Longboarding the Bank-Vernonia State Trail, twice in one weekend

Jamison wanted to longboard again today, or was it me? Maybe it was both of us. Regardless, I wanted to try my downhill board and see if that made me a little faster. My Kegels are already on that board. I need something to be able to keep up with Jamison. So, off we went!

Suzi and Melissa didn’t want to shuttle us today, so we took a couple of cars.

Last time I’d ridden this board, it had felt a little squirrelly at speed. And no, the Banks-Vernonia Trail isn’t that fast, but with a consistent tuck, Jamison’s phone said we got almost to 25 mph.

The board felt solid. Jamison and I have already checked our calendars for the next Wednesday we can both hit Mt. Tabor.

Longboarding the Banks-Vernonia Trail

Jamison wanted to longboard the Banks-Vernonia State Trail and Suzi and Melissa were willing to shuttle us so we wouldn’t have to do the 3-trip car-shuttle thingie. I couldn’t say no. ;-)

Jamison posted on Instagram. (More below…)

Suzi and Melissa walked the pups while they waited for us. We ended up skating Tophill to Buxton twice. In between runs, we walked the Buxton Trestle, Melissa walked the dog through the creek, and we found some blackberries. Mmm… :-)

What a great day!

Longboarding the Banks to Vernonia trail

As a last hurrah of Jamison’s spring break, he invited me to longboard the Banks to Vernonia trail with him. It’s a nice, long, gentle ride. The weather was wonderful and the trail was dry. Jamison also tooks some videos with his phone.1

Thanks, Jamison for the invite! That’s my boy. :-)


  1. The tall, skinny pics are screen grabs from Jamison’s videos. Posted with his permission. 

Quick Banks Vernonia Trail Longboard Run

Jamison and I tried to get Longboard SpeedMeter going the last time we longboarded the Banks to Vernonia Trail, but it couldn’t get enough GPS satellites in view at Tophill.

This evening, I waited until the first gravel crossing before starting SpeedMeter and it worked — I think. It captured a top speed of 25.14 mph at the location I would have expected, but then recorded the run’s top speed as 9.73 mph. Oopie!

Regardless, I’m looking forward to trying my top-mount board on the trail and then at Mt. Tabor.

Longboarding the Banks-Vernonia Trail

Hands up in celebration of another great ride!

Jamison, Ethan,1 and I longboarded twice2 from Tophill down to Buxton3 on the Banks-Vernonia Trail. A fair number of bikes4 and pedestrians joined in the fun.

Jamison took a bunch of videos using his new Yi action cam5 and snapped some stills with it, too. I’m looking forward to his video edits. Stay tuned…

o>-<|:

Update: Jamison’s video is live!


  1. Ethan is the master of riding fast and looking fast. One trick I learned is to wear an untucked and unbuttoned shirt. When it flaps in the breeze, you look fast. Being able to “match” a plaid shirt with plaid shorts is just bonus! ;-) 
  2. It takes a few trips between Buxton and Tophill to reposition the cars, longboards, and longboarders. 
  3. It’s 5 miles each time. That’s 10 miles on the longboard — a good day. :-) 
  4. One fat-tire bicyclist was so enamored by my steeze that he couldn’t avoid heading my direction. Fortunately, there was (barely) enough pavement left over to sneak by. 
  5. Not an ad, just a hopeful observer of the consumer. The price and specs seemed right. We’ll see. 

Longboarding the Banks to Vernonia Trail

A few photos from the ride.

Longboarding the Banks to Vernonia Trail

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.1 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.2 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.3

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!

o/-<|:


  1. With Jamison getting ready to leave for college, spending some time with him is a top priority. 
  2. Turned 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. :-) 
  3. Little 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 ridding on the chipseal before it had set. Note to maintenance crews: chipseal only works on roads for automobile traffic.