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Adventure Anxiety

Old 06-22-18, 09:57 PM
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Adventure Anxiety

I thought this would be a bit more relevant in the MTB sub-forum. Over the years I’ve spent a great deal of time looking at videos of people riding trails/downhill/etc. with a lack of ability to experience that riding. Recently I’ve found myself with the means and the equipment to actually go out and ride some “local” trails. However when I go out to try and ride the trails, I almost immediately back out.

I’ve gone out twice within the past year after looking for MTB trails near me, I drove about an hour to get to the the trails, and as I would get ready to ride I almost immediately felt overwhelmed by the size and scale of the trails that I visited. I would be worried that with my lack of fitness and experience riding singletrack that I wouldn’t be able to hold up for more than a few minutes into the ride.

The other thing that worried me was the remote-ness of the trails, and since I usually ride alone I was super fearful about getting lost. The other thing that popped into my head was wildlife, specifically bears, and what would happen if I came across one & how I should react.

Basically something that I was greatly looking forward to turned into something that I absolutely dread given the conditions. I guess I wanted to put this out there to either get some advice regarding my anxiety towards riding unknown trails.
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Old 06-23-18, 02:21 PM
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Don't sweat it. Tackle trails as you feel comfortable. As you grow in skill and confidence you will find yourself heading out on more challenging trails and obstacles.

as for getting lost, most parks have an app with a trail map. Most trails will loop back towards a common trailhead or starting point. Just get out there and have fun.

strap on a trail bell or a bear bell. You can make noise as little or as often as you please. If you need more piece of mind bear mace is readily available and will make most animals think twice about coming closer.
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Old 06-23-18, 06:33 PM
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My advice is to go on trails you are comfortable with over and over and over again until you are bored and want to move on. Go to your local bike shop and see if they provide any ride groups. Most shops will have a variety of skill levels and most people within the community like to help other riders.
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Old 06-23-18, 09:40 PM
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You are going to have fun! Bring plenty of water, you, or even someone else might need it.
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Old 06-23-18, 09:57 PM
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Nothing better than seat time to improve your skills. Just go at your own pace and don't worry about having to walk or take breaks everyone had to start somewhere.
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Old 06-24-18, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by WestWAGiant
Nothing better than seat time to improve your skills. Just go at your own pace and don't worry about having to walk or take breaks everyone had to start somewhere.
agreed! 100%
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Old 06-25-18, 12:12 AM
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Ignoring critters that have gotten used to getting fed, as some birds and squirrels tend to get, the only wildlife likely to deliberately seek you out are mosquitoes.
As far as skill goes, well how good are you at dismantling?
It’s about fun, not competition. I have no issue with getting off and walking the bike past a section that looks too intimidating.
wrt stamina, any ”official” trail will come with a distance describtion. That should let you do a ”worst case” analysis of your ability to make it round.
Apart from that, apply regular travel rules. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to get back.
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Old 06-25-18, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris
The other thing that worried me was the remote-ness of the trails, and since I usually ride alone I was super fearful about getting lost.
Is there a well-trafficked trail system - maybe in a state park or something -- where you can start riding and not feel so remote?
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Old 06-25-18, 09:19 AM
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Yeah, just get out there to the more popular trails, that have less obstacles to deal with.
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Old 06-25-18, 11:00 AM
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Try hiring a guide. That's what I did for the first few rides I went on. Helped a lot to learn about body position and also to have someone who knows the local trails.
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Old 06-25-18, 11:57 AM
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Ride more, get some skills, do a group ride, bring a phone. Just start pedaling.
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Old 06-25-18, 10:48 PM
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I had similar apprehension. I studied a map beforehand and stuck with forest service roads at first, building strength and stamina. Later on I asked a person about ready to ride from the parking lot if I could tag along, just to get the lay of the land. When I got to a junction of a few trails, I asked for information about the various choices. MTBR's are pretty friendly.
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Old 06-28-18, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris

The other thing that worried me was the remote-ness of the trails, and since I usually ride alone I was super fearful about getting lost. The other thing that popped into my head was wildlife, specifically bears, and what would happen if I came across one & how I should react.
.
They make these devices called a GPS..

Bears are more scared of you than you are of them unless you are riding in Grizzly country which you are not. They will run away.
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Old 06-30-18, 10:13 PM
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Water
Granola bar
Phone
use bug spray

I think phone gps works even if you have no cell signal.

Try Meetup groups. Maybe some riding groups in your area.
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Old 07-06-18, 11:01 AM
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Worst case, if you are in a really remote area, do some short out-and-back runs from the parking lot. 5 minutes out, 5 minutes back. Repeat to add up to a long enough ride. Walk over anything you are not confident about.
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Old 07-11-18, 10:27 AM
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Well it's been a few weeks and we haven't heard back from the OP, hope he is ok. I live in his area and there aren't a lot of dedicated mountain bike trails. It's mostly rails-to-trails, or hiking trails.
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Old 07-11-18, 10:37 AM
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Here in GJ, hiking trails/mountain bike trails are the same. Fruita (18 Road) the same, but hiking those trails are not fun at all, definitely mountain bike specific for the most part.
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Old 07-11-18, 10:46 AM
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About eight months after breaking my ankle (badly, but not on the bike), I drove over 1000 miles to Moab to ride the Slick Rock trail. I froze up in the parking lot, and couldn't even get on the bike to try it. I brought my kid with me. He was really pissed off and rode it by himself.

The thing about irrational fear is that it tends not to be rational.

Last edited by Cyclist0108; 07-11-18 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 07-11-18, 04:52 PM
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Most places have at least 1 easy loop. It still counts as mtn biking and you get better or figure out what type of riding you want to do. As far as gear and stuff I was amazed that ski mountains will just rent you full suspension bikes and pads. Skiing is one thing, going through the wooded areas downhill on a bike looks deadly. You see kids there though. I think there are easier trails and segments on access roads and other areas of the ski mountain and I'm sure many ride their brakes. Best part is ski lifts back to the top. I stick to flatish singletrack. I like down one short hill to bring me back up the other side.
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