Split Rock Quarry Explosion: 100 Years Later

In July 2010, I posted a piece about offroad biking at the former Split Rock Quarry in the western suburbs of Syracuse.

Over the next eight years, the piece ended up getting a surprising amount of pageviews from non-skiers in Central New York.

Apparently, they’d stumbled upon it through searches and then posted or e-mailed me several dozen comments about the massive munitions explosion in 1918, mountain biking through the abandoned area, and especially the eerie atmosphere that has reigned there since its abandonment decades ago, even on a beautiful sunny day.

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Bearpen: The Beast Resurrected

In the age of global warming, what makes someone open a ski center in a remote part of the Catskills?

“Insanity, I guess,” said Bearpen Sports Center owner Howard Rennell. “Kind of a childhood dream. I fell in love with the mountain, as well. It’s been a long, arduous process.”

Growing up on the east end of Long Island, Rennell recalled, “Talk about the era of global warming, out there the chances of snow were slim and none. The sledding aspect, as a kid, you and your friends would gather together and make a kind of luge track. Pack it down and go out with watering cans and douse it with water, hoping it would freeze and last a little longer. This is a bigger scale of it.”

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Mountain Biking at Sterling Forest State Park

Twelve years ago I purchased my first full suspension mountain bike, a Kona Dawg Dee-Lux. It was a trail bike with 130mm of travel front and rear. Over the years, I replaced several parts, some multiple times, including three wheelsets and I rebuilt two rear shocks and the front fork. That bike owed me nothing.

Devinci Django 29
Devinci Django 29

This fall I finally got a new ride, a Devinci Django 29. It has a carbon frame, SLX/XT buildkit in a 1×11. I read great things about the bike and was able to test ride it in both a medium and large frame size. Other than the super wide (800 mm) handle bars, I felt comfortable on the large from the start.

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