Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little back ground In Oct of 04 bought my first mountain bike, it was a releigh m-80, couldn't believe I was spending a $500 on a bike. I was 28 years old at the time and had not ridden a bike since before the age of 15. I took the bike out for the first ride on an XC trail and had balls of fun up until I fell and apparently broke my foot and ankle. That’s right the very first ride. It took 3 months basically for me to heal, go through rehab and give the sport another look. I remember people asking me at work: “So are you going to sell the bike”. My answer was always no through the whole ordeal, I was on crutches for 8 weeks do to the jones fracture in my right foot. To be honest I was questioning rather I should get back on the bike, I mean to have an accident like the when you try something for the first time, I think anybody would question it.

So after I was healed up and had the ok from the doctor I took the bike back out. The accident happened on a downhill, nothing technical or even steep for that matter. I was very scared. This is going to sound bad, but when I came to downhills I got off the bike and walked down the first couple of downhills I came to. This was temporary, but none the less, you have one crash and brake bones on the first crash your mind tells you a lot of bind things about the next crash. I eventually had the next crash and discovered that I was going to end up in the ER every time I crashed although I did break my nose a year later. The great part about these early days is every time I went out to ride I felt like I pushed my self in new ways. I had to face fear like I never faced it before. Sure I had faced fear before but not like this. I know this is common phrase to be used, but it was a great rush. After every ride I felt great, it is hard to explain.

In early 06 I upgraded to a Turner Flux. I was heavily influenced by the local XC scene and was convinced that was the route I was going with the sport. The Flux was a great bike, it handled really well and I had a lot of fun on it. I ended up doing 12 or 13 races in 06, I managed to move from the beginner category to placing mid pack in the sport category. However towards the end of 06 I started to be turned off the XC scene. It seemed to me a lot of my competitors where more interested in cadence and heart rates than actually riding on an MTB course with technical challenge. Not that I was a great technical rider, but none the less I had a great appreciation for it. My favorite part of the trails is the technical stuff and to me mountain bike racing should be about how fast you get over the technical stuff while on the bike. Also the lack of trail ethics exhibited the XC scene was another issue that was turning me off. Most importantly I realized the racing XC was really not going to make a better Mountain biker. Sure it would get me in shape, but I wasn’t really going to develop and progress the way I wanted to doing laps around what essentially amounted to dirt paths. It just wasn’t the same.

In 07 I just rode my bike. I did 10 out of state trips. I live in KY, I went to WV, VR, TN, and NC. I did 3 trips to Pisgah alone. I had a lot of fun, but the Flux didn’t. It broke twice, the guys at Turner where great and treated me well. I ended up being upgraded to Spot towards the end of 07. It was the bike I should of got to begin with. In late summer of 07 I took my first trip to snow shoe. I rented a bike and had a ball. I had so much fun I took a second trip it was close to the last weekend they were open for Mountain biking. Both trips were great. I didn’t do any big drops or jumps but I rode things that scared the crap out of me, and I loved every minute of it.

This past weekend I bought a used downhill bike (specialized big hit). I am planning a snow shoe trip soon. We have some local trails that have downhill flavor, they have descent table tops, some decent doubles and some small 2 to 3 foot drops that I am going to work on hitting. I did my first ride on the bike, it was an urban ride, I worked on getting use to the bike mainly. I m really pumped up about it. I feel like I am going to be able to take my riding in new directions. Don't worry, I have all of the protection, pressure suit, knee and shin guards, full face helmet, the heavy duty gloves. I want to push my self, but I have been injured before and I know at 31 I am not going to heal as fast as I once did.

Any tips on good ways to progress my riding are welcomed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Great to see that your initial injuries didn't discourage you. I'm pretty new to this whole DH/FR thing myself but I've made a lot of progress so far this season. My advice to you is to step outside your comfort zone little by little. If you've never dropped before, don't go directly to a 5 footer, start with the small ones, like you've been doing. I've also found that watching other people hit trail features and/or inspecting the features before you hit them is very helpful. I rarely hit something the first time I come across it without getting off the bike and looking at it first. Some might call me wimpy, but that's what I'm most comfortable doing.

Above all, ride as frequently as possible. Even though you're just starting out, the rust will start to build up if you miss a weekend of riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Nice to read your story. Welcome to the darkside! I am 45, almost 46 and I still love downhill riding! I met a guy recently that was 57 hitting huge doubles!

I just take things slow and easy. I want to be able to ride tomorrow. I broke 3 ribs a few years ago when my britches got too big. That is something I don't want to go through again.I know there are risks and I push the envelope now and then.

It's nice to hit something that I have been thinking about for a while. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I do succeed in the obstacle that I am working on.

I don't ride for the fitness, I ride for the rush.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
Rock on dude. I live in Texas and just got back from kill'n Diablo and Snowshoe. Last year I rode Whistler and Keystone. DHing is where its at. I'll be forty seven next month and love'n it..
 

·
Glad to Be Alive
Joined
·
43,010 Posts
I wish I was 31 !!!!

I am 45 and do stuff like this....just started 6 years ago after not being on a bike since I was 16


Ur doing the right thing...just take your time and build up to it....Snoeshoe is a lot of fun
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I look forward to being able to do some of the stuff in the pictures. I'm pretty excited about this. When I first started riding I never though that I would move in this direction with it.

I have seen whistler in the collective videos, I can't wait to ride there, hopefully next year I will be able to put together a trip. Hoping for three trips to Snow shoe before the year is out.

Thanks for the replies
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Took first trail ride today on the big hit. Hit some jumps. Had some problems. I have pretty much road clippless since starting mtbing. I have been told that I can progress my riding much better riding platform pedals. I'm trying to ride the big hit with platforms. I don't feel very comfortable not being locked to the bike and when I am landing my jumps my feet are coming off the pedals. This isn't good. Also a bee flew into my mouth and stung me on my tongue. So first ride didn't go so well.

Any tips on keeping feet on the pedals, I know sounds basic.
 

·
..ouch
Joined
·
2,028 Posts
Single Track MTBer said:
Any tips on keeping feet on the pedals, I know sounds basic.
If you're coming from clips you've probably developed the bad habit of pulling up on your pedals when you launch. With flats you'll need to start pulling a little up and forward using your handlebars to keep your feet locked on. It'll take a few weeks to get it down but it's worth learning. There's been quite a few threads about this you can search.

Once you feel comfortable with little jumps then study up on some jump/drop techniques. Here's a good start:
http://www.declinemagazine.com/visuals/fluidride/fluidride_vol1.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,802 Posts
SHIVER ME TIMBERS said:
I wish I was 31 !!!!

I am 45 and do stuff like this....just started 6 years ago after not being on a bike since I was 16

Ur doing the right thing...just take your time and build up to it....Snoeshoe is a lot of fun
I've gone off that drop on bobsled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Single Track MTBer said:
Took first trail ride today on the big hit. Hit some jumps. Had some problems. I have pretty much road clippless since starting mtbing. I have been told that I can progress my riding much better riding platform pedals. I'm trying to ride the big hit with platforms. I don't feel very comfortable not being locked to the bike and when I am landing my jumps my feet are coming off the pedals. This isn't good. Also a bee flew into my mouth and stung me on my tongue. So first ride didn't go so well.

Any tips on keeping feet on the pedals, I know sounds basic.
You need good pedals + good shoes. If they're the same specialized brand pedals that came on my '08 big hit, get rid of them! They're horrible and have no grip, add in a little mud and they turn into banana peels.

For pedals I recommend Wellgo mg-1's, or crank brothers 50/50's. They both are affordable with good grip.

For shoes, although they do hurt the wallet I cannot possibly ride with out them anymore: five ten impacts. I give these shoes an A+, they just glue your feet to the pedals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the comments. The weird part about this is when I urban ride I don't have the same issues. I did three 5 foot drops landing to flat (I know not good on bike, but fun) and I also jumped stairs landing on the bottom section of stairs using it like a transition. Didn' have a problem with feet. I feel fine in the urban environment but on the trail I freak out about not having feet clipped in.

I have been thinking of getting some 5.10 impacts. It might be alittle bit, I m still recovering from bike purchase. I actually already have a set of Wellgo MG1 but was told they wouldn't stand up to the abuse of DHing. Any thoughts on that? As long as I get 6-12 months out of them I wouldn't mind if I have to get a new set, just don't want them to break on the first outing.

On the video, the first drop that he does correctly where he pushes his weight back, I assuming the pressure on the handle bars is forward and not up, or does the process of pushing weight back and down create forward and upward pressure on the handle bars? I'm looking forward to trying this. I also watch the one on jumping. Thanks for the link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Single Track MTBer said:
Thanks for the comments. The weird part about this is when I urban ride I don't have the same issues. I did three 5 foot drops landing to flat (I know not good on bike, but fun) and I also jumped stairs landing on the bottom section of stairs using it like a transition. Didn' have a problem with feet. I feel fine in the urban environment but on the trail I freak out about not having feet clipped in.

I have been thinking of getting some 5.10 impacts. It might be alittle bit, I m still recovering from bike purchase. I actually already have a set of Wellgo MG1 but was told they wouldn't stand up to the abuse of DHing. Any thoughts on that? As long as I get 6-12 months out of them I wouldn't mind if I have to get a new set, just don't want them to break on the first outing.

On the video, the first drop that he does correctly where he pushes his weight back, I assuming the pressure on the handle bars is forward and not up, or does the process of pushing weight back and down create forward and upward pressure on the handle bars? I'm looking forward to trying this. I also watch the one on jumping. Thanks for the link.
The MG-1's should hold up. I've had no problems with mine and they don't necessarily look weak.

On drops what you want to do is lean back and keep your bike level. So don't just ride off and let the front end dip, pull back slightly on the bars. Don't pull up too hard, keep your wheels centered with the landing so that both your wheels will hit the ground at the same time. Imagine riding off a curb, your front wheel doesn't get higher than the back wheel but it stays level and in the air until the back goes off the curb, keeping the bike level and both wheels hit the ground at the same time.
 

·
..ouch
Joined
·
2,028 Posts
Single Track MTBer said:
On the video, the first drop that he does correctly where he pushes his weight back, I assuming the pressure on the handle bars is forward and not up, or does the process of pushing weight back and down create forward and upward pressure on the handle bars? I'm looking forward to trying this. I also watch the one on jumping. Thanks for the link.
Drop and jumps are different animals. Jumps require a little forward pressure on the handlebar to keep your feet locked in. For drops you'll be crouching and pulling your weight back as you leave to keep the bike level and then extending your legs a little to the landing which naturally keeps your feet on for smaller drops. Again, just buy some good shin pads and give it a little time. In a couple months flats will feel second nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all of the advice. I have some luck with compressing the suspension to get more air on jumps. In the jump video when he is talking about the basic technique he mentions standing into the face of the jump, and that this creates compression. When he talks about standing into the jump what does he mean? My thought is that he means to use feet to press the bike against the jump which creates force against the jump (the compression) and not necessarily compressing the suspension although on a full suspension bike you are going to compress the suspension somewhat but again that is not the point, the point is to apply force to the jump. Using this technique, do you pull up once the front well reaches the lip of the jump and release the compression or do you stay compressed? I am understanding this technique,or do I have it all wrong?

Thanks again for the advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Dude don't feel bad about your age. I too just got into dh and have found that there are a lot of rec riders that are 30+ years. They all rode xc in there 20's and got bored so have moved on to the best type of riding out there.

I love Snowshoe. In fact next year I'm getting a season pass. It takes me just over 5 hrs to get there so if I go once a month may-close it'll pay for itself in august. I ride w/ a bunch of guys from Chainsmoke.net down there. All cool guys.

For all you old guys you have nothing on a mtn. bike patroller at the shoe. He's 60 or 61 I can't remember. His name is Mark Poohle and will shred almost anybody. He knows every line on every run and knows about like every hidden gem there is on that mountain. He's defanatly an insperation to anybody he comes in contact with. He's beat cancer w/ int the last year or so(again I can't remember exactly when, but was fairly recently) and right now is laid up do to breaking his hip while riding some of the xc trails a few weeks ago in the rain. I heard he fell and was in pain, but kept on to show some of the people he was riding w/ some type of obsticle he had found. All in all he said he's fine and will be back on a bike in a few weeks.

I heard someone say that Mark had told them something along the lines of "If cancer can't kill me, a broken hip has nothing on me." or something like that.


My advice as a newbie also is.........since you have your pads and protection trust them. Your gonna fall and THEY will work. I was so nervous my first time at the shoe I really didn't ride good till I got my first real hard digger out of the way. I got up after catching my breath and said to my self "well guess all these pads do work". After that I was able to ride faster and harder and had more fun.

Also speed really is a must in DH. Your wheels act as big gyro's and will keep you upright. The one thing I still have to pound in my head is look 10ft in front of you on your line. I still find myself on occasions looking down at my front wheel and thats when I start to get squirlly and have to slow down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It seems that there are more that leave xc and start doing the DH thing than I thought. It seems most in my area who DH usually convert to xc then go even further and become full fledged roadies. I always say at least they are riding a bike although I don't understand how you could go from mtbing to road biking. When I was doing the xc thing I was doing some training on the road bike. I didn't hate it, but I have always enjoyed riding on the trail so much more.

The couple of times I went to Snow shoe last year I did see some people that were in my age or older. I also saw the patrol dude I think you are talking about. His partner who was considerably younger was hot. I hate to say it but I thought about laying down on my bike and pretending to need rescued, just so I could get some attention from her. Of course I would never went through with it, but it was a fleeting thought. That is a pretty cool story about him though, I wondered what kind of rider he was. I'm sure most of the patrol people out there could put me to shame including the hottie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
When we were riding w/ him that girl never was riding with us. BUT I did see her and thought the same thing. DAMN. Yeah Mark sure can ride. He's tought a lot of people how to ride that mtn too.

I agree. I know people that switched to road bikes from mtn biking and things it's the cats meow. I had a road bike for about 3 weeks before selling it(mostly cause i needed some scratch and the trails finally opened. I did make a profit on the bike too). It was fun to go ride for an hour and relize that you just pounded out 15-20mi. I mean I'd ride for an our on the xc trails and do about 8 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Utilized some of the techniques on the drop video posted above today on an urban ride. I was able to take drops at a much slower speed. I'm pretty excited about that because it will open up a lot more possibilities on the trail. Alot of the drops on the trails around here don't have much of run out, so slow speed is a must to hit the transition correctly and to be able to stop.

Also put the MG1 on in place of the specialized pedals, that made a big difference to.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top