Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are a good number of beginner threads here about "How do I get started, etc".
I would like to add another one to get some practical advice on what to focus on from some people with experience.
I have been lurking for a couple of weeks, and this is my first post.

34 years old, 5'11", 175 lbs

History
Rode bikes when I was a kid - loved little dirt jumps in the empty field by the house.
Quit riding in Junior High as I outgrew my 20 inch, and had other interests.
In college, bought a $90 Huffy, which I commuted to school with. Also, liked taking it to some trails near the apartment.
Last summer before graduation (1998), rode Cypresswood trails (in Houston) with some buddies - on the same Huffy. After graduation, got job, got married, had 2 kids, etc.
I've lifted weights off and on the last few years.
Last year, I finally bought my real mountain bike - 07 Rockhopper.
This is an unbelievable improvement over the old Huffy, and it is considered only an Entry-Level mountain bike.
Recently, I've decided to take the sport more seriously.
I used to only go on rides about 4-5 times a year. And I was huffing and puffing about 2 minutes into the ride. And unable to keep up with the group. And because of that, found it not to be a tremendous amount of fun.
I really enjoy riding however - especially technical singletrack. And I realize it can be great exercise.

Now
I don't know if I have what it takes to race. But I would like to get to a level where I could.

I have limited funds - The Rockhopper is the bike. Not doing much to upgrade anytime soon. Would like clipless at some point though.

So here's my question...
I'm not really good at anything
  • fitness
  • endurance
  • cornering
  • climbs
  • technical
  • descents

What is the priority I should place on all these?


Available rides

Greenbelts all through the neighborhood - paved, with joggers, kids, etc
Bayou right behind the house - 1 mile loop - dirt path
Park - 10 minutes from house - gravel trails, with a little single track
Various single track trails (Memorial Park, Double Lake, etc) within an hour from the house.
- nothing really in Houston with long climbs or descents

Right now, I have been riding the bayou in the mornings before work. Pretty flat, but just working on getting used to high intensity riding. Also, going to the park on Saturday mornings to ride with another aspring rider.

Thanks for any and all replies.

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Okay, I'm not an expert by any stretch but since no one replied to you I'll throw out my 2 pennies.

Right now, pick ONE thing to work on. If you are riding 4-5 times per year, I'd start with riding more often. Pick a time and a day every week that you ride and do it until it's a habit. Don't worry about where you are riding as much, just pick something fun for you. Don't worry if you are huffing and puffing at 2 miles -- next week you'll do better.

I think 7am Saturday is a gorgeous time to ride during the summer, but pick your own poison.

Once you are getting on your bike all the time you can focus on developing skills.
 

·
mutaullyassuredsuffering
Joined
·
2,053 Posts
NEwb

I started out as a total newb. I basically just spent a few months riding as much as my body could handle (only 4 to 5 hours a week back then). I then jumped into races, and that is where I learned everything. All my bike, tire, component, training, etc knowledge came from going out there on the race course and getting hammered. I picked up alot from the boards here...but until you race you are just grasping.

Get as much time in the saddle as you can without cooking yourself, and then recover and go out there and race. The only thing that will hurt you right now is being afraid to jump into it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies - NicoleC and used2Bhard.
I have done just what you guys are saying. I'm just trying to ride. I have already noticed my stamina is better, and I feel more comfortable. I'm riding a lot of double-track flat for fitness. But I'm realizing that kind of fitness is great for endurance. But when heading into technical climbs, etc... it's an entirely different kind of fitness. I'm also finding my desire to ride more has increased. It is addicting.
Thanks for the encouragement.

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Your next step might be doing intervals (on flat area) or hill intervals. Now that your endurance is coming along, you want to increase your power a bit. The good thing about intervls is it doesn't really take that long to do, but you're exhausted afterwards. A good way to supplement your other riding when you don't have much time. If you do a search, there's a ton of threads on intervals training. Btw, when you feel comfortable, try to find a group ride to join. Many advantages to this, you know at least once a weeek you'll always ride, you meet great people, and you'll be pushed to go faster and farther than you can on your own. Good luck and keep having fun.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top