Sunday, March 9, 2008

Springton Manor Ride

This afternoon I gave myself and the Fantom 29 a good workout at Springton Manor Farm (SMF). SMF is a Chester County Park near my house that has some bike trails. I never rode them until now. So this review is as much for the trail as it is the bike. I rode a total of 7.5 mi.

Here is the link for a map of SMF:

First I took the streets from my house down to Burgess Park on RT 282. I used the lockout and was able to get into the highest gear easily. The shifters and derailleurs were smooth. Once you get up to 20 mph on asphalt those tires really roar. I guess they don't call them MotoRaptors for nothing.

Once at Burgess Park I popped onto an old railroad trail. I believe this will be part of the Struble Trail when it is extended. For now it is a dirt trail with even some of the old railroad ties present. I unlocked the fork and the Dart 3 Fork easily handled these railroad ties. This ride is actually the first time that I used a lockout. I can easily reach the switch and it is easy to use. I have seen bikes with a remote lockout on the handlebars but it seems unnecessary. I rode this trail for until it came back up to Rt 282. I then rode down Rt 282 with the lockout back on until I came to the SMF service road on Springton Road.

I then entered the park and took the Indian Run Trail counter clockwise. This trail has white markers. This part of the trail seems more for hikers as there are at least 3 bridges with steps. It is very scenic along the Indian Run Creek. The trail has a lot of rocks and roots but this was no problem for the 29er. I lost the trail so I doubled back and took the trail clockwise. This trail was extremely "boggy" and all up hill. I am sure if I didn't have a 29er I would have been stuck in the mud several times.

I some how made it back to the road and got on the Blue Bird Trail and then back onto the Indian Run Trail across a ridge at the top of the Farm. I then took the Bartol Trail east. This trail is an old road and flat to downhill. I really opened up here. Again the Dart 3 Fork and 29er wheels were awesome!

At this point the Bartol Trail is below grade, that is the road is almost like a ditch with a berm on either side. As I was ripping down the trail I noticed this huge downed tree across the trail. You could probably fit a bike under the tree but not with me on top of it. I noticed a trail immediately to the left and took it.

This unmarked trail was awesome. It was a good fast downhill ride. I then noticed the white markers which meant I was back on Indian Run Trail. I took this trail quickly downhill even though it was "boggy" in places.

I then got back on the service road and took the reverse route home. The bike wasn't as muddy as my Marsh Creek rides but I washed it anyway. Again later this week I will lube the chain.

The southern end of the park is 300' greater in elevation that the northern end of the park. It is also a lot drier. The next time I ride at SMF I will stick to the southern end.

The Fantom 29 is smooth shifting and can roll over and through anything on these trails. The brakes also have excellent stopping power so I always felt in control.

As far as the fit goes, I think I am leaning too far forward and have too much weight on my hands. I will have to get a shorter stem and/or higher angle. That will be my next project.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice ride - how about some pics?

member to lube your chain n e time you wash yer bike