Published Somedays

Moon Lake Park, Luzerne PA ~ a new video

(updated: Jul 24, 2010)

So this is the last mountain bike ride I did on my trip to PA. I don't know why I chose to make the video of the last ride first, but I did. This one was frequently discussed on the PA forum. I watched a few videos and it looked like a good place to ride. Turns out this place is only a few miles from where my grandmother lived and where my brother is buried. These trails didn't exist when I lived up this way which was about eight years ago. So I had to go visit my brother's gravesite and ride these trails.

I printed a nice color map and put it with my keys so I wouldn't forget it...but at 6:00am I am kinda hazy, and I still forgot it.

I was in PA the week of July 4th and we were in a heat wave. The day before it got up to 104 degrees. This day would be a little cooler, but the humidity was worse. I was sweating profusely and these horseflies circled my sweaty head for the entire ride. Saying it was annoying was an understatement. I just couldn't get rid of them. If you look closely, you can see them in the video in the part where I'm talking.

The other bad thing that happened is I broke my chain mid-way through the ride, in two places. I had no chain tool (I lost it) and only one master link. I walked for a while out to the road where I ran into some riders leaving. I waved them down. Luckily they had one. But my chain was now a lot shorter and I couldn't get it past the fourth cog. But it sure beats a bike with no chain. I tell ya, a bike with no chain just plain sucks.

I was always in the small ring up front because of the tight technical nature of these trails. Most of the riding is slow technical. They built some new stuff that is super tight. I happen to enjoy this kind of riding. It will work you good (and wear out and break all your parts, yours and your bike's). And after repairing my chain I had to work even harder. I think this fact, plus the wreck off the rock (see video), plus riding every day, blew my knees out. It's July 24 and I haven't been able to ride because of knee pain, especially in my left knee. I need to rest for a while.

I hope this place stays open. I read later that the county was going to close it because they are broke. I noticed all the bathrooms were closed and also the pool. That would be a shame, because the trails rock and there's a lot of other stuff to do here like hiking, fishing and an airfield for model airplanes. I even saw one guy geochaching.

I know I missed some good stuff because I had an old map from the visitor center which rapidly disintegrated in the heat and humidity. There are loads of trails here, over 20 miles worth. I was there for five hours and could not do all of them. Just have to go back next year.

There are so many killer places to ride in PA it's just amazing. I haven't even touched the Jim Thorpe area yet.

The drive up wasn't so bad, but getting home was another issue. You see, there are four seasons in PA: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction. It was the Construction season. Going back on I-81 was a huge mistake that I could have easily avoided. I should know better.

Link to trail info: Moon Lake Trail Info Page

And now onto the video... Note it's in HD format which may play choppily if you have a slower computer. Click on the video to go to Vimeo and switch to a lower resolution.

One correction: On the video I refer to the place as Moon Lake State Park, but it is a county park, so just Moon Lake Park.

Moon Lake Park Luzerne PA from Sir Bikes on Vimeo.

If video above is no longer available, click here.

Video stills. The black bars are due to the resolution setting I had on the camera my entire trip. I had set it to 1280x960 which is 4x3 rather than 1920x1080 which is 16x9. It seems to have worked out better for solo riding because it gives a much larger field of view (to the point of distorting or vignetting the edges) where you can sometimes see my front tire going over stuff. But it also miniaturizes everything as well, so objects are larger than they appear.

All the photos are linked here: Moon Lake Park Photos

The lake itself

Rocks with ladders. Lots of rocks in PA. Lots and lots of rocks. Did I mention there are lots of rocks? As opposed to Wilmington, which has exactly zero rocks. I miss the rocks. I wish I had two rocks to bang together.

Salamander seen on a trail called Salamander.

Old rock wall, put to good use.

Not enough rocks? Here, we'll lay out some more for you.

A trail called Twister. Guess why they call it that?

Skills area.

Rocks on 5858.

I am lost. This was an old map too.



Slide. Appropriately named trail.

Filed Under: Ride Reports > Pennsylvania > Wilkes-Barre


1. goofy said...

Trails look like alot of fun man I love rocks so it really makes me wanna go ride there

Jul 25, 2010 @ 2:41 PM

2. Michael said...

Great video! I would love to check out those trails next time I'm in PA. According to mapquest it's about 73 miles from the park to my Dad's place in Allentown. I'll have to get some more info from you.

Jul 26, 2010 @ 7:40 PM


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