Greensfelder Deadfall Cleared

All the fresh deadfall at Greensfelder has been removed with 2-stroke power. Thanks to rider Gary who stopped to help me move the massive tree on the DeClue Six Flags climb (three year old extension.)

Other removed deadfall locations include the Radio Tower (old) rockin' descent and another just below the radio tower parking lot on DeClue.

Salsa and Trailer Bob took a beating but that's what friends are for. The trails are free-flowing again and that's what matters.
Just below radio tower on DeClue

Large tree on DeClue near Six Flags

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day - Saturday, Oct. 1st

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day
Saturday October 1, 2011
10:00am til 2:00pm
Broemmelsiek Park, O Fallon, Mo

Gateway Off Road Cyclists ( GORC ) with St Charles County Parks invites children (8-14) and parents to celebrate International Mountain Bike Association ( IMBA ) sponsored “National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day”. Free bicycle/helmet safety inspection, instructions on riding techniques, a skills practice area, and guided trail rides tailored to different age groups and skill levels. Participants should bring a bike and an approved helmet. Limited Number of Demo Bikes/ Helmets from local bike shops will be available.

When: Saturday, October 1, 2011 ( 10am – 2pm )
Where: Broemmelsiek Park in St Charles County

So come out and bring a kid with you for some good, clean fun in the dirt. Bring plenty of water and an adventurous spirit.

Schedule of Events
10am – 11am Registration
10am – 11:30am Helmet Fit / Bike Safety Inspection
10am – Noon Skills Building Area available
11am – 1pm Trail Etiquette and Guided Trail Rides
1pm – 2pm Drinks, Snacks - Prize Drawings
Advanced Registration is recommended, but not required.
For More Information or to register:
Call St Charles County Parks at 636-949-7535

Directions To Broemmelsiek Park 

From US 40/61
Bear Right (North)onto Ramp Winghaven Blvd

Bear Left (North-West) onto Local road

Turn Left (south-West) onto Mo-DD

Keep straight on Mo-DD for 3.9 miles

Turn Right (West) onto Schwede Rd

Go approx. ½ mile, Parking for Park is on the left side of road.

From Bryan Road / Winghaven Blvd in Ofallon, Mo.
(Bryan Road/Winghaven Blvd changes to Hwy Mo-DD after crossing US-61)

Keep straight on Mo-DD for 3.9 miles

Turn Right (West) onto Schwede Rd
Go approx. ½ mile, Parking for Park is on the left side of road.

About the Event
The St. Charles County Parks Department encourages children ages 8 to 14 to get outside and celebrate the seventh annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 1 at Broemmelsiek Park, 1615 Schwede Road, south of O’Fallon. This fun, free, family event is sponsored by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC), and offers skills clinics, guided trail rides, safety inspections and demo bike use. More than 150 riders are expected to participate in the event.

“This is a great opportunity for us to pass our passion for peddling on to children,” said Parks Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer. 

In support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Initiative, this nationwide event is expected to get 30,000 children participating in 300 cycling events across the nation.

For more information or to pre-register, please contact St. Charles County Parks at 636-949-7535 or visit Early registration is recommended and the first 100 will receive a free goody bag.

In addition, Granada Cyclery, Momentum Cycles, Peloton Cyclery, REI, Wheel Sports, 2nd Street Bike Café, Big Shark West Bicycle Company, Alpine Shop, Ballwin Cycles, Backwoods, Clif Bar, The Hub, and Mesa Cycles are also supporting the St. Charles County event.

Building Community . . . and Trails (Def Trails!)

What keeps all together, you ask? I don't really know. Passion, I suppose. Maybe a bit of hobbyism to keep tabs on the online industry. I used to do this everyday, now I just play at night, sometimes all night, trying to keep it all going.

It's not that hard really; I bring it all on my own. And that's the thing... the club is more than one person; it's all about what members put into it. Input quality=output quality. The club's soul and vibe is the culmination of all our active members contributing to the greater good that is mountain biking advocacy in St. Louis.

Maybe you weren't riding 10 years ago but check it out -> Chubb and Castlewood were your main line options. You could ride doubletrack Lost Valley if you were really wanting to explore. St. Louis trail riding has come A LONG WAY since GORC formed in 1998. We started with Matson and expanded to include all the trails that are listed on our Trails tab.

I personally want our club to be the best in the midwest. Something other clubs would like to copy. I want to increase our membership, retain all you awesome people and offer even more in the way of events, socials and, ahem, merchandise. I feel that we are on the cusp of the next great phase.

We want - no - need, that. All of the above.

Somewhere along the way I've grown from an average GORC member to the website administrator to what I would now say, club marketer. I've been with GORC since 2001 and it was a life-changing social/outdoor activity move for me. I may be a somewhat shy person until you get to know me but I feel that it is necessary to promote the club online in all social circles.

You would not believe how many mountain bikers don't even know we exist. It's impressive the number of people who think trails magically appear overnight courtesy of the Stimulus Plan.

This isn't the most well-written call-to-action plan. I'd say it was written on a whim just before bed time, actually. I don't have all day to dial in my thoughts, you know, work and all......

What I'm trying to say in all of this is that we need you. You probably have skills we don't possess. We need writers, we need trail stewards and we could use some good connections to other like-minded folks who might be entirely outside the bike circles.

Here's what I want you to do; spread the word, tell everyone about GORC, the website, bookmark us on Facebook, and Twitter and YouTube and keep telling everyone you see out on the trail that GORC is there for the biking community.

We have big ongoing plans for trail riding opportunities in St. Louis and the surrounding region.

Keep in touch!

FWIW, here's a slight lift of the curtain. Never mind the guy behind the laptop. Tap your Sidis and grab your bike. Awesome local trails await. See you out there.

Matt H
aka seamonkey

Greensfelder Workday- Saturday, Sept. 24th

Date: Sat, September 24th, 2011, 9am to 1pm (FREE LUNCH!)
Location: Greensfelder Park, St. Louis County

What: We will begin construction of a Northern Green Rock Trail re-route. This will possibly take you to places you have never been in the park. The re-route is approximately 0.7 of a mile long and will replace 0.5 miles that drifts on to private property.

Where: Greensfelder Park, Allenton Rd. behind Six Flags (Park at Tower Lot)

Take Interstate 44 to the Allenton/Six Flags Exit 261. Go north on Allenton Rd, past the Six Flags entrance. Allenton Rd. bisects Greensfelder Park. Lunch will be afterwards at the Mueckerman Shelter located at the corner of Allenton and Hencken road.
(See for directions and details of the park)

What to bring: Gloves, Sturdy shoes, eye protection, and something to drink on the trail.

GORC & St. Louis County Parks provide: Trail building tools, instructions on trail building, and safety guidelines.

Info and sign up on the GORC Message Board.

Green Rock at Greensfelder to Receive Generous Makeover

So, you know that one spot where the horse jumps are down in the huge Greensfelder valley? Right there where you're cruising on the crushed gravel Eagle Valley trail where it curves left and you wonder where that single-turning-to-doubletrack goes off to the slight right?

Come help GORC next Saturday and let us open your eyes to parts of Greensfelder you may have never traveled.

Taking a worded tour, I'll fill you in the best I can.

Well, steer off to the slight right and ride up and over a weird knoll in the middle of the woods. That fast roller is what remains of a lake that used to be on the Greensfelder property over 100 years ago. It lasted something like one or two years before blowing out during a hard rain. Yep, that's a manmade feature in the middle of what appears to be virgin woods.

That camera is going to cost you - one knee should do. I pray you aren't on the one gear.

Now, stray to the left and cross the creek. Going right - before crossing the creek - would take you up a jeep road (maybe it was singletrack once???) that will break your heart. It climbs and climbs and then shoots up the last 200 feet. At the top is the Greensfelder Scenic Overlook that gives you a great view of the valley you just climbed (or walked) with your bike.

But anyway, cross that creek I mentioned. Continue and stay on the singletrack trail that veers slightly right. Going left takes you up another, um, death by hill. That drops you off on Allenton Road where you can hitchhike back to town since your legs may be smoked by then.

What was I saying? Oh, stay in that valley, veer slight right and you'll be continuing on Green Rock. This is a trail the Boy Scouts built many, many moons ago that goes all the way from Rockwoods Range through Greensfelder and wraps up deep in Rockwoods Reservation. Well, the Boys didn't have GPS gadgets back then and they ended up on private property. Boundary fail and such. Well, it was brought to St. Louis County's attention and they are tackling this issue and plan on having it resolved as quickly as possible.

That's where GORC, your local 501-c3 (tax-deductible!) non-profit trailbuilder extraordinaire, comes in.

The reroute offers a mix of fast dirt, karst technical, and climbing turns.

We've realigned the northern portion of Green Rock that crosses boundaries so that it will now be completely on County property. With the help of St. Louis County Parks we will be closing about a .5 mile of Green Rock and replacing it with almost a mile of new trail to reconnect both ends of Green Rock that are on Greensfelder's property.

Camera phone pictures nearly always fail at capturing depth. This climbs is deceptively boring in appearance. Wait till it opens to tires...

The new reroute will feature some rocky vistas, technical tread and some sweet descents. A short, original portion of Green Rock will remain to gain much-needed elevation and it is a crank bender. It is definitely rideable as I usually ride the Fixed Monkey out there in the winter months. Think Chubb steep with Chubb rocks and you'll have a good idea.

This GORC-built reroute, when complete, will tidy up the northern end of Green Rock inside Greensfelder's boundaries. This trail is considered an out-and-back because you have to turn around at the large Rockwoods Reservation sign if you are on your bike or horse.

Dropping back down into the Green Rock valley (just before the SoD) it's hard not to be impressed by the depth of the valley, the size of the trees and the amount of water that flows during heavy rains.

For the near future (as in years) this trail will be Greensfelder's only northern trail. Possibly, someday, in a galaxy far, far away, we may expand on this singletrack and assess the feasibility of connecting it to Melrose completely on Greensfelder's property or to make a lollipop/loop at that end of the park.

But for now, the tour is over, turn your bike around and descend back to the horse jumps. The park trails go in all four directions.

Which way will you go?

Trail Love, GORC Style

A lot of the work GORC performs goes unnoticed - and that's a good thing. From downed trees to drainage issues, the club keeps tabs of the area trails every time riders hit the dirt.

What may take a volunteer several hours to complete can go unnoticed as you whisk by the maintained section in the blink of an eye. While not comprehensive by any means, here's a short pictorial of work performed this month.

This work has been performed all summer by Chubb riders as they beat this tread into the extreme sideslope on the two short fall line reroutes. If you remember last year they were very off-camber. You are in for a surprise now if you haven't traveled there lately. Both reroutes have been ridden and a great tread has formed. The amount of man hours it took to bench cut the hillsides is staggering. You have to remind yourself that you aren't on the side of a mountain traversing a scree field.

Kudos to the sideslope work on the Chubb reroutes. These additions let riders get up the hill while the still-open original track allows for ripping downhills.

This tree on Flint Quarry at West Tyson/Chubb stuck around all summer but unfortunately, sometimes that's the case. GORC is entirely volunteer-based and the summer months can be busy for folks with the day jobs.

Sawing out deadfall is one of the more dangerous jobs GORC performs but all safety measures are taken: Sawyer training, leg chaps, sawyer helmets, sawyer gloves and tip-top equipment ensures that all tasks go smoothly. This downed tree at Greensfelder needed a chainsaw; many times a simple pack saw will take care of many downed saplings or branches. They are compact and fit nicely in hydration packs.

This tree on DeClue was a bugger as it was large enough to require several strategic cuts. If a tree is too large or too high off the ground and is deemed unsafe, GORC will use prudent judgment and request the county to step in. Not all downed trees can be taken out safely with our equipment or man power, however, it is a rare occurrence.

This short pictorial is just some of the work GORC is performing for the benefit of all trail users - biker, hiker, and equestrian - in just the past month or so. Next time you see a tree cut at the trailside or some drainage maintenance just remember: GORC love you long time.

Fall Workday Season is Here!

That's right, only one week away from the start of another workday season. This time it's a mix of maintenance and new trail construction. Have a look here for some info on how much trail we've built in the STL. We want more, but we have to take care of what's already built as well; and we can't do that without your help, so please come to some workdays this year. 

9/17 Rock Hollow
9/24 Greensfelder

10/15 Matson Hill
10/22 Cliff Cave
10/29 Matson Hill

11/5 Creve Coeur (Volunteer Appreciation Party)
11/12 Greensfelder
11/19 Castlewood

12/3 Rock Hollow
12/10 SIUE
12/17 Creve Coeur

2X10 Babble

I've finally ridden enough on the Superfly 100 to spew my thoughts on the 2x10 drivetrain. I know this isn't about trail building or advocacy but, hey, it's about bikes and how they move so I figured what the hell, this blog can use all the editorial content it can get.

My experience is on the Sram X0 2x10 drivetrain with a 39/26 in the front and a 12/36 on the backside. At first I wasn't sure what to think with all the hype about no dropped chains, no chainsuck, you'll ride faster, chains don't wear out, you don't need a chain, whatever the hype machine had to say in Mountain Bike Faction.


At Ouachita I dropped the chain off the large chainring twice ... and twice ripped some sweet metal flake paint clean off the drive side chainstay.

In Taos on the steep South Boundary descent I dropped the chain off the big chainring and pedal/jam-sucked the chain causing the 10 speed chain to twist a link. I didn't know why it shifted like a worn out a VW Bus until the next day while cleaning the bike.


Other than those two semi-major incidents of droppage the system has been terrific. The shifter pods took a bit to get used with the upshift action being another thumb-activated push action. Unlike the Shimano system you press a smaller paddle just behind the main thumb downshifted. The shifting has been crisp and tight; on steep climbs the rear derailleur moves easily and deliberately when the going gets tough.

The gearing has been the best part. Unlike a 3x10 system where you learn about the badness of cross-chaining or how lame you are to use the granny or wonder why the big ring exists because it's rarely used when you're ACTUALLY mountain biking on singletrack, well, the 2x10 system condenses the gears down into a much more useable range. I found myself riding FASTER because the gears matched closer together and I didn't have to think about the shifting - there's no cross-chaining voodoo and the larger ring is used more often than not simply because the gear mavens have offered use a pizza wheel 36er to get us up those steep climbs.

After riding a 2x10 drivetrain most of 2011, I am convinced I won't be going back to a 3x10 ever - unless it's on my existing bikes. What I mean is that I won't be buying a new 3 ring crank in my future, not with our easier Missouri terrain. And to be as minimal as possible, I would say most people would enjoy a 1x10 with the newly available 36 hanging on the back. Those two extra teeth can conquer worlds… well, almost.

While I wouldn't say you should just go out and replace your perfectly good system, I would say that you should investigate the 2x10 options out there offered by Sram and Shimano if you are building up a new bike or have come to the conclusion that your current drivetrain is played out. I've checked complete systems and they do have that sticker shock going for them, however, the new XT keeps the price within reason and the x7 or x9 is supposedly pretty good stuff.

All of the above ramblings are solely mine and I don't take responsibility for your knee surgery should you discover the 2x10 setup is not for you. However, if you have any XT or XX product laying around I might be interested in applying it to some bikes for further testing.

Recycle Your Tubes, Tires and Bike

Recycle Your Innertubes and Now... Bike Tires!
Recycle bike tires (50 cents ea) and tubes (free) while helping raise money for a local non-profit by dropping your used up rubber hoops off at these fine establishments:
  • REI (south of Galleria)
  • Hub Bicycle (Webster Groves)
  • Big Shark (U City - tubes only)
  • The Bike Center (Des Peres)
Since 2008, these shops have recycled nearly 3 tons of tubes and tires that get a second life as new auto tires and rubber ground cover. They are not made into "tire derived" fuel. In the process, over $500 has been raised for a local non-profit employer, W.A.C. Industries.

Recycle Your Used Bicycle!
BicycleWorks accepts bikes in any condition, see, under the 'donate' tab for specific details)

Since 1988 BicycleWorks has repurposed for nonprofit programming, 10,000 bikes (and bike parts) that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. Each year about 50 at-risk kids from the city learn about bike safety and basic maintenance, while they earn a refurbished bike, helmet. lock, and light through their free Earn-A-Bike program.