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Anyone still go nuts on a Mtn bike (I think I'm getting too old for this sh**!!!)

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Anyone still go nuts on a Mtn bike (I think I'm getting too old for this sh**!!!)

Old 09-03-15, 02:53 PM
  #1  
ButchA
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Anyone still go nuts on a Mtn bike (I think I'm getting too old for this sh**!!!)

Ouch... Against my better judgement, I got out my old Schwinn Alum Comp mountain bike, raised up the seat, readjusted everything back to my size (My wife now rides it, and it was all fixed up and readjusted for her). Anyway, out of curiosity, I wondered if I can still get out there and ride a MTB like a crazy person, with no fear, no concern, and ride it like I am 24 and not 54.

***WRONG***

I drove out to one of the local parks that had a nasty, tricky, but short Singletrack Mtb trail within it. I only rode 1.95 miles total and did it in a very slow 20 minutes, which is rather understandable due to the conditions and completely different type of bicycle riding. There were so many times was slamming on the brakes, skidding to a halt, hollering to myself "Whoa..." as I went zipping around trees, down into ravines, airborne over log jumps, etc... and then I came to a very steep but short downhill section with a 90 hairpin/banked turn at the bottom! I had flashbacks of my infamous bicycle accident back in the 70's when I was a crazy teenager! But I made it down in one piece! Then on the way back through the series of switchbacks and famous dried up creek bed (where the "younger crowd" built it up like a snowboard half-pipe), I zoomed up and down through the creek bed, and felt like I jammed my left ankle on the pedal, when I carried too much speed and went airborne again! I must have landed funny on the left pedal upon impact in the bottom of the ravine! Ouch...

It was at that moment when my brain FINALLY convinced my body... (Brain speaking to body) **That's enough!! You are 54 years old, in case you refuse to admit it, okay? Look, you can't do stuff like this anymore! You keep it up and you will really get hurt! I'm not talking just tweaking your ankle or scraping your arm... I'm talking, ending up in the ER of a hospital!!!**

So, as you can see from this long winded post, I am probably going to hang it up with insane mountain bike riding and will take it easy on a Mtn bike - IF I decide to go back off road again.

Ouch... Does this sound like any of you guys, who are also over 50 and think that we can still do the stuff that the younger guys do? My left ankle or foot is killing me. I think I jammed it good on the left pedal when I came back down to Mother Earth. Thinking back to that run, I must have almost become detached from the Schwinn Alum Comp in mid-air, and landed awkward with 206 lbs coming down on my left foot and left pedal, before jamming on the brakes and skidding to a halt.

I think it's safer to ride my old '85 Fuji and stay on the pavement...

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Old 09-03-15, 03:45 PM
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My first MTB ride I was baptized in dirt, face first. That was 15yrs ago. I really didnt do much mtb stuff anyway and really just cruised with it. A few months ago I was given a like-new 2002 Trek 820. I wont go nutso on ST but I do like spirited riding. This winter I will use it at least once a month just to say I did and probably dump it a few times.
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Old 09-03-15, 04:10 PM
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I "started" mountain biking a little more than 2 years ago when I was 61.

I consider myself to be pretty conservative, but regardless, I have had a number of tumbles and an over-the-bar (thankfully a perfect landing).

I have backed off a little because I partially tore my rotator cuff on a tree branch. It is still fun.

Here is a pic my son took of me in Arizona...



John
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Old 09-03-15, 04:16 PM
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I have been mountain biking since the beginning (1980's). Not an expert but a fan and love it... fairly strong and have some technical skill but you have to be careful. April 18 I sustained a Maissioneuve fracture when trying to climb a steep singletrack, the bike flipped off the trail and I fell about 20 feet down into a ravine on my feet - ouch. Tonight after how many months, I am going to see if I can still ride. Have not been on a bike (or done any exercise I had screws in my ankle until last week) since the accident and I am little scared to find out if everything still works (and talk about losing fitness!). But still I love it and hope and pray by winter I am back to at least doing the flowy singletracks...

BTW a good full suspension bike is very helpful... I started on a rigid bike and won't go back although old timers here are back riding rigid singlespeeds...

PS I am 64...
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Old 09-03-15, 04:40 PM
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I'm 54 and mountain bike every chance I get. I still ride very technical trails but ride a little more conservatively than I did ten years ago. My wife, who is five years older than I am rides with me quite often too.

Start with some mellower trails. If you can, find riders who are better than you and watch how they handle some of the more technical bits. A more modern bike, especially a full suspension bike with make the ride much more enjoyable.
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Old 09-03-15, 05:19 PM
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I was doing a fully-loaded tour of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail a couple of weeks ago on a fat-bike. The last leg was from Tulameen to Hope and it was getting late when I came to a washed out section in the Coquihalla Canyon. I dropped off the edge and headed down to the pipeline service road that runs beside the river; not giving it a second thought.
It was a one in 4 bank of loose rocks; dropping 200 feet towards a rocky riverbed. Within a second I knew the brakes couldn't help; it was a case of "Stay-on or die." I'm 61 years old. Why do I still do such silly things?
It was definitely "I think I'm getting too old for this sh**!!!" but I did congratulate myself on bringing the fatbike on tour. I don't think I would have got down safely on anything less than 4 inch tyres.
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Old 09-03-15, 05:27 PM
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I ride my mtn bike once a week or so at a local desert preserve. I don't get too crazy, but sometimes I ride a bit faster than my skill level can handle, and I have a few scars to prove it.

I would say here in the desert it's the closest I can get to my old ski instructor days without spending a lot of cash to go freeze my butt off at some resort.
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Old 09-03-15, 08:32 PM
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Define "nuts".
I'm 65, getting back into cycling after a long absence, and I still enjoy riding at my limit.
OK, my limit isn't what it was, but that is a matter of practice and conditioning. And reflexes, but I'm ignoring that until I fix the first two issues.
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Old 09-03-15, 11:25 PM
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Well, at 60, I still consider myself pretty young. Way too young to give up the fun of mountain biking. I still ride lots of steep gnarl. All our rides are rocky and technical. As I point out to my wife (who is more of a road rider) at least with mountain biking you are generally in charge of the risks you take and most of your spills result in minor injuries. With road riding the guy cloaked in tons of high speed metal is in charge, and she's probably texting or he's been drinking. And most of your accidents are not going to be minor! Serious injuries are more often caused by road riding.
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Old 09-04-15, 04:49 AM
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I would imagine that a mountain bike rider would find it difficult to just "take it easy". It would be easier for a road bike rider to transition into a cross bike/gravel bike.
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Old 09-04-15, 07:07 AM
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I found a link... Here's a guy from 2010 with a GoPro camera on his helmet. Check out this You Tube video - - It gives you a "YOU ARE THERE" feeling!


0:00 - 0:06... That first initial drop from the parking lot circle is steeper than the video appears. Believe me, it divebombs right downhill!

00:21... That's Chippenham Pkwy on the left in the video.

00:58 - 1:01... Yes, it's easy to carry waaaay too much speed in there. The guy slowed down the video where he nearly sideswiped that tree on the right.

1:05... Finally when you reach the bottom, there is a wooden trestle crossing that you ride over.

1:41 and further... He goes into a few sections of the dried out streambed, zig zagging up and down like a snowboarder in a halfpipe. That was a lot of fun!

2:18 to end... He crosses back over the wooden trestle crossing, back to the main trail. What is not shown, since the video ended, is the long hard ride, straight uphill, back up to the parking lot. I know the video in the beginning didn't really give the best perspective, but it is STEEP! I had that old Schwinn Alum Comp all the way in the lowest gear it had (biggest cog, smallest chainring), and I was literally standing up while pedaling, and I could feel the rear tire spin a few times, as I fought to make my way up the steep hill back to the parking lot.

It's a real small park, loaded with switchbacks, and the whole perimeter is only about 2 miles or maybe 2.5 miles if that. Due to the steepness of the initial drop, you can easily carry way too much speed through the place, as you whip around the singletrack runs.
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Old 09-04-15, 07:36 AM
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I'm 61 and I still enjoy the mtb although most of my friends prefer the road. I agree with others that a full suspension bike is a big help.
With good suspension you can pick any line, the bike is much more forgiving of your mistakes, and sharp-edged bumps don't shorten your spine.
A big surprise to me was how much better brakes work with suspension. I don't see myself ever riding a hardtail again.
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Old 09-04-15, 08:09 AM
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I'm 58 and have not done any serious MTB riding in 18 years, just easy trail stuff. But I rode motocross and was doing 40' jumps until I was 48, and just bought my first FS MTB, so I will at least be trying some harder trails slowly.
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Old 09-04-15, 08:31 AM
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Not quite 50 yet, just a young pup of 48. Just got back into riding a couple years ago, not having ridden since I was teen. Last fall I didn't want to stop riding for the winter so I bought a fat bike. Started riding local trails and loved it! As much as I love my road bike, I also love being out in the woods on the fat bike not having to worry about the idiot drivers.
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Old 09-04-15, 09:05 AM
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I used a m/b for goin to work, and road stuff. Used to race to work with one or two willing participants, it was fun but sweaty.

I often fell off, taking corners in the ice soft o thing. Got knocked off by a passenger car door outside a chippie. Went flying, but got away with it.

I'm bloody careful these days. Don't want no time off retirement. Too much fun goin on. ..
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Old 09-04-15, 05:49 PM
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56 years young but I feel like 30 thanks to my bikes.

I ride this like a crazy teenager,, Sometimes there is blood and I still say those tree's like to jump out In front of me.



Oh yeah, It's a 1 X 11 now


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Old 09-04-15, 05:55 PM
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I'm 53 and thoroughly enjoy mountain biking! I started around six years ago, and learned early to know my limits or things could hurt. I ride on the edge of conservatively. So far, I have had no injuries that kept me off the bike. Plenty of bruises and scrapes though. I tend to MTB more often in the spring and fall when it is cool or cold outside.
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Old 09-04-15, 06:23 PM
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I suspect that your age has far less to do with it than your general fitness level, the skills that you once had being very rusty and the fact that the trails are now made to accommodate much more advanced machinery which have really changed the game since the days you remember. Up to you whether you want to stick to the easy trails and take it easy, or work on your fitness, gain more skill and update your bike.
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Old 09-04-15, 09:53 PM
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Yep - easy single track at 75yo. Winding trails. Some rocks and roots. I could do the video earlier displayed pretty easily, but at a somewhat slower speed. No technical stuff, however.
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Old 09-05-15, 03:24 AM
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I've just turned 68 and still enjoy mountain biking, although after being taken to ER twice in the past few years following falls, I've finally come to terms with the fact that I don't heal as well as I used to, and probably don't have the reaction times I used to, so have cut right back on the more dangerous downhill sections. I still manage to scare myself on occasions.

In just over two years on the mtb I've had two torn knee ligaments, a torn rotator cuff, nerve damage around my left quadriceps, and concussion.

There's still, however, a great freedom to be had in riding the hills and single-tracks that you don't get on the roads.

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Old 09-05-15, 05:11 AM
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I'm your age and throughly enjoy the trails. Sounds to me like you've been out of it a while and sort of "got in over your head" on a challenging and steep trail. I don't think you're "too old", I dont think I am anyway. You just ride where you're comfortable and accept you'll fall occassionally. Just have fun and dont try to ride a brainless, invincible, 20-something's ride.
Too old? Heck when I'm on my mtn bike I'm a kid again!
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Old 09-05-15, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
I'm your age and throughly enjoy the trails. Sounds to me like you've been out of it a while and sort of "got in over your head" on a challenging and steep trail. I don't think you're "too old", I dont think I am anyway. You just ride where you're comfortable and accept you'll fall occassionally. Just have fun and dont try to ride a brainless, invincible, 20-something's ride.
Too old? Heck when I'm on my mtn bike I'm a kid again!
Thanks... Yeah, I have been out of it for quite a while. I think the last time I went seriously, all out, balls to the wall, mountain biking was LAST YEAR!

After I bought the C&V '85 Fuji road bike off Craigslist, I took the old Schwinn Alum Comp that my brother-in-law gave me and set it all up for my wife to ride. I lowered the seat, lowered the stem a hair, and cleaned it all up for her. It's now hers even though it's a cheap men's 21sp Mtn bike. She just rides it here and there, around the block, or accompanies me on short 7 or 8 mile rides (by mile 5, she's already wanting to turn around and go back home...). Anyway, I guess I got a wild hair, and wanted to go back out after a year off from serious mountain biking. I set the old Schwinn back up for me and went out there, not realizing that my skills were not what they used to be. Oops..
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Old 09-05-15, 07:50 AM
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group of us all over 50 ride often. But lately I've been thinking of downgrading my riding style from aggressive to assertive. I upgraded all my body armor and my bike to a Yetisb95 and have developed a better understanding of my riding skills have improved them without adding any more risk. That said on our last trip to Mammoth my buddy and I decided to take a private lesson if for no other reason to get an objective assessment of our skill set. We picked up some valuable techniques and tips to help us improve and be more efficient and safer. But on the second to the last trail with our instructor my buddy went down on his hip and heard a popping sound. Been a couple weeks since and he thinks he pulled his groin muscle but has a nagging dull ache and general tenderness in his hip joint. So yeah..........I am dialing it back a notch!!!!
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Old 09-05-15, 11:01 PM
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I just bought a MTB after my son took me out. I've been out 3 times on the same ST and have gone down in different spots each time. After watching some Youtube videos I've figured out that my technique is terrible. I'm going back out as soon as it dries up.
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Old 09-07-15, 08:49 AM
  #25  
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I messed my thumb up pretty good a few weeks ago to avoid a limb going over the handlebars. I got going too fast on a rugged, rocky downhill section and lost control. Next thing I know I'm doing a somersault over the handlebars into some thick brush. Last thing I saw was a two inch limb in front of me. I raised my hand to avoid it and OUCH! I thought I broke my thumb. It hurt like hell. Needless to say I couldn't use the thumb shifter on the right side after that. I licked my wounds and rode the rest of the way very gingerly. And to make things worse I landed in some poison ivy. So that's just now starting to clear up. That's the third time I've gone over the handlebars in recent years. I told myself after this one that I need to take it easy. I'm 59 and still don't know better. The bike was OK though.
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