Posts Tagged With: Ohiopyle mountain biking

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.”


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

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

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

9 Hours of Cranky Monkey Mountain Bike Race Report

After disappointingly small spinach bowl at Bob Evan’s in Lavale, Maryland my friend Don Powers and I drove the Hatchback Miatta into the Rocky Gap State Park. We registered our duo-team, “XXC Mag Presents the Crusty Seamen” (it’s only funny because we’re not sailors,) and set up camp.

I was too lazy to pack my tent, but since we were going to a mountain bike race I assumed there would be trees by the camping area. I brought my hammock and a tarp and left my tent in Ohiopyle.

Then we walked over to the camping area. There were no trees. I watched in dismay as the rest of the Pittsburgh/Morgantown crew set up their sponsor emblazoned homes for the weekend.

The TOP tent:

The double wide Dynamic PT tent:

The Pro bikes tent:

And finally, the Wilderness Voyageurs tent:

I accessed all my other options, but in the end it looked like my only choice was to sleep under a bench all weekend. That homeless guy that used to ride around my hometown with shopping bags would be proud.

We went out for a warm up lap. The course was rad, it flowed well with some tight turns and tricky roots. The whole 8.5 mile loop only took 39 minutes. After the lap Don, Brad and I drove the fer piece to Cumberland to find some food. Don was willing to settle on some Taco Bell ground-beef- spleen tacos. But Brad and I insisted we push through a crowd of shirtless-teenage-carnival-goers to get real food. Eventually we found a little bar with some decent food where Heffner and Aaron already had a table.

The next morning I wake up with some moisture on my sleeping bag. I crawl out from under my bench. At least I stayed mostly dry. I head over to JR’s tent and beg for some food. He gives me a bagel and some peanut butter. I am pleased.

I make some coffee in my French press and groan. It’s foggy and cold, with light rain. It’s so hard to get excited for a race when it’s raining.

It’s close to the 11:00 start so I take my bike over to the transition area. I carefully back it into the rack so I can yank it out quickly. We’re going to run for about half a mile to split everybody up before the trails. I’m going first, and I’ll do two laps before trading off with Don.

We line up, and Aaron and I do some short sprints to warm up. It feels like I’m back in High School Cross Country.

The promoter raises his hand, “5 seconds… Go!” We run. Some little fire plug dude next to me trips on a blade of grass and falls on his face. I don’t look back, but I’m certain he’s being trampled by 175 pairs of carbon soled shoes. I pull away from the rest of the pack and make it to the bikes ahead of everybody else. I grab my bike.

It dons’t move. Shit. Somebody hooked the nose of my saddle onto the rack. I frantically throw five other bike onto the ground. Other guys make it to the transition area and start riding away. When I finally get my bike untangled, I’m back in 15th.

I sprint and pass as many people as I can before we hit the trails. The first few miles of the course are really tight and twisty, and it gets congested. I pass when I can, but the leaders are way gone. Dammit. I wanted to be out front on this first lap. I could kill who ever hooked my bike in the rack like that.

We turn away from the lake and get some room to pass. I rip by everyone I can and start the only longish climb on the course. I see JPok and one of the DCMtb guys ahead in the distance. I crush it up the hill, pass them and keep going. I made up a lot of time and took the lead, and now I’m going to hold it. I go all out on the rocky descent and start the swoopy lake trails again.
Mountain bike racing wilderness voyageurs
I cross the start/finish area and head out for my second lap. JPok trades off with Nate Anon. I stay ahead of him and keep pinning it. I finish the lap in 35:41 with a little bit of a gap on Nate. That lap stands the rest of the day as the fastest lap of the race.

I give the punch card to Don Powers, and he promptly drops his chain. There goes our lead. Doh. I walk over to the tents, put my feet up, and eat some ho hos. A little over an hour later, Don finishes his second lap and I head back out.

I feel good the first lap, but slow down to 39 minutes on the second. I’m feeling a little beat. We’re holding onto third, but can’t catch up to JPok and Nate or the DC guys. Their lap times are too consistent.

When Don finishes his 6th lap, I go out to finish the race with my 6th and 7th. We’re a few minutes behind the other teams, so I just cruise the laps. I roll into the finish a little after 7:00 pm.

We ended up third in Open Duo, which is pretty damn good for a couple of guys on single speeds. Don did 6 laps, and I did 7 which ended up being about 60 miles. Very solid and fun day.

I wore my finest Canadian Tuxedo on the podium:
Mountain bike racing wilderness voyageurs
After the awards, there was much merrymaking around the campfire. Sadly, Brad was forced to delete all the pictures. I finally crawled back under my bench at 4:00 am. We woke up at 7:00 and went back to Bob Evan’s where Darnell, Sandy, or Beatrice served us breakfast, then drove back to Ohiopyle. I made it to work 15 minutes early. Perfect weekend.


Wilderness Voyageurs, 103 Garrett St, Ohiopyle pa 15470




Categories: Bike repair, Mountain Biking | Tags: , | Leave a comment

time to break out the bikes

It’s 60 degrees and sunny today in Ohiopyle. The snow is close to gone. Bummer if you like to ski, but if you have a mountain bike it’s awesome.

The singletrack is a little wet in spots, but still good enough to get a ride in.

Since I was working I wasn’t able to hit the trails today, but I did take one of our Kona Kahuna 29ers on a lap through the WV headquarters.

Our expert mechanic Travis has made sure all the Konas are all tuned up and ready to rent. But we might not be happy if you try to ride one through the store. Fortunately there was no one around to yell at me.

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

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