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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we're heading into fall and winter, I started this thread for Southeast PA riders and visitors who are interested in biker reports on trail conditions in Philadelpha and Montgomery Co.


Yesterday at 4:30 PM, I rode from conshohocken to indian head road via SRT, Audubon loop, and Perkiomen trails. Did a couple of laps between norristown and indian head rd until it started getting too dark.

I noticed that there were more leaves down on the trail than I expected to see, from valley forge and west. The trails aren't completely covered anywhere yet, but there are enough leaves in spots that could make for slick conditions if the leaves are wet, like on early morning rides.

The construction of the new short line railroad between conshohocken and norristown is underway. They've already widened the trail by about 4 or 5 feet, although the new blacktop is a bit lumpy and the existing blacktop is coated with a fine white dust that looks like it will get sloppy when wet.


FMI:
http://trails.montcopa.org/trails/cwp/view,a,3,q,35015,trailsNav,%7C.asp

More later...
 

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Even if noone else appreciates the post, I do.

I had been considering returning to visit my family up in PA, and I remember Keystone State road conditions as being awful. So I think I'd take bike trails up there even though I don't take them down here, and it's nice to know what kind of shape they're in.
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did a 40 mile ride from conshohocken to indian head road via SRT, audubon loop and perkiomen trail, with a couple of laps in valley forge beginning at 4:30 PM today, 9/20.

The short section of the trail from the Lukens plant, west to ernest station road, about .3 miles (?), where they are constructing a new short line railroad, now has a chain link fence dividing the newly widened section in half -- half for bikes, half for RR construction. Still plenty of room for all bike traffic.

It was about 75 degrees and cloudy, air was still.

TONS of gnats, in clouds, at face level, especially in wooded areas of the trail. Unless you have something real important to say, I'd advise riding with your mouth closed at all times. :D
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was out last weekend, 10/13 & 10/14, and I was surprised at how leaf-free the entire route from conshy around perk and audubon were.

I had been apprehsive about the mill grove hill being leafy and maybe slippery. It wasn't. I looked like somebody did a very thorough job clearing the leaves from the bike path.

There was some dried mud all along where they're laying new RR tracks between conshy and norristown. It had rained a few days before.

I'm heading out today and tomorrow. I'm going to wait until this afternoon, though, since we had enormous amounts of rain yesterday and last night -- read: muddy spots, wet spots, big puddles, and slippery wet leafy spots.


More later...
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Beeeyutiful yesterday. I did a 30 mile loop starting about 3 pm. Windy, with W-NW gusts to 25 mph, and intermittently cloudy, but excellent. More leaf cover on the path and still some wet, muddy or damp-leafy spots.

Looks like it is going to be absolutely perfect today. 75-80 F, very light wind, dry, clear blue cloudless sky. I'll probably be out doing some kind of 50-60 miler, starting about 1 pm.
 

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Thanks for the post

I haven't been on the SRT for about 2 weeks and I was wondering yesterday what the conditions were. So nice to find this thread, I am just about ready to start riding my cyclocross bike on the trail to help with the fall conditions, but maybe I can get a few more rides on my road bike.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll second the warning on the nuts. Especially out on the audubon loop, there are black walnuts hiding under leaves here and there. It's kind of like riding over a baseball.

In a related matter, the squirrels seem to be especially squirrely this time of year. On my ride last sunday, I had 3 real close calls with darting squirrels in the wooded valley forge section of the path. I actually ran over a squirrel in that section a few years ago.
 

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Squirrels

Last week out on the road,(in Jenkintown, I think) I just missed 1 squirrel and than another actually ran into me. He ran right into the spokes on my front wheel, bounced off and ran away, Felt glad that I didn't run him over. Pretty funny though!
 

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I usually park at the train station at umbria & pedal up the hill to shawmont where the trail begins ,I love the trail,I do a lap around the valley forge park& fill my bottles up,I went to the perkiomen trail only up to where the parking is ,is the whole trail asphalted,didnt go to far cause it gets verrry dark in some spots on the way back& critters are runnin across the trail & overhead you got bats dodgin for bugs when its warmer
 

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Srt

I love the trail also, I usually go through Mt' Airy, to Mannyunk(sp?) and the on to the trail....I like to go out to Valley Forge and do a nice loop around the national park, then back and that runs about 50-55 miles or ride my cyclocross bike out towards Collegeville were it becomes hard pack gravel and roll around there for a while....I feel lucky to live near the trails.
 

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Ok so my ride report/conditions report for 10/27/07...

I went out about 11am from Devon... it was pouring, I hit the park, then dropped down into the trail. I crossed the bridge and noticed everyone was going very slowly on 422... there was a lot of water in the road. When i reached the overpass area on the Betzwood side, I understood why everyone was going so slow on 422, water was literally pouring down the left side of the embankment. the first .25 miles of the trail was under a few inches of water. I pressed onward and found it to be a little les flooded past the wooded area. There were the usual array of sticks and leaves down, not a huge deal but enough to keep you from zoning out for too long. I continued on without too much trouble until I reached the switchback that drops under the overpass by the water treatment plant. the entire area under the overpass was a pond. i saw a cone off the side of the area that looked to be able 18 inches under or so. I decided to attempt to ride through it... i got about 10 feet in and quickly realized it was a bad idea... i dismounted and the water was up to my knees. I climbed back up and crossed over the area via the RR tracks. I got going again but then hit the area where the new RR tracks are going in. The trail was blocked off by cones and there was a ranger there forcing turn abounds. I started to ride back towards VF. The rain was letting up and I wanted to get some more time in so I decided to do the Perkeomin loop. There were many trail closed signs, etc, which I chose to ignore while I rode by... it wasn’t that bad, although it had some deep puddles... by the time i got back to VF the sun was out.
All in all a good charcter building ride. Conditions should be dryer tomorrow, but watch for debris.
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
9.8, I salute you.

Your plan to go out in the rain yesterday got me inspired to do the same, but by the time I was getting serious about it, the rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was getting wild. I figured you either got caught out in it or decided against it.

Thx for your report.

I'm heading out later today. I'll probably wait until 2 or 3 to give it time to dry as much as it's going to.
 

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Tuesday

I went out on the trail on Tuesday, It was in good condition, not much ground cover at all, I was pretty surprised (and happy) to see that they were still cutting the grass and doing maintenance this late in the year. Also the trail was empty, I think that from Shawmont all the way to Oaks I think that maybe I saw 7 people, only 2 others on road bikes. I gotta say that it's pretty nice like that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i did a 27 mile ride from conshohocken to perkiomen to audubon loop and back this afternoon.

very nice ride. the bad news was that i had a 10-20 mph headwind the whole way out. the good news is that i had a 10-20 mph tailwind the whole way home.

the trails were clear of leaves, but a lot of leaves are still on the trees.

i hit a squirrel at the foot of mill grove hill as i was getting up a head of speed to begin the climb. the little bugger glanced off my rear wheel when i was going about 20 mph. i went back, but didn't see an injured squirrel, so i figure he was good enough to run away.

i had 2 other close calls with squirrels.

otherwise, most of the route was deserted. kinda nice, as CABuonomo said.
 
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