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Looking for MTB Rentals Near South Jersey--Any Recommendations?

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Looking for MTB Rentals Near South Jersey--Any Recommendations?

Old 03-04-16, 08:18 AM
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EddNog
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Looking for MTB Rentals Near South Jersey--Any Recommendations?

Hey, all--I recently got back into MTB after a 15-year hiatus, and I really want my wife (avid road cyclist and triathlete) to be able to rent and ride a decent MTB (in terms of geometry, components don't matter much) with me on some beginner level trails so she can get a taste of MTB before committing to a bike (which, assuming she does like MTB, I want to surprise her with maybe a Spesh Ruze Comp 6Fattie for her birthday or Christmas later this year). Does anyone have recommendations or have good experiences with rentals from any particular place near Philly/Cherry Hill? Someone else recommended going up to the Poconos/Lehigh, but I'd prefer something closer if possible plus I'm not sure if she'll really get a feel for what MTB is like with that (it sounds more like a gravel road rails-to-trails ride, not proper MTB with dirt, windy turns, tree roots etc.). We also found a shop in Princeton that rents out MTBs but it's kind of expensive. I would love to hear your ideas so I can try to get her hooked! Unfortunately, we don't have any small enough friends with an MTB that can loan her theirs (she's only 5'1.5" so the few women who we know that also MTB have bikes too big for her, and definitely no guys that short).

-Ed
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Old 03-04-16, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by EddNog
plus I'm not sure if she'll really get a feel for what MTB is like with that (it sounds more like a gravel road rails-to-trails ride, not proper MTB with dirt, windy turns, tree roots etc.).
Uh...What gave you that idea? While there are some rail-trails in Jim Thorpe and the MTB scene there is not what it used to be, there are still some real MTBing to be had up there and in other places in NE PA. Here is one list from a shop in the center of Jim Thorpe:

Jim Thorpe Biking Trails Blue Mountain Sports

JT used to be the site of a large MTB weekend. Unfortunately, it became increasingly difficult to deal with Mauch Chunk Lake S.P. where people camped so the guy who organized it for 20 years decided to end it.

I think another thing that hampered the area is that the state prohibited mountain biking in state game land, at least in that area. On the list linked to above you will see something called the Uranium Road Loop that is now closed. I did that loop back in 1995. It was the one and only time I did a real MTB ride. Incredibly hard, at least for me. I would bet the route is closed because of the restriction on riding in state game land.

Somewhat closer to home, French Creek State Park comes immediately to mind. It offers "real" mountain biking.

As for rentals, you might try Breakaway on 19th & Chestnut in Philly. I think they at least used to rent bikes, but they may no longer.

And there is this place near the zoo:

Rentals ? Brewerytown Bicycles - Philadelphia Bike Shop
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Old 03-04-16, 09:57 AM
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Thanks, Indyfabz! I was thrown off by a different web site that catered primarily to family friendly bike tours including shuttles to and from some of the trails and the descriptions were pretty tame. The Blue Mountain site sounds a lot more like what I'm looking for in that region. I will also check with Breakaway and Brewerytown.

-Ed
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Old 03-04-16, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by EddNog
Thanks, Indyfabz! I was thrown off by a different web site that catered primarily to family friendly bike tours including shuttles to and from some of the trails and the descriptions were pretty tame. The Blue Mountain site sounds a lot more like what I'm looking for in that region. I will also check with Breakaway and Brewerytown.

-Ed
How could I have forgotten this?:

Activities Friends of Wissahickon

You could pick up a bike at Brewerytown and be in the park in 30 min. The place is crawling with MTBers.
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Old 03-04-16, 10:51 AM
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Ah, the imfamous Wiss; I will need to recon that myself beforehand to decide if I think my wife can handle it as a first-timer. Either way, it should be some good times for me!

-Ed
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Old 03-07-16, 03:15 PM
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There is also Marsh Creek State Park.
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