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  1. #1
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    What is XC riding?

    Is XC on a track or doing things like stairs or abusive stuff?

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    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    Depends on where/what your trails are like. One mans XC may be another mans DH. Or vice versa.

    Generally though, I think most riders tend to think of XC as along the lines of your first definition. Or define it more broadly: an XC ride is any ride when you are riding your bike on some sort of trail across varied terrain.

    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

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    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Someone else asked the same question a while ago, so I'd doing a search for a more comprehensive answer, but what scrublover said is right because I would rate his picture as AM (all mountain riding).

    Another thing to note, people also have different ratings. For example, scrublover may not recognize AM as a type of riding at all.

    I base my ratings on the categories of forks available on rockshox.com (which are XC, AM, FR, DH done in terms of fork travel), but there are trillions of ways to do it. However, I think most people would agree that XC is off-road and this, not stairs. I would call stairs urban-trials, but others would not agree.
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    i can jump very high
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    generally in my point on view , XC is stuff like single lane trails, rock gardens, 2-4 foot drops and jumps, some steep sections, and most of all, hill climbs.

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    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    oh my god dude, you've TOTALLY botched your marketing jargon here. your like SOO all mountain riding dude...

    you can't XC ride in baggy shorts! everybody knows that!

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Fisher
    Is XC on a track or doing things like stairs or abusive stuff?
    XC is cross country. Start at point A, go to point B, maybe go to point C, and possibly come back to piont A. You pedal. Up, down, over, through. If you happen to use a shuttle from point C back to point A, it's still XC. If there happens to be some stairs along the way, it's still XC. If it happens to involve some concrete or road ways to get from one side of a creek to another, it's still XC. If it happens to be in the middle of a metro area along a creek, it's still XC. If you happen to go to a ski area, pedal your bike to the top of the mountain and then enjoy the downhill back to the car, it's still XC.

    However, if you go the the skate park and spend the whole day annoying the skate boarders or go to somewhere and spend the whole day riding down and up the stairs without going somewhere, that's not XC. Or if you spend the whole day riding up a lift to the top of the mountain so that you can ride down it, that's not XC either. Those can be fun but they're not XC.
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  7. #7
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    XC is cross country. Start at point A, go to point B, maybe go to point C, and possibly come back to piont A. You pedal. Up, down, over, through. If you happen to use a shuttle from point C back to point A, it's still XC. If there happens to be some stairs along the way, it's still XC. If it happens to involve some concrete or road ways to get from one side of a creek to another, it's still XC. If it happens to be in the middle of a metro area along a creek, it's still XC. If you happen to go to a ski area, pedal your bike to the top of the mountain and then enjoy the downhill back to the car, it's still XC.
    As usual, you pretty much nailed it. I have an aversion to shuttling, but I suppose if there's 50km of highway between the start and finish, it's probably a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    However, if you go the the skate park and spend the whole day annoying the skate boarders or go to somewhere and spend the whole day riding down and up the stairs without going somewhere, that's not XC. Or if you spend the whole day riding up a lift to the top of the mountain so that you can ride down it, that's not XC either. Those can be fun but they're not XC.
    This is epidemic at our local skate park. Guys show up on their Stinky Deeluxe or VPFree with full armour and tool around doing doubles and 6' to flat drops, completely impressed with themselves. Of course, they are somehow oblivious to the BMX and skate folks doing exactly the same drops without 8"+ suspension, but throwing in a kickflip or 360 for good measure. Oi!
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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    very good question. I am listning....
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    As usual, you pretty much nailed it. I have an aversion to shuttling, but I suppose if there's 50km of highway between the start and finish, it's probably a good idea.
    As a general rule, I don't shuttle. I think, I've only done it once or twice in 20 years of mountain biking. I did it once when I had a ride that was 50 miles of single track along the Colorado Trail and once last summer when I did the Hermosa Creek Trail in Durango with my daughter. Otherwise, I figure if I'm going to do it, I'm going to ride it.

    One other beef I have with classifications...if I cared about racing...is the way in which XC races are done now. Ten laps of a closed 3 mile course is a criterium. It's not an XC race. It's more like a NASCAR event...ugh! If you're going to hold XC races make 'em XC. 50 miles of point to point. If Cindy Whitehead can do 50 miles of racing...and win...without a saddle on a rigid bike, why can't people now do the same races on their Unobtainium bikes?
    Stuart Black
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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    One other beef I have with classifications...if I cared about racing...is the way in which XC races are done now. Ten laps of a closed 3 mile course is a criterium. It's not an XC race. It's more like a NASCAR event...ugh! If you're going to hold XC races make 'em XC. 50 miles of point to point. If Cindy Whitehead can do 50 miles of racing...and win...without a saddle on a rigid bike, why can't people now do the same races on their Unobtainium bikes?

    great observation.......I feel like the mountain is quickly fading away from mountain biking.......too much armor...too much lycra...to much logos...to much look-at-me-I-am-so-cool.......

    I mountain bike to go away from all of this self indulgent narcissism......
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

  11. #11
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    As a general rule, I don't shuttle. I think, I've only done it once or twice in 20 years of mountain biking. I did it once when I had a ride that was 50 miles of single track along the Colorado Trail and once last summer when I did the Hermosa Creek Trail in Durango with my daughter. Otherwise, I figure if I'm going to do it, I'm going to ride it.
    So...besides the two rides you've noted, every one of your rides in that time period left from your front door? Or is driving to the trailhead somehow not shuttling?

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    great observation.......I feel like the mountain is quickly fading away from mountain biking.......too much armor...too much lycra...to much logos...to much look-at-me-I-am-so-cool.......

    I mountain bike to go away from all of this self indulgent narcissism......
    I do it to get away from those who complain about what others are wearing and somehow allow it to affect their experience.

  13. #13
    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    I do it to get away from those who complain about what others are wearing and somehow allow it to affect their experience.

    you are a superior human being......
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

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    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    you are a superior human being......
    You should see gastro ride!

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    So...besides the two rides you've noted, every one of your rides in that time period left from your front door? Or is driving to the trailhead somehow not shuttling?
    Let's not be too literal, okay? You know what is meant by shuttling..."I'll take my car and park it down here and we'll take your car and the bikes back up there and ride back to my car. Then we'll take my car back up and get yours" shuttling. I generally don't engage in it because it a royal pain in the kiester, especially if you have several people.

    If you only ride from your front door, your options are usually pretty limited...or will be after a very short time.
    Stuart Black
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    Thanks for the explaination. I guess I was thinking of BMX when I said course riding. So XC is harder stuff than just trail riding which can be pretty flat and unchallenging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Fisher
    So XC is harder stuff than just trail riding which can be pretty flat and unchallenging.
    I wouldn't describe the trail riding out my way as flat and unchallenging. And like others have alluded to in this thread, riding disciplines/divisions can vary depending on where you are, as well as the attitude towards any given trail.

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Fisher
    Thanks for the explaination. I guess I was thinking of BMX when I said course riding. So XC is harder stuff than just trail riding which can be pretty flat and unchallenging.
    I think you're trying to put to fine a point on it. Personally, I think there's too much division within mountain biking already. The equipment manufactures want to break it up into all these little niches so they can sell more stuff. But, honestly, each artificial division contains elements of the others. Downhillers still have gears because they occassionally have to pedal up a hill...poor bastards XCer's have shocks because they occasionally have to go down something steep and rocky. Everything else in between is just different shade of gray. Except maybe the numbskulls who throw themselves off cliffs...those guys are in a whole different world

    As for trails being flat and unchallenging, any trail can be made challenging. All you need is speed. A flat twisty trail through the woods can be challenging as hell when done at 20 mph Especially if it has lots of nice limbo sticks.
    Stuart Black
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  19. #19
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford
    you can't XC ride in baggy shorts! everybody knows that!
    Crud. Now I have to either buy different shorts or a different bike.

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Let's not be too literal, okay? You know what is meant by shuttling..."I'll take my car and park it down here and we'll take your car and the bikes back up there and ride back to my car. Then we'll take my car back up and get yours" shuttling.
    I don't think the distinction is as cut and dried as you'd like to make it. An afternoon ride I recently went on with some friends went like this: Leave vehicle in lower lot, drive bikes and riders to top of ridge. Drop in, descend trail 1 to lower vehicle. Pedal back up road until trail 2 turns off. Ascend trail 2 all the way back to upper vehicle at initial drop in point. From there, descend trail 3 to point below lower vehicle. Climb back up to lower vehicle. Drive up to top of ridge and retrieve upper vehicle. Total ride time about 4 hours, including a couple thousand vertical feet of climbing. Is that a "shuttle" (with the term's attendant negative connotations) or merely a harmless "point to point?"

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I generally don't engage in it because it a royal pain in the kiester, especially if you have several people.
    Hardly. It just takes some planning, namely some strategically placed cool beverages in the lower vehicle. They make the wait for upper vehicle retrieval much more enjoyable.

    And finally, an open question to those who categorically abhor any sort of vehicular asssistance on their rides, e.g. pinkrobe et al: Is the scenario I just described somehow less valid than a ride where I drive an hour to somewhere and do an out and back of the same duration with the same amount of climbing?

  21. #21
    i can jump very high
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Fisher
    Thanks for the explaination. I guess I was thinking of BMX when I said course riding. So XC is harder stuff than just trail riding which can be pretty flat and unchallenging.
    well it depends where you live. if you live in central ohio, that is what most of the parks and stuff will be like, since there is no hills or any remote forms of rocks formations. i go to school on OH

    however in PA, only 400 miles away, i have a ton of different parks and trails with great terrain that i could probably ride for 5 more years and not master.

  22. #22
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never
    You should see gastro ride!
    If he had, he would certainly withdraw his allegation of my humanity.

  23. #23
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    If he had, he would certainly withdraw his allegation of my humanity.
    No kidding...because no human can ride like that!

  24. #24
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    I don't think the distinction is as cut and dried as you'd like to make it. An afternoon ride I recently went on with some friends went like this: Leave vehicle in lower lot, drive bikes and riders to top of ridge. Drop in, descend trail 1 to lower vehicle. Pedal back up road until trail 2 turns off. Ascend trail 2 all the way back to upper vehicle at initial drop in point. From there, descend trail 3 to point below lower vehicle. Climb back up to lower vehicle. Drive up to top of ridge and retrieve upper vehicle. Total ride time about 4 hours, including a couple thousand vertical feet of climbing. Is that a "shuttle" (with the term's attendant negative connotations) or merely a harmless "point to point?"
    I never said there was anything wrong with doing shuttling nor do I think that driving your vehicle to the trailhead is wrong. We all have lives and don't necessarily have a lot of extra time to spend riding our bikes to the start of a ride. That's a whole other logistical nightmare. I'm all for reducing my automobile usage but I'm not going to get rid of it.

    If it were me, I would have done your ride by driving to the lower vehicle point, riding up and around all the loops and then coming back to my car. I never end with a climb. It violates Stuart's First Principle of Most Excellent Bicycle Riding: "Never end on an uphill." I only have one ride that violates that principle and if it didn't have lots of cool stuff at the bottom of the canyon to look at, I wouldn't do it

    But I'm not the carfree police. However you want to do your ride is your business. As long as you are riding and having fun, why is it any of my concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    And finally, an open question to those who categorically abhor any sort of vehicular asssistance on their rides, e.g. pinkrobe et al: Is the scenario I just described somehow less valid than a ride where I drive an hour to somewhere and do an out and back of the same duration with the same amount of climbing?
    You're the only one that can answer that. You make your own rules...we all do. I don't measure how you ride by my rules nor do I expect you to measure me by yours. I'm sure Pete will be along soon to tell us all how we are supposed to ride but he's a jerk and I don't give a gnat's ass what he thinks.

    I ride for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it to hurt myself. Sometimes it to see things. Sometimes it's both. About the only thing I'm not going to do is throw myself off cliffs. I admire people who do...I think they are batsh!t crazy but I admire them. But I've had my quota of broken bones and my wife told me that if I bring home one more cast, she was going to divorce me.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 05-23-07 at 07:45 AM.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    Hmmm...you "don't care" yet you feel the need to mention me. Interesting, and quite telling.

    You're making sh|t up Stuart. I have never told folks how they are supposed to ride. However, I have refuted/commented/laughed at a number of outrageous claims that you have made about riding, equipment, etc.

    I'll continue to do that because your wackiness is really amusing at times.
    quotation mark: a punctuation mark used to attribute the enclosed text to someone else
    refer to for illustration or proof.

    I did not say "...don't care". I said "I don't give a gnat's ass what [you] think...".
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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