Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 203 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago I find out that there are a network of actual Mountain Bike trails at our local zoo(Thompson Park) in New York. I head up there with a crappy map that I couldn't follow with all the trail heads listed. I finally find a start point and head down it. So far it was nice with some rock jumps and I got cruising pretty good. I went through a gravel pit to the other side and then things just blew up.

There was a hill that literally went straight down at an angle I knew my brakes couldn't take, so I walked it down. The trails got so bad with rocks, roots and turns that I couldn't even go 5 feet without getting off the bike before I fell off. I stood there thinking I had the wrong place and thinking no way in hell people ride bikes in this. Every stupid root or rock and my tires would slip....I couldn't get up hills without spinning to a stop and I was ate alive by skeeters.
After an hour in there I quit and got the hell out of there, my bike got beat up bad...nothing broken, but muddy and just plain bruised up.... I hit the pedals on rocks a ton of times.

Here's a few pics of the disastrous day.

Bike ready to come out and play.



Wheels on, ready to go



Entering hell



5 minutes in and already caked with crap and beat up.





You've got to be kidding me..

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
You think that's bad?



Maybe it's above your skill level, but it seems like just a technical trail to me... Don't worry about your bike getting dirty and beat up, that's a fight you will NOT win.

You should ask around in local forums about that trial see if anyone rides it... then hook up with them!
 

·
What could go wrong ...
Joined
·
1,996 Posts
I dont get it ... you say the bike is caked with crap and all I see is some mud on the tires and then in the last pic it just looks like a easy dirt path ... and if your tires are slipping so much try a lower psi in them ... oh and nice bike rack
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh it was above my skill level for sure, but I was expecting some fairly open trails that I didn't have to literally duck under fallen trees and pinch my foot between the pedals and sharp rocks that pierced out from the sides of the trails. I had to jump off like 50 times when a root would make the bike slide and I never got out of the lowest gear. I actually go tintimidated and scared, because on one side it was a steep drop-off and my bike is slipping all over the place.
I knew I would get hurt so I just quit....nothing like I was expecting....I was expecting like old railroad bed type trails, not having to creep in first gear and hold onto trees to keep from falling.

I think at 35 this type of riding isn't for me. I need more of an open trail.
 

·
local trails rider
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
Sounds like you do need a different trail now.

I'm 47 and have been riding trails for 5 or 6 years. Your trails don't look bad to me, although it is hard to tell from photos how steep they really are. I still have recollections of trails that seemed way too hard for me. Now I just cannot remember what the difficulty was ;) There's still places where I lift the bike over a combination of rocks, or figure that I have a 50/50 chance of clearing something.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Zoke2 said:
I dont get it ... you say the bike is caked with crap and all I see is some mud on the tires and then in the last pic it just looks like a easy dirt path ... and if your tires are slipping so much try a lower psi in them ... oh and nice bike rack
There was a fine mist of dirt water all over the frame, the front derailer had mud packed in it between it and the frame plus all the mud on the wheels. Under the seat was a mess too plus my ass got wet as hell.

I haven't invested in a bike rack yet. Soon though if I get the money to dump on it. Until then I do what I gotta do.
 

·
local trails rider
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
You need to get that mud off the bike now. Oh, In many places it is frowned upon to ride trails that are wet and muddy. Don't know about your area.

The scratches on my bike and pedals are battle scars that are to be proudly displayed :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The pics make the trails look nice and big lol...believe me....one of those shows a hill that is very steep....I knew my POS Tektro calipers would never hold up down it. So like a little girl I walked down lol.

I would pay 200 dollars to see someone actually ride this trail...they must be damn good at it!!
 

·
Fat-tired Roadie
Joined
·
18,453 Posts
You really only need to keep the drivetrain and fork stanchions clean. The frame doesn't care if it's got crap all over it.

It looks like the kind of trail that's fine to ride wet. (IMHO, it's okay to ride wet trails if the surface is mainly organic stuff or there are a lot of rocks and roots. Trails with more of a silt or clay surface, that will set up into hardpack when dry, you should stay off of - they'll get ruined.) Get a set of fenders and call it good. Here in the PNW, they extend the riding season by about seven months.

Try running lower pressure in your tires. Don't worry about the pedals. The set I finally retired earlier this season, after ten years of service, have bevels taken out of the outside corners by rock strikes and putting them down on pavement in sharp turns when they were on a commuter.

Or get a road bike. The East Coast has beautiful riding of both types.

PS. Too bad I'm not still in NY. I might take you up on that $200. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
good looking trail

sounds like you had a great day of riding mud,rocks,roots,scratches scrapes hell yeah thats a good day, only one way to make it better is the ice cold beer at the end.
i too am a newb at riding and i also get frustrated at times but when i get to the end of the trail i cant stop talking about how fun it was and how bad it kicked my but.then i do it all again the next time you will get used to it keep it up and remember its all a learning experience.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
AndrwSwitch said:
You really only need to keep the drivetrain and fork stanchions clean. The frame doesn't care if it's got crap all over it.

It looks like the kind of trail that's fine to ride wet. (IMHO, it's okay to ride wet trails if the surface is mainly organic stuff or there are a lot of rocks and roots. Trails with more of a silt or clay surface, that will set up into hardpack when dry, you should stay off of - they'll get ruined.) Get a set of fenders and call it good. Here in the PNW, they extend the riding season by about seven months.

Try running lower pressure in your tires. Don't worry about the pedals. The set I finally retired earlier this season, after ten years of service, have bevels taken out of the outside corners by rock strikes and putting them down on pavement in sharp turns when they were on a commuter.

Or get a road bike. The East Coast has beautiful riding of both types.

PS. Too bad I'm not still in NY. I might take you up on that $200. ;)
This trail had many roots and shale rocks on it that were slippery(it had rained the night before) It was very tight and trying to make a turn without slipping was tough. I walked more than rode, mainly just to look around. The map I had mapped out intermediate trails, but I couldn't find them... I must of been in the advanced area...I hope that wasn't the intermediate area lol.

I like more of an open trail like old railroad beds... Usually I can get going pretty good on those. Yesterday was totally new and unexpected...I was like "no way in hell people ride a bike through this" And yes if you came here rode this trail I would give you 200 dollars plus a cold beer lol.

I heard there is a club that goes riding here every Thursday....I may have to go watch them do it... If I see it can actually be done, I may be more enthused about trying it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
It looks like some of the areas I ride down here in PA. You know what? They are hard for a beginner, and I walk my bike a lot when it gets past my skill level. But it gets better. A couple days ago I went down a trail that had me terrified at first; there's a rock-strewn hill at the beginning that felt like Everest.

A couple days ago, I stopped to let some hikers pass, and then climbed back on the bike and went down the "Everest" without it even registering that it was a hill... give yourself some time. I'm sure by the end of the summer the hills that scare me now will be nothing.

Trail riding is hard, but there aren't cars on trails. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
602 Posts
If your idea of the ideal trail is a old railroad bed, then you really don't know what you're getting into. Trails described as off road trails are often technical and dangerous, which is why they're fun. Maybe you're not ready for this kind of riding, or maybe it's just not for you. Try a couple other local trails on a drier day and see if you're into it. If not, try and find your local Rails To Trails and go buck wild. Only ride what you think is fun ;).

I would love to take you up on that $200 as well if only I lived a little closer. :D
 

·
meow meow
Joined
·
10,622 Posts
thats an awesome looking trail. i think you just need more saddle time to build your confidence. soon enough you'll be riding that trail laughing to yourself that at one point it seemed imposible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
Your pictures may not reveal the softness of the trails, but if it was raining the night before, obviously that was not the place to ride.

I ride in the mostly dry Bay Area, but one time a section of trail had been rebuilt by earth movers. My wheels sunk into 3 inches of soft earth, and I had to walk it.

As for rocky, steep trails, technique and experience is the key.

For example, on a steep runout, I brake to a near standstill before the drop, then roll down without using much brake until it levels off, then reapply the brakes.

My handling is better with the less brake I apply, so I try to roll sections where I can. Heavy braking affects your suspension, traction, and cornering, so use as little as possible on the technical parts.

With that said, sounds easy, hard to apply. That's where experience comes in. I used to crash on a 20 foot, 10 degree slope when I first started riding. 10 years later, I am hammering down mile long descents that look like dry stream beds.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
vanamees said:
You have wrong bike for old railroads - you need cyclocross.
Hmmmm? You mean the wrong bike for those trails not railroad beds. My bike is awesome on the railroad beds....lots of fun going pretty fast and jumping a small root or splashing through a puddle once in a while. I have one here that is a nice shortcut and it's like 6 miles through the woods. Lots of fun there.

I just didn't expect trails to be as tite and treacherous as yesterday, but I'm sure the bike I have would be a lot better at it with the right rider.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
sanjuro said:
As for rocky, steep trails, technique and experience is the key..
yes really lol.

All I could think was "the people who can ride a bike through this must be pretty damn good..
I can see the appeal of being able to do this and yes it's not for the faint of heart..I found out yesterday:madman:

I'll find some tamer trails and work up to the others.... I would like to say I can ride that sort of thing some day.
 
1 - 20 of 203 Posts
Top