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Mountain Biking Is NOT Hard

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Mountain Biking Is NOT Hard

Old 04-11-21, 05:23 PM
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Attilio
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Mountain Biking Is NOT Hard

I wanted to share that after a year of taking the plunge last April and getting a Salsa Rangefinder after doing only road cycling for years was a wonderful decision. It's an easy and fun sport that truly enhances and magnifies the available list of places to ride if you're getting sick of the same bike paths or neighborhoods or even rural scenic areas in your neck of the woods. It's also much more complex and a far more thorough workout for your entire body as well when compared to road cycling. You learn much better bike control skills.

I was hesitant because looking at the videos online you see all these crazy tricks and jumps, it seemed one level below slapping on rocket boosters and trying to fly over the grand canyon; not my cup of tea. What I was after was trail riding and my gravel bike just wasn't cutting it as any rocks or roots were a problem. What a nice way to explore power line access roads, parks, trails and fire roads. I've seen so many beautiful places that would have taken too long on foot. It's an amazing accelerator, even if I am not very good at it I can cover maybe 6-8 or more miles in a one hour period depending on the ease of the trail while even someone in good shape can hike at little more than 2mph.

I am posting this so that if people are on the fence they can be inspired. If a klutz like me who is terrified of falling, is uncoordinated as all heck and HATES stunts and risks can do it anyone can. It took me about 4-6 months to get better at it and it wasn't until I ran somewhat lower inflation pressures that the bike became truly stable and the process enjoyable. I rode a lot on snow too as the Rangefinder has big tires, not quite fat bike tires but that also taught me a lot about bike control. I would encourage this sport to anyone who wants something new and different to enjoy nature. Best thing is you outrun your scent and animals often don't know you're human until they see you so I've run into a fair number of creatures including a spooked bear that took off. Bring pepper spray just in case! Highly recommended.
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Old 04-14-21, 07:06 PM
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I think all the emphasis in advertising around the most extreme stuff (which almost nobody actually does) really turns a lot of people off trying the sport.

I have recently coaxed a number of my road riding friends into trying trail riding and they are loving it for the same reasons you are.

MTB does not need to be an extreme, adrenaline fueled endeavor. It can be like taking a hike in the woods.... but on a bike.
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Old 04-14-21, 11:40 PM
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In my region (Whistler not withstanding) a large part of mtbing is the physical workout one gets riding up hill, particularly my local system where there is no ability to ferry bikes up. Somewhat a flip from the earlier emphasis on technical downhill. I have a technical DH bike that I don't even ride anymore because it does so poorly at climbing. It's very common for people to challenge themselves on up trails that require mainly cardio and balance, not risk. On the same trails you also have runners and hikers. I tend to see groups of younger riders working the more extreme downhill trails and a mixed assortment of solo, older and families riding up and down greens and blues. Even many of the harder downhill trails have bailouts for the big jumps, gaps, drops so you can ride around them on the way down.

I've also been travelling further afield to the Kamloops area where the trails are more horizontal without a lot of technical stuff (though it's still there). The mixed bag of older riders, women and families is very apparent and it doesn't look so much like an extreme sport.. more like outdoor exercise.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 04-14-21 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 04-15-21, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
The mixed bag of older riders, women and families is very apparent and it doesn't look so much like an extreme sport.. more like outdoor exercise.
I definitely resemble that remark.......LOL. Seriously, though, I've been mountain biking on and off since the mid '80s, and while I've taken my fair share of spills over the years, at 67 I'm much more cautious on the trails that are available to us today. One bad fall and I could be out of the ball game for quite some time, but still, I haven't lost any pride whatsoever by regularly riding the green and blue trails these days. For the most part they're pretty easy and harmless, but they often times offer some great uphill climbing as well as providing a good cardio workout as well! My wife and I even started fat biking this past winter, and we've had loads of fun doing it! It's all good!
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Old 04-15-21, 09:42 PM
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It’s probably just me, but I never found riding up and down a mountain to not be hard. I find the skills required are off the charts compared to road biking.

John
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Old 04-21-21, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Itís probably just me, but I never found riding up and down a mountain to not be hard. I find the skills required are off the charts compared to road biking.

John
But if your skills are not yet up to the task, you can always choose easier trails, climb with lower gearing, or even walk through difficult sections. I don't find mountain bike climbs much harder than climbing on a road bike, except if the climbs are technical or extremely steep. They're just slower.

You need a different set of skills compared to road biking, but I don't find it more complex at all. Riding on the road also requires some skills: cornering fast on a road descent is not easy either, and it's a skill that won't work in MTB.
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Old 04-21-21, 09:08 AM
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I think it would be more accurate to say that mountain biking not not HAVE to be hard if you donít want it to be.

As I stated earlier, I largely agree with this and it is something that I think should be emphasized more often.

One caveat, though: in some areas/regions, beginner-friendly non-technical off-road option may be limited.
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Old 04-21-21, 09:47 AM
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But it really isn’t mountain biking. That’s my point. Nothing wrong with it, but mountain biking is technical.

I’m going to be 70 this year. I know what trails I can ride and am smart enough to know the difference. I know it won’t be as hard for a 20 year old. But I ride a mountain bike, I’m not really mountain biking.

John
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Old 04-21-21, 09:57 AM
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The enjoyment of riding up hill is two fold. One, it's a condensed cardio workout. That's pretty basic. Two, it allows one to refine skill sets by tackling harder and harder terrain.

Mostly that's about learning to handle and balance at low speeds and how to approach obstacles. Riding down over a root system is very different than riding up one. Negotiating steep switchbacks, powering through the turns... stuff like that. The harder the up trail, the more technical it becomes but in a slow speed, balance sort of way.

My after work rides are usually up for about 45-60 minutes on a trail that has a large number of challenges and 15 or so minutes down a harder route. Each way, each day, I try to either hit more obstacles or hit them in a better way.
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Old 04-23-21, 12:07 AM
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All this talk of up hill riding had me get out the go pro and piece together some snippets from today's up and down ride.


and the accompanying down hill run.

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Old 04-23-21, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
All this talk of up hill riding had me get out the go pro and piece together some snippets from today's up and down ride.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5xqX9TyUFY

and the accompanying down hill run.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br5qtBMDrv4
Nice!

John
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Old 04-29-21, 09:22 AM
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Thank you Thank you Thank you for your post!
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Old 04-30-21, 03:05 PM
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Newbie here. I'd link my into post but I'm not allowed to link yet but I'm right with the original poster. I know my 2013 big box Diamondback I bought is pretty much obsolete but at about a third the cost of a new bike I figured it was a good way to start if all I'm interested is one level up from hardpack paths. As I improve I might become more interested in technical but not sure I'll ever be into big speed and air.

Reminds me a lot of my 4X4 days. I enjoyed mild challenge but it ceased to be fun once the chances of equipment breakage became high. Especially since I was my own wrencher meaning I'd be out time AND expense when I broke stuff.
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Old 04-30-21, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I find the skills required are off the charts compared to road biking.
To be fair, the skills required for road biking are the same as for driving, only slower. The fitness required can be extreme as you want to pursue
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Old 04-30-21, 10:37 PM
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Yeah. I’ve never needed a dropper seat in my car.

John
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Old 05-03-21, 07:09 AM
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Around here, mountain biking is not easy, both rocks and climbing. Although they put in a trail system at a local church with trails that are much easier to ride on. But they are packed with riders, so that's an issue.
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Old 05-03-21, 08:28 AM
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Saturday's ride, representing a typical North Shore flow trail. You can go as fast as you want. This is my second time down it.

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