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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a fresh-out-of-the-egg noob. My question is: If you hd to pick no more than 5 skills to work on (I'm coming in from being a "roadie", so my aerobic health is good) what would you choose to focus on?

Thanks to all for your help.

-OwMyNads
 

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#1

OwMyNads said:
I'm a fresh-out-of-the-egg noob. My question is: If you hd to pick no more than 5 skills to work on (I'm coming in from being a "roadie", so my aerobic health is good) what would you choose to focus on?

Thanks to all for your help.

-OwMyNads
The first skill to master is not offending crusty old geezers like me with your vulgar and offensive handle. Change it to something you could quote to your Mom, and I'd be happy to list some necessary riding skills, as I've taught MTB skill classes in the past, and written articles on the subject.
 

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Personally, I like his handle. And I especially like the fact that hes's a roadie looking into mountain biking. If you have the cash on hand, I highly reccomend buying and readingNed Overend: Mountain Bike Like A Champion. I started mountain biking this summer and this book, along with a lot of saddle time on challenging terrain, has made me into a much better mountain biker than I thought I could be.

Some of the things I've really picked up from this book (among other places) and thought were very helpful were: Shift early and shift often, keep your momentum up, never hesitate, look to the trail ahead - not at your front wheel, look where you want to go, not where you don't, try and try again, ride with people that are better than you, and most importantly- just get out there and ride! I am honestly surprised with how far I have come this summer just by getting out there and challenging myself on every ride. The trails I thought were challenging in May are now just my warmup routes.

Good luck.
 

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Be able to track stand.
Manage switchbacks
Descend with control.
Relax, and try not to hesitate if the going gets tough or you think you may fall.
Use your entire saddle, when climbing a trick can be to sit on the nose.
 

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OwMyNads said:
I'm a fresh-out-of-the-egg noob. My question is: If you hd to pick no more than 5 skills to work on (I'm coming in from being a "roadie", so my aerobic health is good) what would you choose to focus on?

Thanks to all for your help.

-OwMyNads
Learning how to trackstand on all sorts of terrain is very helpful. Balance is so critical to trail riding.

Learn how to do a controlled endo- get your back wheel up about 2' or so in a controlled manner w/o going OTB.

Learn how to lift (wheelie, loft, whatever) your front wheel onto ANY object which you think you can get over or onto, and learn how to use the controlled endo to lift (unweight) the back wheel. This technique is NOT a bunny hop, but you can use it to get over or onto stuff taller than your wheel if you are very good. I find that most newbs want to bunny hop, and yet this is really the technique they need to learn. Think of it as a bunnyhop with contact with the object.

Learn how to make momentum your friend.

Relax and have fun, and as a great cyclist (NOT Lance) once said, "Ride Lots". :D
 

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appropriate vs tasteful

rockhopper said:
I'm a noob and my handle is appropriate...and I would also like to know.
I'm not debating your claim that your testicles ache. That's your personal business, and unless you are discussing the issue with your doctor, I would argue that it's information that other folks really don't want to know. One does not discuss the condition of one's tiddly bits in polite company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who replied. I would apologize for my handle, but alas, I cannot. It's my RBR handle, and I've been using it now for two years. I brought it here to hopefully eliminate confusion and to allow me to talk to other roadies who come here. The nick comes from several encounters I had with potholes in my first year of road riding. Going over some paves, in my best Cartman imitation I burst out with, "Ow! My nads!" and the nick has stuck with me. It works in all kinds of situations, on and off the bike. Like in this thread, for instance. Someone gives you a dressing down in public because that person didn't come equipped with the sense of humor module. And I reply with, "Ow! My nads!"

See?

Erlichtda!

-OwMyNads
 

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I've noticed one other thing thats hard for "roadies gone bad", and of course newer riders in general, is to grasp the art of applying extreme body english for off road riding. Of course the drills mentioned are all a part of that in some respects. Much more pronounced for sure, given the steep ups, downs, off cambers, etc. More "3D" riding, as I like to call it, when compared to road riding. On steep ups as mentioned, the ol saddle nose up the arse is the rule sometimes. Going down steeps, the rider can and will usually be behind and below the saddle(the saddles back edge is touching your belly button maybe). If you feel your arse is about to touch the tire, then your doing it right. ;) This adds tons of control at those times by lowering and moving back..ones center of gravity. This takes all that weight off the front and keeps it from folding back under or an endo. Don't be afraid to crawl all over the bike when ness, unlike a roadie.

You've got the other half already beat, being the fitness part of it. Glad to see you broadening your interests. Enjoy!

The handles fine. Don't sweat it one bit.

Duck
 

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Another skill you want to master is falling correctly. Crashes and mountain biking go together like peas and carrots, so don't think you'll avoid crashes.

Try to land with thumps rather then 'cracks'. Land on your butt or your side, try to avoid extending your arms to much and just go with the flow. Roll a bit too if you can.
 

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Dang! Never thought I'd meet a bigger nun than myself. Congrats. As for offending you I don't think that's an issue. Who cares? Now as to being just plain polite...that's a different matter. Still it's the internet and it's taken me years to realize it's the electronic version of a bathroom stall at any interstate in the U.S. Personally I agree that handles should be chosen for their ability to be used in any situation and raunch is more a reflection of weird sophmoric humor or immaturity.

Would I be correct in assuming your curmudgeoness is due to your obvious superiority since you think they shouldn't offend the almighty YOU, or are your due for your meds? If they don't change their handle will you withhold the riding knowledge of the ages where they could get no where else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again. This is good stuff. I agree that off-road is definitely more "3D". You have to pay attention to so much more than you would on the road. I find myself sometimes "daydreaming" while on long road rides. I couldn't imagine doing that on a trail, where it seems focus is key.

My first ride out, I think I spent more time on the ground than on the bike. I even went endo onto some huge rocks, just for comedic effect. It was an old helmet, but now I need a new one. Luckily, the brain pan is still in decent shape. ;-) Took a bunch of flesh off my knee and elbow, too.

I definitely picked the wrong day to go out for the first time. It was pretty wet. I slid on everything- rocks, roots. It was hilarious.

-OwMyNoggin
 

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OwMyNads said:
Thanks again. This is good stuff. I agree that off-road is definitely more "3D". You have to pay attention to so much more than you would on the road. I find myself sometimes "daydreaming" while on long road rides. I couldn't imagine doing that on a trail, where it seems focus is key.

My first ride out, I think I spent more time on the ground than on the bike. I even went endo onto some huge rocks, just for comedic effect. It was an old helmet, but now I need a new one. Luckily, the brain pan is still in decent shape. ;-) Took a bunch of flesh off my knee and elbow, too.

I definitely picked the wrong day to go out for the first time. It was pretty wet. I slid on everything- rocks, roots. It was hilarious.

-OwMyNoggin
Another tip- at least if you ride in the northeast- use low tire pressure for trail riding- 30-35psi, and wide tires. Works well around here.
 

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1. focus on the line you want to take rather than objects you are trying to avoid.
if you're staring at it, you will probably hit it

2. spinning over rough terrain

3. front/rear balance going uphill (keep weight forward while maintaining traction)

4. wheelie/bunnyhop

5. keep your outside foot down on high speed/off chamber turns
 

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I think this thread would be a good candidate for sticky-fication in this forum.

Ned Overend's book is definitely worth its weight in gold (although it sells for much cheaper than that at around $15.)

My personal top 5:

1)trackstand - a million and one uses. It'll help with riding switchbacks, technical climbs, pausing a minute to size up the terrain ahead, and pretty much any time you need slow speed balance.

2)Look ahead where you want to go and not where you don't want to go - probably the most basic and useful skill.

3)attack position - a beginner friend of mine absolutely refuses to get his lazy ass off the saddle, and he wonders why he crashes. :rolleyes:

4)turning with your body - as in turning the bike by leaning rather than turning the handlebars. It's useful any time you have to make a fast turn. Super simple and almost everybody knows how to do it already. But it's a life-saving skill in California where the trails are full of loose rocks and gravelly during the summer.

5)proper breaking - brake for short 2-3 second durations when on relatively smooth patch when going downhill. Don't break on rough ground and don't brake on loose rocks and gravel. Again, can save you a trip to the emergency room.

Being a beginner is a not so distant memory for me. Given my own learning experience, I would say skills like wheelie hopping, doing drops, and bunny hoping are of secondary importance. Sure they are important to know, but for a beginner they are not absolutely essential. I mean, if you ride up to a downed tree branch and you can't bunny hop over it. You can just get off and walk your bike over. Nothing's gonna be hurt besides maybe your ego. However, if you ride off the trail off a cliff because you were looking at the ledge instead of the trail, then a lot's gonna get bruised besides your ego.
 

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used

I got my copy of Ned's book on Amazon.com for about $3 used. Worth much more!!
 

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There is also an instructional video that is unrelated to the book, but Overand pretty much goes through the same stuff in there as he does in his book. IMNSHO...a very valuable companion piece to the book cuz instead of just reading what he is talking about...you actually get to see what he is talking about.
 
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