Columbus Weekend Bike Tour

Mancation® weekend started at a fashionably late 3pm(ish) at The Hub in Brant Lake. Wilderness Property Management built the trail network this spring behind the establishment to create the Brant Lake Bike Park.

Trail builder for WPM showing alternate lines

The Stairway to Heaven starts right behind the bar/restaurant/bike shop and climbs a tough 400 feet to the first intersection. To the left is a climb to the South Summit where you get a short downhill to reward you for your climb.

Turn to Ricks Run and climb some more to the North Summit of Bartonville Mountain and descend to the overlook for beautiful vistas of Brant Lake.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading