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Mountain biking is hard!

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Mountain biking is hard!

Old 05-28-15, 11:13 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Mountain biking is hard!



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Old 05-28-15, 11:13 AM
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... took a couple days off and spent the holiday in the Methow Valley with the girl. Did some hiking, spent a night under the stars, and I got her on a road bike for the first and probably the last time. Dropped her at the hotel and tried this MTB thing out. It's fun! It's a little weird riding on a trail system though, roads feel a lot more like freedom. The last time I was at that trailhead it was on skis. Anyway, 100 feet of vert per mile feels pretty tame by comparison.





Also got to do about 5 miles on the road before her hands cramped up and she started complaining about her lady bits being sore. This was near Washington Pass. Side note: I thought a nice descent would be a good way to introduce her to road cycling, that was a bad idea. She wasn't comfortable reaching for the brakes.

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Old 05-28-15, 11:16 AM
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I love mountain biking, and I'll be getting a new rig next spring! Thanks for the pics.
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Old 05-28-15, 11:32 AM
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Sa-weet!!! Sounds like a great trip and nice shots too.

You know, I hate to say this but lately I kinda enjoy mountain biking more than roadie-ing. It is "more difficult" in a way; not uncommon to have to grind up 30+ % grades and going down is actual work too, but I can go out to the trails and just enjoy being out there and not feel like I need to bust strava segments or try and keep up with the fast dudes. I've been using the road bike for some "training" this year though, so it's not pure "do whatever I want" fun anymore.

I've learned to ride with the wife on MUPs and just go her speed and if/when a complaint comes I just have to know that we are done riding and not push her too much.
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Old 05-28-15, 12:11 PM
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Yeah, descending Washington Pass probably wasn't the best idea. That nice 7% upper section can build some real speed. The Centennial Trail from Lake Stevens north might be a better introduction. Of course a tandem with a proper fem stoker saddle is the Real Deal. Specialized Oura is easy on the lady bits. Many stokers ride in a more relaxed position than is common on modern road bikes.

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Old 05-28-15, 12:18 PM
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If I had singletrack outside my front door I'd be riding my MTB everyday.
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Old 05-28-15, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RJM View Post
Sa-weet!!! Sounds like a great trip and nice shots too.

You know, I hate to say this but lately I kinda enjoy mountain biking more than roadie-ing. It is "more difficult" in a way; not uncommon to have to grind up 30+ % grades and going down is actual work too, but I can go out to the trails and just enjoy being out there and not feel like I need to bust strava segments or try and keep up with the fast dudes. I've been using the road bike for some "training" this year though, so it's not pure "do whatever I want" fun anymore.

I've learned to ride with the wife on MUPs and just go her speed and if/when a complaint comes I just have to know that we are done riding and not push her too much.
She was really excited to try road cycling, I told her it's pretty comfortable, she wanted to be able to share time outdoors with me. And she'd never get on a bike in the city! So heading up a pretty empty mountain road seemed like a great idea. But we got a cabin, so Beth let me drop her off and then go do my thing.

Riding around on dirt roads looking for singletrack really pissed me off, but as soon as I found the trail it was a blast!

This was a rental. The lady at the shop recommended a trail that descended a while and then climbed out of the hole, which sounded wrong and unnatural. I asked if there was a good trail that got all the uphill out of the way first; she thought I was after a climb (for its own sake, not just in the right order) and I was too proud to refuse.

I'm either going to buy an MTB or go out renting them a lot. Looks like that's in the cards this weekend.

Almost all the trails on the west side of the Cascades (closer to Seattle) don't allow bikes. I'll have to drive at least an hour and a half, but usually longer, to get to any good trails I could ride. And then a lot of the best trails go into federally designated wilderness, where wheels are illegal. It's pretty frustrating, and it's why I don't already have one.

Open roads have this feeling of "I can go anywhere" but mountain trails are more like where I was meant to be.

Holy crap, it gets the heart pumping!
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Old 05-28-15, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
I love mountain biking, and I'll be getting a new rig next spring! Thanks for the pics.
I bought a new 29er a few months ago and started riding again because my 8 yr old got a mtb and wanted to ride. I forgot how much I used to love it. At 47 my old 26er seemed tiny to me. I converted it to a hybrid and kept it. The new bikes are just awesome.

Originally Posted by RJM View Post
Sa-weet!!! Sounds like a great trip and nice shots too.

You know, I hate to say this but lately I kinda enjoy mountain biking more than roadie-ing. It is "more difficult" in a way; not uncommon to have to grind up 30+ % grades and going down is actual work too, but I can go out to the trails and just enjoy being out there and not feel like I need to bust strava segments or try and keep up with the fast dudes. I've been using the road bike for some "training" this year though, so it's not pure "do whatever I want" fun anymore.

I've learned to ride with the wife on MUPs and just go her speed and if/when a complaint comes I just have to know that we are done riding and not push her too much.
As much as I love the trails and mountains it is just easier for my to ride the road where we live. We have to drive 1 hour or more to get to anything worth riding and that just makes it a long day. Road is easy. I can leave the house and log 50-100 miles and be home early.
I did buy my wife a new mtb when I bought my new one. I thought that she would want to go and we could make it a family thing. After 1 tree strike her mtb career was over. I wish that she would have liked it but it is just not for everybody. My son says that he wants to ride road bikes as well when he gets older so that will be cool. Either way, road or mtb with him will be awesome.
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Old 05-28-15, 12:22 PM
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Let's round this out with a few hiking photos. We explored a burn zone in the Pasayten Wilderness.





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Old 05-28-15, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
If I had singletrack outside my front door I'd be riding my MTB everyday.
Agreed. I have to drive 25 minutes to hit pretty awesome trails so I use the roadie after work during the week....but if those trails were 5 minutes away I would be trail riding all the time.
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Old 05-28-15, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RJM View Post
Agreed. I have to drive 25 minutes to hit pretty awesome trails so I use the roadie after work during the week....but if those trails were 5 minutes away I would be trail riding all the time.
I live 45 minutes to the nearest trails. Which sucks because I live in the country with all kinds of land that trails could be on.

Nothing like a vintage steel hardtail. I'll keep this forever.

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Old 05-28-15, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
I bought a new 29er a few months ago and started riding again because my 8 yr old got a mtb and wanted to ride. I forgot how much I used to love it. At 47 my old 26er seemed tiny to me. I converted it to a hybrid and kept it. The new bikes are just awesome.
I'm still in the 27.5 vs 29 conundrum, but I plan to solve that by demoing some bikes. I also heard that Fox was upgrading their damping next year which is why I'm waiting. I hate getting something and having something substantially better come out the very next year.
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Old 05-28-15, 12:57 PM
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I ride whatever and wherever I get a chance. Unfortunately, I only have one working bike right now - a touring bike with 700X32 tires. My mtb is out of service because I FUBARed the hydraulic calipers trying to 'fix' them.

But my wife has been saying that I need to get a 'real' road bike (meaning 'racing' bike), and she says it is kind of sad that I don't have one. However, I am starting to think my touring bike is as good as I need for road riding and I should spend $2 or $3K on a full suspension mtb. There are almost no decent roads to ride from my town anyways.

Hopefully I will have my MTB running again before bug season is over and it is safe to return to the trails.
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Old 05-28-15, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Holy crap, it gets the heart pumping!
Oh yeah, it does.

I remember the first ride back after a 15 year hiatus from mountain biking. I was following my friend on this trail that starts with a mile long climb. I'm like, "mile long climb is nothing" and thought I could lick it fine. Half way up I had to stop, catch my breath, and wait for my heart rate to go down. I does get easier though.
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Old 05-28-15, 01:18 PM
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I loved having to work!

Looks like we're spending the weekend on the other side of the Cascades, so I'll probably rent one and take it on some trails near the Icicle.

Any advice on how to pick a trail to ride? It's easy enough to figure out what's legal, but how do I get an idea what's going to be fun? Probably try to keep it under 3K ele gain, not too popular with hikers and stock, anything else?
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Old 05-28-15, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
If I had singletrack outside my front door I'd be riding my MTB everyday.
+1

Even though I'm an old man, I am without question a mountainbiker at heart. I ride "road" at home base, simply because I don't care for "driving to ride", which I'd pretty much have to do here for mtb. However, I'm fortunate enough to spend 8 or so weeks through the summer at our place in the Maritimes, where I do have singletrack -- quite literally -- out the front door. So, I keep my mtb there.

By the way, love the bike Lazyass -- there's just something about a classic 26er NORBA geometry hardtail. I have one of the last ones produced in any quantity -- a 2005 Giant Rainier (well, the frame anyway ... everything else is new/updated). Pretty hard to find this kind of bike new now, unless custom. I think even Yeti has stopped making the 26er ARC?

Edit: with any luck at all, I will some day retire back to my 'home' -- Maple Bay, B.C., in the Cowichan Valley (Vancouver Island). Three great trail areas: Maple Mountain, Mt. Tzouhalem, and Mt. Prevost (this last is where Steve Smith used to train). The trailhead for Maple Mountain (and Tzouhalem, for that matter), is literally five minutes from my sister's front door. Here's what it's like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp9HvUy9ZSI

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Old 05-28-15, 01:24 PM
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If you want to get your heart pumping then enter a race. Your first one is a rude awakening, I've seen guys hit the wall 10 minutes in. Doesn't seem to be near as many MTB races as there was in the 90's and early 2000's, though.
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Old 05-28-15, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I loved having to work!

Looks like we're spending the weekend on the other side of the Cascades, so I'll probably rent one and take it on some trails near the Icicle.

Any advice on how to pick a trail to ride? It's easy enough to figure out what's legal, but how do I get an idea what's going to be fun? Probably try to keep it under 3K ele gain, not too popular with hikers and stock, anything else?
Talk to local bike shops and their addicted customers and ask them for advice or look for facebook groups local to that area and ask questions on the trails there.

We are fortunate to have a pretty good group of locals who have no problem helping newbs, and they have helped me quite a bit this year. The trails are well kept by mountain bikers even though hikers and runners use them. We also have a bike shop located almost at the trail head and they are really helpful too....

Some times trails are designated with color coded trail markers...like green circle for easy, blue square for intemediate, black diamond for expert...like skiing. Online maps may help there. Our local loop is designated intermediate and I find it quite challenging but not impossible.
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Old 05-28-15, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
By the way, love the bike Lazyass -- there's just something about a classic 26er NORBA geometry hardtail. I have one of the last ones produced in any quantity -- a 2005 Giant Rainier (well, the frame anyway ... everything else is new/updated). Pretty hard to find this kind of bike new now, unless custom. I think even Yeti has stopped making the 26er ARC?
MTB's today are heavier. Mine is a '94 Diamond Back Axis TR almost all original, cost $1400 21 years ago. Full XT, Manitou3 fork, True Temper TT Lite steel and weighs 21lbs w/o pedals. I was looking at a Breezer alunimum hardtail last year, full XT 26 inch wheels and discs. Basically a 20 year updated version of my style bike and it weighed 28lbs. Back in the day anything over 23lbs was considered heavy for a racing hardtail.
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Old 05-28-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
MTB's today are heavier. Mine is a '94 Diamond Back Axis TR almost all original, cost $1400 21 years ago. Full XT, Manitou3 fork, True Temper TT Lite steel and weighs 21lbs w/o pedals. I was looking at a Breezer alunimum hardtail last year, full XT 26 inch wheels and discs. Basically a 20 year updated version of my style bike and it weighed 28lbs. Back in the day anything over 23lbs was considered heavy for a racing hardtail.
Sounds like a very nice bike! I'll always regret not buying a 26er Giant XTC or Stumpy when they were still around ... oh well. If I ever see one used, I'm going to grab it if it is in vgc.
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Old 05-28-15, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
MTB's today are heavier. Mine is a '94 Diamond Back Axis TR almost all original, cost $1400 21 years ago. Full XT, Manitou3 fork, True Temper TT Lite steel and weighs 21lbs w/o pedals. I was looking at a Breezer alunimum hardtail last year, full XT 26 inch wheels and discs. Basically a 20 year updated version of my style bike and it weighed 28lbs. Back in the day anything over 23lbs was considered heavy for a racing hardtail.
My '96 is a 15.5" Specialized Stumpjumper M2 frame and it is like 21 lbs with a RockShox Judy shock (which doesn't work anymore.) Top o' the line in 1996, and it climbs like a billy goat. Really, a rather nice bike. You could probably get a 29'er XC bike down to that weight but it will cost....it will roll over stuff better too.
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Old 05-28-15, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RJM View Post
My '96 is a 15.5" Specialized Stumpjumper M2 frame and it is like 21 lbs with a RockShox Judy shock (which doesn't work anymore.) Top o' the line in 1996, and it climbs like a billy goat. Really, a rather nice bike. You could probably get a 29'er XC bike down to that weight but it will cost....it will roll over stuff better too.
I sold this a year ago, but I snagged it on ebay in 2011 for $300, new in the box. '97 A1FS Stump. Back when they were actually handmade in the USA.



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Old 05-28-15, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
I love mountain biking, and I'll be getting a new rig next spring! Thanks for the pics.
Same here. If I didn't have to go 7-10 miles to ride some trails then I would do it everyday and forget about road bikes. Damn I love to ride on dirt.
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Old 05-28-15, 02:30 PM
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Is this thread sacrilege?

I'm kind of surprised so many roadies also ride MTBs.
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Old 05-28-15, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I sold this a year ago, but I snagged it on ebay in 2011 for $300, new in the box. '97 A1FS Stump. Back when they were actually handmade in the USA.
That's awesome, great deal........
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