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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 09-03-09, 07:51 PM   #1
smorris 
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N+1: Mountain Bike

I bought a mountain bike on craigslist Sunday.

I've never had one before. I've been riding my daughter's too small one around town with my wife. It is more comfortable on the sidewalks and gravel than my road bike. But it has been fun, so I started looking for one my size. Here's what I ended up with. Nothing special, but it fit the bill.





Here's a gallery of photos of it.

I went mountain biking on it today for about two hours on a local metroparks trail. A reasonably easy trail according to my extremely experience mountain bike racing friend, but a real trail none-the-less, with roots, rocks, logs, a stream, etc.

This was the first time I've had a bicycle in the woods since I was about 12, 44 years ago. It was a lot of fun. I eventually needed to take a breather, and after that, the breathers got more frequent and longer. I only fell once, when I got a bit overconfident and tackled a semi-dry creek bed and found the rocks were still slick. I only fell over and just got a small scrape. I'm more concerned about all the poison ivy I was riding through.

I am going to be so sore tomorrow... I can't wait to go again!
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Old 09-03-09, 09:18 PM   #2
BluesDawg
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hooked.
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Old 09-03-09, 09:34 PM   #3
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Don't do an endo and wreck your shoulder. Be cautious and careful. Sell me the bike.
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Old 09-04-09, 12:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
Don't do an endo and wreck your shoulder. Be cautious and careful. Sell me the bike.
But if he does an endo- he should have a soft pile of leaves to fall in- or 5" of mud.

That is the end of your "Good" relationship with the wife. No more washing being done- The lounge is out of the question for relaxing after rides and the Spare clothes will have to be hung in the garage till you get that bike clean and hose yourself down.

Just watch out for the trees- They do jump out in front of you.
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Old 09-04-09, 03:10 AM   #5
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You're going to find it is very fun riding in the woods.
Smart move not using clippless first time too.
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Old 09-04-09, 04:36 AM   #6
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it should ride nicely with the steel frame. Need to lose those reflectors, though.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:05 AM   #7
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Oooo your gonna have fun...
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Old 09-04-09, 07:47 AM   #8
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The reflectors were gone (including the ones on the pedals) about two hours after I got the bike home, or shortly after the photos were taken. You didn't notice the kickstand. I was specifically looking for a steel frame, preferably lugged and with a rigid fork. I just wasn't finding what I wanted on eBay or craigslist, and after a month or so of looking, went with this when it came up on craigslist. I was this close to spending waaayy too much on a brand new unsold NOS Trek 990, thought. It was a beauty. The guy lowered the price and turned it into a Buy It Now while I was at work, though, so I missed out. I probably wouldn't have ridden it in the woods, anyway.

If I'd have done an endo where I fell, I'd be one sore puppy. This metropark is rides all around several abandoned sandstone quarries from more than 100 years ago. Needless to say, the entire area is pretty rock-strewn. This creek bed was no different. I actually did OK part way across. It was only after the front wheel slipped on one large rock into another that tossed me sideways. Really the only thing sore this morning is the scrape on my shin, a spot on the top of my foot that apparently landed on a sharp stone, and the muscles around my shoulder blades. Abs are a bit tight, too, but not really sore. I'm surprised I'm not, in the words of The Who, "achin' all over!" No sign of poison ivy yet.

Clipless: Not for now, since I didn't know how much I'd be putting my foot down. There were a couple of times I don't think I could have got out quick enough. The pedals are crap, but have reasonably grippy edges. I was wearing my Merrell hikers, which have knobby soles on them that grip well, plus they have a stiff sole. I've even been using them on my road bike.

Trees already have jumped out in front of me. One section of this trail is through a rolling 2nd growth area, where all the trees are small and close together; handlebar width and a bit more, turning here and there to make a trail between them. I kept missing turns and having to fend off trees with my hands and feet. I finally realized that I was looking down and too close to me instead of ahead and planning my route. As an autocrosser and scooterist, I know the key is to look far ahead, but in the thick of the woods I was too concerned on what was right in front of my nose. As soon as I figured that out, the ride got a lot smoother and flowed better.

Now, here's the dangerous part. Part of the reason I bought this bike, was as a base for an Xtracycle. A set of Big Apples should be here today, and the Xtracycle kit on Tuesday. After last night, I realized this bike with 15" added to it wouldn't work where I was. Folks with Xtracycles insist that the combo works great off-road, but they must be riding in more open areas. So, I'm either going to have to put a kickback seatpost on my daughter's 15" GT and ride it (with the shorter-coupled bike, it really is easier to maneuver and might even be better than the KHS in the twisty areas. Fork is for crap though.) Convert the GT to the Xtracycle instead of the KHS, or find another bike either as a donor or to ride off-road. I really didn't think I was going to enjoy myself so much, and thought this one or two times before the conversion would satisfy my curiosity. As BluesDawg astutely surmised, though: Hooked!

Now how do I make a 7th bike appear in the garage without her knowing. Ah, just stuff it in between the others, the four scooters, and the MG, and she'll never notice...
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Old 09-04-09, 01:49 PM   #9
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I hear ya saying you could not see the forest for the trees...sounds like, as has been said, you are hooked. Enjoy.
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Old 09-12-09, 06:30 PM   #10
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Update (already posted all over the Utility Bike forum)



Here's the story. I've been riding the yellow GT mountain bike linked in my sig gallery for my mountain biking fix. So I sorta gained a bike since eldest daughter is riding her road bike all the time now.
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Old 09-12-09, 10:14 PM   #11
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It looks pretty special to me. I love the color.
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Old 09-13-09, 06:25 PM   #12
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http://smorris.smugmug.com/Leaning-A.../9623204_97EF8

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