Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    245

    My first 100+ miles of trail riding

    I am pleased to say that from my very first time on the trails I have become a total addict. It's hard to believe i've only been riding six or seven weeks. I'm no stranger to bicycling, but the world of trail networks and suspension bikes is new to me, and i'm having a total blast and learning/improving my skills and fitness level every ride.

    Our local trail system is amazing and is an ideal place to learn to ride. It is very much a smooth single track type of zone, which seems well suited to the 29er hardtail that I am riding. I am still exploring new routes nearly every ride, and surmounting obstacles that I could not ride up just a month ago. The north side of our trails consists of a 1.5 mile climb with an elevation gain of about 1500'. This still kicks my butt, and I cannot ride all the way up without a break, but I hope to get to that level before the season closes. Lately i've been exploring the south side, which has plenty of up and down, but it is a more even kind of cardio workout. I am want to make a spur off of a trail up there which features a series of jumps, which are pretty rare on those trails.

    I've done some exploring of the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction, and recently rode the classic Horsetheif Bench loop outside of Loma, which had some obstacles I found quite tricky. I really enjoy the rocky technical terrain, it's very different from what is near home, and i'm thankful my in-laws live up there so we are there often. I've also done some riding up on Grand Mesa, which is beautiful alpine territory, although i've yet to find trails that I really enjoy.

    So far i've had to lay my bike down a couple of times, and got thrown OTB when riding tired at 10,000+ feet. That was pretty embarrassing (not that anyone was around), and a wake up call to pay attention even to the small stuff, especially when tired. It happened so fast it was kind of crazy, considering I was going like 2mph. That stupid wreck bent my derailleur into my spokes. I had to bend my dropout to get my bike to shift right again, which took me quite a bit of time to figure out, but I did and it is riding great now. Generally i'm feeling very in control while riding, and not looking to push things too far too fast.

    I have a lot to learn about riding and gear still, but i'm very happy with the bike I ended up buying, which is a 2013 Salsa El Mariachi II; chrome-moly frame, 2x10, 100mm Reba fork and pretty nice components. It felt like a better fit than all the bikes I rode in the five or six week search I had for a ride. I am still quite interested in exploring the full suspension world, and anticipate purchasing another bike within the next year or so. I picked a hardtail for a few reasons, including the fact that many recommended learning skills on one, which seemed like viable advice, although not everyone agrees with that line of thinking. If having a fs bike will allow me to ride more and mitigate the impact on my body, then I will definitely be sold. At 38 I have to admit my body doesn't bounce back the way it once did. Meanwhile I feel like i'm doing great with what I have going on.

    I've been riding mostly alone. The couple of people i've ridden with were both much more experienced than me, but I had no problem keeping up with them, and surprisingly was in better shape as far as getting winded. I know a number of very avid bikers, but i'm trying to get my stamina up before I hit the trails with them; I don't want to kill myself trying to keep up.

    This may sound corny, but mountain biking is changing my life. I have a great passion for riding (which I also had as a child), and a strong desire to grow in my skills and health. I really enjoy reading about peoples experiences here so I wanted to post my own. Cheers!

    db

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: velo99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    420
    +1 x infinity
    The bike doesn't make you go fast.
    You make the bike go fast.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    27
    Your post really mirrors my own story. I started riding in early June (On a Department Store bike) then 2 weeks later upgraded to a Diamondback (26er) and then by the 3rd week of July I purchased a bike worthy of all the great Single Track in my area (Trek X-Cal 7).

    I just crossed over the 200 mile mark on my Trek today. So in 5 weeks i have ridden 200 miles. Quite astonishing, as when i started in the beginning of the season, i pretty much had to walk up every hill. I am 34 and really havent ridden a bike since i was about 15, so close to 20yrs.

    I am absolutely hooked! I have lost 20lbs and i havent felt this good, in quite a while. I cant believe, how passionate i have become about this sport. I've actually been getting in trouble a little bit with the wife, cause every free minute i get, i spend on the trails. I just hope the passion remains for years to come!

    I also mainly ride alone (due to the fact that i ride about 5 days a week) but i do have a group that i ride with about once a week. I definetly enjoy the "Alone" rides, but it is really nice to ride with a group. Sometimes it pushes you to go a little harder and further than you might while riding alone. I have found that to be beneficial as the season has progressed. Not to mention, i feel a little safer with a group, in-case i end up busted up on the ground. This way you have someone to help carry you out, if things go terribly wrong!

    I will hopefully ride this bike for the next few seasons, but as i progress into my late 30's, i could definitely see the advantage to having a FS bike!

    I thought maybe i was being a little excessive with my new hobby and it is good to hear that I'm not alone!

  4. #4
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5,744
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiulus View Post
    I thought maybe i was being a little excessive with my new hobby and it is good to hear that I'm not alone!
    You don't even know the half of it yet.

    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiulus View Post
    Your post really mirrors my own story. I started riding in early June (On a Department Store bike) then 2 weeks later upgraded to a Diamondback (26er) and then by the 3rd week of July I purchased a bike worthy of all the great Single Track in my area (Trek X-Cal 7).

    I just crossed over the 200 mile mark on my Trek today. So in 5 weeks i have ridden 200 miles. Quite astonishing, as when i started in the beginning of the season, i pretty much had to walk up every hill. I am 34 and really havent ridden a bike since i was about 15, so close to 20yrs.

    I am absolutely hooked! I have lost 20lbs and i havent felt this good, in quite a while. I cant believe, how passionate i have become about this sport. I've actually been getting in trouble a little bit with the wife, cause every free minute i get, i spend on the trails. I just hope the passion remains for years to come!

    I also mainly ride alone (due to the fact that i ride about 5 days a week) but i do have a group that i ride with about once a week. I definetly enjoy the "Alone" rides, but it is really nice to ride with a group. Sometimes it pushes you to go a little harder and further than you might while riding alone. I have found that to be beneficial as the season has progressed. Not to mention, i feel a little safer with a group, in-case i end up busted up on the ground. This way you have someone to help carry you out, if things go terribly wrong!

    I will hopefully ride this bike for the next few seasons, but as i progress into my late 30's, i could definitely see the advantage to having a FS bike!

    I thought maybe i was being a little excessive with my new hobby and it is good to hear that I'm not alone!
    That's great! Where are you riding at?

    I wonder at my obsession too, but it brings me much excitement and makes me feel young. I was driving my girlfriend nuts in the weeks prior to buying a bike researching and looking at used bikes onine, but now that i'm riding she has become very supportive. We have a one year old, so life's pretty full, but i'm still riding three or four times a week. After riding hard a couple of days in a row it's good for me to take a break at this point anyhow.

    It's cool you are losing weight while riding. I have a friend who indirectly inspired me to start this riding this year after he started riding ten or fifteen miles a day around town, and eventually lost 70 lbs. Riding also really helped out his back problems. I'm the kind of guy who can't gain weight so the few i've trimmed off from riding i'm trying to get back!

    Next week my family is taking off for a week and i'm planning to take a two day trip with a bike destination. I was thinking of going to Cortez and Durango, or possibly Moab, but I might end up in the Santa Fe area to look at some sound equipment I might invest in, and it looks like there is some great biking around there. I can't wait.

    Oh, btw, I rode that Trek Xcal 7, I really like that bike. It was at the top of my list for fit and feel until I got on my Salsa. I remember that it wasn't tuned up, though, and it was annoying to have it not shifting right when I was demoing it.

    I'm with you that I hope I can continue this level of interest well into the future. I'd say it seems likely, actually. I've been looking for years for something I could do as regular cardio, and to be having so much fun while doing so, well... I'm already trying out how to stay in shape this winter so I can hit the ground running in the spring.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    27
    I live in South West Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) and I am fortunate enough to have a county park 2.5 miles from my house. That Park has 28 miles of Singletrack and it is maintained by a local Trail Advocacy group. They cut out big trees that have fallen, and build bridges etc....for the creek crossings. There are a ton of other parks around my area. All withing about a 25 mi radius from where i live. I am actually off of work this week, and have been out riding some of these other places. I'm actually hoping that next summer that i could plan a trip out West. Some of the pictures that i have seen from out there look amazing.


    I used to not gain weight, but i quit smoking cigarettes about 3 yrs ago and by the end of the winter i was about 195 pounds. I am now down to 172 pounds and would like to get right around 165.

    I hear you about life being full! I have 2 daughters who are 13 and 6. I usually make it out after work and on the weekends. With that park being so close, i can typically squeeze in about a 2 to 3 hr ride in the evening. The biggest problem is when i hit the 3rd or 4th consecutive day of riding, my legs are pretty spent. It makes climbing those hills a little harder and my overall riding skills at that point, start to decline.

    It's almost fall now, and everyone that i've talked to, says it's the best time of year for riding. So I'm really looking forward to that, but at the same time, it also means that winter is around the corner and i figure that somewhere in November will be the end to this MTB season. It's depressing to think that there will be about 5 months without riding. It get's pretty cold here, and i dont think Winter Time riding will be an option!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sunyata's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    83
    So glad to hear you guys are falling in love with mountain biking! :-D

    But... I do not want to hear it about quitting biking during the winter... Riding in the cold and the snow is an amazing adventure. Come on out to the mountains of Virginia and I will show you some fun winter riding!
    You have to earn your downs...

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hoosier_Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    16
    Its nice to hear from someone else who feels the way I do. I am almost 10 years older than you and started riding in July with my 13 year old son. I was amazed at how quickly we both became obsessed with riding. We're just at the beginner level trails now and developing our skills and are having so much fun.

    We are lucky to live 20 minutes to a great State Park that has over 25 miles of great trails. (In 2009, Bike magazine named our park as one of the 33 great trail systems in North America) We try to go at least 3-5 days a week and when we're not out there we are planning our next trip.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: velo99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    420
    I cant wait for it to cool off a little so I don't have to wait until evening to ride. Last week it was 102 when I got to the trailhead at 7:00 pm. I work in the mornings on Saturday.
    The bike doesn't make you go fast.
    You make the bike go fast.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier_Gal View Post
    Its nice to hear from someone else who feels the way I do. I am almost 10 years older than you and started riding in July with my 13 year old son. I was amazed at how quickly we both became obsessed with riding. We're just at the beginner level trails now and developing our skills and are having so much fun.
    That is very cool. My older daughter is 18, and lately she has been showing some interest in my biking. Unfortunately she and her boyfriend are planning on moving away this winter, so I may not get the pleasure of turning her on to the sport, at least not anytime soon. It would be awesome to cruise along with her. I bet it is a great way for you and your 13 year old to connect. Thirteen is such a hard age, especially in today's society, and I can't think of a better thing for a youngster to be doing with their time.

  11. #11
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5,744
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiulus View Post
    I live in South West Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) ...It get's pretty cold here, and i dont think Winter Time riding will be an option!
    Luckily for you, you're wrong.
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    245
    Winter riding might be possible around here on some of the lowlands trails with exposure. I guess it depends on how wet it is. Unfortunately, and I learned this the hard way a few weeks ago, our clay soil is impossible to ride if there is too much moisture on it. Sometimes there are warmer dry spells though, it will be interesting to see.

  13. #13
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5,744
    Quote Originally Posted by db440 View Post
    Winter riding might be possible around here on some of the lowlands trails with exposure. I guess it depends on how wet it is. Unfortunately, and I learned this the hard way a few weeks ago, our clay soil is impossible to ride if there is too much moisture on it. Sometimes there are warmer dry spells though, it will be interesting to see.
    If it's still warm enough that the trails are wet instead than frozen, it's nowhere near too cold to ride. (Though it's good to keep off wet trails in general, specially during the spring freeze-thaw cycles). Temperature-wise, you should be good to go year round if the ground/snow conditions cooperate.
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiulus View Post
    I live in South West Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) and I am fortunate enough to have a county park 2.5 miles from my house. That Park has 28 miles of Singletrack and it is maintained by a local Trail Advocacy group. They cut out big trees that have fallen, and build bridges etc....for the creek crossings. There are a ton of other parks around my area. All withing about a 25 mi radius from where i live. I am actually off of work this week, and have been out riding some of these other places. I'm actually hoping that next summer that i could plan a trip out West. Some of the pictures that i have seen from out there look amazing.
    That's excellent having your trails so close. I have to drive ten miles to my network, but that is not too bad. I may move that way in the coming years. On the other hand there are a lot of new trails slated to be built about ten miles the other direction too, so maybe i'm in the right spot. I just need to find/make a trail close by for everyday use. There is a lot of public land not far away, I will have to look into that. I'm really interested in trail building and there is a very active group up in the Grand Valley that does a lot.

    I don't know anything about the riding or country out east, i've never been there at all. Having a deciduous forest would be very different than our terrain. I have been very impressed with the diversity and quality of pretty much everything i've ridden out here though. If you are ever headed through Western Colorado, hit me up and we'll hit the trails. =)

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    27
    [QUOTE=slapheadmofo;11414997]Luckily for you, you're wrong. [/QUOTE

    I hope your right! I can see riding in the winter if the temperature isnt ridiculous and if there isnt a few inches of snow on the ground.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    577
    [QUOTE=jdiulus;11417543]
    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Luckily for you, you're wrong. [/QUOTE

    I hope your right! I can see riding in the winter if the temperature isnt ridiculous and if there isnt a few inches of snow on the ground.
    Just wrap up warm like you're going skiing. It's awesome. Although I don't get snow where I live it still gets pretty cold in winter, especially at night. But after reading these forums I bought night lights and went riding and loved it. It has meant I can still ride 3-4 times a week if I want to. Winter and/or night riding opens up a whole new world of riding opportunities and means you are fit and ready to go again when spring rolls around.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alphajaguars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    923
    Night riding is AWESOME! Takes the same old trails and makes them a whole new experience. 8D

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hoosier_Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    16

    My first 100+ miles of trail riding

    Quote Originally Posted by alphajaguars View Post
    Night riding is AWESOME! Takes the same old trails and makes them a whole new experience. 8D
    What kind of light do you use? Bike light or helmet light? How many lumens?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alphajaguars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    923
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier_Gal View Post
    What kind of light do you use? Bike light or helmet light? How many lumens?
    I use a Serfas TSL-500 on the helmet. Max 500 lumens, run time is right at 1.5 hours, and you can swap batteries very easily if you want to go longer.

    I want to pick up a second one for the handlebars, but replacing my fork pretty much killed my bike budget for the year.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hoosier_Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    16

    My first 100+ miles of trail riding

    Quote Originally Posted by alphajaguars View Post
    I use a Serfas TSL-500 on the helmet. Max 500 lumens, run time is right at 1.5 hours, and you can swap batteries very easily if you want to go longer.

    I want to pick up a second one for the handlebars, but replacing my fork pretty much killed my bike budget for the year.
    Thanks-I've got it in my amazon wish list now. At $150 it'll have to wait.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alphajaguars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    923
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier_Gal View Post
    Thanks-I've got it in my amazon wish list now. At $150 it'll have to wait.
    If your LBS carries them, you might be able to get it cheaper than that.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    245
    Night riding?! There's something I haven't ever thought/heard about. Trails by beam, seems a little sketchy. =)

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alphajaguars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    923
    Quote Originally Posted by db440 View Post
    Night riding?! There's something I haven't ever thought/heard about. Trails by beam, seems a little sketchy. =)
    There is a whole forum for that.

    Lights and Night Riding

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sleepyguy1001's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    208
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    So glad to hear you guys are falling in love with mountain biking! :-D

    But... I do not want to hear it about quitting biking during the winter... Riding in the cold and the snow is an amazing adventure. Come on out to the mountains of Virginia and I will show you some fun winter riding!
    I just started riding this summer myself and have been wondering about cold weather riding. I need to figure out what to wear when it gets cold. I'm in SE Michigan, so I may be able to ride all winter, or if it's like last year, at least into December.
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hoosier_Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    16

    My first 100+ miles of trail riding

    My 11 year old daughter wanted to try the trail yesterday. Within the first 5 minutes she was hooked. She had such a good time that she did the trail twice! I would look back at her and see such a huge grin on her face and would hear a "weee" hear and there as she would zoom down a hill, lol. I'm attaching a picture after the 2nd trip.

    Now, I just need to convince my husband to try. He's almost there and I'll bet he'll try in the next week after hearing is talk about it non-stop.

  26. #26
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5,744
    Three of my favorite types of riding - in the snow, in the dark, and with my kid.


    As far as bike lights go, they've really gotten to the point where you get a ton of bang for your buck. I've been perfectly happy with the lower end Niterider Minewt's for a number of years. But if you want to try out niteriding for really short $$, my wife picked up a few $4 mini-flashlights from Cree, and they kick ass. Super bright little suckers, nice and sturdy so far too. I'm thinking their bike lights would be good deal for the money also (I haven't researched them much myself, but I do have a buddy that's been running them for a while and hasn't had any problems.)

    Amazon.com : 5000Lm 2x CREE XML U2 LED Cycling Front Bicycle Bike Light HeadLight Headlamp X2 : Cycling Accessories : Sports & Outdoors
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    14
    It's like a drug for me 43 yr young started in February this year on a walmart bike just for exercise. Then one of my co workers took me to a single track when I hit the dirt I was hooked. Buddy let me borrow his old ht then after 4 months just got me my trek fuel ex 8 fs ride 4 times a week. There going to gave to drag me away from this sport.

Similar Threads

  1. The McCoy Flats Trail System (60 miles of trail in eastern Utah) is looking for input
    By Jasonoutside313 in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-16-2014, 09:49 PM
  2. Best 10-15 miles of Centennial Trail?
    By sloppyart in forum Great Plains - OK, KS, NE, SD, ND
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-09-2014, 08:37 PM
  3. 116 miles in Canyonlands: The White Rim Trail
    By dustyduke22 in forum Utah
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-23-2012, 07:23 AM
  4. Replies: 32
    Last Post: 03-04-2012, 09:18 PM
  5. 800 acres of land = ? miles of trail
    By Boilermaker in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-01-2011, 02:55 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

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