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  1. #1
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    My first few rides

    Hello all,

    I decided to get into MTBing to improve my fitness level and have some fun. After a bit of research and budget crunching I ended up getting a bikesdirect 29er singlespeed (Gravity G29). I know...I know. It was all my pocket book could allow but overall I think I'll be really happy with it for a while. Maybe I'll build up a steel frame rigid 29er SS in the fall, we'll see.

    Shortly after getting it I took it to a flat desert area right next to Red Mountain Park to get a feel for it. Went there a few times, had some fun on the dirt mounds and riding the dirt paths.

    Last week was my first real single track run over at the Blevins trails at Usery. Did Blevins to Moonrock to Blevins back to the parking lot. Kicked my ass, which is really sad because it's about as tame as anything. I just pushed too hard and went too fast for my first real outing. I'm only about 15 lbs overweight, but I've been a lazy slob for years so my overall health needs a kick.

    Today I went back out to Usery but this time I added in the Cats Peak Trail to the end of the ride. Holy crap that was a bad idea. I started off much more conservatively and focused on my breathing to keep a good pace and not blow my wad too early. Got to the Cats Peak and realized this was beyond my skill/fitness level. Rocky, fairly steep and a bunch of buried log steps. Ended up HABing for about 25 yards or so. The downhill was almost worth it, but it was also pretty rocky so I took it slow.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my new MTB experiences and say that so far I'm loving it.

  2. #2
    Meatbomb
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    Keep at it and the cardio will make up for the lazy slob syndrome.


    Welcome to the sport!!
    Last edited by Phillbo; 05-09-2013 at 06:59 AM.

  3. #3
    My other ride is your mom
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    Do more HAB...it takes you to interesting places, the view is usually better, and it's still brutal exercise...kinda like cross training.

  4. #4
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    I really enjoy the Blevins/cats peak/moon rocks loop, tame but fun when time is limited. You'll have it down no time.

  5. #5
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    I've got an odd question for you guys... I noticed today when I stopped to catch my breath that if I looked up at the clouds they seemed to be rushing towards my center point of vision. At first I just thought the wispy clouds where just really moving fast but no matter which direction I looked they all had the same appearance of movement. After a minute or so it went away. Just curious if anyone else has had this visual illusion before. I'm thinking it must be from the "tunnel vision" of movement down the trail. Or maybe I just have a brain tumor...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    I've got an odd question for you guys... I noticed today when I stopped to catch my breath that if I looked up at the clouds they seemed to be rushing towards my center point of vision. At first I just thought the wispy clouds where just really moving fast but no matter which direction I looked they all had the same appearance of movement. After a minute or so it went away. Just curious if anyone else has had this visual illusion before. I'm thinking it must be from the "tunnel vision" of movement down the trail. Or maybe I just have a brain tumor...
    transient brain hypoxia, heat exhaustion, dehydration, hyponatremia, hypokalemia, etc.

  7. #7
    EDR
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    Re: My first few rides

    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    I've got an odd question for you guys... I noticed today when I stopped to catch my breath that if I looked up at the clouds they seemed to be rushing towards my center point of vision.
    ...
    Yeah not too unusual when your blood is pumping hard. I remember those days, still get them from time to time.

    I remember puking out at Hawes during a similar situation, it was hot though as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    I've got an odd question for you guys... I noticed today when I stopped to catch my breath that if I looked up at the clouds they seemed to be rushing towards my center point of vision. At first I just thought the wispy clouds where just really moving fast but no matter which direction I looked they all had the same appearance of movement. After a minute or so it went away. Just curious if anyone else has had this visual illusion before. I'm thinking it must be from the "tunnel vision" of movement down the trail. Or maybe I just have a brain tumor...
    I get that same feeling time to time depending on how many miles I ride there at Usery, I usually ride about a 5-7 mile loop and towards the end of the ride is when I notice it the most. I've started riding down at SanTan and because it seems much more technical (to me) I have yet to get that same feeling, it's odd to say the least.

  9. #9
    DFMBA.org
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    My first few rides

    Mix in some running if you're inclined. Helps out with the cardio on the bike.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  10. #10
    PMP,TAN,LAUNDRY
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    I still puke on summer rides every now and then. I actually enjoy the occasional HAB..gives you a chance to scan the downhill.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  11. #11
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    If I was riding a single speed, I would probably be bonking too... If you think you are not in the best cardio shape, why the single speed ?? Gears are you friend...
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  12. #12
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    Ain't no shame in HABing! Forces you to learn how to get come down those "interesting" slopes
    "This fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream" - 311

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    If I was riding a single speed, I would probably be bonking too... If you think you are not in the best cardio shape, why the single speed ?? Gears are you friend...
    What better way to HTFU than to get a single speed and power through? I'd rather not rely on gears and instead get my conditioning in order. Besides, I really don't want to ride a geared bike long term, I like the simplicity of the single speed.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    What better way to HTFU than to get a single speed and power through? I'd rather not rely on gears and instead get my conditioning in order. Besides, I really don't want to ride a geared bike long term, I like the simplicity of the single speed.
    by all means go for it
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    If I was riding a single speed, I would probably be bonking too... If you think you are not in the best cardio shape, why the single speed ?? Gears are you friend...
    I have to agree. SS may be cheaper, but so much easier to go from doing ok to pegged running at 11. SS takes a special kind of strength. Personally I like my gears.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have to agree. SS may be cheaper, but so much easier to go from doing ok to pegged running at 11. SS takes a special kind of strength. Personally I like my gears.
    I like to think of it as interval training. According to the cross fit guys, it's a great way to give your conditioning a straight kick in the ass. Not saying it's fun, but I'll push through and will enjoy the reward that much more.

    As for the HABing comments, I appreciate that. It's easy to feel like a loser but you all make great points. Makes sense that you aren't pushing yourself hard enough if you don't consistently ride at the limit of your conditioning or ability.

  17. #17
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    My first few rides

    Nothing wrong with taking a stroll with the one you love! Plus it's your bike and your ride- as long as you are respecting the trail and other users, I say do and ride whatever you like-Murica!


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    I like to think of it as interval training. According to the cross fit guys, it's a great way to give your conditioning a straight kick in the ass. Not saying it's fun, but I'll push through and will enjoy the reward that much more.

    As for the HABing comments, I appreciate that. It's easy to feel like a loser but you all make great points. Makes sense that you aren't pushing yourself hard enough if you don't consistently ride at the limit of your conditioning or ability.
    I checked out that bike, doesn't it come stock with 33 x 18 ?
    That's pretty high for beginners, this is hard even for experienced riders in good shape.
    I would strongly recommend 33x22 if you got hills (over 1K ascent per ride)or 33x20 (<1K per ride) if it's flat where you ride. THat will make huge difference in riding - you still get a helluva work out though but less walking.

    Buying and swapping one gear is cheap and easy.

  19. #19
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    It is 33x18, I thought about swapping to a 20t cog but my rides so far have been mostly flat and fast. Although I would like to not avoid the hilly sections either... Can you recommend a good gear, where to get it and any special tools I'd need to replace it?

  20. #20
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    My first few rides

    Wow- that is some steep gearing. I run 32x20 on mine and the high cadence/rpm on flats will help you learn to pedal with a good, efficient spin. A good spin technique benefits all riders and is pretty important when trying to SS. I may have a spare 20t you could try or keep or free then all you need is a chain.


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  21. #21
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    My first few rides

    Dang all this SS talk has started given me ideas. My new stumpy HT may soon be converted to single speed. Just not sure if the motor (me) can handle the swap

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    Wow- that is some steep gearing. I run 32x20 on mine and the high cadence/rpm on flats will help you learn to pedal with a good, efficient spin. A good spin technique benefits all riders and is pretty important when trying to SS. I may have a spare 20t you could try or keep or free then all you need is a chain.


    Sent from your Moms phone using Tapinthat.
    I appreciate that, let me know if you have a spare and I'll certainly pay you for it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    I appreciate that, let me know if you have a spare and I'll certainly pay you for it.
    I second changing to the 20T. I actually had the same bike for a while, it was a solid ride, lots of fun! I could hit just about everything with it and keep up on the tech. Stock gearing was way too tall for any real climbing though, without feeling like my knees were going to pop.

    You will get stronger for sure, soon you will be motoring up what you're hiking now.

    My first few rides-mcdowell-ride-1.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  24. #24
    I love bike!
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    I started SS a little while back on 33x18 and have to agree with others that this is a little steep even for fairly tame trails. Switched to a 33x20 and although not considerably different it seemed to take a bit of the edge off and I could crest some climbs that would leave me defeated with the 18. I think you said you ride out at Santan? A good test is if you start from the Wagon Wheel trailhead and head up Goldmine to Dynamite and you can clean the whole thing. It's not very steep but pretty steady and a couple spots you might get hung up on but it's a pretty good feeling when you can make it all and it's definitely doable. Descend down the backside and play in the loops then head back out via Dynamite. The ride back down DM is shweeeeet!!!

  25. #25
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    My first few rides

    Hey PO- sorry bud no 20's .


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