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 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    All I want to do is go out and ride, dayumit! Or, maybe cry.

    Hello. Obviously, I'm new to the forum. My name really isn't Dick Seacup, either. But, I like it, and so I'll keep it.

    A year or so ago, I bought an NOS Gary Fisher Tassajara (real O in the NOS, it's a late 90s hardtail model) for about $200. It's a decent bike from what I can tell, and it works for me. I discovered that the knobbies on the road are a) loud and b) slow. Jeebuz, could they have any more rolling resistance? And pulling a 30#+ Bell two-seater buggy thing with a 35#+ kid in it is a lot of work.

    But, I digress.

    I'm not in the best of shape. Heck, I'm not even in good shape. In fact, I'm probably borderline bad shape. Last fall I got a wild hair and started strength training. In eight weeks I dropped ten pounds (no diet change other than drinking 1.5 gals of H20 daily) and close to doubled my strength (based on weights I was lifting). I felt great. Then my wife made two announcements. 1) I needed to gut the finished basement and 'refinish' it (don't ask) and 2) she was pregnant. The basement remodel ended the strength training.

    In January, her doctor(s) (yes, plural) put her on strict bedrest (she's what they call a 'high risk pregnancy'...I told the one doctor I figured all women were high risk...heh. That didn't go over so well). Did I mention we have a 3.5 year old son? He's a handful. Anyway, since January, I've been playing single-parent with two kids. She can lay on her left side, lay on her right side and go to the bathroom (in the bathroom, just so you don't get the wrong idea). I can do, well, just about everything else. For close to five months now. Ugh.

    But, I don't tell you these things to garner sympathy. No. I'm here to vent.

    I bought a HAC4, wired up the bike, got myself a pair of Underarmor shorts, two wicking shirts (one long sleeve Underarmor, one short sleeve Aeroline, both orange, because orange is fastestest) and decided to ride myself back in to shape. Two nights ago, I attached said buggy, buckled in said son and headed off for my first ride of the year (and hopefully many). I discovered that working up a slight (virtually nonexistant) grade, pulling the anvil in the boat anchor behind me, I can get my heart rate up to somewhere north of 180 pretty quickly. I also discovered that 3.5 year old boys don't like to go 'slow' when they're riding in a buggy behind a bike.

    Anyway, with the 'schedule' around the house (oh, and that work thing), finding time to ride is...difficult. So, tonight I figured I'd wait until after Littleman is bathed and in bed and then sneak out for an evening ride.

    Then the thunderstorms started.

    I don't think I'll ever get this plan off the ground.

  2. #2
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    Entertaining post! Enjoyed reading it as I can definitely relate.

    I started a new job in February that has taken up the majority of my time. Alot more than I expected. Today was the 36th day in a row I've been in the office! Being a salaried employee is the BEST!

    I'm having difficulty just finding time to shop for a new bike, let alone taking a good ride!

    I guess mine is a good problem to have though, with so many people out of a job.

    Hang in there!!

  3. #3
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    Well, I sucked it up. The rain ended (ok, it was still sprinkling) and I announced to everyone within earshot that I was headed out for "A Ride(tm)." My wife thought I was nuts...well, actually, I think this was just yet another confirmation of my mental state, actually. Anyway, I put 3.36 miles on in a little over 15 minutes. The thunderstorms and lightning started four blocks from home (on the way back, not on the way out).

    I got wet. I got muddy (this wicking stuff is just polyester and washes up, right?). I got to smell fresh rain and the odor of squished worms and wet grass and mud. And car exhaust, but let's not ruin the fun, k? In short, I had a blast!

    I figure three or four weeks of this and I'll be ready to find someone to go out to the local trails with who wants to show a complete newbie how to ride.

    Life is good.

  4. #4
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    Nice post! I can also relate. In January I wrecked my right knee (yet again) and had to go in for surgery (this last one made my 6th knee surgery - 5 on the right, 1 on the left). So 2 days before I turned 27, I had my half-dozenth surgery and got the joyous news that my multi-thousand dollar, pretty-pretty MTB will have to sit unused and unloved in the basement until late August, early September. Meanwhile, all the improvement I'd made to my physical condition via mountain biking and Krav Maga goes to mush.

    Oh well, with any luck I'm done with surgeries, and will be back to biking here in a few months. As for going out, why not find someone to take you out and show you the local trails now? It's been my experience that people who aren't willing to take out a newbie and show them some tips here and there are insecure in themselves and aren't the kinda people you wanna ride with, anyway. Anyone who's into mountain biking and a decent individual is gonna be more than willing to ride with ya, newbie or not.

    Hey, that's just my two cents. Anyway, congrats on the riding and welcome to the forums!

    Take care

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the friendly replies. I didn't ride last night; figured I'd take a night off to let my 'sitting bones' (is that what they're called?) recover. I may have to go buy a pair of those padded shorts to wear underneath my baggy UA shorts (I'm secure in my masculinity, but not *that* secure).

    Sorry to hear about your surgeries, Ross. I've managed to make it 39 years without any major breakdowns. Well, physically, anyway. Heh. I might go post a 'help me learn' request on the Michigan Mountain Biking forum to see if I can scare up a mentor. Scare being rather appropriate, I think.

  6. #6
    ride hard take risks
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  7. #7
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    Too long winded. Tomorrow vacation starts.

  8. #8
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    Cute. My youngest son has one of these, though:



    Maybe I could learn on that.

  9. #9
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    Excellent post

    Very entertaining. And don't mind Fred3's reply. He's the official mtbr curmudgeon. It's his obligation to rain on a parade.

    Keep on writing and enjoy whatever time you have to ride the bike.

    Best wishes for a safe delivery and a healthy baby and mom.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by *****eacup
    Thanks for the friendly replies. I didn't ride last night; figured I'd take a night off to let my 'sitting bones' (is that what they're called?) recover. I may have to go buy a pair of those padded shorts to wear underneath my baggy UA shorts (I'm secure in my masculinity, but not *that* secure).

    Sorry to hear about your surgeries, Ross. I've managed to make it 39 years without any major breakdowns. Well, physically, anyway. Heh. I might go post a 'help me learn' request on the Michigan Mountain Biking forum to see if I can scare up a mentor. Scare being rather appropriate, I think.
    Yeah, well, play the hand you're dealt, I guess. Hopefully this will be the last time I get cut on for a few years, anyway.

    You're in Michigan, huh? You should definitely be able to find someone to show you the local trails and some tricks therein in the area. If you're hankering to hit the trails, and reside in SE Michigan, I'd give Island Lake, Paint Creek, Stoney Creek (REALLY easy trails), and Bloomer Park In Rochester a try. Bloomer is like a MTB playground. All these are relatively easy and you should get the chance to BS with some of the locals, assuming you can't find someone to help you out in the learning department.

    If I was un-crippled, I'd offer to show you some places, but I'm gonna be sitting on my butt and eating Cheetos for the next few months. Sorry, man.

    I'd definitely swipe a pair of riding shorts ASAP. You'll look goofy, but riding will become much easier and you'll be able to sit down the next day.

    Best of luck!

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  11. #11
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by *****eacup
    Cute. My youngest son has one of these, though:
    Maybe I could learn on that.
    Wheels are too small time to move on up. Then do some yard work you & the son can have a blast for few hours.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    Very entertaining. And don't mind Fred3's reply. He's the official mtbr curmudgeon. It's his obligation to rain on a parade.

    Keep on writing and enjoy whatever time you have to ride the bike.

    Best wishes for a safe delivery and a healthy baby and mom.

    Bob
    Oh, I didn't take offense. Sometimes I get in to this whole stream of consciousness thing. Usually when the meds wear off. Or the beer takes over.

    Thanks for the well wishes. We're looking at four more weeks. Then I'm free! Sorta. Heh.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by *****eacup
    Usually when the meds wear off. Or the beer takes over.
    Beer EQUALS meds!
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  14. #14
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    Pretty funny

    Great post! I'm not yet in the same boat as you, but I feel like I stay just as busy. I'm getting married in October (first time), so working with the finace on planning this ordeal is about as much fun as punching myself in the neck... Other than that, my job and other hobbies (disc golf, racquetball, video games, beer, etc.) always get in the way. I'm also trying to drop some lbs., so I'm trying to ride as much as possible. Good luck and enjoy. My old bike was a Tass. hardtail and I loved it.
    Trying hard to get less fat...

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