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Old 08-13-08, 11:16 AM   #1
robtown
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Downhill trail for novice close to D.C.?

My son and I are complete novices when it comes to MTB riding. I'm 51 and have a Giant Sedona with front shocks. My son is 17 and has an old Klein Mantra with full suspension. He's also not fit. We have zero experience off road MTB riding. I'd like to take him to mountain type resort area within 90 minutes of Leesburg VA that has novice downhill trails.

Any trail suggestions in nearby WVA, VA, MD, or PA? Thanks.
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Old 08-14-08, 08:09 PM   #2
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My son and I are complete novices when it comes to MTB riding. I'm 51 and have a Giant Sedona with front shocks. My son is 17 and has an old Klein Mantra with full suspension. He's also not fit. We have zero experience off road MTB riding. I'd like to take him to mountain type resort area within 90 minutes of Leesburg VA that has novice downhill trails.

Any trail suggestions in nearby WVA, VA, MD, or PA? Thanks.
Try Snowshoe. I suck teh bawls at everything and I found it to be reasonable. Plus, you can rent actual big bikes there.
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Old 08-14-08, 08:33 PM   #3
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My son and I are complete novices when it comes to MTB riding. I'm 51 and have a Giant Sedona with front shocks. My son is 17 and has an old Klein Mantra with full suspension. He's also not fit. We have zero experience off road MTB riding. I'd like to take him to mountain type resort area within 90 minutes of Leesburg VA that has novice downhill trails.

Any trail suggestions in nearby WVA, VA, MD, or PA? Thanks.
I would not suggest going straight to DH riding.

Plenty of good trails in the area: Fountainhead, Wakefield, Accotink, Schaeffers
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Old 08-14-08, 09:19 PM   #4
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get comfortable just riding on XC trails first. (doesn't have to take long, just some bike handling and feeling of hitting small drops)
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Old 08-15-08, 02:14 PM   #5
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I would not suggest going straight to DH riding.

Plenty of good trails in the area: Fountainhead, Wakefield, Accotink, Schaeffers
I know there are - but my son is not fit and 5 miles of flat riding would do him in. I'd like to get him involved (special outing).

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get comfortable just riding on XC trails first. (doesn't have to take long, just some bike handling and feeling of hitting small drops)
I saw one video clip that I suspect was a XC trail and was wondering if that was what I'm looking for. Do most sites (eg Snowshoe) with downhill also have XC? I found the websites to be lacking in pictures and/or details on the number of runs, experience level, and other information that would be helpful in finding a good site.
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Old 08-15-08, 07:21 PM   #6
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If you decide to try XC check out Schaeffer Farms (near the Germantown, MD rec. park). The trails are fast and easy; perfect for beginners. Here are some recent shots:







More info: MORE
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Old 08-15-08, 11:53 PM   #7
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So I've never ridden downhill, but from what I've heard, it's just as physically demanding as XC. Even on my XC trails, I use just as much energy going down as going up, between pumping terrain and sucking up bumps and whatnot...it just doesn't take as long. Maybe a better option would be to find an XC trail that's up one way and down the other way and shuttle it, rather than a dedicated downhill trail. Or a flat XC trail.
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Old 08-18-08, 08:35 AM   #8
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Snowshoe does have XC trails, but not many green trails (for beginners) and the jump between green and blue can sometimes be pretty large, skill wise. Fun trails though! The green trails tend to be roads unpaved roads (which isn't to say boring ... one section of the road there was still fun to ride). I didn't ride the DH stuff when I was there though, but I do want to head back and ride a bike for that one day.

Having just taken some friends out MTBing for the first time, I would say hitting an XC trail would be the better choice. Just take a lot of breaks. We maybe rode 7 miles and I think that gave everyone a good taste of riding, great exercise, and they want to go back (even though maybe taking them up one of the hills was a mistake ).
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Old 08-18-08, 12:09 PM   #9
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You could head a bit north of Snowshoe to Oak Hill - Ace Adventure Center - they have lots of different trails, rafting, and camping available. Up in Canaan Valley, you have an assortment of trails at the State Park, at Timberline Resort, and on the Federal Park lands - you can contact the folks at Blackwater Bikes for trail descriptions & riding levels. Or, go to www.wvmba.com, forums section, and post your query - you'll get WV MTBers answering your questions about trails - and maybe offering to join you!
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Old 08-22-08, 08:43 PM   #10
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seems like its semantics. there is definitely a difference in down hill and downhill.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:21 PM   #11
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If your fear is that he's too out of shape to do flat riding, so your plan is to do downhill...how do you plan to get back up the hills?

Also, if your fear is that the kid is too out of shape to ride longer distances, start with shorter ones and build endurance and skills. There are a lot of nice XC rides in N. Va, probably 10-30 minutes from where you live.

Also, going straight to what most people consider downhill courses without practice on easier stuff is a good way to end up in the ER.
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