Wharton Conditions

Karate Monkey

Well-Known Member
Had my semi-annual ride at Wharton today...largely good shape, other than a still fairly large amount of trees down. It looks like a fair number have already been de-limbed by someone with a saw (@pibbles ?), but there were a fair few that seemed 'new'. The parking lot at Batsto was ~3/4 full, yet I only ran into two small 2-3 person groups on the trail.

It's something like the 4th or 5th time I've ridden Wharton, and I'm left with a burning question: does the park just beat the hell out of you? I get about 3/4 of the way through and just can't take it anymore...admittedly my saddle is giving me problems at the moment, and the high heat/humidity doesn't help, but still. I'm not physically tired, and probably could have turned around and run orange backwards/done the rest of the trails. I'll regularly do a 3-4 hour ride at least once a week. What's the secret?

@pibbles @slingblade_uhhuh There's a knee-high+ tree that looks like it fell on Orange, clockwise, near the beginning. Looks like a lightning strike/some-such.
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
Had my semi-annual ride at Wharton today...largely good shape, other than a still fairly large amount of trees down. It looks like a fair number have already been de-limbed by someone with a saw (@pibbles ?), but there were a fair few that seemed 'new'. The parking lot at Batsto was ~3/4 full, yet I only ran into two small 2-3 person groups on the trail.

It's something like the 4th or 5th time I've ridden Wharton, and I'm left with a burning question: does the park just beat the hell out of you? I get about 3/4 of the way through and just can't take it anymore...admittedly my saddle is giving me problems at the moment, and the high heat/humidity doesn't help, but still. I'm not physically tired, and probably could have turned around and run orange backwards/done the rest of the trails. I'll regularly do a 3-4 hour ride at least once a week. What's the secret?

@pibbles @slingblade_uhhuh There's a knee-high+ tree that looks like it fell on Orange, clockwise, near the beginning. Looks like a lightning strike/some-such.
Thanks. That recent PBT limbing work was done by @pibbles, followed by work from Jim (everybody in sNJ knows Jim) and Ron D and several others. I've been working on clearing the inner trails. We do two big chop 'n saw cleanups yearly, after the winter storms and after the summer storms.

Most of the locals break up the PBT loop with some of the little used sand roads near the north and east sections of the trail. I'm always surprised that people want to ride out there in the summer, on a long loop around a large 30,000 year old pinelands swamp.:p The deer flys leave large welts!
 
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pibbles

Active Member
Had my semi-annual ride at Wharton today...largely good shape, other than a still fairly large amount of trees down. It looks like a fair number have already been de-limbed by someone with a saw (@pibbles ?), but there were a fair few that seemed 'new'. The parking lot at Batsto was ~3/4 full, yet I only ran into two small 2-3 person groups on the trail.

It's something like the 4th or 5th time I've ridden Wharton, and I'm left with a burning question: does the park just beat the hell out of you? I get about 3/4 of the way through and just can't take it anymore...admittedly my saddle is giving me problems at the moment, and the high heat/humidity doesn't help, but still. I'm not physically tired, and probably could have turned around and run orange backwards/done the rest of the trails. I'll regularly do a 3-4 hour ride at least once a week. What's the secret?

@pibbles @slingblade_uhhuh There's a knee-high+ tree that looks like it fell on Orange, clockwise, near the beginning. Looks like a lightning strike/some-such.
Generally after a storm I'll head out and clear branches with handsaw/pruners and get crap off the trail. Covid made it more difficult this year as the park was closed so stuff built up. Add to that how crowded it was earlier and it gets more difficult. I worked this entire pandemic so still...2 days off it took me 5 hrs just to get stuff on the trail to lay so people could get over the trees or dragged branches off after cutting them up.
It is now 90 degrees and if you think you're havin trouble gettin around the 19 miles you should try it with clippers and a 5 lb axe. Many trees need two cuts so we can get the mower through. Don't get me wrong I'm still a badass and I'll get it done sooner than later, but it might take a little bit, thanks for playin!
 

JonF

Well-Known Member
..and I'm left with a burning question: does the park just beat the hell out of you? I get about 3/4 of the way through and just can't take it anymore...
I hear you there. Did Batsto once and its not my fav. For me its the lack of elevation that gives variety to MTB riding. If i can be up and out of the saddle, even just for short blasts DH, i'm taking pressure off the saddle and grips and giving myself a break there even if brief. Otherwise, its just a long slog of a ride with little variation and so the bum gets sore and hands numb. I did a similar 24 miler yesterday through local sand roads and never once got up and off the saddle. The final 5 miles home was brutal with the numbness setting in. Yet i'll do a 20 miler in the mountains without any issues other than general fatigue. :shrug:
 

sandman

Active Member
I hear you there. Did Batsto once and its not my fav. For me its the lack of elevation that gives variety to MTB riding. If i can be up and out of the saddle, even just for short blasts DH, i'm taking pressure off the saddle and grips and giving myself a break there even if brief. Otherwise, its just a long slog of a ride with little variation and so the bum gets sore and hands numb. I did a similar 24 miler yesterday through local sand roads and never once got up and off the saddle. The final 5 miles home was brutal with the numbness setting in. Yet i'll do a 20 miler in the mountains without any issues other than general fatigue. :shrug:
I have many riders tell me the same story, when I drag them out on fire cuts, some roads, and torn up endure ridden single track. It's the sand. Even the trails at Batsto, as good as they are, still are fragile. That's why the trail crew doesn't want you on them if there is a chance to damage them.
I did a ride last Saturday in Greenwood. 24 miles, and some of that was soft. When you look ahead and see the sand is white, and you're standing up, get ready, cause here it comes now.
At the end of the ride, the guy riding with me, said I wont see him any more. Too bad, I was just starting to like him.20180607_210639.JPG
 

JonF

Well-Known Member
I have many riders tell me the same story, when I drag them out on fire cuts, some roads, and torn up endure ridden single track. It's the sand. Even the trails at Batsto, as good as they are, still are fragile. That's why the trail crew doesn't want you on them if there is a chance to damage them.
I did a ride last Saturday in Greenwood. 24 miles, and some of that was soft. When you look ahead and see the sand is white, and you're standing up, get ready, cause here it comes now.
At the end of the ride, the guy riding with me, said I wont see him any more. Too bad, I was just starting to like him.View attachment 132911
For me its not so much the sand itself, its just 3 hours in the saddle without shifting my body for any appreciable amount of time: numb hands from lengthy ulnar never pressure. The sand i can handle (or avoid as it were). Years of riding moto and the miles of endless sugar sand in the pines means i know to avoid trails like that one! I dont have 50 hp on tap on the MTB to pick the front end up out of the rut and skim the silt. :cool: :cool:
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
For me its not so much the sand itself, its just 3 hours in the saddle without shifting my body for any appreciable amount of time: numb hands from lengthy ulnar never pressure. The sand i can handle (or avoid as it were). Years of riding moto and the miles of endless sugar sand in the pines means i know to avoid trails like that one! I dont have 50 hp on tap on the MTB to pick the front end up out of the rut and skim the silt. :cool: :cool:
Think about how difficult it was for the poor SOB that rode and documented everything for the front office so that the PBT could get properly routed!

If you rode an older moto, you already know about shaking your hands to relieve arm pump. That same shake works for hand soreness on MTB. Standing up to pedal every now and then helps a lot too.

Some years ago I was five miles CCW into the PBT and pulled over when I saw a large group quickly approaching heading back to the lot. All in the group were leaning forward, pushing the pedals, and rolling fast. None of them looked happy, until I saw the sweep rider who I recognized as Harlan Price. Harlan was smiling and talking, sitting upright, and looking like he was easily pedaling a beach cruiser on the boardwalk. :cool:
 
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JonF

Well-Known Member
Think about how difficult it was for the poor SOB that rode and documented everything for the front office so that the PBT could get properly routed!

If you rode an older moto, you already know about shaking your hands to relieve arm pump. That same shake works for hand soreness on MTB. Standing up to pedal every now and then helps a lot too.

Some years ago I was five miles CCW into the PBT and pulled over when I saw a large group quickly approaching heading back to the lot. All in the group were leaning forward, pushing the pedals, and rolling fast. None of them looked happy, until I saw the sweep rider who I recognized as Harlan Price. Harlan was smiling and talking, sitting upright, and looking like he was easily pedaling a beach cruise on the boardwalk. :cool:
Back when men were men and sheep were scared! ;)

Most my bikes (moto) have been of this millennium and have pretty decent ergos. Plus i add risers and such to make them fit me better. No substantial hand pressure unlike modern aggressive MTB's, At least for my height and size anyways. But i wouldn't change it, i like the new aggressive MTB geo, its perfect for a 2hr ride in the hills.
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
Back when men were men and sheep were scared! ;)

Most my bikes (moto) have been of this millennium and have pretty decent ergos. Plus i add risers and such to make them fit me better. No substantial hand pressure unlike modern aggressive MTB's, At least for my height and size anyways. But i wouldn't change it, i like the new aggressive MTB geo, its perfect for a 2hr ride in the hills.
Thank you for the info.
 

carvegybe

Active Member
I hear you there. Did Batsto once and its not my fav. For me its the lack of elevation that gives variety to MTB riding. If i can be up and out of the saddle, even just for short blasts DH, i'm taking pressure off the saddle and grips and giving myself a break there even if brief. Otherwise, its just a long slog of a ride with little variation and so the bum gets sore and hands numb. I did a similar 24 miler yesterday through local sand roads and never once got up and off the saddle. The final 5 miles home was brutal with the numbness setting in. Yet i'll do a 20 miler in the mountains without any issues other than general fatigue. :shrug:
I am finding that the Batsto challenge for a MTBer is cornering and maintaining momentum through turns, which does require movement of hips and control/weighting of front wheel to give the bloodflow some chance to pass areas pressed by the saddle. That said, I rode there yesterday and the conditions so dry and sand loose I decided to turn cornering practice into an easy touring ride to enjoy the woods.

I noticed a large chunk of burnt woods on the west side of ice cream loop...is that preventive burn or was there a large fire there...anyone know?
 

slingblade_uhhuh

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
I am finding that the Batsto challenge for a MTBer is cornering and maintaining momentum through turns, which does require movement of hips and control/weighting of front wheel to give the bloodflow some chance to pass areas pressed by the saddle. That said, I rode there yesterday and the conditions so dry and sand loose I decided to turn cornering practice into an easy touring ride to enjoy the woods.

I noticed a large chunk of burnt woods on the west side of ice cream loop...is that preventive burn or was there a large fire there...anyone know?
There was a large fire two or three years ago. The same fire burned half of the long Penn Branch Trail bridge.
 

graveyardman67

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I'm used to the rocks of the north. Bought a place in Little Egg this year so my son and I have been to Batsto a few times this year. Riding here is all about flow. I've shown my son how slower can be faster. I like to start out a nice pace and ride as much as possible with no brakes. This method tends to conserve the most energy. When you do get to the spots that open up you can really gas it. It's a very different type of riding compared to Wildcat, Ringwood, Mooch, etc. Most similar to Stewart probably (without the elevation).

Fun place though and yes the flies suck
 

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