Friday, August 12, 2022
By: Jake VerycEric Steinbring is an avid rails-to-trails bicyclist who lives in Johnstown. He has been a member of Venture Outdoors for four years and has served as a leader biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and dog-friendly programs.
Eric is very familiar with area rail trails including the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Panhandle Trail, and the Great Allegheny Passage. He also frequents trails near his home including the Ghost Town Trail, West Penn Trail, Lower Trail and is a six-time veteran of self-contained rides to Washington D.C. on the C&O Canal Towpath.
Eric is an organizer of an outdoor group in his hometown and contributes his time to two other outdoor organizations in the area. He volunteers his time with the DCNR and assists in hiking and kayaking events in state parks and forests. Besides bicycling Eric also enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, orienteering, geocaching, doggie treks, and scuba diving. He is a certified rescue diver and is trained in underwater photography.
As a partner with Get Outdoors PA, Eric is able to promote many of his events to the public.
He has a strong background with the Boy Scouts of America and is trained and registered as a den leader, cub master, scout master, and venture crew advisor. He can often be found with his scouts hiking local trails, rafting, snowshoeing or conducting a service project at many of the state and local parks.
Because of his 15+ years’ experience in scouting, Eric specializes in activities that can be attended by youth and their family members. His rides are meant to be at an easy pace of 9-10 mph. He encourages frequent stops along the way to take pictures or learn about the history surrounding the trail. He normally paces his rides at about 7.5 miles an hour explaining that while you may ride at 10 mph, you will cover about 7.5 miles over an hour due to breaks along the trail. He states that if you are going 11 mph, you are probably coasting downhill.
“I wish to promote the beginner rider who may feel intimidated by more experienced cyclists at events. Many of my participants feel like outsiders if they do not have a particular brand of bike or wear a certain amount of spandex. My scouts and I have spent over a week at a time wearing cotton clothing while riding to D.C. Contrary to popular belief, cotton never killed anyone, at least on my trips.”
Eric invites anyone who is not too serious about biking and more interested in participating in an activity as a group to join him. He also encourages you to join him if you would like to expand your riding to different trails but may be unsure which ones to tackle based on your riding ability, unsure how to gain access to different trails, or if you just want to experience more of what a trail has to offer.
Final note. Eric funds his hobbies by being a registered nurse at a local hospital’s critical care unit. He maintains certification as a paramedic and is trained in Wilderness First Aid and Pet First Aid. He is also a CPR instructor and teaches higher levels of training for life-threatening medical emergencies.