spend 4 days, traversing from Homestead, Pennsylvania to Cumberland, Maryland, on this world famous Rail- Trail.  Beginning your meander in the shadows of the Pittsburgh skyline and then quickly you will turn into the Youghiogheny Valley where tall trees and small towns are your companions.  Overnights will be spent in Perryopolis, Confluence, and Meyersdale, upon arrival in Cumberland you will be transported back to Ohiopyle where you parked your car.

One of the things that has us so excited about this new tour, is our new lodging partners, the Levi Deal Mansion in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.  This gorgeous B & B is 2 blocks from the Great Allegheny Passage, and will be our refuge on night 3 of this tour.   Meet our innkeepers and have a peek into their beautiful home, that they have lovingly restored to turn of the century grandeur……

Details of the Great Allegheny Passage Bike Tour – 4 Day

The inaugural departure for this tour is July 21, 2013 with additional departures on September 8th and October 6th.

KATY TRAIL Bike Tour - Wilderness Voyageurs

KATY TRAIL along the Missouri River

Have you already biked the GAP?  If so, you may be interested in the KATY Trail, the longest Rails to Trails project in the US,  an excellent 6 day biking vacation that crosses Missouri.

To reserve your biking vacation, or have your questions answered, call us at 800-272-4141, or stop into our shop at 103 Garrett Street, Ohiopyle PA, 15470

Don’t want to talk to a human?  Reserve on line at  Wilderness-voyageurs.com

#greatalleghenypassage

#bikingvacations

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Ohiopyle, Wilderness Voyageurs | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mountain unicycling in Ohiopyle- Something completely different

Since I tweaked my shoulder last month, it’s hurt to go uphill on my mountain bike. I figured that I needed to take some time off riding to let the shoulder fix itself, but I couldn’t just sit around. And I can’t stand walking or running. So my only reasonable option was to hit the trails on a unicycle.

Mountain unicycling trails in Ohiopyle

Wobbling and waving down the trail.

The trails around Ohiopyle are tight, twisty, and covered in rocks and roots. And this time of year, they have a slimy coating of leaves. They’re tricky to ride on a mountain bike. Take away a wheel, a set of handle bars, and the ability to coast, and they’re trickier. By a lot.

Riding a unicycle feels weird. To go forward, I have to lean until feel like I’m going to fall on my face, then catch myself by pedaling forward, which rotates the unicycle backwards. So riding in a straight line is a constant back and forth between falling and pushing myself back up with the pedals.

Add in some hills, off-camber paths, and bumps, and staying upright becomes a weird flailing dance. Lean back on a descent, resist the wheel, push the saddle forward into the climbs, wave right arm into a left turn, shake the left into a right, grab the saddle hop up a rock, and twist around and around.

It’s exhausting.

I can happily do a 50 mile day on my mountain bike, but after six or seven miles of unicycling I’m ready stumble off into the mountain laurel and pass out (and I almost never do that when I’m sober.)

Unicycling down a trail

My photographer was able to take surprisingly artistic shots while running behind the speeding unicycle.

Despite being really hard, unicycling is fun. I’m started to get the hang of riding technical stuff, and I’ve done my seven-mile commute to work on the thing. Although it takes three times as long as it does on a bike, it’s still slightly faster than running. And unlike running or riding a bike, when I’m on the unicycle people always smile, wave, laugh, and yell encouraging things. Which makes sense, because I look ridiculous:

Categories: Biking Vacations, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Mountain Biking, Ohiopyle | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Bikepacking out of Ohiopyle

The Quebec Run Wild Area is a really cool system of trails to the south of Ohiopyle. I’ve been looking at some maps for a while, and figuring out a way to ride from town to the wild area on single track and double track the whole way.

Image

So last Saturday I loaded up my pack and started the climb out of the valley.

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The trail that goes into Quebec is a ten-mile piece of single track called the White Tail Trail. My plan was to ride a gravel road out of Ohiopyle, take a trail through some state gameland, hit the White Tail Trail into Quebec, watch a cyclocross race that was going on near Quebec, then camp and ride back into work the next morning.

The climb out of Ohiopyle was pretty brutal with a loaded pack. Since I was on my single speed, I couldn’t stay in the saddle. And since I had 35 pounds of camping gear on my back, it wasn’t easy to pedal out of the saddle either.

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But I made it to the top and into the gamelands. A few miles in, I saw about 40 trucks parked in the woods. At that point, I realized that it was the first day of bear season, and I was wearing a woolly black shirt. The rest of the ride through the hunting zone was less than relaxing.

When I got to the entrance of the White Tail Trail off of Skyline Drive, I saw more hunters. Since I had no desire to be mistaken for an emaciated bear and shot, I decided to ride the road the rest of the way to the cross race. But at least now I know that the trail to Quebec does exist. It even has fresh blazes. I’ll just have ride it when there’s less firepower in the woods.

Buzzing along Skyline Drive wasn’t so bad:

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A couple hours later, I made it to the cross race. I hung out for a while and heckled some racers. Especially my friend Rob, whose bicycle choice was a little suspect:

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photo by Fred Jordan

Then I started the long climb back up the ridge. I made it to my camping spot above Uniontown just before dark, and got a little fire going.

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I knew it wasn’t going to rain, so I didn’t bring a tent. I sat next to the fire and looked out at all the bright lights a few miles below. Ate two pots of Ramen, burned up all my firewood, and drank the contents of the flask I brought along. I was hoping that I would be drunk enough to sleep all night without noticing the cold (see simulated summer.)

ImageThat worked for about two hours. Then I woke up. It was 25 degrees, and the wind was ripping across the overlook I was sleeping on. I wrapped my ground cover around myself, hoping that it would keep some heat in.

It didn’t. But it did keep some moisture in, and soaked my sleeping bag.

I drifted in and out of shivering sleep for the next few hours, then at 4:30 I decided to get up and start riding back to town. The sun was starting to rise when I got back to Skyline Drive, and it was a bright clear morning. Image

Pretty, but bright clear mornings are also cold mornings. I thought my fingers were going to freeze and snap off as I descended the mountain back to Ohiopyle. When I got back to town, I spent a long time thawing myself out in front of a little oil heater before I opened the store.

Overall, it was a pretty good mini-bikepacking trip, even though hunting season kept me from riding all the trails I planned on. I ended up riding 45 miles the first day, and 15 the next morning. Not a bad little adventure from the front door. Next post I’ll talk about the gear I used, and what I wished I would have used.

posted by Montana

Categories: Biking Vacations, Mountain Biking, Ohiopyle | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Fall is for Bike touring- KATY Trail this week

Greetings from Missouri,

We embark upon the KATY Trail this weekend. Starting in Sedalia, Missouri we will point our bikes eastward towards ST Charles, Missouri.

Check out this cool sculpture that serves as your send-off.  It memorializes the transition of the corridor from the wild west and railroad days to the awesome KATY Rail Trail.

from Train to Trail

KATY Trail sculpture in Sedalia

Cool train to bike sculpture

6 days of great riding and exploring and making new friends lies ahead.  Cool little towns, railroad artifacts, and a couple of wineries are all on the agenda.

Missouri winery

Ready to Ride the longest Rail-Trail in the US?   We make it easy check out the KATY Bike Tour itinerary .  Begin planning for your 2013 ride.  Stay tuned we will bring you images all week long as we ride the route of Lewis & Clark.

Wilderness Voyageurs has a bike tour vacation for you..

Pennsylvania Bike Tours

Maryland Bike Tours

Colorado Mountain Biking

Missouri Bike Tour 

Contact our Ohiopyle store at 800-272-4141 to have your bike tour questions answered .

Wilderness Voyageurs

103 Garrett Street

Ohiopyle, PA 15470

Categories: Biking Vacations, Katy trail | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Bike to Work Day 2012: Wilderness Voyageurs Goes Biking!

Do you own a bike?  Then plan to use it on Friday.

Wilderness Voyageurs Bicycle Tours Friday May 18th is National Bike to Work Day.  The goal of the day is to show that commuting to work is a viable option that is healthy for the commuter and the environment.  Help raise awareness of the safe alternatives in your region, as well as help to raise awareness of the existing needs for a good bike infrastructure. Most major cities have coordinated and organized rides Friday morning and afternoon to help you get in the swing of things.

Here are a few useful web sites to help you get involved:

Baltimore Area Info               Washington DC Region

Dayton, Ohio Area                  Pittsburgh Area

Philadelphia Region               Cleveland Area

We here at Wilderness Voyageurs will be biking en masse to work to help reduce the congestion of  rush hour in Ohiopyle. ;)

If spending a little time on your bike gets you all fired up, think about a biking vacation this summer….

call the Wilderness Voyageurs office at 800-272-4141 to learn more about how easy and fun a biking getaway can be.

Categories: Biking Vacations, Ohiopyle | Tags: | Leave a comment

Clearing the Lytle Connector Trail: Ohiopyle Mountain Biking

Original post over on the work blog.

We’ve been discussing doing some trail work for a few years. Yesterday we finally got started.

The Lytle connector is a piece of trail that goes up from Lytle Road to Presley Ridge Trail. Clearing it off has been on Ohiopyle State Park’s to-do list for a while, and the trail director told us that if we got it done she would be happy to consider approving some new single track in the park.

Lytle is on the opposite ridge from Sugarloaf Knob. The tire lever is pointing to the start of the trail.

After work we headed up the mountain. There were seven people, three chainsaws, two dogs, and one rake. Next time we might bring more rakes and less saws. We tried to double our body count, but the rest of the company was already busy:

They were having a vigorous debate about which piece of furniture in the house needed to be burned next. It’s a rough life.

The trail used to be an old logging tramway, but over the years it’s narrowed down to about three feet wide. It’s steep and should make a fun descent. We chainsawed all the big trees out of the bottom section, then got creative near the top.

The top of the ridge is full of big boulders and natural features.

It has the potential to be a really awesome piece of singletrack:

By the time it got dark, we had about three miles of rideable trail done. It was a solid start.

Our ultimate goal is to make Ohiopyle into a mountain biking destination. We have the elevation, we have the terrain, we have the post ride beer spot, and now we have the blessing of the state park.

It’s a good time to be a mountain biker in the Pyle.

We’re going to make Wednesday evening trail work a regular thing, so if you want to come out and help, give us a call and talk to Kasia or Montana. 1-800-272-4141

Categories: Biking Vacations, Mountain Biking, Ohiopyle | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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