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Hardtail Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What an adventure life has been lately. I've been doing all kinds of crazy things but the things that stand out most are graduating from college finally and camping for a week in Tahoe. Both of these things are related to mountain biking which I'm about to get into. First, I originally wanted to buy myself a motorcycle for my graduation but I couldn't afford it so I decided that I would go on my first ever mountain biking trip. Coincidentally, the MTBR NorCal group was organizing a trip to Downieville so my brother and I packed up and headed out (Please excuse the lack of pictures, I have no camera).

Downieville was way more extreme than anything that I had ridden before. It was basically a straight descent with just a little climbing (those that have ridden here know what I mean). My Ibex Alpine HT would have been eaten alive here because it was so extremely technical. Luckily Yeti and Rocky Mountain Cycles let me demo a couple of long travel full suspension bikes for the trip and I have to say that I've been craving a full suspension bike ever since. The Talas fork that was on my RM demo was amazing (though a bit heavy for XC it felt). We rode the classic a few times with some different variations and did a run that included Big Boulder and 3rd divide. Those two trails combined made for one of the most amazing runs I've ever done and probably ever will do. Nothing but fun on this trip. I won some donated Acid 1 pedals, some stickers, a shirt, Saint dogtags, met awesome people, drank too much, and was on the high of my life this entire trip. I graduated in more ways than one for this trip.

The other life changing experience was in Tahoe. We were there for 8 days but unfortunately only were able to get in one ride. It was a good one though. We were there for a yearly family reunion camping trip so I spent a lot of time with family hanging out playing cards, drinking, going to casinos, jet skiing, ice skating, and so many other amazing things. One of the best things of this entire trip though was a loop including Mr. Toads Wild Ride. If you've never done it, get off this board and start figuring out a way to get to the Tahoe Basin. Pretty much all of the riding is singletrack. It can be technical with huge boulders everywhere (at some points in the ride we were riding on just boulders, extremely scary on my 80mm travel HT lol).

The ride started on a paved road for about 9 miles all uphill and finally connected to Armstrong pass. Armstrong pass is an all uphill singletrack. It was beautiful, fun, and breathtaking, literally. The elevation was killing my brother throughout the ride but I just kept trying to think about the next spin rather than how tired I was or how much more I had to go. It was one of the hardest rides of my life. We finally connected to TRT and went towards Big Meadow, again more uphill but now in very loose sandy terrain. Climbing this is nothing like climbing up regular mountains. This felt twice as hard, especially since we had already been climbing for about 13 miles.

We got about 2 or 3 miles up TRT and thought we took a wrong turn onto TRT so we went back to the Armstrong connector and tried again. We realized that we were going the right way so back up the sandy terrain we went lol. We walked too much of it but it was worth it because the downhill was really fun. We finally started to hit some smooth flowy downhill on TRT and eventually hit Saxon Creek, ie Toads. Right before this connector we encountered our first and only other humans. They were going up TRT on a ride including Toads also and wished us well.

We finally rode Toads and I have to say that this is the best trail I have ever been on. Even better than Downieville. Shorter but better. The reason that I liked it so much was because of the variety and speed. It has basically everything that you could ever want in any trail. It started off extremely technical with boulders that were probably as big as my bike all sandwiched together. I have no idea how I rode them with my bike. All I remember is leaning back as far as I could on my seat the whole time. There was one very small part that I walked and I rode everything else. I don't remember the exact order but there was some flowy singletrack, pavers in berm shape, perfectly spaced waterbars, drops, jumps (one extremely huge one over a log that was probably at least 3 feet in diameter and probably closer to 4, try hitting this at 30 mph+ and you literally fly) and so much more. The end was what felt like a never ending path of super bermed out turns that you could just fly through followed by a small section of just loose rocks. It was probably 15 or 20 yards. I didn't think I would be able to cross it and was just tempted to stop but I said screw it and thought I would just power through it. It was so funny because without even having to pedal we just glided over the rocks. It felt like being on ice. It was a blast. The loop finally ended at the car.

Even though this ride was only 25 miles, it was the hardest and funnest 25 miles I have ever rode. One guy at the bike shop said that he saw a man cry once on Toads and I see why. We had to work so hard to get to the top but it was more than just worth it. The views from the top were absolutely stunning and there were points in the ride where we both seriously just wished we were at home on the couch with frosty ice water. To me though, the best rides are always the ones you have to work the most for. That's why Downieville wasn't as good as this. It was hard and fast and fun but the shuttles made us feel like we were cheating. On this ride we earned everything that we got. It was so amazing and I just don't know how to describe it. It's one of those things that you just have to experience for yourself.

What a rush these two things were. My brother (who always seemed to like mountain biking but never really seemed hooked on it) is now a self proclaimed mountain bike addict. The entire time in Tahoe he just wanted to find more trails to ride. We really wish that we could have had more time to bike but its close enough that we can always go back. I don't know how the trails around here and ever going to live up to what we just went through and i don't know if anyone cares but I just wanted to share how much fun it all was.

Oh ya and my Ibex HT held up wonderful. I can't imagine how much more fun this would have been on an Iggy Super or Iggy 3. I think if I had the money, I would just buy an Iggy 3 right now.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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nice writeup and congrats on graduating... Downeville must've been a blast. One of these days i'll make it down there... until then, i think i'm more concerned with Northstar, hahahaha...

Btw, this Sat we're going to be riding jmp. Me, dogonfr, bmb, mrsbmb... Probably a few more people. I'm gonna be riding me Zone so if you're interested in test riding an Iggy, i could bring her along... XD
 

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Ride 2 Work, Work 2 Ride!
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opivyattack said:
Downieville was way more extreme than anything that I had ridden before. It was basically a straight descent with just a little climbing (those that have ridden here know what I mean). My Ibex Alpine HT would have been eaten alive here because it was so extremely technical.
That is funny. The first time I rode that was on a hard tail with a 80mm fork. I did two runs that
day and my hands stopped being able to hold the brakes after the one "real" climb on
butchers the second time down. Forged with fire I learned to ride mostly without the brakes. :D

Oh yeah does toads still have the R.R. tie stairs?
 

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Hardtail Warrior
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509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mrpercussive said:
nice writeup and congrats on graduating... Downeville must've been a blast. One of these days i'll make it down there... until then, i think i'm more concerned with Northstar, hahahaha...

Btw, this Sat we're going to be riding jmp. Me, dogonfr, bmb, mrsbmb... Probably a few more people. I'm gonna be riding me Zone so if you're interested in test riding an Iggy, i could bring her along... XD
I'm not sure about Saturday because I might have to take a gun permit class. I have something going on for Sunday though so I might have to skip the class and hold off until next weekend. I'll let you know though. Do you guys ever do any riding through Dimond Canyon or do you just stick to JMP?
 

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Hardtail Warrior
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509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thebigred67 said:
That is funny. The first time I rode that was on a hard tail with a 80mm fork. I did two runs that
day and my hands stopped being able to hold the brakes after the one "real" climb on
butchers the second time down. Forged with fire I learned to ride mostly without the brakes. :D

Oh yeah does toads still have the R.R. tie stairs?
Haha, nice. I was prepared to take my HT down Downieville and I would have if I had to but the demo bikes were nice. I imagine that my back and neck would have been a lot more sore without the extra suspension. Especially on the technical baby head climbing to get to Big Boulder.

Toads does still have the stairs. My brother stopped right before it and told me to look out. I thought he was talking about the sharp turn and the huge log right next to the stairs so I got so concerned about that that I didn't even notice the stairs lol. Halfway down I realized what he meant to look out for. That part was such a fun ride. I actually wanted to ride them again right after lol.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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opivyattack said:
I'm not sure about Saturday because I might have to take a gun permit class. I have something going on for Sunday though so I might have to skip the class and hold off until next weekend. I'll let you know though. Do you guys ever do any riding through Dimond Canyon or do you just stick to JMP?
we usually just do JMP. I've heard of Diamond Canyon. Isnt it more XC though???
 

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Hardtail Warrior
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509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've never been there so I don't know. I don't think you can do any loops there but you can use it to lead into JMP or something. I really don't know that's why I was asking you. :)
 

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ride hard take risks
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opivyattack said:
I've never been there so I don't know. I don't think you can do any loops there but you can use it to lead into JMP or something. I really don't know that's why I was asking you. :)
We can do a reunion ride I havnt riden in :confused: but puttin away the beer for a ride this Sat. :thumbsup:
 

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Hardtail Warrior
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509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not going to be able to make it sadly. I have another commitment on Saturday and Sunday. Plus I fell yesterday trying to learn how to ride clipless lol. Now the palm of my hand is bruised and it hurts a bit.. I was practicing on the grass but it was a small strip and my hand fell to a spot where there was no grass. When I stop, I can never predict which direction the bike is going to fall. It always seems to fall in the direction that I don't clip out from. It'll start falling left so I'll take my left foot out and then all of a sudden it's falling right.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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11,813 Posts
opivyattack said:
I'm not going to be able to make it sadly. I have another commitment on Saturday and Sunday. Plus I fell yesterday trying to learn how to ride clipless lol. Now the palm of my hand is bruised and it hurts a bit.. I was practicing on the grass but it was a small strip and my hand fell to a spot where there was no grass. When I stop, I can never predict which direction the bike is going to fall. It always seems to fall in the direction that I don't clip out from. It'll start falling left so I'll take my left foot out and then all of a sudden it's falling right.
when first starting clipless, i would suggest clipping both feet out at the same time before you roll to a stop. Kick both heels out. Also depends whether your right or left handed to see which side of the bike you favor holding. Righties usually hold the bike on the right... so they get on the bike and clip the left foot first and then the right. After a while, clipping in and out will be second nature. You'll even do it on flats...

 

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I just started riding clipless this year and the last time I rode a real trail I had my front tire wash out on me. I was able to (with out thinking about it) unclip and catch.... well OK run like a retard and not fall. I even thought to myself WOW I just unclipped and didn't even know it.

Rich S.
 

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Hardtail Warrior
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509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've quickly learned that clipless is quite an experience and I don't feel like I'll be hitting any trails clipless for probably another week. If I start getting really confident faster than that then I might change my mind. We'll see. I've learned that clipless can be painful though. Both physically and to my pride lol. I'm probably going to go out practicing again today. It sucks because there is like no grass around here that I'm allowed to use. There are a bunch of schools but only students and staff are allowed in. Otherwise you get chased out or the police come.

Good tips though. I'm definitely going to try that. Thanks and have fun Saturday. Hopefully we can ride soon. I know I keep saying that but I'm serious lol.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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11,813 Posts
opivyattack said:
I've quickly learned that clipless is quite an experience and I don't feel like I'll be hitting any trails clipless for probably another week. If I start getting really confident faster than that then I might change my mind. We'll see. I've learned that clipless can be painful though. Both physically and to my pride lol. I'm probably going to go out practicing again today. It sucks because there is like no grass around here that I'm allowed to use. There are a bunch of schools but only students and staff are allowed in. Otherwise you get chased out or the police come.

Good tips though. I'm definitely going to try that. Thanks and have fun Saturday. Hopefully we can ride soon. I know I keep saying that but I'm serious lol.
take it out to the parks and do some riding with clipless... only way to learn... Just be carefull... XD
 

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Ride 2 Work, Work 2 Ride!
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opivyattack said:
Haha, nice. I was prepared to take my HT down Downieville and I would have if I had to but the demo bikes were nice. I imagine that my back and neck would have been a lot more sore without the extra suspension. Especially on the technical baby head climbing to get to Big Boulder.

Toads does still have the stairs. My brother stopped right before it and told me to look out. I thought he was talking about the sharp turn and the huge log right next to the stairs so I got so concerned about that that I didn't even notice the stairs lol. Halfway down I realized what he meant to look out for. That part was such a fun ride. I actually wanted to ride them again right after lol.
Two best DH trails in the world IMO.
 
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