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Old 06-14-05, 09:31 PM   #1
Binda
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Rode my first teeter-totter...awesome!

I came back to my hometown of Houghton, Michigan for a couple of days, and hit some of the local trails at Michigan Tech. They had a beginner section with some small bridges, and a teeter-totter - dang, that was fun! It wasn't very big - only about 8' long, and probably 1' off the ground.

Riding some of the other bridges that were off the ground, it's amazing how much your mind plays into it, thinking about falling off.

I had an awesome ride - didn't fall, got all full of mud, and didn't even get lost. I'd call that a good day!

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Old 06-14-05, 09:38 PM   #2
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Riding some of the other bridges that were off the ground, it's amazing how much your mind plays into it, thinking about falling off.

It's kind of weird how you can perfectly balance on a skinny directly on the ground, but if it's 2 or 3 feet high then it's a whole difference situation. You start thinking about what would happen if you fall and then you get distracted.

BTW, have any pics?
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Old 06-14-05, 09:43 PM   #3
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Skinnies freak me out - I've been practing on painted lines on roads, and also on riding on curbs, but still have a hard time.

No pics... I was gonna have a friend take a pic of the mess, but the batteries on my camera died.

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Old 06-14-05, 10:20 PM   #4
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To be honest, I don't find practicing on curbs or lines help. You should have the basic skills as a mountain biker to due normal width skinnies etc. A line or curb doesn't give you that mind screw that you need that makes skinny riding difficult. The best place to practice skinnies is on skinnies

Congrats on the conquest ...its always good to defeat your fear. Each one is a great new step
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Old 06-15-05, 08:48 AM   #5
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Interesting that you found riding lines, etc. didn't help....

I guess I'm still learning, and still have balance issues - I couldn't ride on a narrow curb before, but can now. Still working on being able to manuver my bike around - bunny hops, tight turns, missing large trees on descents....

All in time, I guess. I'll have to hunt down some 'easier' skinnies and local trails and see what I can do. No pain, no gain, right?

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Old 06-15-05, 09:19 AM   #6
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I find curb-riding helps, actually. Although it's better if the curb drops at least a bit on both sides to give honest tire slippage if you wander off of it.

Maybe it helps that when I ride an actual skinny I form a mental picture of a curb...
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Old 06-15-05, 09:32 AM   #7
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I think I suck at visualizing. There is no risk to a curb. You only have on direction to fall off and it is 4inches. Most skinnies don't sit that low and are wider (mostly) and you can fall both directions into, at least in my area, dead wood and other misc crap. That risk is what has always been the challenge. Not the skinny itself, for the most t part


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Maybe it helps that when I ride an actual skinny I form a mental picture of a curb...
Good idea. I am riding my favoriate stunt trail this afternoone I might have to try that
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Old 06-15-05, 10:07 AM   #8
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I think curbs help if you've never ridden something skinny. there are different levels of riding skills...

the thing is, most of it is in your head. if you can ride a bike, you can ride in a strait line.

try this, get on your bike, ride through a puddle and then look forward 50 feet or so and just ride for a ways. then stop and look back at your tire tracks. (if you do this on cement, it's usually easier to see your path)
chances are, your tire path will be not much wider then your tires and be in a strait line.

my tip for riding skinny stuff is to keep my momentum (the key to most riding) and to look further ahead.
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Old 06-15-05, 02:32 PM   #9
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I almost went to tech for school, I saw some pics o the trails taht are out there, they look amazing i herd some guys from the college built up some sick stuff, we are thinking of taking a trip to the UP to ride...
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Old 06-15-05, 04:48 PM   #10
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I almost went to tech for school, I saw some pics o the trails taht are out there, they look amazing i herd some guys from the college built up some sick stuff, we are thinking of taking a trip to the UP to ride...
I'll be going to Mich Tech next year. I'm really looking forward to riding the trails up there...nothing good where I live. I think I might try to get in the group that works on the trails and contribute my time.
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Old 06-15-05, 06:13 PM   #11
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Tech does have some nice trails - the system I was on (which is really close to campus) has about 18 miles of stuff to ride on. Lots of bridges, skinnies, and decent single track. Link: Tech Trails They are really well mapped too. Copper Harbor (about an hour north) has some sweet trails too I hear - I have yet to ride up there. Where are you at now that the trails aren't good?

Psyko: If you ever get up to the U.P. make sure to hit some trails in Marquette - we have some awesome stuff here. The local bike shops all do weekly rides, and I'd be willing to show you where some trails are too. Miles upon miles of great singletrack up here, and some bridges and skinnies from what I hear, although I've yet to find them. (not that i'd ride those suckers!

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Old 06-15-05, 06:18 PM   #12
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how wide are skinnies? +/- a foot?
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Old 06-15-05, 07:26 PM   #13
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This thread takes me back about 10 years ago when a Buddy & me would ride rock walls that were about 5' off the ground. We really never even thought "What could happen" since we were usually pretty high @ the time....

Kid's, don't follow my example....
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Old 06-15-05, 07:55 PM   #14
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I live about 2 hours south of Houghton. There are some ok XC trails around but there are no places like Tech Trails with Freeride areas and people dedicated to trail upkeep. I have a brother who goes to MTU so I know the area pretty well, but I've never been on the trails before.
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