30th birthday mountain bike trip stop 1 – Pittsburgh

I wanted to go away and mountain bike for a whole week. I thought of Moab or somewhere in Colorado or going back to Vancouver, but ultimately I chose Pennsylvania because there so many spots there I already know about and plenty of friends to ride with. When Steevo sent me an email that said, ‘Let’s go on a trip!’ it sealed the deal.
Loose plan: Fly into Pittsburgh on a Friday, ride there all weekend, spend the rest of the trip driving a rented hybrid across the state hitting up good spots, drinking coffee, hanging out (not looking at girls) and then ultimately ending in Virginia for the 10th anniversary Shenandoah 100.
My amazing girlfriend helped out a bunch as a birthday gift- sending me away.

Nickel -A Boilmaker- navigates rock to logs in Apollo

Saturday rode Apollo, PA with 8 dudes. I think all of which are ex-BMXers or current/ex-messengers or a combination of the two. Really fun. Perfect PA woods- fast pack, tons of turns and ups and downs along with logs, rocks and roots to navigate.


I know it is blurry, but this is a rock bridge.

After a few hours of good riding we came across a waterfall with a good swim area and a rope swing. I was glazed from the humidity and ready to jump in. The first guy in exclaims how cold it is and then, on his way out, just as Steevo is jumping in, yells, ‘Snake! I think it’s poisonous!’

Steevo shimmied up the rope in no time. Who says bike racers are all legs? Ends up it was only a water snake.

Green. Tight. Fun.

Apollo, PA has one place to eat. We spent $50 and there was food left over. Eight of us. Been riding and swimming all day. $50. Below is my $4.50 vegetable hoagie. Stoked.

Sunday- Rode Bavington, PA with Steevo and an ex-Pro mountain biker named John. It’s tight and twisty, but drier and less fast than Apollo. I was struggling to keep up, but it wasn’t miserable. We rode fewer than two hours and covered a lot of distance. On the way home Steevo said they were ‘testing each other out’. I guess that’s what happens when a semi-pro and an ex-pro ride together.

In the afternoon I rode Frick Park with Justin and Steevo. Fast and fun with technical parts that included a seesaw and berms. Was great to follow the same guys I rode BMX with ten years ago. Some things never change?
Did I say ten? I mean fifteen. Wow.

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