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Old 09-25-06, 07:00 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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First off-road ride ever!

Finally, after 2,000 road miles and 16 months, I took my Trek 3900 xc MTB off road, in a place called Rose Canyon. What a blast!!!

I only rode a bit more than seven miles, and it took an hour. I found myself WAY over my head a couple of times as the trail got VERY tricky. I fell off the bike once, and had some close calls several times. The terrain varied from hard pack dirt, to three inch deep sand, to gravel/rock. Sometimes those rocks were a couple inches in diameter, sometimes five and six inches, sometimes smooth and round, but often with sharp edges as well.

The trail was out in the open much of the time, but sometimes in a small forest area, and sometimes so narrow I was getting scratched on both sides by thorny bushes. There were some small climbs, and a couple I couldn't ride up or down because they were so steep and tricky.

I saw maybe three people out walking the trail, and two other bikers, both of whom appeared to really know what they were doing. This was my first time and my lack of skills became apparent immediately. I tried to take a few pictures (see below) but couldn't really capture much of the Oh My God twists or turns in the trails for some reason. I learned that a trail can get nasty in a heartbeat, and that shady branches (coupled with sunglasses) can hide a big problem up ahead quite easily. I also learned that some trails just come to a dead end, as the bushy picture below illustrates. That trail just stopped.

I guess I'm saying that I learned it's NOT like riding on the street! D'oh!!

But it was fun, and I got LOTS of exercise, and some sore muscles that ordinarly aren't sore, and a dusty bike to boot. I'm glad I went for this ride.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Bike-5.jpg (97.5 KB, 22 views)
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Old 09-25-06, 09:04 PM   #2
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Isn't life fun in the dirt lane every so often!

While most of my miles this summer on the old mountain bike have been spinning pavement, every so often the bike pops and creaks and says, "Let's go get dirty!"

Looks like a fun area, except for the bed of rocks
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Old 09-25-06, 09:17 PM   #3
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Way to go DG. Something new and downright exhilirating-- if you survive LOL. Always surprizes me the rare times I go on dirt how "ballsy" full on trail riding can be...I'll come creeping down to a hairpin in the trail, tentative as h*ll, and some kid will pass me, jump his bike thru a 180, and take off ... while I'm still riding the brakes. Trail riding will draw out whatever youth you have left in you... or illustrate how much you've lost. Au contraire...your pics really captured the texture of the trail...or was that trial ?
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Old 09-25-06, 09:48 PM   #4
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Welcome to the dirty side, DG. Fun, ain't it? I'm sure your bike is happy to finally do what it was made for. If you keep at it, you'll be amazed at the skills you'll develop. But take it easy. The ground is softer than pavement, but it will still scrape you up if you dive into it. I'm nursing a fresh bit of dirt rash now.

My club recently helped clear a new trail at a local Forestry Service area and it has really peaked my interest in dirt riding. Skills I had not used in years are slowly coming back. I'm sore as hell, but it sure is fun!




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Old 09-26-06, 12:44 AM   #5
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Welcome to the world of Dust, Dirt and mud. You don't do anything by halves though- Do you? That looks fantastic and you found out what a workout can be had on a decent track and those are decent tracks. You will now start wishing for rain to finally make that trail adventurous.

If I were to look at 7mph on a trail like that, I would be happy so perhaps all that road work has been good training for your real cycling.

Now about a decent bike so you can really start riding the trails-------------
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Old 09-26-06, 04:07 AM   #6
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Welcome to the dirt bag gang. It is a blast, isn't it. Since I got the Gary Fisher last month my poor road bike has been neglected in the back of the garage. I have found a great trail just a few miles from home. It's 9 miles of up/down rock gardens, baby heads, and narrow twisty parts with lots of roots and mud. It's great! Oh yea, I discovered that when riding dirt it's not so much the miles as the time in saddle. I don't think you can accurately guage the workout based on miles. Get dirty!
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Old 09-26-06, 05:29 AM   #7
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Isn't off-roading just an absolute gas! You're lucky to have a decent track accessible to your house. There is nothing like getting down and dirty to bring out the 10-year-old that's been waiting for a chance to escape. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
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Old 09-26-06, 06:19 AM   #8
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I don't get it. What's all this talk of fun? Since when was bike riding susposed to be fun. You think, Lance, Jan, Floyd, Ivan, Eddie, Fasto, or any number of others see this as fun? And keep in mind that Floyd was man enough to make the switch from fun (dirt) to real work (road); heck, he's got the testosterone to prove it. Bike riding is susposed to be work, pure and simple. Otherwise how could I convince my wife that the real reason I ride is for the WORKout I get from it?

DG, glad you enjoyed your adventure.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:44 AM   #9
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One thing to keep in mind as an off-road rider. Those trails don't just happen and they don't maintain themselves. Keep an eye open at your local bike shop or your local bike club and you'll notice there will be notices for work days to build or maintain the trails. Be sure to pitch in and help when you can so there will be plenty of good places for everyone to ride.
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Old 09-26-06, 04:22 PM   #10
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Lordy oh Lordy, Dg you've gone to the dark side and been assimilated. Here-to-for you shall be known as Darth Gee, Overlord of the Off-Road Riders
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Old 09-26-06, 05:41 PM   #11
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That sounded like it might be fun so I went to the bike shop today and they sold me a Specialized Hardrock Sport.

I took it for a ten mile or so ride through the woods on the trails nearby. My first off road on a bicycle. Deer, snakes and bugs.

Lots of sandy spots. Isn't that going to be hard on the drivetrain?

I hosed it clean and blasted the water off with the air compressor. Then I spritzed the moving bits with CLP (arfcom maintenance).
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Old 09-26-06, 06:33 PM   #12
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I can't say for sure since I've never tried it, but I don't think an air compressor is a good idea. I would be very careful even with the water hose. You don't want to force dirt and water into places it can't get out from. Poured water, soap, brushes and cloths will do a good job of cleaning the bike. I like to wipe mine down with Bike Lust.
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Old 09-26-06, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
I can't say for sure since I've never tried it, but I don't think an air compressor is a good idea. I would be very careful even with the water hose. You don't want to force dirt and water into places it can't get out from. Poured water, soap, brushes and cloths will do a good job of cleaning the bike. I like to wipe mine down with Bike Lust.
I thought bike lust was what you get when you walk into an LBS.

That said, I agree with BluesDawg -- no air compressor here. Just a light hosing off, and wipe with a clean rag. I even hang my bike to dry on the bike rack in the dining room!
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