Hello!

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
Hey gang...

I'm happy I found this forum and even happier I'm back in the saddle again.

I've just started riding again after a 10 years of watching my bikes collect dust in the basement. In the mid-90's I started having trouble with two herniated, bulging, and compressed discs in my back and eventually had to hang it up. Dunno' how I hurt my back--the only thing I can remember is a crash in a mtn bike race back in 1993 where my back was sore for a few weeks...dunno'.

Over the last few years it hasn't been bothering me too much, so a month or so ago, I decided to dust off my trusty ol' '93 M2 FS Stumpjumper and see what would happen. I'm happy to say that a half-dozen rides later, I've had zero back pain (my quads are another story:eek: ). Furthermore, it was especially great to finally ride at Mahlon Dickerson; I've lived less than a mile away from the park for six years and have whimpered every time I've driven through\by it.

And last week I really threw caution to the wind and dusted of my Torelli road bike. A couple rides down Berkshire Valley Road later, I'm also happy to say the back is back! Again, quads are another story...

So now I'm spending money. It is funny how bike apparel acts after sitting around for a decade. It looks fine, feels fine. Start using it and it falls apart :p

I'm trying to resist running out and buying a full suspension bike until I do more riding. It is pretty damn rocky up at the park and bikes today are SO FREAKIN' COOL compared to the early 90's and especially the mid-80's when I started mountain biking (I'm a Bend Oregon native, mtn biking is a requirement for the summer months there). Suspension, disc brakes, whah-hoo! I figure I'll be able to resist until next spring...maybe ;)

While I have y'all here, can you recommend some riding areas in the vicinity of Mahlon Dickerson that are a bit more smooth single track vs. the rocky stuff. Or, maybe there is some smoother stuff at MD that I haven't found (been sticking to the same routes...need to do some exploring). I like the rocky stuff, but my riding buddy always has a scowl on his face when we're in the rocks :rolleyes:

Also, now that y'all know 'bout where I live, what is the best bike shop closest to me? I haven't found a shop I've been terribly impressed with yet.

'Hope to see y'all out there. I'll be the outta' shape guy on the really clean black '93 Stumpy w/his tongue draggin' on the front tire keeping it clean:D

Regards.
Tim
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Welcome. glad you found us.

There is some great riding in our area, hopefully Shaggz, Anrothar or myself can show you around sometime. There are some nice smooth trails in MD (Cascade, Stone Gate Trail), you just need to find them. The surround WMAs can provide some nice rides as well.

Spreading out further, check out Kittatinny Valley SP in Andover and the new trails up at Jungle Habitat in West Milford. Going down to Morris County you can check out The Tourne and Lewis Morris. Lewis Morris really is smooth, you will find more people there than rocks.
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Also, forgot about your bike shop question. My first recommendation is Cycle Works in Byram. Close to a couple great rides (Allamuchy, Deer Park).

Also in the area is Route 15 Bike Shop in Jefferson, Action Outfitters on Newton-Sparta Rd. Up in West Milford is Town cycle.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
i may be slightly biased, but i always have and likely always will go to rt 15 bicycles.


there are some smoother quad trails and dirt bike singletrack in the milton side of jefferson. take schoolhouse rd towards the resevoir, past the blinking light at ridge, and onto the dirt. take the first old dirt road to the right. follow it up till you come to a big cluster of trails on all sides. bear left. you'll find a twisty, fun dirt bike made singletrack that will bring you to the trail that empties out across from the senior housing/a&p. cross berkshire valley rd, and go left along it. cross the bridge and climb past the driveway on your right. just before resevoir rd, you'll see a singletrack cutting in on the right. this is another dirt bike made st, which will take you pretty much all the way to cross rd. once at cross rd, make a right, cross the bridge, and you'll have options on both sides of the road. both are fairly smooth. the right side is very wide and fast and will bring you to chamberlain rd, the left side is twisty, tighter and fun, and will bring you to the end of cozy lake rd, by the railroad tracks. you can cross the rd there and continue on, or turn left on the road, cross the bridge. ride diagonally across the sand pits on your left. cross the rd, and in the back corner of the gravel lot next to fairy tale forest, you'll find a trail i forget the order of the turns in there, but explore it and have fun. you'll be able to cross bonter rd and several points, which will take you toward the other side of the resevoir. lots of smooth fun trails over there. there is a steel bridge spanning the gorge at the bottom of the resevoir, which will take you to the trails you started out on. these are the smoothest and most enjoyable trails in the valley if you ask me.

i grew up in jefferson, but live in stanhope now. i work for jefferson's recreation dept, and have probably passed you while you were out riding berkshire valley rd if it was during the week. i thought i saw a new face among the cyclists i see daily there. i drive a medium blue mason dump truck labelled R4. say hi if you see me. welcome to the site.

-sean
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Welcome Tim.

I'm sure you can put together a solid loop in Mahlon without too many rocks.

I would hold off buying a bike until the spring for sure.

Try to jump on one of the group rides there. Unfortunately, there's one at Mahlon that started about 20 minutes ago. Oh well, next time.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
hi tim, welcome to the site. MD is an awesome spot to ride, and you are fortunate to live so close. i remember the folks at the IMBA trail session commenting on all 2 rocks to be found in the bend trail network.
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
Thanks for the welcome message, folks! I've been involved in many forums related to many things over the years and I must say this is the most vigorous/rapid welcome ever. Awesome.

Shaggz: Yeah, Bend is one of the seven (?) mtn bike "meccas" and is fabulous place to ride...or at least it was 15 years ago. There were plenty of rocks the closer you got to Mt. Bachelor. Today, knowing the transformation Bend has gone through (i.e. "high end" ski town ala Vail/Aspen) and it's outdoor culture, it wouldn't surprise me if the trail systems around Bend are very well groomed and developed. Dunno' if that'd be quite as much fun--it was just deer\hiking\XC ski trails and logging\fire roads when I lived there. Next time I take the kiddies to visit Grandma, I'll have to take the Stumpy and see...

Bonefishlake: I've raced motocross & mtn bikes in Oregon/Washington, flown planes up-side-down in Washington, raced road bikes/mtn bikes in Minnesota, and raced cars in the NE. Nut houses are where I belong :)

normZurawski: Are the rides at MD you speak of generally organized among the crazies in this forum, or is there a particular "club" that organizes them?

anrothar: Thanks for the route; I'll give 'er a try. That is VERY close to where I live. I live in Preston Lake Estates, just off Russia road on the back side of Bowling Green Golf course. You probably have seen me. I've seen plenty of dump trucks on my BVR rides and I do ride the Torelli during the week (I work out of my house)...it is bright red and I don't look like somebody who should be riding a nice piece of lugged Italian steel (12 years and 30 lbs ago, maybe). So honk if you see me, I'm pretty hard to miss.

Sparta Brad: Thanks for the recommendations. I'd love to hook up with one of you guys and be "shown" around the area. Make sure it is on a day you feel like an "easy" ride though; I've got a long way to go before I have my legs back. I'm flying out tomorrow on business (to Oregon, actually)...so I'll drop you guys a note week after next when I get back.

Thanks again everyone...we'll "see" you out there...
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Today just happened to be a Hoboken Ski Club ride, but it's usually a group ride here.

There should be more group rides as the race season ends, which is mid-October. At least that's the theory. Like Homer says, communism works, in theory. Don't worry about pace, if you can't keep up we'll just leave you weeping in the woods.
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
Today just happened to be a Hoboken Ski Club ride, but it's usually a group ride here.

There should be more group rides as the race season ends, which is mid-October. At least that's the theory. Like Homer says, communism works, in theory. Don't worry about pace, if you can't keep up we'll just leave you weeping in the woods.

Heh, heh, that is nothing new to me. When I was racing road bikes in Minnesota (which is REALLY big there), I'd take the winters off ('cause it is freakin' cold) and wouldn't ride. So when the first weekend of March (brrr) came and team training rides started, I was in no shape to be riding with the guys on the team that rode their rat mtn bikes through the winter and maintained their conditioning. For the first month, at least, if I could make it 7-10 miles w/o being dropped like a sack of taters, I was doing good. Yeah, those were some lonely rides in the early part of the season...

But once we got well into April and we started to do a lot of pace-lining, it was all good....especially since I was the team sprinter and spent most of my time glass pedaling on the tail of the line :)
 

walter

Fourth Party
Mtn biking during the winter here in NJ isnt really that bad, just got to get yourself a good pair of winter shoes.

Stick around, if you like threads that veer violently off topic at times, crude humor and sarcasm, you'll really enjoy this place. Just kidding, when we are being serious, this place has a heap of knowledge in it. Welcome aboard.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Sprinter, eh? Yeah I doubt you'll have any problems keeping up.

Violently off-topic indeed. You see Tim, the Intro forum is almost like a Wild West of off-topic posts. You can just go in so many ways. So we all pile on hoping that one of the random things someone says will be picked up and run with. Like the topic of being off-topic. Isn't that an ironic thread for it to take? You see though, my first sentence is my "off-topic accusation repellant" because I did stay in-line with a small portion of my reply.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
did someone mention winter shoes? :D

a lot of folks seem to go platform pedals and hiking boots in the colder months. really not that bad an option, especially on a rigid SS.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
did someone mention winter shoes? :D

a lot of folks seem to go platform pedals and hiking boots in the colder months. really not that bad an option, especially on a rigid SS.

I said I was going to do this last year, then never did, and had cold feet most of the winter. Actually, once I bought the toe warmers everything got better. Figure $1 a pop and that's the difference between 45 minutes and 2 hours. They last for 6 hours so slap 'em on before you even leave the house and go go gadget toe heat.
 

walter

Fourth Party
did someone mention winter shoes? :D

a lot of folks seem to go platform pedals and hiking boots in the colder months. really not that bad an option, especially on a rigid SS.

When Jeff and Fred and myself did that ride at 6 mile on the day it was about 15 degrees, I used flats and my Columbia winter boots. Worked fine, and I was able to splash through the water crossings with no worries.

See what we mean, we're sliding off already.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
What? We're still talking about biking. Where's the problem? Tim should be honored.
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
What? We're still talking about biking. Where's the problem? Tim should be honored.

Dunno' if I'm honored, but I'm certainly entertained :hysterica

And at this point, being a (former) sprinter just means that me and my stumps will probably be able to keep up on the first steep (and short) climb...after that all bets are off ;)

BTW, the flats and boots thing for the winter sounds like a good idea; though my roadie days got me in the habit of up-pedaling...fortunately, this winter I don't see my form reverting to my former self enough to cause a problem not being clipped in. I'm workin' to damn hard just keeping the road bike rolling forward to think of silly things like form, cadence, heart rate, and the like... Definitely worth doing the boot thing; my feet get cold in with my ever advancing age just sitting in my office at home :(

Winter biking in NJ has to at least be better than Minnesota. I've actually seen former team-mates of mine out riding in -10 degree weather. How their lungs didn't freeze up is beyond me. I like riding, but not that much...
 
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