Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Return to Jim Thorpe

I'm riding through rooty, boulder-strewn singletrack, threading my 27 inch handlebars through trees that are 25 inches apart. Space warps just enough to let me through, but sometimes it doesn't and fingers get smashed. Here, the rocks are your friends. Ride over them and think happy thoughts, and you may get through. Try to skittle around them and you lose precious momentum or worse, get bounced off the trail into bigger, sharper rocks. This is typical East Coast riding at its best. But wait-- round the next turn and you emerge from the forest into a desert. The double-wide gravel road at your feet is littered with obsidian and quartz. You look up at Big Sky and around you at miles of exposed rock which make up a canyon wall. It's hot as hell and you're out of water. "Did I make a wrong turn and wind up in Albuquerque?" you wonder. Nope, you're in the mountains of Jim Thorpe, PA, where East and West, past and present, millionaires and vagabonds are doing the dialectic shuffle.

We came to ride and we weren't dissapointed. Tom, our fearless guide and owner of Mary's Guesthouse (where we stayed), showed us around some of the best trails I had ever ridden-- mile after and rocky mile of them. Indeed, the riding is what makes these trips unforgettable. But at the end of the fireroad and singletrack, there's a small town of opera houses and jail houses, cybercafes and general stores, mansions and log cabins, that will keep me coming back.

Ricky wasn't the only one to dab. Tree hugging is standard practice on these rocky trails.

Always a warm bed and good company at Mary's Guesthouse

This modern-day male is not afraid to ask for directions

Ricky and Jo on Flagstaff peak

There's nothing like the blurry view from a rigid bike.

A nice place to rest near the end of the Switchback trail

The sexi exi: that's a big tire.

When you can't duel on bikes, yaks at ten paces!


...and cheese

Skipping stones on the Lehigh River

The obligatory clocktower shot

Home is where you hang your helmet

The fun never ends with Uncle Ricky

Home in time for UMD fireworks. Happy 4th everyone!

Human nature cannot be studied in cities except at a disadvantage--a village is the place. There you can know your man inside and out--in a city you but know his crust; and his crust is usually a lie. -- Mark Twain


Blogger Marc from Human Resources said...

awesome stuff. My wife and I went to mtb week in Jim Thorpe for 7 years in a row, and then stopped going. Reading your story and looking at the pictures I think we are going to day trip up there on our up coming vacation... Your picutures brought back a ton of memories... thanks...


7:19 PM


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