09 April 2016

Public Servive Announcements!

This is a public service announcement! Pocahontas State Park will be closing the Morgan and Lakeview MTB trail systems on Friday April 29th and Saturday April 30th to host the Ragnar Trail Relay series.

The Swift Creek Trail System (Blueberry, Bell and Gateway) will be available to riders but it is has beed asked that you keep in mind the limited parking availability for these trails. Please keep in mind that this event is expected to be a substantial fundraiser for the Friends of Pocahontas State Park (the money will go back into the park to fund projects) and  your support in this endeavor is appreciated. It is asked that you consider enjoying the trails at another (Powhite, James River Park System-Forest Hill) facility of your choosing during these two days.

On another note, a service that the Friends of Pocahontas State Park started this winter is a Automated Daily Mountain Bike Trail Conditions and Closure Information Alert. If you text "POCA" to 804-292-2939 you will receive a text when conditions at the park close down all or parts of the trail system. This text is sent out by 6:30 a.m.. The text will tell you how many trails are closed and open and there is a link to the Friends website that will list those trails either open or close. If you text the word "ALL" you will receive a alert every day even if all trails are open.

Know your data plan if you have a limit to text that you can receive! This should help riders decide whether to head to the trails due to closures.

Over at RVA News 
Great article on the Do's and Don't on using the James River Park. This list of Do's and Don't can be for any park. The bad thing is I don't think that article or this blog is reaching the folks that are causing the problems.

So that's the PSA for today. Enjoy yourself in the great outdoors and take the time out to volunteer with a trail's group or Friend's group. Give back to what you enjoy!

13 March 2016

Banff Mountain World Tour 2016

This year marks the 25th year that Chesterfield Parks and Recreation has bought the Banff Mountain World Tour to Chesterfield Virginia. This year we had three nights of films from the world tour. A total of 26 outdoor films that were from 4 minutes to 40 minutes in length.



Here are 3 of my favorites
Unbranded


unReal

55 Hours in Mexico 

If you have not been to a Banff Mountain World Tour  I encourage you to do so.

28 February 2016

Bikewright Workshop Project- Diamondback Apex - Some updates

This project has taken a lot longer than I figured it would. Some of that has been to find the time to work on it but most of it has been researching what I believe will work on this build. In this day and age with all the different drive trains, shifters, tires, wheels, etc it can be overwhelming.

My wife came up with the idea of black parts. What she was meaning was black seatpost, stem, cranks and wheels. Well that should not be hard right? It has been more challenging than I figured it would be. The seatpost had been my stopping point for sometime. The post needed for this bike is a 26.6 which is hard to find in black that does not cost $12. I just don't see a $12 post holding up! Anyhow I was able to find a vintage Gipiemme Seatpost.

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Since I was building this up as a drop-bar I needed bar end shifters. Out of all the different drive train set-ups that I could have gone with, I figured 9 speed is where I was going to go with this project. Searching for a set of used bar end shifters at a price point that was not close to a new pair was impossible.  So I went with a new set of Microshift 9 speed bar end shifters. I had not heard of Microshift and figured why not give them a try. I am all for trying out the little guy over the big two companies that make shifters and drive trains.

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Easy to set-up and looks good. Very please with how the bar tape looks at the shifter.



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Very pleased with the shifter and it has a good feel to it. Now the next picture does not look as good as it does in person.

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I could have gone up the bar past the bake lever and had a smaller loop of shift housing but I went with the old school routing and had to put a bigger loop in the shift housing. I think this is the way to go because the Gary II bar does not have a housing routing grove and I think feeling the housing would drive me crazy.

I am really please with how the mouse pads and bar tape worked together. I am sure once I get riding I will have to post how well that works. This is the first time that I have used mouse pad to add extra pading under the tape.

25 January 2016

Winter Sports of Sorts

Winter finally came this past weekend and gave us the gift of snow. It has been years since we had a snow storm like this one and this one went in the record books as the 11th biggest snowfall for the Richmond Virginia area. With totals in the 11-16 inch range.

I love the snow and I love to get out in it. This year also let me breakout my Atlas 930 snowshoes. My friend "G" had just bought his first pair of snowshoes and had been dying to use them. So people you can blame "G" for the snow if you don't like it.

 
Just a little ways from the house it's time to peel off a couple of layers. Snowshoeing is a great workout and you will warm up fast. I guess at this point we have 6-8 inches of fresh snow on the trail. We are using different brands of shoes but both are the same size at 30 inches.

We have to be the only people in the park and its cool to be able to lay the first tracks in the snow.


video
This was just a great spot to catch a video of the snow coming down. At this point we had only been out 30-40 mins and the conditions started to get worst. The wind picked up and that caused for low visibility and drifts. I am standing behind a information board to shelter myself from the snow and wind.

Here's a cool picture I took with a app on my phone. Still trying to figure how it works and how good the information is.

This morning was a day off from work and the gym. But I still wanted to get a workout in and snowshoeing by moonlight changes things up a bit.

I think the snow covered trails are calling my name again in the morning.


  



09 January 2016

James River Park System PSA- Wet Weather Useage

James River Park System PSA-Wet Trail Usage from Max Posner on Vimeo.

We have had a lot of wet weather for the last couple of weeks and the ground is still very wet. Trail reports have been informing riders which trails to stay off of and which trails are good to ride on.

This weekend trail crews are out to do repairs. Remember these guys and gals are riders like you that give their time to keep up the trails. They give up their riding time to keep up the places that they love to ride.

So if it's has been raining and you want to get a ride in, think about the impact and find and epic ride on the road or fire road instead.

26 December 2015

Stay Off The Trails!! Until It Dries Out!!

We have been seeing a lot of rain for the last four days. Most of the mountain bike trails in the Richmond Virginia area have seen a total rain fall of over 3 1/2 inches during that time. A good guide is for every inch of rain that a trail system gets riders should stay off the trail for 24 hours.

With  mild temperatures and people getting new bikes for Christmas or folks are off from work they want to get out and ride. I ask of you to take a few more days off the trail. Ride the road or better yet ride the Virginia Capital Trail. 

Here's the thing. Riding wet and muddy trails is not cool. This does not set well with land mangers and makes for more work for trail volunteers to fix. That's right fellow bikers volunteer to work on making and maintaining the trail systems.

Here are some resources to you can use to check out the conditions of the trails and join to help keep up the places that you like to ride. If you don't have the time to help then donate! Your money will help support the trails.

RVA MORE

RVA Trail Report

FOPSP

18 October 2015

Advanced Night Orienteering

Tools of the Trade

Last night was the Central Virginia Orienteering Club's Advanced Night Orienteering Course event.  The 20 point score-O course was set in the woods in the nortwest corner of Pocahontas State Park.  The area had few man-made features other than an old forest road. This course was not for the beginner or someone with limited experience with a 2 hour time limit.  

We had a Waxing Crescent moon with about 22% visibility with temperatures in the 40's. What a great night for orienteering! 

From the start point control #1 was only about 20 feet down the forest road but took a right turn into a briar patch. That made control one hard to get to and find for some people. 

I remembered years ago I did a course in this same section and remembered that there are some steep gullies  and most of the controlS would be around these areas. 

In the day light this is an open and fast forest but at night it's time to slow down. I did not run this course other that on the forest road. It is just to easy at night to fall in a small hole from a pine stump that you did not see.

It is a little harder to read the terrain at night. I believe it is harder to figure out where you are at when you cover a section that is flat. If you are not following a bearing then you could miss the feature  because you are walking to high or to low.

Somewhere around control 6 or 7 I ran into a guy that I did my last event with. He had started the course before me and had over shot a control and was on his way back to pick up the missed control.  

We later made the mistake and followed the lights of another team and lost sometime because the control was not in the location where we saw their lights. Just remember do not follow the lights. They can be lost and so will you! 

Control 17 and 18 was our longest leg between features. Had to follow compass bearing and we were dead no the mark. 

Okay I guess I should have talked about my lights. I used a Princeton Tec Remix which has a white light and two settings of red light with the power of 150 lumens that ran off of 3AAA batteries.  I also carried a Surefire Z2 Combat light which is a single output LED with a max output of 320 lumens. The Surefire for being a hand held flashlight was a great help. I only need to figure how to dummy cord it to myself. I dropped the light twice.

On the way back to the start point was a little tricky because of the lights of the cars stopping at a corner and the front porch light of a house across the street which I thought was the lights at the finish. 

If you have not done night orienteering you need to build your skill up and give it a try. I had a great time and think it was one of the better courses that I have done.