Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well...had today off from work...so figured I would take a lil' adventure and go exploring some singletrack for the first time with my new bike. I drove up to Blankets Creek (Georgia). I hadn't experience singletrack in many years so this was a fun little trip. I had directions from SORBA...but still flew right past the trailhead the first go round...it was much easier to spot coming from the other direction. Pulled up, parked the truck, stretched and decided to be a brave man and conquer the beginner trail "Mesquito Trail" is I believe the name. It was a short little 1.2 mile fairly flat trail. Nothing really technical, a few narrow bridges, some decent little climbs and a few minor downhills. I quickly realized however how much different riding singletrack was than what I had been riding thus far in my limited time back in the saddle. I became oddly aware of my balance and speed...and the fact that I was clipped into this badboy and going for the ride should I fly off course...haha. Well, it was a nice warm-up...so I geared up and knew it was time to step it up a notch. Rode further back into the woods and found the intermediate trail "Dwelling Loop". The direction for Friday made the trail start with a climb...I was sitting there at the base with these two older ladies and they said, "Go ahead...I am sure you are going to get up this thing a lot faster than us!" I thought to myself, "If they only knew...haha...I might look the part, but I am far from advanced on any level!" I went ahead of them and started the 3.7 mile loop. Lot's of up's and downs' on the trail...climbs followed by quick downhills...swerving back and forth paths...roots, rocks...it was fun for me, that is for sure. My climbing has already improved a great deal since x-mas...I still have to stop after a nice section to catch my breath...but I am pushing myself further, and technically I am able to get up the harder sections...which is nice. Where I am still a wuss is the downhill stuff. My neighbor said before I left, "Just go fast...don't be so slow that you actually make your balance and chances of staying up worse." I knew I needed too...but still found myself hitting that rear break a lot more than I should. I became very conscious of it and tried to in spurts let myself speed up and forget about the braking, and it was fun...but being a newbie and flying solo I wasn't about to go over my bounds and current skill level. I didn't fall all day...but I almost smashed myself into a tiny tree...I ended up literally stopping myself with my arms and was sitting on the bike, still clipped in...just leaning against the tree...I got a nice chuckle out of it! Anyway...finished the 3.7 miles in about 53 minutes...the sign said 60+ minutes for beginners, 30 minutes for intermediate, and 20 minutes for advanced...I stopped a few times for pictures and to use the blackberry (I know, but duty calls sometimes...even in the woods.) So I probably could have done it in about 40 minutes. I think I will time myself next time and start pushing to ride the loop faster and faster. Here are a few pics...none of me as I was solo...so took a few of my trusty piece of hardware. I am officially hooked!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was a great day! If I didn't have to travel out of town tomorrow I would be back for another ride...already hoping the weather stays away so when I get back in town I can ride on Sunday!

I can't wait for the spring to get here so I could do after work trail rides if I wanted too...just not enough daylight currently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is DH/FR? Remember...I am a newbie...don't know all the "lingo"...haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
downhill/freeride, You can get better definitions in the downhill forums. I wanted to ride today, but i woke up to rain. Anyother day I would be cool with it, but i finally got rid of a cold, and dont want it back.
 

·
dirty trail dog
Joined
·
601 Posts
PanicFan77 said:
Well...had today off from work...so figured I would take a lil' adventure and go exploring some singletrack for the first time with my new bike. I drove up to Blankets Creek (Georgia).
Cool beans PanicFan. Blankets is a great system. I'm heading over there this afternoon and will probably hit it up tomorrow too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,083 Posts
Great report, sounds like you've found a nice set of single track. Keep posting, but try to help us out who wish to read your reports by using paragraphs so it's easier to read and follow.

Well...had today off from work...so figured I would take a lil' adventure and go exploring some singletrack for the first time with my new bike. I drove up to Blankets Creek (Georgia). I hadn't experience singletrack in many years so this was a fun little trip. I had directions from SORBA...but still flew right past the trailhead the first go round...it was much easier to spot coming from the other direction.

Pulled up, parked the truck, stretched and decided to be a brave man and conquer the beginner trail "Mesquito Trail" is I believe the name. It was a short little 1.2 mile fairly flat trail. Nothing really technical, a few narrow bridges, some decent little climbs and a few minor downhills. I quickly realized however how much different riding singletrack was than what I had been riding thus far in my limited time back in the saddle. I became oddly aware of my balance and speed...and the fact that I was clipped into this badboy and going for the ride should I fly off course...haha.

Well, it was a nice warm-up...so I geared up and knew it was time to step it up a notch. Rode further back into the woods and found the intermediate trail "Dwelling Loop". The direction for Friday made the trail start with a climb...I was sitting there at the base with these two older ladies and they said, "Go ahead...I am sure you are going to get up this thing a lot faster than us!" I thought to myself, "If they only knew...haha...I might look the part, but I am far from advanced on any level!" I went ahead of them and started the 3.7 mile loop. Lot's of up's and downs' on the trail...climbs followed by quick downhills...swerving back and forth paths...roots, rocks...it was fun for me, that is for sure.

My climbing has already improved a great deal since x-mas...I still have to stop after a nice section to catch my breath...but I am pushing myself further, and technically I am able to get up the harder sections...which is nice. Where I am still a wuss is the downhill stuff. My neighbor said before I left, "Just go fast...don't be so slow that you actually make your balance and chances of staying up worse." I knew I needed too...but still found myself hitting that rear break a lot more than I should. I became very conscious of it and tried to in spurts let myself speed up and forget about the braking, and it was fun...but being a newbie and flying solo I wasn't about to go over my bounds and current skill level.

I didn't fall all day...but I almost smashed myself into a tiny tree...I ended up literally stopping myself with my arms and was sitting on the bike, still clipped in...just leaning against the tree...I got a nice chuckle out of it! Anyway...finished the 3.7 miles in about 53 minutes...the sign said 60+ minutes for beginners, 30 minutes for intermediate, and 20 minutes for advanced...I stopped a few times for pictures and to use the blackberry (I know, but duty calls sometimes...even in the woods.) So I probably could have done it in about 40 minutes. I think I will time myself next time and start pushing to ride the loop faster and faster. Here are a few pics...none of me as I was solo...so took a few of my trusty piece of hardware. I am officially hooked!
 

·
BrassBalled DropbarNinja
Joined
·
11,813 Posts
PanicFan77 said:
What is DH/FR? Remember...I am a newbie...don't know all the "lingo"...haha
here's a video of Downhill... It's My favourite DH video of all time... Gracia kicks ass

and here's a video of some Freeriding, slopestyle, some dj and some urban and a little trial riding

Also something you might want to consider in the future... Urban attack. Steve Peat in the Lisbon Downtown Race
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Great report. Good to see you really enjoying it all. I noticed something. You said you weren't confident on the downhill, and also that you were using your rear brake. Feeling comfortable on the downhill is all about a proper stance and using your FRONT brake. A lot of people are worried about flipping over the handlebars from using the front brake but it is not an issue if you get your wieght back on the bike. When I first started riding a friend took me out and taught me a proper stance for descending and it made a huge difference in my riding immediately.

Try this: Next time you approach a moderately steep section stand up so that your back is almost level, or maybe with your shoulders slightly higher. Bend your knees to lower your weight and extend your arms so that your butt is over the back tire and the saddle is under your belly. The steeper the hill the lower/farther back you get. On really steep sections my stomach touches the saddle and my arms are strait out in front of me. The next key is to do most of your braking with your front brake. You squeeze both levers at the same time but try to put "75%" of the power on the front wheel and "25%" on the rear wheel. Try it. Once you get comfortable on a section try playing with your brakes a little just to see what happens. Try moving your weight around the cockpit a little to see how the bike handles differently. Here's a couple pics. It helps to see it.

http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php/photo/54534/cat/512

http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php/photo/50436/cat/512

I was a horrible descender until my "lesson." Of course I had the advantage of a live instructor/coach but my riding completely changed in a day just by learning how to stand and how to really use my brakes. Its awsome to see you really enjoying it. I just started riding about a year ago and you will be amazed at how fast you can progress.

-VTB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the tips VT! I have done some riding with my neighbor and he has explained that same stance to me...of which I have done a little testing of my own. I am going to give it the ol' college try again soon...and I think more comfort on my bike, gaining endurance, and just continuing to ride will help me out. I remember during the ride the other day during the tail end I started doing a lot more standing and then lowering myself further back on the back and could feel the stability while riding downhill increase...so if I can train myself to not freak out and just slow down and instead take the ride...I will be pleased. More to come...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dude...those videos are sick! How the hell are those guys doing those jumps off those cliffs??? Damn!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,109 Posts
Lots (LOTS!) of opinions concerning the infamous bar-end debate. When I rode flat bars, I most definitely liked having bar ends, but I used stubbies which helped minimize the tree-hooks and kept the overall profile lower. With a (wider) riser bar now, I don't feel like I need the bar ends. Sandy raises a valid point about crashing with them, but I think that alone would be a weak reason to ditch them if you find them otherwise useful. FWIW, bar ends never gave me any additional problems in any of my numerous crashes.

Ride whatever's comfortable for you -- if bar ends are helpful in your riding, then use them. Fashion police and naysayers be damned :D

Good to see you're so stoked for the ride! Keep it up!

Cheers, Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Also, finding the right spot to practice is key. Find a short section of trail that's a little scary but doesn't look impossible to you with a smooth transition at the top and bottom. That way you don't have to worry as much about getting lined up before you start the steep stuff and you don't have to worry about what you are going to do at the end. After you get comfortable on that, find one that drops in around a turn or something. The first time I clean something that I've never done before, I like to turn around and hike back up and clean it again while my confidence is still up. Its definitely a slow progression and you're right, as you keep riding and get stronger you'll be more comfortable on your bike and that will help alot.

-VTB
 

·
trail addict
Joined
·
1,866 Posts
Yes, a nice peice of singletrack can be so much fun that you can't even really describe the feeling to a non-rider. Be careful, singletracking is almost like joining a cult! I am lucky enough to have a good friend who mostly enjoys riding the same stuff I do. We both became better riders by just chasing each other around in the woods. Find someone like that-with similar skill level and similar interests-it only gets more fun. The only problem is that you will gradually quit all your other past-times as you realize, one by one, that none of them are as much fun as trailriding!

If you get a chance to watch the movie Roam-you have to check out the bonus part called "singletrack" good stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I went back to Blankets Creek today...another fun day. Lot's more riders out there...but everyone was very friendly and appear to look out for one another. I rode with my buddy today...and compared to my first experience with single track on Friday...this was already better! I was a little more comfortable, and a little less timid with another rider with me in case I took a nasty spill. I cruised down some sections pretty fast and impressed the neighbor with my progression...so I know I am getting better.

I really am officially addicted!!

Oh...and I am keeping the bar ends...I honestly don't use them EVERY climb I make...but I do use them on occassion...and when I am riding flat terrain I ALWAYS have my hands in the little cup between my handle bar and bar end...just comfortable for me...so they will stay.
 
1 - 20 of 26 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