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Old 09-01-06, 09:26 AM   #1
HopedaleHills
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Roadie to MTB'er ratio

After a quick data gathering exercise based on the Rogue Gallery, it seems the ratio of road bikers to MTB'ers is at least 10 to 1, maybe more like 15 to 1. How come? Is the 50+ crowd:

1. Afraid of harming our aging bodies?
2. It's easier just leave your driveway and ride rather than finding trails?
3. Most mountain bikers are 12 years old?
4. You like speed?
5. You don't like getting dirty?

We need answers.

Actually, after a year of road riding I have started to take an old Trek 800 into the woods and I am having a blast. It's way harder than I thought, a 5-mile single track trip is more punishing on the body than a 25-mile road ride. Stepham will probably agree with that

Anyway, I have my first real trail ride on Monday. A 10-mile trip around Upton State Forest single track and then ride the power lines back to Milford. Since the Trek 800 is really just a heavy old hybrid, I'm picking up my brand spanking new Gary Fisher Wahoo tonight

YaHoo, let's grab some air.
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Old 09-01-06, 09:28 AM   #2
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6. All of the above.
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Old 09-01-06, 09:38 AM   #3
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In my case, I started riding on the road some 35 years ago. I tried mountain biking back in the 1990's, and it just was not as fun for me. Something about the open road. I will ride my mountain bike along with my wife on gravel and dirt roads, but its not the same as the road. I think its the distance I can do on a road bike, may typical ride is about 40 miles, and if I had the time it would be more like 60-80. I really like going to somewhere far and back under my own steam. Plus, there is no PIE stops on mountain bikes.
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Old 09-01-06, 09:41 AM   #4
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Don't get me wrong, I still love riding my road bike and am actually going to the NYC Century next weekend. I was just wondering why more people don't do both. I especially think MTBing is a decent winter alternative.
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Old 09-01-06, 10:22 AM   #5
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I hope you are counting some of us in both groups.
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Old 09-01-06, 11:06 AM   #6
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Some of us do go both ways.

Road and mtn bike that is.

Hey, I got my star!
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Old 09-01-06, 11:15 AM   #7
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I live in S. Florida, I guess I could be a Swamp biker. I did ride mtb when I lived in CA.
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Old 09-01-06, 11:22 AM   #8
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I ride both, 75% road though, mainly because any good trails are 35 miles away. the road is right outside my door.

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Old 09-01-06, 11:32 AM   #9
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If you have good offroad routes to travell on, Then Mountain bikes are worth giving them a go. By offroad routes I don't necessarily mean muddy trails- gnarly root covered descents- or 15% rocky uphills for miles on end. They are just the best bits of offroading. My Big ride of the year has a lot of Smooth hardpacked chalk or well defined well drained grassland to travel over. It is the other bits of 10,000 ft of climbing and rain rutted trails with flints about the size of footballs to miss that make up for the do-able bits.
Even my local hills have easy routes - except for the first trail up to the top and even the easiest is not that easy.
Then there is the weather to take into consideration. My hills are chalk and require a tyre that is Multi use in the winter. It has to be able to grip on wet chalk- or even Green chalk (Chalk with just a thin layer of moss or algae over it) Wet chalk can be likened to driving on Ice. Take care- watchout for the wheelspin and you are OK. Green chalk however is like black ice. You know it is about and in this case you can often see it, but just touch it and you are lying on your side wondering what happened. Then the MUD. Fantastic stuff- especially if you know how to set the bike up and how to tackle it. Bit different on the Tandem as there is only one way to tackle it. Fast and straight through the middle- sending out a wake of Brown goo for about 20ft- Covering those wimps that have opted for the easy route at the edge of the puddle.
Then by far the best bit on Mountain biking. The Downhills. I must admit that there are not many that stay with me on the solo downhill and we have yet to find anyone that can stay with the Tandem. And that includes some very accomplished XC riders on Top rate fully suspended bikes.

Only thing is that the aggressive riding that I have been doing is paying its toll. The body begins to hurt after the 4th downhill, the legs ache after the 3rd uphill, and I want to get a rest on the relatively flat bits. One thing it has taught me though- is that there is a need for me for a road bike, which I have now got. I cannot always get out and blast the hills with an accompanying rider, and Full offroad on your own is foolhardy. Too many things can go wrong so for Safety- I now have a road bike to keep the fitness up with midweek rides. Not the same though. Not many trees or bushes to hit on the road, the mud is not suitable for these slick tyres, and it gets a bit boring just trying to dodge car bumpers.

Must try a cyclo-cross bike sometime.

My offroad trails start 2 miles from home and typical ride will be about 25 to 30 miles- only about 6 miles of tarmac- 2,500 ft of climbing and descending, and a breakfast- Just got to have that breakfast.
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Old 09-01-06, 12:28 PM   #10
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another bi here
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Old 09-01-06, 12:39 PM   #11
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And what qualifies one as a "Mtn Biker" anyways?

Hard core technical trails?

Single track?

Gravel roads?

Self-definition?

Hey, even I "Mtn Bike" at time - at least to my way of thinking, but I try to keep it a secret.
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Old 09-01-06, 01:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
And what qualifies one as a "Mtn Biker" anyways?

Hard core technical trails?

Single track?

Gravel roads?

Self-definition?

Hey, even I "Mtn Bike" at time - at least to my way of thinking, but I try to keep it a secret.
All of the above I think!

Just got back from the LBS. I had not ridden a Wahoo at this LBS before, just called them to see if they had my size and bought it over the phone. So I go over to check out the bike as they had just finished assembly. So LBS guy says take it for a ride to see if it all works OK, go through the back parking lot to the power lines, find the trail and head up the hill, the trail will loop around the top then descend down to the other end of the parking lot. OK, no problem.

Well first off, the uphill was a freakin wall. I couldn't get the bike into a low enough gear (my lack of new shifter knowledge) so after about halfway, I walk it. Get to the top and start riding the loop, cool feels good, hit the downhill section, steeper than I've ever ridden and crap, all of a sudden I'm looking at about a 2 foot drop off a ledge 20 feet ahead Nothing I could do but hold on, instinctively pull up on the bars just as the front wheel approaches the edge and damn, I'm in the air. I manage to land without loosing it and as soon as I look up there's another one. Now I'm sure I'm going to die. But made that one too. Got back to the store and said, "Great, put it in the car."

Can't wait to do it again
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Old 09-01-06, 01:30 PM   #13
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Bears!!
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Old 09-01-06, 02:12 PM   #14
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I have both but probably have put 99.5 hours on the road bikes compared to the mountain bike. For one thing, there's just not a lot of good off road riding close to where I live.
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Old 09-01-06, 02:34 PM   #15
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Recumbent rider here.
Speed is nice but not
an issue. For real kicks
I ride my Rhoades Car.

PS: I used to ride a Mtn. Bike
on the street but after getting
bent, I will never ride a diamond
frame again. (Maybe.) I might
get a folder for the bus.
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Old 09-01-06, 02:36 PM   #16
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I've got a MTB, but I ride it primarily on the roads! I like the big lug because it just doesn't break. Road hazards that I had to watch for & steer around on my road bike are non-issues with the MTB. Are you a Clydesdale? The MTB doesn't care! Want to load the bike down with panniers & baskets? The MTB doesn't care! Want to bunny-hop the curb? The MTB doesn't care!

If I'm going out to ride a half-century, I'll still stick with my road bike, but for everyday riding, the MTB rules!
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Old 09-01-06, 02:37 PM   #17
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There just isn't anywhere around here to ride off road. All land is private, "no trespassing" signs are as common as mailboxes. We have a wonderful canal towpath nearby but that is not what I call real mountain biking. I bought a MTB in '92 and did a little riding but got fed up with the hassle of driving all over hell just to ride it. I guess I'm a roadie at heart.
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Old 09-01-06, 03:24 PM   #18
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To qualify as a mountain biker is that the first thing is you do not know better. I started on mountain bikes on hills- Tarmac ones - but all I could see were those trails going up the Green hills. The bike I had then did not have low enough gears, but I still tried them. Walked most of the way up all of the hills- but those Downhills were a blast. Most of these trails were as good as tarmac- Farmers tracks to get the tractor or Landrover over his land but gradually I started to find the real offroad. Tracks through the woods, rough tracks up the hills, and my bugbear- green sheep meadows where the grass grabs the tyres and wears you out with drag. Won't bore you with the real reason but briefly- The hills are clean- no traffic and how can you beat the scenery. Roads to me are a danger- Too many cars- too many fumes and no chance to look at the scenery. (Got to keep an ear and both eyes open for the cars).

Then there is the real requisite for a mountain biker. No Brain.
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Old 09-01-06, 03:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Then there is the real requisite for a mountain biker. No Brain.
Hmmmm...perhaps I DO qualify, after all.
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Old 09-01-06, 04:47 PM   #20
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What is this MTBer's you speak of?
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Old 09-01-06, 05:04 PM   #21
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I ride for transportation at least as much as for exercise or recreation. There are lots of roads, but only a few trails, which help me get from point A to point B, so my five road bikes see more total use than my two mountain bikes. Lacking the physical coordination and self-confidence requried for technical single-tracking and bouldering, I ride the mountain bikes on the street and on multitrack trails, fire roads, and very tame single-track trails. For my kind of riding, an old-school unsprung mountain bike serves admirably.
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Old 09-01-06, 06:17 PM   #22
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Mountain biker first here, then roadie. I don't know why, perhaps its the challange presented by nature or the man-made technical trails. Or maybe it's the rush of going downhill on the edge of being out of control. One thing is for sure, I would rather ride on dirt than on asphalt. Funny thing is, I don't consider myself a very good mountain biker. I just took up road riding this year and I'll probably be a better roadie than MTBer, but I just don't get the same rush.
As for the comments made by the OP. There is one I don't agree with. There are NO 12 year old mountain bikers on the advanced trails I ride. But there are a helluva lot of 12 year old wannabees (myself included).
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Old 09-01-06, 09:16 PM   #23
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I wish I still had my Giant boulder cheapo steel mtb.
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Old 09-02-06, 11:49 AM   #24
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I guess I'm bicyclual too. I love the lure of the open road, but to tell you the truth, there is nothing I find as liberating as getting off road and tearing across the countryside. I'm 12 years old again. (Of course, it helps that there is a decent single track near my house with a variety of terrain over 14 miles of trails. Wouldn't want to upset private property owners! Access is KEY.) The twists, turns, trunks, stumps, roots, rocks and the occasional copperhead present a completely different set of challenges than do the SUVs, pickups and semi trucks that are actively assuring I am keenly aware of my mortality when I am on the road. I use the body differently. Off road I can go from near dead stops to windsucking sprints several times in a quarter mile. WAY different way to ride than trying to maintain a pace for the long haul. Riding both styles keeps the metabolism surprised. I wouldn't want to be without either one.
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Old 09-02-06, 07:48 PM   #25
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My three bikes

I have a mountain bike, a road bike and a 29" singlespeed that is great on both dirt and pavement. I enjoy riding all three bikes equally. I don't think it maters what kind of bike you ride as long as you enjoy what you're doing.
Go ride, John K.
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