Longboarding the Banks to Vernonia Trail

A beautiful bridge

A few photos from the ride.

Woo hoo! Google made a video from a bunch of video clips it took with my phone and a selfie stick.

Jamison and I decided that longboarding would be fun.1With Jamison getting ready to leave for college, spending some time with him is a top priority. The question was “where?” We limited our choice to either Mt. Tabor or the Banks to Vernonia Trail. Because it had rained earlier in the day, I didn’t want to bomb Mt. Tabor and possibly wipe out at speed. So Banks to Vernonia it was.

Jamison had already ridden this trail a couple of times recently so he knew the best places to start and stop.2Turned out, he also knew a couple of place that the trail would be dicey with mud across the trail and a gravel crossing, so we were able to slow down in advance. It’s nice to have an experienced guide. :-) We would start at Tophill and ride to Manning. This is about an eight-mile ride. Because the trail is a rails to trails park, it is limited to a gentle slope and we were going to be going downhill the first five miles and flat the rest of the way.3Little did I know I would strengthen my antipathy to chipseal. On normal roads, automobile traffic flattens chipseal to be relatively smooth. On the Banks to Vernonia trail, the section between Buxton and Manning has been chipsealed. Worse, it is rough and has furrows in it from bicyclists riding on the chipseal before it had set. Note to maintenance crews: chipseal only works on roads for automobile traffic.

On the way to the trail, we notice whispiness to the right and Jamison asked if it was smoke or fog? I didn’t know the answer for a few seconds, then it became obvious. We were driving through a local cloudburst. Fortunately, we never got rained on while longboarding, at least not directly. The skate wheels kicked up a bunch of spray from the wet trail, coating our legs with muck and forming puddles on top of our boards.

I was surprised how few people we met on the trail (none of them longboarding), and yet, we ran into people we know.

I’m looking forward to our next ride!


By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.

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