The Pennsylvania Trail Rider Association put on their 21st annual 7 Mountains Dual Sport event on Sunday, June 21…and it was the first time in 21 years that rain affected the ride.Saturday night Mother Nature decided to flush out the mountains with 2.1 inches of rain. But the event planners had a Plan B just for that situation. After some quick changes to the route arrowing and a revised route sheet, the event started at 9am without a delay. Three DCNR staff showed up to monitor the event and were impressed with the last minute changes that PaTRA put into play. They received a huge applause of appreciation at the riders meeting.
Basically PaTRA took out all the single track that would be damaged due to the wet conditions, and rerouted the riders onto some of the most rugged “Drivable Trails” you have ever seen (old ratty jeep trails)…laced with monster pools of water in all the low spots. The route was a fast paced one but riders traversed all seven mountains and scenery that goes with it coupled with a sunny day and absolutely no dust. The 8 mile long Shale Trail put in by DCNR was a favorite of all the riders right before the noon break. Only 3 breakdowns were reported and no injuries. The route included a gas truck and snack/water stop at the western most point in the event. The return route includes great sections like Panther Run, Magic Carpet Ride and Henstep. The dreaded Captain Jack did not make an appearance this year like he sometimes does, but he is rumored to have ordered up the RAIN. So now we know that on the longest day of the year, 21 is not a winning hand, and ole Jack is rumored to be working on something for next years ride.
The riders circled back off ole Jack’s Mountain to Laurelton for BBQ chicken dinner in the open air pavilion put on by the gals from the West End Social Club….no one went away hungry. Everyone commented on the easy to read route sheet, good arrowing and the awesome gated Shale Trail. The event will be even better next year with a different route, part of a three year rotation plan to keep the trails from being hammered. PaTRA uses all the funds to support the local economy and to pay for machine work on the trails for the Dual Sport Loops and Shade Mountain ORM Trail. No one receives a salary or compensation from the non-profit PaTRA, which is in its 41st year of operation. We hope you enjoyed the event. Next year will be even better….and most importantly, we hope everyone will come back and bring another rider with you. Captain Jack is up there….waiting.