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  1. #1
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    Got a long-unused mountain bike out of the garage this afternoon...

    I got back into cycling in the late '80s on a Bridgestone mountain bike after a 15-year post college layoff. I live near the Tahoe Nat'l Forest and did mostly mountain biking for several years, but then fell in with a bunch of road guys and for about a dozen years have ridden the road almost exclusively.
    We've had rain and snow for a few days, and this afternoon I happened to notice the old Bstone hanging from the rafters. I don't think I've even looked at it in five or six years. I hauled it out, lubed the chain, pumped up the tires and took off, just planning to ride around a little and loosen up. After a few minutes I turned up some once-familiar paths, did a creek crossing, all the stuff I used to take for granted. I learned a lot:
    1. The hills are MUCH steeper.
    2. My technical skills are gone. Probably permanently.
    3. Wet rocks are slipperier, but not any softer.
    4. It's still fun, but moderate road-bike fitness doesn't necessarily translate into mountain-bike fitness. I really thought i was in decent shape, but little sections of trail I used to manage without much difficulty stopped me cold.
    Depending on the weather where you live, it might be worth hauling out that old MB and getting out occasionally. I was amazed how my bike control skills have suffered now that I don't use them anymore.

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    I learned a lot:
    1. The hills are MUCH steeper.
    2. My technical skills are gone. Probably permanently.
    3. Wet rocks are slipperier, but not any softer.
    4. It's still fun, but moderate road-bike fitness doesn't necessarily translate into mountain-bike fitness. I really thought i was in decent shape, but little sections of trail I used to manage without much difficulty stopped me cold.
    Depending on the weather where you live, it might be worth hauling out that old MB and getting out occasionally. I was amazed how my bike control skills have suffered now that I don't use them anymore.
    You will also be amazed how quickly some of the skill and fitness will come back IF you keep doing it fairly often. Glad to hear about a Bridgestone going back into action after a long layoff.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Oh Boy-- So the New Pinarrelo is on the back burner now.

    I went road 4 years ago to "Experience" the Dark side but kept up the offroad occasionally. This winter it has been more offroad than road and I am starting to think about a few upgrades to the Bianchi. Only silly little things likes wheels and tyres- but If I get out more often- The CX I have been thinking about may be replaced with a new Whyte 19. Don't think I will warrant a better bike- but if I do then I might aswell get a decent one.

    http://www.whytebikes.com/2011/bike_...dNo=W-1-008-11

    Offroading skills you never lose- they just get rusty----although they may need a bit of wd40 or similar to get usable sometimes.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    You will also be amazed how quickly some of the skill and fitness will come back IF you keep doing it fairly often. Glad to hear about a Bridgestone going back into action after a long layoff.
    Yup use it or lose it. Glad you and the B'stone are getting back into it. Keep it up and PLEASE do things incrementally so you don't hurt yourself by pushing too much.

    Make sure the B'stone gets a complete once-over: lube the cables, etc and clean it up to get rid of .. well you know what.

    After a week or 2 treat yourself to a road-run on the roadie. You will see how you have improved there as well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    5. Older bones break more easily and heal more slowly.

  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I always find it interesting that most people I know who ride bicycles fall into one of three categories:

    - People, like myself, who ride both on and offroad, enjoying the similarities and the differences of riding the various bikes in the various conditions and terrains.

    - People who only ride on the road or smooth trails, being concerned that offroad riding will lead to frequent or serious injury.

    - People who only ride offroad , being concerned that road riding will lead to frequent or serious injury.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
    Senior Member missjean's Avatar
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    Your skills are not gone, they are just dormant! You'll find that if you don't give it too much thought & just go with the flow, just enjoying the ride, those skills will wake up and you'll be back doing all the stuff you did before.

    Your right about the road-fitness vs mtb-fitness tho - mashing a 30 lb, knobby tire bike up a rocky hill is not the same a spinning a carbon fiber road bike up a smooth paved hill.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I always find it interesting that most people I know who ride bicycles fall into one of three categories:

    - People, like myself, who ride both on and offroad, enjoying the similarities and the differences of riding the various bikes in the various conditions and terrains.

    - People who only ride on the road or smooth trails, being concerned that offroad riding will lead to frequent or serious injury.

    - People who only ride offroad , being concerned that road riding will lead to frequent or serious injury.
    I've had one of each. Broken collarbone with an ambulance ride on the road. That one required two surgeries. Broken collarbone on a mountainbike trail but rode out and drove myself to the hospital. Broke both elbows (with ambulance ride) on a smooth trail. That one required a home healthcare aid for a couple of weeks. Incidentally, all three happened during what I considered to be "easy" rides.

    I'm still riding but I've gotten a bit *** shy about doing anything that might launch me over the bars again. That includes rocky mountain bike descents. YMMV.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I've had one of each. Broken collarbone with an ambulance ride on the road. That one required two surgeries. Broken collarbone on a mountainbike trail but rode out and drove myself to the hospital. Broke both elbows (with ambulance ride) on a smooth trail. That one required a home healthcare aid for a couple of weeks. Incidentally, all three happened during what I considered to be "easy" rides.

    I'm still riding but I've gotten a bit *** shy about doing anything that might launch me over the bars again. That includes rocky mountain bike descents. YMMV.
    It's people like you that keep the orthopedic surgeons trained and ready in case any of the rest of us has a mishap. I understand your being a bit risk-averse regarding future endo opportunities.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bare Feet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post

    I went road 4 years ago to "Experience" the Dark side but kept up the offroad occasionally. This winter it has been more offroad than road and I am starting to think about a few upgrades to the Bianchi. Only silly little things likes wheels and tyres- but If I get out more often- The CX I have been thinking about may be replaced with a new White 19. Don't think I will warrant a better bike- but if I do then I might aswell get a decent one.

    http://www.whitebikes.com/2011/bike_...dNo=W-1-008-11
    With the recent blizzards blanketing all of Europe in white, you may have come down with a serious case of snowblindness and are now dreaming of white bikes! Time to "Experience" the Bright Side!!
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 - WSD
    1982 Miyata three-ten (good times!)

  11. #11
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Your fitness is probably not as bad as you think - technique is HUGE in Mountain Biking. I'll give an example, I took a tri-athlete friend Mountain Biking last year...he does 4 ironmans a year and trains like crazy. He is in WAY better shape then me. But he was a novice Mountain Biker and was working 10x harder than I was on trails that I thought were low-intermediate in difficulty. On the road he could kick my butt, offroad, I was king...

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