Ripping and Grinning at Lehigh Portland Trails

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The inaugural “Get Your Grin On” (GYGO) ride took place yesterday evening on the Lehigh Portland Trails, with over a dozen riders, aged 5 to 60+ setting out to explore the singletrack at this new trail system in Iola.

Get Your Grin On - Lehigh Portland Trails 2015-06-10

There were lots of laughs (and a bit of blood) on the inaugural Get Your Grin On Ride at the Lehigh Portland Trails.

Over a dozen riders showed up for this informal group ride, most of whom had not seen the entire trail system, some of whom had very little experience mountain biking. The latter were a little scared (which is perfectly natural and appropriate), but they did great!

There were plenty of grins (and grunts, and grimaces, and grrrs) as the riders explored the Hobo Camp Trail, the Rubble Ridge Roller Coaster, the Quarry Bluffs, the Creekside Trail, and Mt. Lehigh.

Learn more, and see additional photos, at Get Your Grin On at the Lehigh Portland Trails.

Mountain bike trails are something new for many Iola riders. The next-closest trail system is over 40 miles away at Gunn Park in Fort Scott, and those trails have only been open for a few years.

So a bit of a learning curve is expected.

If you’re a mountain biking neophyte, don’t despair. There are several people in the local bicycling community who can help you get started; just ask around, or join one of the trail rides (watch the Lehigh Facebook page and Twitter feed for future ride announcements). But above all, don’t be afraid to try new things. Take it slow and easy. As you spend more time on the trails, the scary and unfamiliar feelings will be replaced by a sense of accomplishment and comfort.

This cartoon says it well:

Reasons To Love Mountain Biking