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Messages - PKemppainen

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Find a Trail / Re: Underground MTB park in Louisville
« on: February 10, 2015, 10:14:38 AM »

Today's top story in the "Features" section of the Louisville Courier-Journal.


My quick take-away from the article:

Book your ticket before you go, as they could be sold out by the time you get there. $24 for 4 hours, $40 for 8 hours. Once fully up and running, you can plan to ride with up to 500 of your friends.

There are "No Spectators". It's apparently riders only. Don't go down hoping to see what it looks like.

The Today Show will have a segment, taped recently, shown next Monday, sometime between 7:00-9:00 am.

O'Bannon Woods State Park / Re: Fire Tower Trail Logging Operations
« on: January 05, 2015, 12:10:01 PM »

Logging operations near Fire Tower Trail have begun.

The Fire Tower Trail between Fox Hollow Road and Iron Bridge Road will be closed while logging takes place.

Logging will be finished before March 31. The trail will be re-opened as soon as they've finished their work and had a chance to repair any damage.

The Rocky Ridge and Group Camp Trails are not affected by the logging operation.

Tech Bench / Re: Cold weather riding
« on: November 19, 2014, 04:51:21 PM »
I wonder if wrapping (and taping on) a small chemical heat pack around the Camelbak hose near the mouthpiece would help???  For me when I blow air back into the Camelbak, I get most of the freezing in the mouthpiece area.

I may try that.  I have some of those handwarmer packs floating around the house.  Mine also freezes at the bite valve portion when I blow back.

Even though the heated tube is expensive, damn, it looks like the right solution.

I was thinking along the same lines yesterday, like "What would Red Green do?" I figured he'd use duct tape and hand warmers.

And then I came across this--


I've seen their hydration packs before, and the idea of a pressurized system seems unique, and may even help with the freezing issue.

Has anyone out there tried one of the Geigerrig's?

Tech Bench / Re: Cold weather riding
« on: November 18, 2014, 04:43:06 PM »
Check this out--it may be the answer, although it doesn't come cheap.


O'Bannon Woods State Park / Fire Tower Trail Logging Operations
« on: November 13, 2014, 11:40:16 AM »
If you've been out on Fire Tower Trail, you've seen the blue markers painted on some trees. In late June, these marked trees in the Harrison-Crawford State Forest were sold.

Many of the trees are white ash trees, which are being attacked by the emerald ash borer. The emerald ash borer eats the inner layer of bark, which cuts off food and water to the tree, eventually killing them. At the rate the emerald ash borer is spreading, these trees are expected to die within the next ten years. The trees are being removed while they still have some value.

Logging operations can begin at any time between November 16, 2014 through March 31, 2015 and again from November 16, 2015 through March 31, 2016. While the logging operations take place, the Fire Tower Trail between Fox Hollow Road and Iron Bridge Road will be closed to all hiking and biking.

Additional information regarding the planned trail closure will be posted on this site, as it comes available.

For more information about the logging, or Harrison-Crawford State Forest:


O'Bannon Woods State Park / Re: Seeking advice on riding at O'bannon.
« on: August 08, 2014, 10:46:23 AM »
There are parts of the Adventure Trail that can usually be ridden. Keep in mind that it wasn't really built for biking. That doesn't stop some of us, although we usually ride it in the cooler months when the leaves are off the trees. There are places where you will have to climb over trees and segments that are more difficult to ride. I haven't been on it this summer, and can't tell you what condition it may be in. It may be a bush-whacking experience.

There is a segment I ride that runs from the multi-use trail, a gravel/rock path on the right near the entrance to the "off-limits to bikes" electric horseman's camping area at the back of the campground area. If you follow that path, yielding to any horses, maybe three or four hundred yards up a small knoll, you'll find the intersection with the AT.  There are a couple of logs in the way to keep the horse from using the trail. The trail eventually leads to a fun descent down to the Pioneer Cabin, which is on the road to the river. Always keep watch for the green and white diagonal markers. Some of them are not exactly easy to see. There are a couple horse trails that cross the AT, adding to the challenge. If you make it to the Pioneer Cabin, it's maybe about a mile back up the road to the bottom of the Group Camp Trail.

O'Bannon Woods State Park / Re: Seeking advice on riding at O'bannon.
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:32:46 PM »

Right now, there are three basic trails, Fire Tower, Rocky Ridge and what we down here call the Group Camp Trail. Fire Tower and Rocky Ridge connect, and the Group Camp Trail runs on the opposite side of the road starting near the entrance gatehouse. We currently ride them as out-and backs, lollipopping around Rocky Ridge.

Refer to the mtbproject map at http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/3679028/obannon-woods-state-park for the most recent trail map.

The current Tulip Valley Trail and CCC Ghost Trails are hiking only trails, closed to bikes. We're working on a new Tulip Valley trail, but it isn't open yet.

There is a spur trail that runs from Rocky Ridge to the Campground, near where Sections A and B meet, and camping sites along the road on the west side back up to the woods where the trails are located.

In addition to Fort Duffield, Waverly Park is just a couple miles off Dixie Highway in Louisville, another place about an hour from O'Bannon. It's a roller-coaster ride with rolling bermed turns and smooth flow, with about eight miles of trail.

O'Bannon Woods State Park / Be prepared when you ride!!!
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:08:35 PM »
I got a phone call earlier this afternoon from the Assistant Park Manager.

Apparently these past couple of days, they've had a couple of phone calls to the office from riders on the trails, asking if someone could come out with an air pump and rescue them, because they've had flat tires.

He wanted to know if these riders were really serious. We had a good laugh about it, but more than anything it should serve as reminder, when you ride, be prepared to ride--or be prepared to hike off the trails.

Carry a pack, make sure you have water, and include a spare tube, an air pump or a CO2 cartridge pump, and whatever other tools you may need to change a tube or repair your bike. Maybe even carry a flashlight and a small first aid kit.

Speaking from experience, the trails at O'Bannon have a number of rocks, and flat tires are a pretty common occurrence. Many of us have learned the hard way--it can be a long walk back to the parking lot.

Racing...from the novice to seasoned / Re: Sub 22 Race rig
« on: June 11, 2014, 05:09:48 PM »
I can't speak for the frames you've listed, but a Devinci Atlas Carbon FS frame is 4.5 lbs and the MSRP is $2099. Bicycling magazine just recently gave it an "Editors Choice" thumbs up.

I would have to agree with the other recommendations to hit DuPont. There is a great variety of terrain, with some trails being similar to parts of Brown County. For younger riders, I would think it could be ideal.

The Guion Farm trailhead area has a "skills" area, with a teeter-totter and boardwalks to test the younger riders, and leads to some easier terrain.

Ridgeline is a roller-coaster of a trail. If it were around here, I'd ride it all a day long or at least until I got bored. Also, Hickory Mountain was a fun ride. It's a good warm-up climb, followed by a decent downhill. The two can be tied together if you take the right turns.

Also, the climb up Cedar Rock, taking Little River to Cedar Rock is an experience. Riding the slickrock is the highlight. Big Rock, one possible descent has a rocky drop, which could be a little hairy.

Nice plastic-y maps are available at the LBS's for both DuPont and Pisgah, and could be a worthwhile investment.

Bent Creek, closer to Asheville is also an area with kid-friendly terrain.

Tech Bench / Re: Cold weather shoes/boots
« on: March 06, 2014, 04:53:28 PM »
At Christmas, my wife surprised me with a set of Sidi Diablo GTX shoes.

They're kind of like the Shimano shoes, with a Gore-Tex/Neoprene boot, and are quite comfortable. They've definitely kept my feet warm and dry.

Find a Trail / Re: Heading to DuPont and pisqua this weekend.
« on: March 04, 2014, 05:36:38 PM »

I found this website when I was down there last year. It has some good information and includes a few rides and maps, including the Laurel/Pilot Mountain route previously mentioned. You didn't say if you were looking for wild and crazy or slightly subdued.

I did the Black Mountain/Avery Creek trail in Pisgah. The descent down Avery Creek was pretty crazy, with lots of rocks and erosion, as well as a couple wet creek crossings.

DuPont has miles of trail weaving through the place, and from what I saw I'd recommend a map. I didn't have time to explore much, but I hooked up with a local and followed him around. We hit the Eastern Slickrock route that included Big Rock and Cedar Rock, the "signature" ride there. It was a fun ride, but nowhere near as crazy as the Pisgah ride.

Find a Trail / Re: Somerset, KY / Lake Cumberland
« on: January 23, 2014, 02:33:23 PM »
One place I have planned to check out is the Big South Fork area in Tennessee, which is about an hour or so south of Somerset or Lake Cumberland. Check out:


O'Bannon Woods State Park / Please DON'T poach the Hiking Only Trails!
« on: September 30, 2013, 07:36:21 PM »
I heard through the grapevine about some riders running the Hiking Only trails on their bikes, which has caught the attention of park management.
Please do not ride those trails, as they are hiking trails ONLY! Help spread the word.
If you want to ride a fun loop, we encourage riders to try the Adventure Trail from the Electric Horseman's Camp to Pioneer Cabin. There is a little bit of road riding through the campground from the Rocky Ridge Access Trail to the back of the campground, and from the Pioneer Cabin back to the bottom of the Group Camp Trail, but it is a trail that mountain bikes can ride. We plan to do some maintenance work on the trail segment at one of our upcoming work sessions to insure it is in good shape.
We also encourage riders to walk their bike the short distance from the Electric Horsemen's Camp to the AT trail access, mainly because it is often mucked up from horses, but also to keep the peace between all trail users. Bikes yield to horses and hikers.
Tulip Valley is OFF LIMITS to bikes. Thanks!

Find a Trail / Re: Dupont/Pisgah Route advise
« on: September 03, 2013, 05:03:43 PM »
I was in that area in June to break in my new ride. I stretched my planned two days of riding into three and it wasn't nearly enough time. I used www.mtbikewnc.com to help figure out a few places to go. I'd also look at www.mtbproject.com to see what others may recommend. They keep adding new rides and trails.
I did a little bit of Kerr-Scott before the rain set in. It had a Brown County kind of feel to me, or more like the Bent Creek trails I rode. It's 2 1/2 hours or so east of Asheville, but I was in the general vicinity on business, so I rode there before heading to the Brevard area.
In Pisgah at Brevard, I did Black Mountain and descended the Avery Creek trail. That was an interesting ride, with a few white knuckle moments. It started with a long climb, and then it was rocks, roots, ruts and erosion on the way down. I would definitely call it a black diamond type ride, if that's what you are looking for.
I also did the Big Rock/Cedar Rock area at DuPont, which is their slick rock trail. Since I'd ridden the Black Mountain ride earlier in the day, my legs were kind of toasted, so I didn't cover very much more. It seems to be a huge area. There are four or five parking lots with many trails running out of each. When I go back, probably in October, I am hoping to see more of that area. The trails seemed to be more like Kerr-Scott and Bent Creek, or more Brown County-ish.

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