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Just the other day, I was talking to an acquaintance about high-tech bike gear. Specifically, we struck up a conversation about portable tire pumps, the small, lightweight ratchet-type pumps you can take with you in case you get a flat tire on the highway or on a trail in the middle of nowhere. They only weigh a few ounces, not even a whole pound. But they sure come in handy if you get a flat tire, have it fixed, and need to re-inflate it to continue your journey.
After finishing that conversation, I realized how much I love getting out and mountain biking on the trails near where I live. Unfortunately here in California we’ve had a few fires, and one of my favorite trails has literally burned to the ground, it smells like you’re riding through a burnt-out barbecue, it’s ugly and looks like hell. Although one doesn’t know what hell is like, I think you could say the same thing if you looked at it this way.
One of the coolest things I like to do when I travel is rent a mountain bike, or borrow one from a friend, and find out what kind of trails are nearby, trails you could explore on a mountain bike. In fact, there is a very good book on mountain bike trails in the Philadelphia area. This is a Falcon map guide, it is a book that I have that I would like to recommend to you. The name of the book is;
“Mountain Biking in the Greater Philadelphia Area: A Guide to the Delaware Valley’s Best Off-Road Bike Rides”, by Bob D’ Antonio, Falcon Press, Guilford, CT, 2004, 223 pages, ISBN: 0-7627-2806-X.
This book comes with all the information you need. It tells you where each trailhead is, how to get there, where to park, the number of hills, the number of miles, and hints at what equipment you might need and how long it might take to complete it based on your abilities and physical strength. Each trail also displays an elevation graph like they do on Tour de France stages where you can look and see on a graph how many feet of elevation you go up and down as you travel.
If you are going to do any type of mountain biking in the greater Philadelphia area, then you need to get this book as well. It is not very expensive, but it is essential. Please consider all this and think about it.