1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    20

    2nd Real Trail Ride with 1st mtb - Pace and skill

    Yesterday I went to a trail, I had been once before. I took the XC track.
    Vulture's Knob Mountain Bike Park : 331 Racing

    The first time I went I took the same track and had a only a couple close calls. Nothing too crazy, kept it fairly slow since I was going solo on a trail I had never touched before.

    I go back yesterday and I eat dirt 3 times inside of 20min. on the trail.
    Ugh. Root on a rough landing sent me into the brush and over the handlebars. Then, I was gunshy and am cruising on a bit of a steep downhill portion and tap the brakes sending me over the handlebars. Still can't figure out why I did that. Pretty beat up at that point, I took a fast corner on the flat rather than the berm, and catch an algae covered rock and out goes the front (or maybe both) tire.

    After all that, I catch up to a couple I saw in the parking lot that left a bit before me.

    I realize they must have been taking it slower than I was. I biffed 3 times and still caught up to them. They seemed pretty seasoned and knowledgable of the trails once I caught up to them and asked them some questions as they took a breather at the top of a climb.

    So, my take is I am just trying to take the trail a bit too fast for my skill level. I do something similar when I go for runs without someone or some device to set pace. I just pretty much burn myself out in the first 30min.

    Anyhow, I will be going back soon and looking for some less technical trails in the meantime. Looks like I really need to lock down the basics before I try to conquer that trail with some speed.

    Anyone have any advice or similar experience?

    EDIT - Title and grammar
    Last edited by bjames; 06-15-2014 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    454
    A key rule of any ride is that you must finish the ride and being carried out doesn't count as finishing. Keep riding the same trail and figure out what you need to do to not crash. Then figure out how to do it faster -- assuming you want to go faster.

    Next time you ride that trail, don't just clear the obstacle and go on. Clear it and then go back and do it 4 or 5 more times. That way, you can see if you are building skill or just getting lucky.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nubster's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,106
    Takes time. Ride within your comfort zone at first. Just learn the very basics. That's stuff like pacing yourself, cornering, shifting, braking, ect. Work on easy obstacles and work your way up. Just take your time. We all started at the same point. It takes time and practice. There's no need to rush into things. If you go too fast or too hard too soon you risk burning out, getting hurt, trashing your bike, or some combination of the three. That could put you out for the rest of the season or even turn you away from biking all together.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    17
    +1 to Nubster and Bruce. As a disclaimer I'm fairly new to mountain biking but I rode dirt bikes for years. Force yourself to ride within your abilities, and consciously work on good technique and skills instead of going fast. If this is really your second time on the trails then I think you would be much better served to focus on the best way to tackle each obstacle and pick good lines instead of trying for speed. If you are a speed junky it might be a little less fun at first but will help you develop a skill base that lets you go faster in a safer way. I also think that if you have the frame of mind to focus on each set of obstacles you will naturally slow down until you start putting the pieces together. There are also some good technique videos out there for braking and body position that might be helpful if you haven't watched them yet.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,049
    Bike setup can have some impact on how it handles. What tire pressure are you running?
    Too high and your tire may bounce more than necessary when it hits a rock.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,771
    Tire thread makes a difference also. Go to You tube watch some videos. Ride a lot more . You need to learn to ride slow before to try to ride fast.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,205
    It sounds like you're on the right track. You should just pace yourself and slow down until you know the terrain and what to do with it. My average time on the 5 or so mile loop by my house is about an hour. It's technical and involves a lot of steep climbs. But my fastest was around 30 minutes because that day I went in, and it started down pouring.. I slipped on roots and bounced off trees, and I was miserable and wanted it over with. So I know I can pick up the pace, I just don't want to be out of commission with a broken foot like 2 seasons ago lol

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    20
    I have been out on trails a couple dozen times on rentals or borrowed bikes. It was on some full-suspension, hardtail, and fatbikes. I purchased my first personal bike about 2 months ago now - a trek xcal9 2014. Only been able to ride the bike two times on singletrack, but I have rode a bunch on paved paths and I am doing some commuting on it, because I can.

    It sounds like I need to take Bruce's advice and really learn to conquer obstacles and not "get lucky". I may need to find some more beginner friendly flowy trails to get my comfort and skill level up.

    I really don't want to get laid up with some injury - I don't seem to bounce back from falls quite as fast as I used to 15yrs ago skateboarding.

    EDIT - grammar

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,205
    15 years ago I was a teenager and I really think I was made of rubber.. These days not so much lol

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,833
    It takes time to learn all the different things that you can get away with - and the ones that you cannot. And still you get the occasional "unintentional dismount".
    - when and where to brake
    - what is too fast - or too slow (sometimes too slow can get you to more trouble)
    - which part of the slimy rock is most likely to have some traction

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-24-2013, 05:45 PM
  2. Chino Hills Sunday Ride Old Guy Pace
    By trmn8er in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-07-2013, 01:29 PM
  3. PAS - Advanced ride at Casual pace 05/05/2012
    By Logover in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-03-2012, 07:14 PM
  4. PAS - Advanced group ride moderate pace 04/08/12
    By Logover in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-06-2012, 08:43 AM
  5. PAS - Advanced group ride moderate pace 04/01/12
    By Logover in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-31-2012, 10:11 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •