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Old 02-05-21, 10:00 AM
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IdahoSpud
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New to the MTB side

OFG here (old guy). Decades ago, I used to be an avid road cyclist. After a too-long hiatus, I've decided to get back on the bike. That's all well and good, but things have changed in the decades since I rode on the shoulder of a highway... like texting. I have no problem dying while doing something I love - but getting mowed down by an inattentive driver seems... so pointless and awful. I'm still going to be road cycling, but the options are pretty limited, because I will only be using dedicated paved bike paths.

Because there are only a handful of paved bike paths available, I'm pretty sure I'll get bored to death with them in short order. So I've decided to take up mountain bike riding. I should have done this years ago, because a short distance from my house is a great place to MTB: Farragut State Park. It's close enough that I can get there without having to ride in traffic or tote my bike there with a car.



Yeah, I probably won't be riding *that* trail anytime soon. Fortunately there are plenty of others that are on flatter ground.



Please wish this OFG luck and minor crashes, as he learns the new riding skills of dealing with ruts, rocks, and roots.
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Old 02-05-21, 04:49 PM
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Welcome to the world of mtb! What's your rig of choice?
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Old 02-05-21, 05:30 PM
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I'm 69 and started mountain biking in my early 60's. Way too old to be able to really charge, but I've managed well enough on some intermediate. But I can't tell you the number of times I went down trying negotiate tougher stuff, at least tough for me.

My one piece of advice, don't buy an older vintage bike, no matter how nice it is or the level of components.

I built both my 90's bikes and for what they are, they are super solid and there are no issues... well, just one major issue. They are 25+ year old technology. Riding a mountain bike is worlds apart from riding on the road and you need every advantage you can get. I'd be working my rear end off trying to get the right line and moving my weight and there would be someone on a 29er just rolling over everything.

John
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Old 02-05-21, 08:43 PM
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Hi John,
Thanks for the reply and solid advice. I picked up a Specialized Rock Hopper 29 Sport. Entry level, which I am. I can already tell that the learning curve will be steep early on, hahaha. I'm hoping it leads to bruises and not breaks:-)

I'll post a pic here in a bit. New phone doesn't want to upload, and I'm still trying to figure out what's up with that...
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Old 02-05-21, 08:56 PM
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Old 02-05-21, 09:13 PM
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Congrats on the new Rockhopper. It is fine for a first bike to get your feet wet. Riding trails is so much nicer than dueling with traffic, especially these days.

Have fun!

John
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Old 02-06-21, 07:40 AM
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I'm with ya so far as finding sharing the road with cars less than enjoyable. Not a lot of off-road trails here, but enough that I can ride diff ones when I go off-road. I like off-road enough that I've considered moving to southeastern PA, where I used to ride. LOTS of rail-trails and mtn.bike trails in that area. But I don't miss the traffic and snow, so will most likely stay put. Have fun out on the trails--have a feeling you'll find it lots of fun, and you'll have a good time acquiring off-road skills. Like the bike!

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Old 02-06-21, 08:46 AM
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Thanks fellas. I hear you about the snow - we live about 90 miles south of the Canadian border. Funny that the day after I get the bike, we get snow, and it's still piling up - after a winter of mostly rain. Typical, LOL.
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Old 02-06-21, 02:44 PM
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Welcome! I like to recommend Ryan Leech Connection - it has some great free resources for mountain bikers. I'm sure you will ripping it up in no time.
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Old 02-06-21, 07:57 PM
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I'll take you up on Ryan Leech. Thanks for that!

OK, so I went on my first trip off the asphalt on two wheels. It was a bit more adventure than I anticipated. I found myself in the center of a dirt road with deep tire ruts on either side. The center where I was riding was frozen, slick, and covered with snow. The ruts to either side of the slick hump had broken ice shards and muddy water from previous car traffic. Not something you want to slide off and fall into, LOL.

After I got past that, it was a little less technical. Got onto an old railroad grade - which was also frozen. The frozen ground pounded my butt where the railroad ties had been pulled up. I loved every moment. Will be doing this again tomorrow, regardless of weather.

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Old 02-08-21, 09:35 PM
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Why did I wait so long to start MTB?


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Old 02-09-21, 10:50 AM
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Congrats on the new bike. Looks like you are having fun.

Just a word of caution...Bike looks muddy...Continuously riding in those conditions will destroy your drive train and brakes.

You may want to consider gravel roads as well to get away from traffic.
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Old 02-09-21, 11:50 AM
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Hi! Welcome! I live in Spokane and I ride Beacon Hill every AM!

If you ever want a riding buddy and are out this way, hit me up!

I would love to ride Farragut, Canfield, or any number of trails in Idaho too. Just takes time, man.
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Old 02-10-21, 02:53 PM
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If you ever want a riding buddy and are out this way, hit me up!
PM'ed you. Give me a bit of time to get fit (and for the weather to get above freezing), and we will hit some trails!

Just a word of caution...Bike looks muddy...Continuously riding in those conditions will destroy your drive train and brakes.
Yeah that was not my intent, that's just the condition of the roads/trails that I was on. It was a pain in the butt to clean the bike and my clothes - so I'm with you on avoiding that in the future!

Learned a new thing too. The mud likes to build up inside the front derailleur cage, then freeze when the cold air flows across it. I ended up stuck on the big chainring, and had to go up a mighty steep and long hill unable to downshift.

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Old 02-11-21, 08:50 AM
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Convert that thing to 1x drivetrain. Problem solved.

Unfortunately if you do that you'll end up having to trash the front derailleur. You can't even give a front derailleur away these days.
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Old 02-16-21, 10:30 AM
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Hi,

I just started mountain biking last year. I am really old (no kidding), but I use good judgement and stay off the really technical trails. I love being in the woods and riding without traffic. I bought a Surly Karate Monkey last year and I love it although it's really heavy. However, it is very stable and when I do fall over it goes over slowly. I did take a lesson just before the pandemic and it was the best thing I did, just to give me confidence.
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Old 02-16-21, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by benton1 View Post
Hi,

I just started mountain biking last year. I am really old (no kidding), but I use good judgement and stay off the really technical trails. I love being in the woods and riding without traffic. I bought a Surly Karate Monkey last year and I love it although it's really heavy. However, it is very stable and when I do fall over it goes over slowly. I did take a lesson just before the pandemic and it was the best thing I did, just to give me confidence.
Welcome to the world of MTB! Love that color!
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Old 02-17-21, 12:06 AM
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I have never liked riding on the shoulders of highways, texting or not. Surely there are plenty of small paved or gravel roads in Idaho that have almost no traffic. You don't *only* have to MTB.
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Old 02-22-21, 08:58 PM
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I also started mountain biking a little over a year ago and have no idea why I didn't start sooner. I was riding around the streets for several years but then made the jump to dirt. I actually started on an electric mountain bike and have since bought a used traditional bike too. It is so much fun and it can be as challenging as one would like. I still feel safer than riding on the street and having cars in the back of my mind.

It's been an adventurous and somewhat expensive journey. I've led a life of simple and old bicycle purchasing and didn't realize how much full-suspension bicycles cost.

I can't wait until the bike co-op opens up again so I can start learning to perform more service.
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