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Old 06-23-08, 09:01 PM   #1
Terrierman
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I learned a few little helpful things about riding a mountain bike tonight

1. Wear street shoes for the foreseeable future until you get a LOT more skills, you're safer in the tricky parts.
2. Tricky includes wet slick roots, wet slick rock ledges and wet slick rocks the size of your head on wet slick rock ledges.
3. Get a bash guard for that chain ring. That frickin plastic thing that I thought was a bash guard isn't.
4. Speed is my friend in mud and soft gravel crossings. Just because I have a friend there does not make those spots easy.
5. I CAN lift the front wheel over a 6 inch log.
6. Your FD can get enough rocks and mud on it that it will stop shifting.
7. A thudbuster is starting to sound good, even though it's only day two really riding one.
8. I am going to have to do something to save my truck seats if I keep this up.
9. I think I might have an inkling why people like single track.
10. Just because the front wheel takes a six inch jump to one side or the other does not necessarily mean you are going down.

I am barely starting to see what this bike can do and it is pretty impressive, this is going to be a lot of fun.
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Old 06-23-08, 09:25 PM   #2
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8. I am going to have to do something to save my truck seats if I keep this up.
For the post-road-ride-sweaty-derrière-and-jersey ride home in the truck, I carry a huge towel to place between my stinky stature and the seat.
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Old 06-23-08, 09:52 PM   #3
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Having some fun it sounds like. But I think riding tough singletrack without clipless pedals is insanely dangerous.
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Old 06-23-08, 10:00 PM   #4
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Having some fun it sounds like. But I think riding tough singletrack without clipless pedals is insanely dangerous.
Dawg. I put my feet down probably twenty times tonight. I am going slow. The times I put my feet down if I had been clipped in nineteen of them I would have been getting up, and trying to rub bumps down faster than I was making them. I know NOTHING. This is probably NOT tough singletrack, I really don't know yet. Rremember, this is the third time EVER I have been on a mountain bike. The first time I wound up lying in the creek fastened to the bike. If I had not been clipped in, I would have stepped off and been wet to the knees.

Fun? Yeah, a lot. I suspected as much.
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Old 06-23-08, 10:50 PM   #5
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Wow, you are really out there *doing* it... I am impressed.
I've often wanted to do more off-roading with my Kaitai but riding on trails is hard work and I just don't have that level of strength. Or ability. The last time I tried riding up a trail, I gave up after having to stop 3 times because I just didn't have the "mo" to keep it going. Pavement, I understand. Dirt -I guess- is a language I don't speak.

Keep posting your progress though... maybe I'll get inspired enough to try again. Someday.
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Old 06-24-08, 04:46 AM   #6
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Most profoundest lesson of them all: your bike goes where your eyes tell it to.

Corollary: if you look off to the side of a bridge because you are afraid of riding over the side, you surely will.
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Old 06-24-08, 04:47 AM   #7
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Your going pretty hard core pretty fast there Tman....... You will find that your bike skills get much better from riding both types of bikes..................if you survive.

Besides its good to get a little variety in your riding. After a couple of months of MTB riding its going to feel really fast to go somewhere on the road bike.
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Old 06-24-08, 05:12 AM   #8
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Terrierman, What kind of bike do you have? I went to a freeride park last weekend and had a blast even without a full suspension bike. Now I'm very interested in single track and downhill.
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Old 06-24-08, 06:32 AM   #9
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SKT - I'm not doing anything yet. But I'll keep at it a while and maybe someday I'll actually do something.

TWL - I'm already terrified to look over the edge. Now you tell me if I do I am going to ride over it. I'm double terrified. Great.

Maxx - I AM enjoying it. I was not what you would call bored with the street biking, but wanted some variety. I have found it.

fusilerdan - The bike is a Felt Nine Comp. It is their entry level hard tail 29'er, which even though entry level is to my thinking a pretty nice and well made bike. It's a different day when an entry level bike is $1300. 29'ers are still pretty expensive I guess.
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Old 06-24-08, 07:46 AM   #10
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TWL is right. Don't look where you don't want to go. As I'm rolling along a trail, I am constantly looking for the smoothest line or the one with the best traction. I don't stare at the obstacles. Sometimes the bike just seems to magically go where I look. I'm applying that concept to more important things too.

Also, it sounds like you are riding in a lot of muddy and wet conditions. You may want to find some drier trails. It's easier to develop skills and it is a lot easier on the equipment (not to mention the trails).
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Old 06-24-08, 11:43 AM   #11
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Terrierman, What kind of bike do you have? I went to a freeride park last weekend and had a blast even without a full suspension bike. Now I'm very interested in single track and downhill.
I rode 10 years without suspension and I can assure you- In my group I was the one able to do all the technical stuff- I could ride the rough uphills and I was the one to catch downhill. After the bypass went front suspension to save the pain on the chest a bit- but set it up rock solid and it just took the sting out. A rigid MTB is still capable of doing all the offroad you want to do on it. Unfortunately- the rider may not.

And on those SPD's- I would definitely not use another other shoe and pedal on rough stuff. Being clipped in keeps your feet in the right place and I have mine pretty tight. Nothing worse than losing a pedal on technical stuff- or having the foot bounce off at speed over rough stuff. And the other advantage is that WHEN you fall off- you do keep your feet on the pedals so no legs flying about to get broken. Same with the arms as I have not fallen till I hit the deck. Till then the hands are on the bars trying to gain control and untill I lose the bike, Hands stay on the bars so less chance of breaking those aswell. And on the Thudbuster (I do have one on the Tandem) What are you doing sitting on the saddle for. Most rough stuff is done with the Butt hovering and I do like to shift around a lot on the saddle when climbing to keep weight distribution right. You only sit when riding on the flat- or when rear wheel lack of grip dictates you need to.
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Old 06-24-08, 12:46 PM   #12
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It always amazes me what a proper MTBike can do. This weekend we took 4 beginners out on a fairly good trail although since it's been dry, has gotten very sandy in places. All of the beginners stopped and walked through the sand although we tried to coach them on riding through. Finally I decided to show them what a bike can do. I took off, at a good rate of speed, and hit a fairly deep sand pocket. I purposedly turn the front wheel in one direction to get alittle out of control, at one point even got sideways and surprise, surprise, if I just keep pedaling and not panicing, you get through the sand. After that 3 of the beginners tried the sand and got over their fear.

Probably my most valuable MTB lesson was learning to trust my bike. Another is trusting a pedal system. I did my share of riding on flat pedals, and in cages and I now love my Time ZControl pedals. Easy in and out, especially when needed but holds tight through the rough stuff. Nothing worse than taking a good bouce and feet go all whichways!

And beginner advice, always look where you want to ride and never look at the rut, ditch, trench whatever, unless you plan is to ride through it!
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Old 06-24-08, 01:06 PM   #13
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Suspension is good. People ride the local trails here on rigids all the time. Some of them even use single-speeds. It's a perversion of the natural order. It's also hard on the knees and back, along with the wrists. Remember, this is a 50+ forum.

The Thudbuster is very helpful when you misjudge an obsticle and slam your butt down on the saddle. And you don't have to ride as much in the 'attack' position with rear suspension of some sort. It's easier on the legs.

Ultimately it's a religious issue: rigid vs. suspension, geared vs. singlespeed, sixer vs. niner, platforms vs. clipless. So keep this in mind: what you decide will affect where you spend Eternity.
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Old 06-24-08, 01:26 PM   #14
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Nah. It's all equally good. You can sail through rough stuff with a rgid bike and you can climb like a mountain goat on a full susp. bike. It just depends on what you want and how you feel about it. Best way is to have more than one type of bike. N+1
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Old 06-25-08, 11:01 AM   #15
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#11. Do not be deceived: MTBing is a young person's sport.
I just finished a 10 mile jaunt with my younger and more athletic son-in-law. I feel like I've been caned in Singapore. The only parts of my body that aren't hurting are the ones that have gone completely numb. I stopped at Cyclers' Cafe for lunch and almost didn't have the strength to cut my spinach tortilla. It was pitiful.

#12. Stapfam give good advice, but only God (or Gaia, or Brahmin, or Papa Darwin -- I don't care which one you pick) gives quick reflexes.
I avoid muddy trails, but there is one creek crossing that is always muddy, even in a draught. I cleared the creek crossing by speeding up (one of the great paradoxes in MTBing: when it gets sketchy, generally speaking, go faster) and did just fine, but then hit a mud pit the size of the LaBrea tar pits, washed my front wheel and fell, having a bar end dig deeply into the taut, muscular but surpringly tender inside of my thigh. Ouch. I have a fine bruise there now, and I'm confident it will hurt like hell in a day or two. If ischemic necrosis sets up, and especially if I get a secondary infection with flesh-eating bacteria, I'll take pictures and post it.

I'd say it was a pretty sweet ride.
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Old 06-25-08, 11:05 AM   #16
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MTBiking ain't meant for the weak, eh Link?
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Old 06-25-08, 12:31 PM   #17
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#but then hit a mud pit the size of the LaBrea tar pits, washed my front wheel and fell, having a bar end dig deeply into the taut, muscular but surpringly tender inside of my thigh. Ouch. I have a fine bruise there now, and I'm confident it will hurt like hell in a day or two.
Don't worry about it, it's only a flesh wound.

You make mountain biking seem so very fun and attractive ... NOT!
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Old 06-25-08, 01:07 PM   #18
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I rock on the mountain bike too!
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Old 06-25-08, 01:31 PM   #19
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All this talking about mountain bikes makes me feel like dusting it off again. But the brain keeps telling me to get a bit fitter.

Mountain biking is a different type of exercise. On the road you keep in prolongued pressure but at a low level. MTB's use a lower level of effort than the road for most of the time- but then WHAM- you are at 110% of what you should be putting out. It may only be sudden short sharp sprints- but they are necessary to get through the mud- get over the loose scree- get up over the lip in the trail to get out of the rut you have found- or to get up that final bit of the 15% hill that has suddenly gone to 25%.

But the difference is that MTB is fun. Road riding is good but these MTBs give you a sense of Power. The trail has to be conquered- and you are going to do it. Just remember though that MTB milage counts double when compared to Road- And you are not as Young as you think you are.
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Old 06-25-08, 03:48 PM   #20
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MTBiking ain't meant for the weak, eh Link?
It's a harsh Darwinian process foshouw.

I'd like to do a MTB race this year. I'll be in the 50+ first timer division which means I'll podium if I finish. Then I can tell my grandkids that I used to be a racer.

After that I might just hang up my Camelbak. I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff.
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Old 06-25-08, 03:56 PM   #21
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All this talking about mountain bikes makes me feel like dusting it off again. But the brain keeps telling me to get a bit fitter.

<snip>

But the difference is that MTB is fun. Road riding is good but these MTBs give you a sense of Power. The trail has to be conquered- and you are going to do it. Just remember though that MTB milage counts double when compared to Road- And you are not as Young as you think you are.
So true and I couldn't agree more.
The one trail that I've ridden with any regularity at all is closed until September or October 2008, so I don't get the Kaitai out much anymore.

I am amazed almost weekly at my development and increase in strength in my road riding but I don't feel that I have half of what I need to go off road. It's hard and it scares me.
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