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  1. #1
    Boriqua Puneta
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    Riding in the summer

    I ve got a few questions for you guys. I moved from denver to phoenix almost a year ago and I went from riding 4 times a week to nothing. Im wanting to get back into riding but the high tempetures are making me think twice. Do you guys ride during the heat of summer? At what hours of the day do you go ride? Tips are welcomed.

    Im into cross country riding. I used to do 20 and 30 mile rides but here the desert sucks the water out of you so its hard for me to do a 20 mile. By 12-15 miles my 3 liter camelback is dry.

    Thanks guys
    Only type of shuttle I ride....the ambulance!

  2. #2
    EDR
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    Do you guys ride during the heat of summer?
    Yes, if by heat of summer you mean year 'round.
    At what hours of the day do you go ride?
    The temps this week I do not consider 'hot'. I can still start a ride at 9am if I want to. I can ride in +100 degree temps as long as the humidity is super low, as it is now. In July and August I need to be on the trail at sunrise and be done by 9am or so. It's either that or ride after the sun goes down. It might still be well over 100 after dark but the sun is not there to torch your brain and suck the life out of you. Acclimation is key.

    Heck, who am I kidding? I took a 6 week hiatus last year during the "dog-days" of summer

  3. #3
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    I start off the summer months riding early morning and late afternoon. By July I'll take on whatever the afternoon sun can throw at me. Nothing gets you in better shape than a afternoon ride on a 115 deg day... Like eatsleepdrink said, it's all about acclimating. Helps to be a little on the crazy side too.

  4. #4
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    Acclimate, bring tons of water, drink plenty of water the night before you ride, start early. I usually set my cutoff at 10 am but that can vary as well. One helpful tip for riding during the Monsoon is to carry a spare set of gloves. Mine are usually soaked after an hour or so of riding and it's nice to have a dry set for the return trip (helps avoid pruny hands)...
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  5. #5
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Stick your head and feet in the pool before you take off for the ride - this will provide very effective evaporative cooling! But like Kenny said - acclimate! Don't expect to do 20 or 30 at first - shoot for 5 miles, then 10. Start off on easier trails like Desert Classic at South Mountain (even our easy trails can be difficult for someone not used to riding rocks and non-buff trails). Set your expectations low and you will not be disappointed!!

  6. #6
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    If your sucking thru the water that fast, start bringing a back up bottle or two in your pack, or just plan your rides around water stops.

    As Durt Gurl said, DC is a good option as you have water at either end of the trail. Also doing loops at any of the comp tracks in town or at Pemberton can bring back past your car where you can keep extra water in a cooler for refills.

    I usually ride trails where I am can run a faster pace during the summer, which also helps catch a little wind. Also some peeps ride road more during the hot months, especially if you cant get out for the 5:30am starts!

    I bought a set of Arm Coolers last year and use these a ton. Saves on using sunscreen and keeps at least on part a bit cooler!

    http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/...-rrs206-NYTAC8

  7. #7
    Need more cowbell
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    Summer is a great opportunity to ride at night....even the most mundane trails change at night.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2 View Post
    I ve got a few questions for you guys. I moved from denver to phoenix almost a year ago and I went from riding 4 times a week to nothing. Im wanting to get back into riding but the high tempetures are making me think twice. Do you guys ride during the heat of summer? At what hours of the day do you go ride? Tips are welcomed.

    Im into cross country riding. I used to do 20 and 30 mile rides but here the desert sucks the water out of you so its hard for me to do a 20 mile. By 12-15 miles my 3 liter camelback is dry.

    Thanks guys
    If you think it's hot now....wait until Sept.

    I've been in AZ for 35 years, so the heat really does not get to me. But I definitely would not recommend riding in the middle of the day. In the summer, I typically ride after 6 pm, which is still unbearably hot. Just be sure to drink lots of water, and if you get dizzy or lightheaded, stop immediately. One redflag for me is when I stop sweating. When I stop sweating, that's my cue to stop riding.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  9. #9
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2 View Post
    I ve got a few questions for you guys. I moved from denver to phoenix almost a year ago and I went from riding 4 times a week to nothing. Im wanting to get back into riding but the high tempetures are making me think twice. Do you guys ride during the heat of summer? At what hours of the day do you go ride? Tips are welcomed.

    Im into cross country riding. I used to do 20 and 30 mile rides but here the desert sucks the water out of you so its hard for me to do a 20 mile. By 12-15 miles my 3 liter camelback is dry.

    Thanks guys
    Like others have said.

    -Ride very early.
    -Ride at night.
    -Hydate several hours before a ride.
    -Ice in the camelbak
    -Bring extra water bottle. Ive run out of water on 2 occations and Id rather finish a ride lugging around an extra 100oz bladder than run out on the trail.
    -Stick with it/suck it up. Its comes with the territory for better or worse.
    -Look forward to the winter
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  10. #10
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    Like it was said before, getting acclimated is the key. The transition period from the cool temps to warm then hot then AZ temps is tough. Try staying hydrated all the time, not just before or during your rides it helps a great deal. Avoid riding in the middle of the day, when the sun leans on you the most.
    When It gets hot (100+) sometimes I will actually put my jersey in a cooler of ice water, wring it out a little and put it on wet when I get to the trail head, freeze my water bottle, put ice in or partially freeze my water bladder, I also will bring a couple of the small 3"x5" frozen cooler blocks in my pack incase I get too hot.

  11. #11
    kAZ
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    On the hottest days, if I start riding just as the sun comes up, say around 5:30 or 6, I can get a solid 3 hours of riding in before I start to want to get out of the heat.

    One tip is that some trails are shaded in the morning or evening, which can make riding at almost any temperature not that big of a deal. Desert Classic, the east loops, and Javelina at S.Mtn are all shaded by the mtn for the last hour or so of the day. Hawes and the west side of Pass Mtn are shaded in the early morning.

    Also, go to Flagstaff.

  12. #12
    Boriqua Puneta
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    Awsome guys. Thanks for the tips. I didnt want to be "that guy" that didnt know you shouldnt ride in the summer and ends up in the news. Ill take your tips to get back in shape. One more question and I know there will be more then 1 answer. Which is your favorite bike shop either in Phoenix or surrounding areas and why? Thanks for all the replies
    Only type of shuttle I ride....the ambulance!

  13. #13
    Ridin bikes is fun
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    I bought me a road bike mostly so I can keep in some shape over the summer. I will still be hitting the trails once or twice a week. I don't get off work until 9pm so getting up at 4:30 to be FIP by 5am is difficult for me. In years past when I did not have a road bike I would keep you trail rides short, for me that's an hour and a half or less and just try to get in 4 to 6 short rides a week..

    Start off slow and soon enough you'll be riding in 100+ temps with little problems.
    Better than most, not as good as some.

  14. #14
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    If you're drinking that much water you ought to carry a bottle with some Cytomax or something to sip on during the ride.

    Drinking that much straight water will wash out your sodium and other minerals leading to cramping , lethargy etc.

  15. #15
    pedaller
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    +1 on everything that's been said so far.

    NOT riding when the sun beating directly down on you is key.

    Another thing about acclimation, getting out there early when it's cooler and riding while the temps rise lets you acclimate to the heat of THAT DAY. I can ride into the 100s that way no problem but if I head out late and start with the temps already that high, I'm cooked.

    Early summer rides and then jumping in the pool is awesome though!
    (followed by a nap later in the day )
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  16. #16
    My other ride is your mom
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    quit your job and head to the pines....

  17. #17
    drink coffee, ride.
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    All the stuff said above, but I still look at it like riding at high elevation, you can do it, you're just doing it slower. I'll will bike commute during the summer, leaving work at 330 in the afternoon. So, 114 it fairly regular, it's only at the stoplights that the heat causes me difficulty. When moving there is enough evap cooling to keep things rolling, and I'm not climbing anything significant.

  18. #18
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    Ice in the camelpak works well.

    Recently I started wearing a skull-cap-beanie-sweat-vac-doo-rag-thing under my helmet and I swear it keeps me a few degrees cooler. Plus it keeps the sweat from dripping out of the front helmet pad and all over the shades when going down hill. Was I alone with that phenomenon?

  19. #19
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_Wook View Post
    Ice in the camelpak works well.

    Recently I started wearing a skull-cap-beanie-sweat-vac-doo-rag-thing under my helmet and I swear it keeps me a few degrees cooler. Plus it keeps the sweat from dripping out of the front helmet pad and all over the shades when going down hill. Was I alone with that phenomenon?
    nope.. same issue here.. where did you get the skull cap ?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2 View Post
    One more question and I know there will be more then 1 answer. Which is your favorite bike shop either in Phoenix or surrounding areas and why? Thanks for all the replies
    I would like to recommend South Mountain Cycles. I have never made a purchase there... only window shopped BUT they are very helpful and friendly. They also have a good selection of bikes (both for brands and types). However, most of the shops in the Phoenix area are pretty good.

  21. #21
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    All great tips/suggestions. I do a little of each, ride early on the weekend, mix in a night ride during the week if I can and knock out a shorter ride with a 3:30p start time on Wed/Thurs. When I ride during the peak heat times, I limit my rides to more accessible areas just in case something were to happen.

    I'll also try to get in a few rides up north.

    I can't tell how much I like riding with the sun sleeves, they really help keep my arms cooler. Also, I keep a bandana in my pack and If I need it, drench it and drape it across my neck for a bit. Tons of ice in the Camelback.

    As was stated repeatedly, acclimate & know your limits. I like the empty trails of summer!!
    I ride the crappy trails so you don't have to
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  22. #22
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    I just rode Trail 100 at PMP yesterday evening and I have found this trail to be shaded by the mountains quite a bit. I felt quite cool most of the ride.. although the constant sweating did help. but as someone has suggested before -- start small ( shorter rides ) and see how your body reacts to the different climate. Eventually you will get used to it ( if not already ) and be riding similar distances that you were in the past.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I would like to recommend South Mountain Cycles. I have never made a purchase there... only window shopped BUT they are very helpful and friendly. They also have a good selection of bikes (both for brands and types). However, most of the shops in the Phoenix area are pretty good.
    I only use SMC for LBS purchases. I've gotten great customer service from at least 5 people that work there. Customer service is key for me.
    a real Dirkbag!

  24. #24
    EDR
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    IME Rage in Scottsdale is great as it caters to real mtb'rs. Cactus next to SoMo is good to, a real mtb crowd in there as well.

  25. #25
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    +2 on everything. Especially the do-rag. I got one, and it keeps the sweat from even breaking through to my forehead and totally out of my eyes. It helps keep the heat in a little on your head during the cooler season.

    Question about extra hydration packs and ice... Do you guys freeze your packs, or just fill them about 80% and load the rest of the way with ice?
    Keep pedalin'. You can catch your breath on the downhill!

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tplace View Post
    Question about extra hydration packs and ice... Do you guys freeze your packs, or just fill them about 80% and load the rest of the way with ice?
    I load it full of ice THEN fill it with water...

  27. #27
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    I fill mine with ice, than water, like mike suggested. I also swear by the Camelback tablets. They are tasty, they work, and the bladder does not need to be cleaned. Bike shops? I really like Estrella Mountain Cyclery for west valley. Very nice people. Slippery Pig was also pretty nice. Customer service seems very important to those shops. Rage is also very cool, love the vibe.
    I remember when I started riding out here, heat was crazy. I had never ridden at night before. I now ride at night, when the baby lets me, and I absolutely love it.

  28. #28
    EDR
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    Do you guys freeze your packs, or just fill them about 80% and load the rest of the way with ice?
    Lots of ice, then water. Most of the ice will be gone in 1 or 2 hours. Having an oddly shaped ice 'brick' on my back is not ideal. Been there, done that.

  29. #29
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    My main shop is Rage, been with them for almost as long as I've been riding. Cactus is my 2nd go-to shop, really cool crew there too.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  30. #30
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    I fill my 100oz Camelbak bag 1/2 full with electrolyte koolaid flavor-of-the-day (whatever flavor was on the "10 for $10" sale that week) and freeze it the night before, and fill the rest of the way with ice cubes and water before heading out the door for a ride.

    Ride early. Nothing beats setting out on the trail while the world is still asleep and the eastern sky is just catching fire.

    Ride late. Invest in some good bike lights, and enjoy night-riding. It's a "necessary joy." It doubles the amount of trail available to you, and the wildlife at night is pretty cool. There are a bunch of organized night rides across the valley throughout the summer.

    Gold Bond Medicated Powder down your shorts. Really. Your junk will thank you.

    Fill the gas tank and carpool with friends up north to ride Flagstaff and Christopher Creek.

    ...and as so many of my riding brethren have said, acclimatize. I moved to Bailey, CO from Phoenix several years ago (actually moved back here the soon after the Hayman Fire, that was ugly), and it took me a few months to grow my mountain lungs. With a little time on your bike in the heat, you'll do just fine. Don't overdo it, just enjoy the ride.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilaMonster View Post
    Ride early. Nothing beats setting out on the trail while the world is still asleep and the eastern sky is just catching fire.
    Truer words have not been spoken...

    Quote Originally Posted by GilaMonster View Post
    Fill the gas tank and carpool with friends up north to ride Flagstaff and Christopher Creek.
    Mmmm... gotta think about a Christopher Creek/Mogollon Rim ride/shuttle this summer

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by big0mike View Post
    ...gotta think about a Christopher Creek/Mogollon Rim ride/shuttle this summer
    Count me in Mike!

  33. #33
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    Go crack-o-dawn early! If you're drinking that much water you need to replace your electrolytes continuously during the ride. Hyponatrimia is no fun.

    The sweet stuff in the Camelback is no bueno as it leaves the bladder a breeding ground for bacteria and is a pain to clean. I use Elite liquid in my pack water and either Hammer Endurolytes or Elite tablets. On longer rides I'll take a bottle with CliffShot electolyte, made the night before and stuck in the freezer.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilaMonster View Post
    Count me in Mike!
    You'll have to be the guide. I know the area for camping & fishing. Minus an MTB trip around Woods Canyon Lake 10+ years ago I don't know any of the trails up there.

  35. #35
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    Having just been out there, it's not hot at all right now. I did 3.5 hours starting @ 3:00pm w/ 130oz of liquid on Tuesday. In Austin lately (high 90s w/ 40%+ humidity) that won't get much past 2 hours.

    115F w/ 8% humidity is heaven by comparison.

  36. #36
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I ride in the heat of the day all summer long, its not bad. I love the heat.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  37. #37
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    Got the one at the PP link below. Could be better ones out there but this one works for me so far. It does keep the sweat out of the eyes, seems to keep me cooler (I think) and is significantly easier to wash than the helmet itself.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/148...-Skull-Cap.htm

  38. #38
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    Rode 15 yesterday at noon. Spent a good 2.5 hours out. Refilled my bladder once cause I drink faster than one probably should but the heat wasnt the killer... those damned hills were!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tplace View Post
    Question about extra hydration packs and ice... Do you guys freeze your packs, or just fill them about 80% and load the rest of the way with ice?
    I have a Polar bladder that has gel built into it that freezes. It's fantastic. This way I only need to add a little bit of water.

    On the other hand, the SS doesn't see much action this time of year. The Lemond gets lots of miles...and the Brooks running shoes!
    Why would I need more than one gear?
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I ride in the heat of the day all summer long, its not bad. I love the heat.
    Prescott summer heat is a little different than Phoenix summer heat...

  41. #41
    K3N
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    Temp doesnt seem to bother me much, but sweat does! I use a headband that keeps 90% of sweat out of my eyes..Like others said-get out early! It can be pretty nice out the earlier you're out. Less people on the trails too! I left the house today before 5 got almost 4 hours in and still have all day to do nothing!

    I put ice in my camelback then fill it with jug of water thats been in the fridge, and freeze half a waterbottle full and then fill that too. Although nothing beats taking a small cooler to have a cold Gatorade afterwards!

  42. #42
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    I actually DON'T ride in the summer. Usually I stop in May and don't even think about it again until October-ish. I spend my time in the summer hiking, and doing indoor stuff like racquetball, or playing golf. Its just too hot here and its not enjoyable. I have to get up to commute to work at 5am Monday through Friday, I am damn sure not going to get up that early (or earlier) to ride my bike on the 2 days I can sleep in. No thanks. YMMV.

  43. #43
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    I'm in Flagstaff and I won't ride during the middle of the day in June or July until the monsoons start coming in. The temps may be in the mid 80's but the sun is so strong at 7k+ it's just not enjoyable for me. I don't know how people in Pheonix can do it honestly. I guess since I have ridden bikes my whole life I'm not as motivated to get out and after it like I used to be, now I only go when it's most comfortable and fun for me, the same goes for skiing these days. I'm just not so core anymore.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I guess since I have ridden bikes my whole life I'm not as motivated to get out and after it like I used to be, now I only go when it's most comfortable and fun for me, the same goes for skiing these days. I'm just not so core anymore.
    ^ This. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  45. #45
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    I think I would ride on the sun itself if my tires wouldn't melt.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDean View Post
    I think I would ride on the sun itself if my tires wouldn't melt.
    You are way more core than me.

  47. #47
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    Riding in the summer

    I keep my Camelbak in the freezer filled about 25-35% with water and the rest I fill up w/air by blowing into it to keep the shape. Keeps bacteria from growing so I never really have to clean it. Pull it out about 30 minutes prior to a ride and fill it w/water.

    I also use skull cap. I really like this one from Hammer Nutrition. Can't post the link cuz I'm lame.......
    When all else fails - Haul Ass

  48. #48
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    I ride National to Telegaph, from Oct thru June July/Aug/Sept I ride to BV or the Towers I usually start around 10am to noon and it takes me ~2 to 3 hours. In July and Aug it does make me slow down but I still just do it.

    I bet there are fewer people on the trial it 2pm then at 5am

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by big0mike View Post
    Prescott summer heat is a little different than Phoenix summer heat...
    Yeah, I still have to go to Williams and Flagstaff sometimes to cool off. If its 90 or more im not really having fun riding. It takes too much fluid to make it worthwhile IME. I prefer year-round riding.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  50. #50
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    I think it's funny how many people avoid riding in the summer. Just go early or late in the day to avoid the hottest parts of the day, bring extra water and some sort of electrolytes, and keep them short. I reserve the nice winter days for the 5-7 hour rides, and keep them around 2-3 hours in the summer. Also, I stick to the shadier trails as much as possible.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
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