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Old 12-12-10, 08:53 PM   #1
semsd
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I sold my MTB today

I sold my MTB today

Dirt, sand, rocks scare the crap out of me. Maybe I should start with a little background; I’ve pretty much always been a roadie. Like many of us I got back into riding after the kids and career obligations started to lessen and my waist had expanded. I even took a part-time job at a bicycle shop just for fun and discounts.

Back in 86 when I “temporarily” hung-up my cleats, mountain bikes were just starting to hit the shops. So I had no experience and little understanding of MTB’s even BMX was after my time. As I watched and learned about MTB’s I got excited about them. So about eight months ago I “got me one” full suspension, carbon, etc.; all the bells and whistles. I figured “go big or go home”, anyway there are basically 2 types of MTB riders the first and most common, people that ride them like beach cruisers and never venture off into the wild, much like the majority of 4X4 truck owner that never 4X4, and then there are the people that actually use there MTB for what it was made for, dirt! And that was what I wanted to do. Yep, I could just see myself riding up and over the Rockies or the Alps on the beautiful green side of a mountain like in a Coors or a Nature Valley commercial. Well, as Snoopy said, “Life is full of rude awakenings.”

I’m not going to get into the different schools of MTB’s downhill, cross-country, single-track, etc., but one thing is true; all MTB’s are dogs on the road. MTBs belong in their element, dirt, sand, rocks, and hills. That’s where my problem started. Being a roadie dirt, sand, rocks scare me, when my rear wheel starts to slide I panic if I get air under me I feel fear down to my core. These things are the way of the MTB’er but to me and a majority of roadies they are preludes to a crash, visions of road rash, bruises, broken bones, bent frames, scraped paint and tacoed wheels flash in my head. I even tried body armor, knee, elbow, shin, and shoulder pads, to bolster my confidence. The padding didn’t help, just made me look ridiculous, like an elderly Tron player.

Last week I went on another MTB ride with a young 25-year-old friend of mine, we only did seven miles of canyon riding I was totally exhausted. The bursts of high energy needed for MTBs is very different from the strength and endurance needed on a road bike. Four days earlier I had completed a century on my road bike but after less than an hour on the MTB and only seven miles I was done, wiped out, kaput. The kid spent more time waiting for this “old man” then riding. Not to mention my dirt fears. I finally came to the obvious and undeniable truth; I wasn’t and never would be a mountain biker. If any of you are over 50 and still able to climb rocky trails, bunny hop switchbacks and balance on boulders my helmets off to you. I sold my MTB today.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:25 PM   #2
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Sorry that it didn't work out for you. I still enjoy riding offroad. I am more of a roadie at heart and I have gradually grown to where I am taking fewer risks in the dirt, but I still like it.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:29 PM   #3
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When you miss it, I have one I can sell you! lol
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Old 12-12-10, 09:32 PM   #4
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Keep the mountain bike and ride with guys your own age. It is a blast to be able to switch between the two styles. I am 56 and rode my first century last October. I was surprised how much MTB strength and endurance I lost training for the century for two months. But I really enjoy them both. My bunny hopping has improved with clip in pedals, but there are still a bunch that I channel my CX self and just hike up a few. I have enough scar tissue. I am 56, and think that the trails are really more fun, you don't have to dress for a wind tunnel and there are no fuel fumes.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:06 PM   #5
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Yea, rocks and roots and such scare me, but I love gliding through the woods on some nice rolling singletrack. During the winter mountain biking lets you get out of the wind and cold. At least around here it does. I wouldn't think of getting out on an exposed bike trail on a cold and windy day, but those are great days to spend riding in the woods.
In fact, that is what I plan on doing tomorrow. The high is expected to reach 18 degrees F. Only problem is keeping your water from freezing.
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Old 12-13-10, 04:52 AM   #6
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I hope you got a fair price. Your bike would have been a real "cherry" to be picked.
I always have my doubts when I see expensive bikes advertised as "Lightly used by a semi-retired gentleman. Only 87.5 miles on it." I laugh out loud when the ads go on to say "New chain and cassette"
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Old 12-13-10, 07:55 AM   #7
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Keep the mountain bike and ride with guys your own age. It is a blast to be able to switch between the two styles. I am 56 and rode my first century last October. I was surprised how much MTB strength and endurance I lost training for the century for two months. But I really enjoy them both. My bunny hopping has improved with clip in pedals, but there are still a bunch that I channel my CX self and just hike up a few. I have enough scar tissue. I am 56, and think that the trails are really more fun, you don't have to dress for a wind tunnel and there are no fuel fumes.
+1, I literally SUCK at mountain biking, but it is a blast. I learned years ago that I can't hope to keep up with the younger riders. You know guys in their 30's and 40's. Dual sus is great for older folks as it saves the back. Riding a road bike helps with riding a MTB, but only so much, then it's simply conditioning to ride a mountain bike.
The comment about a mountain bike riding very poorly on the road is very true, especially late model MTBs. I have a Rockhopper and a FSR XC and both are dogs on the road, they actually ride only fair on gravel MUPs. But put them on a single track trail with lots of roots, logs, switchbacks and climbs and they are in their element.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:27 AM   #8
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For 16 years I rode mountain bikes. They did everything- Offroad- and road 100 milers. A Change of tyres to slicks for road rides over 50 miles was all I had to do. Then 4 years ago I Got a road bike.

I do enjoy the road bikes but still have a couple of MTBs and the Offroad Tandem. Only problem is that the fitness required in each discipline is different. High intensity short bursts for the MTB's and Lasting endurance for the road riding.

I may now be a roadie- but if I want fun then it is out with the MTB and get very tired very quickly.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:32 AM   #9
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I fully understand not getting into the off-road thing. I know that for me, when I'm off road, I'd rather be hiking. It's just a personal preference about the pace at which I want to move in different environments.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for the report. I'm tempted to get a mountain bike, but only to be able to ride car-free on some dirt roads that are seldom traveled. Roads like this:

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Old 12-13-10, 11:59 AM   #11
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These are often travelled- by bikes- horses and Ramblers

South Downs Way in Sussex and only 6 miles from my door.



Just face it- If you have hills like this that close- you have to ride them.
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File Type: jpg Downs view.JPG (38.8 KB, 10 views)
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Old 12-13-10, 01:54 PM   #12
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Can't give it up. Mountain biking is my safety valve to remind me that cycling is FUN, when too many commuting miles of fumes, suburban traffic and schedule pressure make me begin to question why I do it. I don't have great technical skills, but a fast ride down singletrack is a pure rush like a drug. And when I feel like a mellower day, the forests around here have many fire roads with little or no traffic that can be cruised on to pleasant vantage points.
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Old 12-13-10, 04:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semsd View Post
I sold my MTB today

Last week I went on another MTB ride with a young 25-year-old friend of mine, we only did seven miles of canyon riding I was totally exhausted. The bursts of high energy needed for MTBs is very different from the strength and endurance needed on a road bike. Four days earlier I had completed a century on my road bike but after less than an hour on the MTB and only seven miles I was done, wiped out, kaput. The kid spent more time waiting for this “old man” then riding. Not to mention my dirt fears. I finally came to the obvious and undeniable truth; I wasn’t and never would be a mountain biker. If any of you are over 50 and still able to climb rocky trails, bunny hop switchbacks and balance on boulders my helmets off to you. I sold my MTB today.
At our local mountain bike club we sometimes joke about taking a hot-shot roadie out for a trail ride. They do get really tired. However, they'd soon get acclimated if they had a mind too.

I find road lacks the stimulation of the mountain bike and I love to be in the woods, so I do 98% trail riding even at 71. Once you fall a few times, you get over the apprehension. I don't bunny hop and it's unnecessary for switchbacks. It's too risky too when there's a steep drop-off waiting for a mistake.

If your aggressive on the trail, you don't need to worry about doing intervals. They just occur naturally.

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Old 12-13-10, 05:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for the report. I'm tempted to get a mountain bike, but only to be able to ride car-free on some dirt roads that are seldom traveled. Roads like this:

You don't need a MTB for roads like that. A cyclocross bike or a road bike with clearance for wider tires would be perfect for that.
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Old 12-13-10, 05:55 PM   #15
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A "friend" of mine gave me a really nice full suspension MTB yesterday so I could try getting off the road and on the trails. Not sure it will work. I may be giving it back soon, just as you sold yours. We will see.
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Old 12-13-10, 06:35 PM   #16
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You don't need a MTB for roads like that. A cyclocross bike or a road bike with clearance for wider tires would be perfect for that.
Good to know. Now I have a reason to check out "Second Life Bikes":
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...ark_serve.html
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Old 12-13-10, 08:08 PM   #17
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Love to do both. Different experiences, different joys. While riding on beautiful roads and chalking up miles gives incredible satisfaction, navigating through the woods, crossing a stream, taking on the technical challenge of a demanding trail offers something else and personally touches my senses in a deeper way. Both are challenging, rewarding and help you know that you are still alive. There are always riders better, faster... than you. Unless you're in a race. it's not a race. Enjoy the ride, the companionship, the exercise and especially the journey.
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Old 12-14-10, 06:43 AM   #18
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Since the bike is already sold... no sense trying to talk you into riding trails again but... as I get older I find myself on the mountain bike more and more. I always thought myself a roadie at heart as well but as I get older the road scares me more and more. Of course I live in the "big city" and crazy cars and people driving them are everywhere. A week doesn't go by when there is a story in the newspaper about someone getting killed.

Yes mountain biking is hard. I always tell people "get a hint... "mountain" is in the title..." Lots of climbing involved and its hard. The technical aspects are hard as well but I look at it like this... as I get older, I need to challenge my brain more and more. What better way than doing what I like - riding - and being out in nature. As nature starts to disappear I want to be in it as much as possible.

Look at this and tell me its not beautiful and fun!



Coming down into Blackstar Canyon from the Main Divide...

For those interested, give it a go. I see lots of older dudes on the trails (in fact, most are old - I think it takes an older guys or gal's patience). There are easier trails, one with less risk. I no longer do the really gnarly, steep, rutty, dangerous stuff... no need. I stick with steep climbs and fun singletack.
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Old 12-14-10, 07:05 AM   #19
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^^ I like everything you said Pamestique. And yes, that pic is beautiful and looks like loads of fun!
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Old 12-14-10, 08:45 AM   #20
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I gave up MTB years ago because I couldn't afford to keep replacing broken parts after every ride. I don't have a lot of places to ride nearby, either. One nice state game area a mere 2 miles away, but the trails there got old after the first trip there. I guess I'm just a roadie at heart.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:58 AM   #21
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I agree that mountain and road are both good. In either case, you have to start riding the kind a challenges that are (mostly) comfortable for you, then work up to the more difficult bits as you gain experience and skill.

I love mountain biking, but I don't do the jumps or weave through the rock gardens . . . just don't feel like I have the skill (or desire) to do that. On the other hand, there are lots of trails, even single-tracks, that really aren't terribly difficult.

Regarding the feeling of the MTB tires sliding out; true, but it's just another aspect to get used to. So, you sold the moutain bike (sorry about that!) . . . you may find you really miss it!

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Old 12-14-10, 10:30 AM   #22
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Since the bike is already sold... no sense trying to talk you into riding trails again but... as I get older I find myself on the mountain bike more and more. I always thought myself a roadie at heart as well but as I get older the road scares me more and more. Of course I live in the "big city" and crazy cars and people driving them are everywhere. A week doesn't go by when there is a story in the newspaper about someone getting killed.

Yes mountain biking is hard. I always tell people "get a hint... "mountain" is in the title..." Lots of climbing involved and its hard. The technical aspects are hard as well but I look at it like this... as I get older, I need to challenge my brain more and more. What better way than doing what I like - riding - and being out in nature. As nature starts to disappear I want to be in it as much as possible.

Look at this and tell me its not beautiful and fun!



Coming down into Blackstar Canyon from the Main Divide...

For those interested, give it a go. I see lots of older dudes on the trails (in fact, most are old - I think it takes an older guys or gal's patience). There are easier trails, one with less risk. I no longer do the really gnarly, steep, rutty, dangerous stuff... no need. I stick with steep climbs and fun singletack.
Couldn't resist this (and also the image of the fire (logging) road in Washington St. (I think) from another poster! The latter reminds me so much of my first forty years on Vancouver Island ( now in SW Ontario), the former of my other 'ideal' cycling venue.
Both of you are fortunate indeed. Anyway ... although I only returned to cycling nine years ago, after a very long time away, and although I ride both mtb and road, I am very much 'at heart' a (admittedly, a non-technical) x-country mountainbiker.
I'll put it this way: I ride 'paved' probably 90% of the time, given where I live and given that I don't believe in 'driving (somewhere) to ride', but if I lived (as I used to) somewhere with ready access to dirt roads and singletrack, I wouldn't even think of owning a road bike.
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Old 12-14-10, 12:03 PM   #23
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It just depends on what you like. I find long, flat, straight rides, just for the sake of racking up miles somewhat monotonous. A few rides like that every now and then are OK, but not all the time. My road bike is definitely the least used. Road riding is good when you're trying to get somewhere.
I prefer to explore the gravel roads and trails that few other people see. I love beginner to intermediate level mtb trails. I love getting far away from everything and looking over at my mtb and seeing how that little piece of metal pipe with some wheels on it got me there.
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Old 12-14-10, 01:02 PM   #24
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I like riding out in the boonies enough that when my balance goes, I'll take to them on an an offroad trike or quad. Not so good for singletrack, but doubletrack and forest service roads would be fine riding. I'm not such a great cyclist that my ego would be set back that much...
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Old 12-14-10, 07:12 PM   #25
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I like riding out in the boonies enough that when my balance goes, I'll take to them on an an offroad trike or quad:
Actually, balance and reflexes won't go at all at least to 71 which is my age. I attribute it partly to technical trail riding and partly to maintaining those fast-twitch fibers with weight training. Fast twitch degenerate most quicly. Some researchers claim that f.t. can almost totally dissappear with age. They control balance/reflexes.

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