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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Rockland County Rail Trail Adventures

I first became aware of the Rails to Trails movement seventeen years ago when I lived near the North County Trailway. It’s a 22-mile long bike path that follows the right-of-way of the old New York Central railroad though Westchester County.

I love the concept. All over the country, there are long stretches of track that belonged to out-business railroads which municipalities and private groups have been turning into multi-use recreational trails and parks.

Back then I had Mondays off and I found the trail to be a great way to get a work out. I could bang out twenty high speed miles on a smooth graded surface without worrying about traffic, enjoying the scenery along the way.

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