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  1. #1
    keeper of useful sarcasms dlwilson42's Avatar
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    do you ride up hills?

    As part of a road trip last weekend three of us from south Florida got to ride three north Georgia trails: Carter's Lake, Chicopee, and Bear Creek. We had ridden at Blanket's Creek outside Atlanta before, but these mountain bike trails had actual mountains on them.

    Down here the trails have (at the most) low rolling hills, with lots of logs thrown in. Here and at Blanket's Creek we had no problem in riding the entire trail, but on the north Georgia trails we had to get off and push the bikes up hill. A lot.

    Part of this was due to inexperience, and by the end I had gotten a lot better at balancing my weight between keeping the front wheel down and not spinning the back wheel. But some of those climbs were both steep and long. We did this on weekdays, so we rarely saw anyone else on trail. Do regular riders ride the entire trail without getting off, or is that not really possible?

    I was riding a Trek Fuel, one of the other guys had a no-name carbon fiber full suspension, and the other guy has a brand I forget, but it was light and full suspension. So I don't think the equipment was limiting us.

    I will say the downhills were outstanding. Those long, fast runs had us all grinning. And the lack of artificial log barriers and natural elephant trunk roots was nice also. I'm thinking about pre-positioning a bike at my brother's house near Atlanta, so I can just fly up and ride.

    Dave Wilson
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  2. #2
    Senior Member GreenFix's Avatar
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    I ride up hills.

    I am unsure whether you are asking if people ride up the particular trails you rode in Georgia, or if people ride up long hills in general. Around here (northern New England) most of what we ride starts in a river valley and heads up over the hills. There is definitely a lot of climbing, and most everybody does it on their bikes. The bikes I have seen on the trails include everything from fully rigid single speeds, hardtail XC , short travel full suspension XC, and 5" trail bikes. I began with a 30+ pound hardtail, and now my main ride is a softail single speed with a rigid fork. I do not think there is any substitute for getting out and climbing hills to improve your hill climbing technique/abilities.

    From your description, it sounds like you guys had it figured out by the end of your ride. You would probably be surprised at the hills you can ride cleanly the third or fourth time you ride those trails.

    Enjoy the rides,

    GF

  3. #3
    Gravel for Breakfast
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    It's all in the balance between the spinning out and popping a wheelie, as you said. If I can stay in between, I'm pedalling. Once the gravity/gravel balance goes against me, nothing can be done. I'm walking. But I take the opportunity to look at the mountains, the birds and the woods. Saw a bear once.
    Sin after sin I have endured, but the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.

  4. #4
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I ride up!! I know the type of trails your talking about. Pisgah is the same type of terrain.I do my trail riding on my 5&5 trail bike or my SS hardtail.The more you ride the better you get.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  5. #5
    klondike300 klondike300's Avatar
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    In Washington, we don't have much choice but to ride up the trails! Seems to make the downhills that much more rewarding. i've got a couple year old 4x4 that works everywhere I rid. I've ridden in flat areas and it's just a different type of riding. When you're used to doing up and back trails that have a lot of climbing, you forget that constant pedaling over rolling terrain really takes it out of you. I've never had lactic burn from climbing but got it once doing a 20 mile roller coaster trail that I never seemed to get a break from turning the pedals. Legs just quit making circles and I couldnt' even get them out of the pedals until I fell over. Scary stuff. That's the great thing about mtn bikes. The ride is never the same and everything dirt is good in it's own way.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I ride the South downs in the UK and I mainly ride the extreme eastern end. The hills and general trail riding are great, but we are used to it and know the routes uphill, the trails that require a bit of care and where we can let loose on the Down hills. We had a rider join us that rides the Downs but he lives about 30 miles away and rides that section. When he came To our end, he struggled. The hills are longer and more rutted, the trails have boggy patches that he does not have and he could not cope with the looseness of the downhill sections or the Football szed Flints that kept getting under his wheels. We know his part of the Downs and his section is steeper, faster, and rock solid under the tyres.
    He is fit, probably fitter than us, but he could not cope with our rides. He has gone back to his "Gentler" riding, that I must admit, is too hard for me to do every week.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I ride up whatever I can. But I will hike up something if the trail gets too tech for me to ride or I end up moving slower than a slow jog.

  8. #8
    Giggity giggity! Dirtbike's Avatar
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    I usually walk up hills mainly because I run a 38t single ring, and I need to conserve energy for the long technical downhill.
    Rides: 06 Demo8 II, Yeti DJ
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  9. #9
    Fight THE MAN paintballdude's Avatar
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    HILLS....I have no choice...I live on the top of one...whereever I go I have to remeber when I come back I have a string of hills to climb.
    I ride a stuntman tough frame on a cappochino pullers paycheck.

  10. #10
    Union of the Cow justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbike
    I usually walk up hills mainly because I run a 38t single ring, and I need to conserve energy for the long technical downhill.
    And exactly where are you finding these "long technical downhills" anywhere near Danville?

  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I ride up every hill i can. Its good practice. Just get in gear, in position, hands on the bar ends, and mash.
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  12. #12
    Giggity giggity! Dirtbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justsomeguy
    And exactly where are you finding these "long technical downhills" anywhere near Danville?
    Dewey's trail. Do you live in danville? I could tell you where to go.
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    Union of the Cow justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbike
    Dewey's trail. Do you live in danville? I could tell you where to go.
    LOL.

    Please.

    "long technical downhills" must have a different meaning on your planet.

    I went to high school in Danville. I now live over the mountain on the steeper, more technical side.

    There is nothing in Contra Costa county that comes close to being described as a "long technical downhill."

  14. #14
    pacifist-vegetarian biker
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    Where I ride, there are some insane steep ups and downs that I walk both ways. (After one broken collar bone, Im parniod about not having control on the drops), but for anything of reasonable steepness I ride it. As long as I can keep traction I don't mind working my ass of in 24-32. The feeling when you get to the top is great.
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  15. #15
    Giggity giggity! Dirtbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justsomeguy
    LOL.

    Please.

    "long technical downhills" must have a different meaning on your planet.

    I went to high school in Danville. I now live over the mountain on the steeper, more technical side.

    There is nothing in Contra Costa county that comes close to being described as a "long technical downhill."
    Pretty technical for me on a hardtail.
    Rides: 06 Demo8 II, Yeti DJ
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  16. #16
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    Seeing as how I live on the side of a mountain, it's basically impossible for me to go for more than 1/2 a block with out going uphill or downhill. I'd guess 85% of my time on the bike is spent climbing. Maybe more? My commute to work for example, is just over 5 minutes down and anywhere from 15 to 30 up depending on how I feel.

  17. #17
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    Cornwall is pretty hilly, and i ride every hill i find when im Xcing, if im coming back from a street sesh or dirt jumping or soemthing like that, i might walk the hills depending on the grdient, but i usually ride all of them... its a challenge.

  18. #18
    keeper of useful sarcasms dlwilson42's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I have to say, the trails around here don't seem quite as exciting anymore. Or maybe they are exciting in a different way. Trails in Florida are mostly narrow and twisty and flat, so you have to pay attention all the time, and tires and suspension setup are important. There's no climb longer than a couple hundred feet, so you just keep going fast and try to bunny hop over the logs.

    The trails we rode in GA weren't particularly narrow or twisty, instead the challenge was maintaining control on the downhills and maintaining speed on the uphills.

    One of the guys I went with keeps talking about going to the ski slopes in Colorado. He says they have trails out there that don't go straight down the ski runs, but instead sweep back and forth, so you are going downhill at a fast, but still controllable speed for a long time. Is there a name for that particular kind of riding?

    Dave
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  19. #19
    LSU Alum jameyj's Avatar
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    Check this video (http://www.pedalmasher.com/index.php...d&filecatid=67) out. It is from the 24 hours of Moab. You will see that plenty of people walk up hills including hardcore XC racing guys.

    Also, you can read these articles(http://www.mountainbike.com/skills/a...22_604,00.html and http://www.mountainbike.com/skills/a...62_604,00.html) for better "Hill Climbing" tricks.

  20. #20
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlwilson42
    One of the guys I went with keeps talking about going to the ski slopes in Colorado. He says they have trails out there that don't go straight down the ski runs, but instead sweep back and forth, so you are going downhill at a fast, but still controllable speed for a long time. Is there a name for that particular kind of riding?
    Er, that's called Downhill!

    Yeah, they use the service roads on the mountain as a base, then build in some other trails around them. Going down the ski runs would be no good because a) most are way too freakin' steep for a bike and b) the ground isn't groomed in any way - they tend to have a lot of big rocks because they were intended to only be used with a few feet of snow covering them! Plus they don't call 'em the "Rocky" Mountains for nothin'. The big mountains have several thousand feet of vertical drop, so you do end up with long runs.

    I tried it once. It was OK I guess. I felt like a dork riding the lift with my bike though and felt that the trails were a lot more suitable to my motorcycle. Some guys really like it though..........

    I like to climb though. It doesn't bother me to crank away in 22x32 for an hour plus. Coming down is fun, but mostly just a way to get back down to the bottom.



    Quote Originally Posted by jameyj
    Check this video (http://www.pedalmasher.com/index.php...d&filecatid=67) out. It is from the 24 hours of Moab. You will see that plenty of people walk up hills including hardcore XC racing guys.
    Well sure, some hills you just can't get enough traction to conquer. But around here if you didn't ride up the hills you wouldn't be going for a ride, you'd be going for a hike!
    Last edited by GV27; 06-02-05 at 10:25 AM.

  21. #21
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Racing is a different beast too. Sometimes it is quicker to job something then to ride. Also uses different muscles.

    Yeah, they use the service roads on the mountain as a base, then build in some other trails around them. Going down the ski runs would be no good because a) most are way too freakin' steep for a bike and b) the ground isn't groomed in any way - they tend to have a lot of big rocks because they were intended to only be used with a few feet of snow covering them! Plus they don't call 'em the "Rocky" Mountains for nothin'. The big mountains have several thousand feet of vertical drop, so you do end up with long runs.
    That seriously sounds lame. the dh runs here run on similar, the same or more technical terrain (stunts etc) than ski runs. (excluding peak which is definately tooooo steep for bikes)

    Hill climbing is an art. Since I am no artest I do what I can to get to the top.

  22. #22
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    They do put in stunts and stuff. But around here a black-diamond rated trail would probably be just about too steep for a bike even if it was perfectly smooth. But it's not smooth. Instead it's littered with rocks. You don't even notice the basketball-size ones in between the keg-, VW- and house-size rocks! I would guess the riding is every bit as challenging as up there. I would have thought the skiing up there would be just as challenging as here.......maybe you ride down the easier slopes? Even the easier slopes of Mary Jane are pretty steep for a bike, and most downhillers seem to like a trail they can keep some speed, hit jumps, etc, rather than butt-on-the-rear-tire, prey you don't go over the bars type decents.

    I just thought riding the chair up was lame.....

    C

  23. #23
    Senior Member alcahueteria's Avatar
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    I've ridden chicopee, only once though it's like 45 minutes away and I don't have a car. I'd say I rode up most of the hills, I'm still trying to get used to looking far enough ahead to see them coming around turns. Which loop did you run at blanket's creek because I think this "black diamond" they have there has some similar level hills.

  24. #24
    jc1
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    Old Newbie here. I hike-aBike the uphills and bounce and skid my way down the down hill. Still having fun though it does often feel like I am hiking more than biking.

    I do mostly enjoy the rolling up/down trails where the uphills are short and sweet and the downhills are long and sweet.

    If I could ever find a 12 or so mile loop that had a nice gradual, flat to down hill back to the car I would be in MTB heaven.

  25. #25
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    I ride up hills. Mountains, sometimes. It is always easier when you know the trail. If for whatever reason I can't ride up a particular hill I will walk. If I can't walk, I will crawl, dragging my bike any way I can, until I can ride again. There is nothing worse than going home, tail tucked, and having to listen to the mountain laughing at me-sometimes for weeks-until I have time to make it back to finish what I started. It helps if you ride with other people that you enjoy watching suffer.

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