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Old 06-24-09, 02:33 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by sunset1123 View Post
Re: braking...

Learn to use the middle fingers to brake. You have much more control with the thumb and index finger gripping the bar. Feels a little weird at first, and you have to be okay with giving everyone else on the trail the inverted bird.... but this method is best when you need to have control in technical sections and still cover the brakes.
I know some guys that brake with the three outer fingers, thumb and index around the grip, works just as good. Although modern lever designs these days are shorter - apparently to cater for the two fingered braking style... but I recon it's really because of the economy.

- to save20% of the material. Imagine a factory making 600,000 levers a year, that's a lot of savings...

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Old 06-28-09, 11:51 AM   #52
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[QUOTE=TwinCam;9150078

...just because a tire has tread depth does not mean it's good. it't the sharp edges of new treadblocks that generate grip. compared to the very gradually wearing height of knobs, those sharp edges can be lost very quickly. pavement absolutley murders them. [/QUOTE]

I guess I'm screwed cause I ride my bike to work a couple times a week.
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Old 06-28-09, 11:54 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by BearSquirrel View Post
One of my biggest issues for OTB was learning to get my fingers OFF the brakes on anything technical. Fear makes you grab the brakes. I've learned to fear the brakes on technical terrain.
As a noob I fight that fear factor with the brakes every time I hit the trail.
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Old 06-28-09, 12:08 PM   #54
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I guess I'm screwed cause I ride my bike to work a couple times a week.
If it came down to getting more saddle time in my bike (dirt or pavement) or saving my tire tread, I'll grind those puppies down every time.

But if you can work out a way in the future to make your good tires (you can easily spend 50 bucks a piece) are off-road only, you should think about doing it!

You can have a sperate bike to ride. Obviosuly not practical for some.
You can change your tires.... have a bad ass set of tires not for every single time you hit the trail, but for when you really want to go out and kick ass.

You can have two sets of wheels with different tires allready mounted. And swap them out.

I do all those things to keep from messing up my dirt tires. Believe it or not, "simply" swapping wheels is probably more of a pain than changing both tires. But I think that because I can change a tire in my sleep.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:23 PM   #55
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Being relatively new to the whole mountain biking thing (< 1 year) I still have a lot to learn, but I try to learn fast.
Sunday I was out at Lake Sherando in Virginia. These were by far the hardest trails I have ever been on. Steep switchbacks had me pushing my bike for 45 minutes or so. Boulder fields made me want to give up biking all together. When we finally got to the fun part - a fifteen to twenty minute descent I was back on board whole-heartedly. I was flying and felt in control. I had more air time than I have ever had - lots of small drops at high speed. The only problem I had was when I tried to brake before a drop. No flying, just awkward drops, nose down.
The lesson- braking causes momentum to move forward causing the fork to dive and makes lifting the front end very difficult. This is the case whether using the front or rear brake. Think ahead. Brake ahead of time if you want to slow down, but let go before you hit that drop so you can return your center of mass rearward for smooth air, and a safer landing.
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Old 06-30-09, 06:04 PM   #56
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If it came down to getting more saddle time in my bike (dirt or pavement) or saving my tire tread, I'll grind those puppies down every time.

But if you can work out a way in the future to make your good tires (you can easily spend 50 bucks a piece) are off-road only, you should think about doing it!

You can have a sperate bike to ride. Obviosuly not practical for some.
You can change your tires.... have a bad ass set of tires not for every single time you hit the trail, but for when you really want to go out and kick ass.

You can have two sets of wheels with different tires allready mounted. And swap them out.

I do all those things to keep from messing up my dirt tires. Believe it or not, "simply" swapping wheels is probably more of a pain than changing both tires. But I think that because I can change a tire in my sleep.
Right now I've got one nice bike and that's about it. I don't have the finances to buy another set of wheels or another bike. I might look into a cheaper road bike eventually for riding to work(though i feel like all road bikes are so damn uncormfortable...either that or I'm just in love with the stumpy and want everything to ride like that) Maybe I just need to get good at changing tires?
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Old 07-08-09, 06:59 PM   #57
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i break some of those rules sometimes because it's more about the exercise than the fastest time/most efficient for me. just incase you ever see me 'being noob' on the trail lol
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Old 07-09-09, 08:08 AM   #58
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What does it mean to "manual off"? Also Ca7erham refers to "lightly lifting the rear wheel", how does one do that?
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Old 07-09-09, 02:50 PM   #59
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What does it mean to "manual off"? Also Ca7erham refers to "lightly lifting the rear wheel", how does one do that?
Manual - balancing on your rear tire (standing and off the saddle), with the front wheel up, usually with no pedal motion. Old-school fogeys call it a "wheelie" but that's with pedaling on the saddle.

Looooong manual this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OprLCJtChwM

Manual Off - lift the front wheel just before an obstacle, or drop, or ledge, or ravine, or cliff, or ten storey building.



Endo/Stoppie - is like a manual in reverse sometimes called a nose-manual, balancing on the front wheel while braking with the rear wheel up in the air. Those that have mastered this can actually "de-weight" and lift the rear wheel without braking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNT6R-VkiPI&NR=1


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Last edited by Pocko; 07-09-09 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 07-10-09, 10:22 PM   #60
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Thanks for the information. It was very helpful to me!
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Old 07-14-09, 06:06 PM   #61
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I can't think of a better place to post some newbie questions. If this would be better directed somewhere else, please let me know.

A little background: I'm riding a 2008 Jamies Exile 29er SS, stock. I am a complete MTB newbie.

Now that we've got that out of the way. Little help?

I took my first real mountain ride this weekend, and it totally kicked my ass. My problems included:

1) Absolute terror. Taking tight turns on narrow tracks and seeing BIG drops to either side of me. I ended up walking a lot because I just wasn't sure I could navigate a particular section, and was pretty sure that if I failed to do so, I would go flying down a cliff. Even on fairly safe sections I got pretty scared. I remember one section in particular which took me downhill over a ton of roots, then across a narrow bridge, and a small climb afterwards. My friend eventually got me to do it, but it took a lot of cajoling, and even then I felt like I was barely in control.

2) Climbing. Maybe I'm just a weak little girl, but on a lot of uphills I would find myself pedaling as hard as I could, and at some point, I would just stop. I would lose all forward momentum, and tip over. Other times, I would start to wheelie involuntarily.

3) Twitchiness and bad lines. I don't know if it was just nerves, but I felt like my front wheel was all over the place. I felt really uncomfortable on narrow passes, and I'd be wobbling like crazy. At one point I took a pretty nasty spill, as I was headed downhill on a series of about three fairly tight turns, at the bottom there was a fairly wide bridge, but on either side of it was a DEEP concrete V-shaped gutter. I took the turn wide, my front wheel slammed into the gutter, and I went over the bars. Several other times I found myself drifting slightly off the track, and because the ground was angled, I would just tip over on my side and grind to a halt.

Any suggestions? Is this pretty normal for a first ride? It's just hard to think about stuff like "keep your feet at 3 and 9" or "lean back for x, lean forward for y" when you constantly feel like you're about to careen off a cliff to your death.

edit: Platforms or clipless? I've got a set of Crank Bros. MXRs which came stock on my Exile, but I've also got a pair of 50/50s I could use. I tried riding clipless on the ride in question, but, even though I ride clipless on the street without issue, I felt really uncomfortable on the trails. Should I switch to platforms until I get a feel for it?

Last edited by Jabba Degrassi; 07-14-09 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-15-09, 03:00 PM   #62
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Look where you want to go, not where you're at. Don't focus on your front wheel.

Along those same lines, don't look at something that you want to avoid. Want to miss that tree that's right at the edge of the trail. Don't look at it; look past it. Target fixation can get you hurt.

Make sure your bike is ready to ride before you start your ride. Tires are at pressure, sag is set, chain is lubed, shifting is good, brakes are firm. You'll have a better time and so will your riding buddies.

Never forget your helmet and eye protection. Forget your shin guards; take it easy on the ride. Forget your helmet; find one or don't ride. Nothing will ruin your day faster than a rock to the head or the end of a tree limb in the eye.

It's OK to say hi, even wave. We're not road bikers!

And I'm spent...
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Old 07-15-09, 03:14 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
I can't think of a better place to post some newbie questions. If this would be better directed somewhere else, please let me know.

A little background: I'm riding a 2008 Jamies Exile 29er SS, stock. I am a complete MTB newbie.

Now that we've got that out of the way. Little help?

I took my first real mountain ride this weekend, and it totally kicked my ass. My problems included:

1) Absolute terror. Taking tight turns on narrow tracks and seeing BIG drops to either side of me. I ended up walking a lot because I just wasn't sure I could navigate a particular section, and was pretty sure that if I failed to do so, I would go flying down a cliff. Even on fairly safe sections I got pretty scared. I remember one section in particular which took me downhill over a ton of roots, then across a narrow bridge, and a small climb afterwards. My friend eventually got me to do it, but it took a lot of cajoling, and even then I felt like I was barely in control.

Keep your eyes up and focused on where you want the bike to go. Keep riding and you'll get more comfortable with riding obstacles and dealing with terrain.

2) Climbing. Maybe I'm just a weak little girl, but on a lot of uphills I would find myself pedaling as hard as I could, and at some point, I would just stop. I would lose all forward momentum, and tip over. Other times, I would start to wheelie involuntarily.

On steep climbs it helps to be up on the nose of your saddle and to bring your upper body closer to your handlebar stem. This keeps your center of gravity lower and more forward on the bike which will add stability and help keep your front wheel on the ground. The rest all comes down to getting into biking shape so you can power up climbs.

3) Twitchiness and bad lines. I don't know if it was just nerves, but I felt like my front wheel was all over the place. I felt really uncomfortable on narrow passes, and I'd be wobbling like crazy. At one point I took a pretty nasty spill, as I was headed downhill on a series of about three fairly tight turns, at the bottom there was a fairly wide bridge, but on either side of it was a DEEP concrete V-shaped gutter. I took the turn wide, my front wheel slammed into the gutter, and I went over the bars. Several other times I found myself drifting slightly off the track, and because the ground was angled, I would just tip over on my side and grind to a halt.

You have to be relaxed and comfortable on the bike. If you are tense you pass that to the bars and the bike is harder to control. Keep your elbows bent, butt up off the seat, and knees bent to absorbs bumps. Focus your attention on where you want the bike to go.

Any suggestions? Is this pretty normal for a first ride? It's just hard to think about stuff like "keep your feet at 3 and 9" or "lean back for x, lean forward for y" when you constantly feel like you're about to careen off a cliff to your death.

Ride, BS with riding friends; repeat as necessary to gain some confidence and build some skills.

edit: Platforms or clipless? I've got a set of Crank Bros. MXRs which came stock on my Exile, but I've also got a pair of 50/50s I could use. I tried riding clipless on the ride in question, but, even though I ride clipless on the street without issue, I felt really uncomfortable on the trails. Should I switch to platforms until I get a feel for it?

More threads on here about clipless vs platforms than stars in the sky. Try them both and stick with what works for you.
..
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Old 07-15-09, 03:19 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
My problems included:

1) Absolute terror. Taking tight turns on narrow tracks and seeing BIG drops to either side of me. I ended up walking a lot because I just wasn't sure I could navigate a particular section, and was pretty sure that if I failed to do so, I would go flying down a cliff. Even on fairly safe sections I got pretty scared. I remember one section in particular which took me downhill over a ton of roots, then across a narrow bridge, and a small climb afterwards. My friend eventually got me to do it, but it took a lot of cajoling, and even then I felt like I was barely in control.
Start off with easier trails and gradually hone your skills up to the level of confidence you need for those trails. OR if those are the only trails available to you, you could do some off-road skills training on flatter and wider (safer) dirt areas... practice hard acceleration (body up front) and hard braking (body pushed back) while standing up - and get used to moving around in different positions on your bike while off the saddle. Do tight figure-8's while standing... around two markers, or two trees... on flats or inclines. Also get used to tires skidding and slipping under you, that's just the way it is with dirt. Coming from road, you'd be used to static riding. A lot of MTBikers come from a BMX or MotoX backgrounds so they have already developed "dirt-skills" over the years. Read a few posts back and re-learn your hand/finder braking technique.

Explore the limits of your bike before it breaks traction... the idea is to eventually learn how to ride it even when it does.

Quote:
2) Climbing. Maybe I'm just a weak little girl, but on a lot of uphills I would find myself pedaling as hard as I could, and at some point, I would just stop. I would lose all forward momentum, and tip over. Other times, I would start to wheelie involuntarily.
You have to think ahead and be in the right gearing at all times. You get the unexpected wheelie when you're not forward enough on your bike, and you'll get rear wheel slip if you're too far forward. You'll get the hang of it, the more you do it.

Quote:
3) Twitchiness and bad lines. I don't know if it was just nerves, but I felt like my front wheel was all over the place. I felt really uncomfortable on narrow passes, and I'd be wobbling like crazy. At one point I took a pretty nasty spill, as I was headed downhill on a series of about three fairly tight turns, at the bottom there was a fairly wide bridge, but on either side of it was a DEEP concrete V-shaped gutter. I took the turn wide, my front wheel slammed into the gutter, and I went over the bars. Several other times I found myself drifting slightly off the track, and because the ground was angled, I would just tip over on my side and grind to a halt.
Bikes will always twitch over dirt... your skills will come and you won't even care in time. Bad lines happen when you're terrified because you instinctively stiffen up without knowing it. It's like a brain freeze in motion, you're not going where you want to because even though you're thinking it your body ain't doing it. Stare at a rock you want to avoid long enough, you're end up hitting it because you're not focused anywhere past that rock.

Quote:
Any suggestions? Is this pretty normal for a first ride? It's just hard to think about stuff like "keep your feet at 3 and 9" or "lean back for x, lean forward for y" when you constantly feel like you're about to careen off a cliff to your death.
Yeah, it's normal. Fear is your friend as long as it causes you to make wise decisions. Find an easier track-grade for now. There's no room for bravado against a cliff without a skill base to draw from. You'll get there.

Quote:
edit: Platforms or clipless? I've got a set of Crank Bros. MXRs which came stock on my Exile, but I've also got a pair of 50/50s I could use. I tried riding clipless on the ride in question, but, even though I ride clipless on the street without issue, I felt really uncomfortable on the trails. Should I switch to platforms until I get a feel for it?
Uhmmm, can of worms this. You have to make your own call. Try them both, then decide what you feel is right for you... a this point in time.

Just my 5c, but I hope it helps to encourage you to keep at it...

.
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Old 07-15-09, 05:02 PM   #65
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Thanks guys. I'm gonna try and find out if there are any better beginner trails in my area. I'm in Toronto, and this was the trail that begins at Pottery Road. I was supposed to do a place called Catalyst with my friend later, but I never even finished the first ride...

Anyone know of a better place to start? Or was I already on the beginner trail?

Only other thing I wanted to ask was related to shifting. I errrrr.. can't. I think I'm running 33x22 right now. The rear cog is horrible though. I'm constantly jumping my chain, even at pretty tight tension, which I've read is caused by the fact that it's basically pulled off a 9-speed casette. Since I have to replace it anyway, should I go for more teeth or does that seem a decent all-around ratio?
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Old 07-27-09, 11:05 PM   #66
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^ I do 32/11.. but maybe I'm crazy? I don't know the "Standard", I just do what feels right.
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Old 07-29-09, 08:15 PM   #67
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38 Special says it all ... "Just hold on loosely, but don't let go. If you cling to tightly, you're gonna lose control."

;]
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Old 08-03-09, 09:55 PM   #68
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This is an interesting thread. I've recently started teaching my wife to ride and I've had to take a good look at everything I do on the bike to try to explain it to her. I think she's still a bit scared, but she's learning quickly!
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Old 08-06-09, 12:29 PM   #69
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38 Special says it all ... "Just hold on loosely, but don't let go. If you cling to tightly, you're gonna lose control."

;]
agreed, this is certainly one thing I did as a noob that made riding so much harder for me.

Learn that on a long climb to use more then just your legs to get you up the hill, use the bars, engage your core, use your legs.
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Old 08-14-09, 08:19 AM   #70
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I don't have pic's, but basically just slap the do rag on your head. (mine are designed/sewn specifically to be worn on the head...not full bandana's...but either will work)

When you tie it behind your head...dont' tie it "ultra tight"...just lightly snug. The fold the bottom edge up about 1/2" or so. Where the fabric hooks back upward will make a gutter'esque sorta thingy which will help channel sweat.

They actually make a dedicated headband/gutter thingy specifically for this...I just never wanted to pay for it. (I'm sure it's more effective though)
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Old 08-15-09, 10:20 PM   #71
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When you guys were newbies, where & how did you guys practice your wheelies/manuals and endos/front manuals?

Did you do it on pavement? Dirt? Grass? I would like to gain those skills before I head out to a trail and end up injuring myself.

Also, when doing a manual, why do people "hump" the bike? Is it for balance?
Just get on the trail and start riding other wise you will never be able to get good at it. I know I am gonna get flamed for this but who cares?
I don't know what kind of trails you have near where you live but unless they are some super technical trails you will never need to do a wheelie endo or any other fancy moves picture below show the kind of trails I ride and I think they will pass as a technical, what do you think? I never have to do anything fancy to negotiate these trails.
By the way that is my buddies bike in the front and mine in the back, he hit that boulder head on and landed about 15 feet front the bike. I tossed mine to help him. You can kinda gauge his landing distance from the bike.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-18-09, 12:30 PM   #72
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Nice pics, man. Looks like some of our trails out here in NorAZ. Techy enough to be interesting.

Do you think your buddy would have crashed that hard if he had been practicing his technical skills regularly?

I think any rider can benefit from improving their bike handling skills. In really technical terrain, crashes happen for two main reasons: 1) lack of slow speed balance, 2) too much speed and wheel deflection.

So if you practice trackstanding and slow circles, you will crash less because your balance is better. If you practice endos, then you are less likely to go OTB in a panic when the front wheel gets hung up on something. Manuals are ALWAYS good for getting over obstacles more than axle high, and wheelie drops are the safest way to land any drop-off over 2 feet unless it has a really nice transition.

The bottom line is that unless you know the trail very well, you never know what will be waiting around the next corner. Better be prepared. These basic skills will also improve almost every other aspect of riding. Better core strength, coordination, control at speed and while barely moving. Telling new riders to just 'go out and ride' just results in more of the lovely carnage above.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:43 PM   #73
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Nice pics, man. Looks like some of our trails out here in NorAZ. Techy enough to be interesting.

Do you think your buddy would have crashed that hard if he had been practicing his technical skills regularly?

I think any rider can benefit from improving their bike handling skills. In really technical terrain, crashes happen for two main reasons: 1) lack of slow speed balance, 2) too much speed and wheel deflection.

So if you practice trackstanding and slow circles, you will crash less because your balance is better. If you practice endos, then you are less likely to go OTB in a panic when the front wheel gets hung up on something. Manuals are ALWAYS good for getting over obstacles more than axle high, and wheelie drops are the safest way to land any drop-off over 2 feet unless it has a really nice transition.

The bottom line is that unless you know the trail very well, you never know what will be waiting around the next corner. Better be prepared. These basic skills will also improve almost every other aspect of riding. Better core strength, coordination, control at speed and while barely moving. Telling new riders to just 'go out and ride' just results in more of the lovely carnage above.
I am not denying the benefits of the practice but you can't learn anything by sitting in front of the computer and asking bunch of questions. At some point you have to get on that bike and ride it and I highly doubt in his first ride he's gonna do anything but a fire road so he can practice all he can while he is riding not typing.
Oh and if you only knew my buddy.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:47 PM   #74
Freefallman
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The Socal trail riders forum has a good index of primarily bike radar links which provides a detailed how to on technique. I thought this was good organization but given that it's a local forum it probably gets limited exposure. See the links here.
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Old 09-08-09, 01:40 AM   #75
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Motor Biking is very thrilling & astonishing to me & want to aware much more about it. My friends Christine Freville, Mickey Everio & Junio Solihull are the best players of motor biking & are going to take part in competition on 20th April 2000.

Now i have a burning desire to compare myself with them & need usefull instructions.
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