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.
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  1. #1
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    Notes from a newb (what i learned on my first trail)

    1. bring water, even if you think you have enough, bring more. don't count on the place you are going to, to have a place to fill up.

    2. just because you think you can handle the bigger trail, doesn't mean you should go for it, esp if it is your first time riding on one.

    3. bring water

    4. you have to have up enough speed in order to turn sharply, not enough and you get a close up of the ground.

    5. make sure your helmet is adjusted properly.

    6. don't try to focus just on what is in front of you, pay attention to what is ahead on the trail as well.

    7. when you fall, laugh about it. it happens to everyone.

    8. have water or other drinks waiting for you in your car / truck once you are done.

    9. don't be afraid to get off and walk up a hill.

    10. when you are going down a hill, that has a LOT of roots on the trail, and you loose control don't grab ahold of the nearest tree so that your feet can slip off the pedals and come back and smack you in the leg



    my first experience on a trail, was at Ruston LA. thanks to the couple of others that went out with me, and kept stopping to check on me and kept pushing me to make it to the end ... it was a blast, i am looking forward to the next go! ...

    though my wife is talking about life insurance now for some reason.

  2. #2
    don't move for trees
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    hehe, all time proven values. I never leave with out 2 liters of water, no matter what. Be lucky that's all your pedals have done to you, it will get worse, don't worry
    "Get a bicycle.You will not regret it if you live." Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKnight
    hehe, all time proven values. I never leave with out 2 liters of water, no matter what. Be lucky that's all your pedals have done to you, it will get worse, don't worry
    hehe, i am looking forward to it getting worse ...

    yeah for sure from now on, i will be bringing plenty of water ... looks like a pack that holds at least 100 (or 80) is in my near future ...

  4. #4
    Mountain Lion Bait
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    1st ride? Welcome to the insanity. Mountain bike riding/racing will change your life.

  5. #5
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    yeah was my first official trail ride .. up till then i have just been going around my property which is mostly an old field ... and up and down the roads ...

  6. #6
    Dirt Deviant
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    Killer Devil!!!!!!!
    Sounds like you had a blast, and learned some good stuff too.
    Just keep with it, and not only will you have some of the best times of your life, you'll get in better shape doing so.

  7. #7
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    If you feel yourself going over set yourself up so the bike absorbs the energy from the fall. My first year I took a lot of hard spills and towards the end of the year, I got kind of good at it. Here is how I do it; when the bike is past no return and you are going to fall, except it. Then pull your groundside leg closer to the frame while at the same time make sure your bars are square the ground.

    You may damage portions of the bike, but you should be able to get out of most falls with out damaging yourself. The worst damage I have incurred was when I fell off a boulder at Mt Snow Vt (~15ft fall), my leg had a few scrapes and I twisted the RD hangar which was fixable enough to at least finish the ride.

    Anthony

  8. #8
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    Welcome to the sport. Sounds like you are where I was at this time last year. I was starting out, bought a bike, and LOVED my first ride in the woods. I'm down in Baton Rouge, and need to hit Ruston sometime, I hear it is a very challenging and well-kept trail.

    You make some very good points. I think it's especially good that you realize something like number 6. With that thought in mind, you will scan ahead to find the best possible line, which will keep you as fast as possible and ON you bike.

    Keep it up, and ride, ride, ride.

  9. #9
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    what i saw of ruston .. (first section of the advanced, where the pedal got my leg) and then the rest on the beginner trail ... was nice ... a LOT of roots on the trail tho so have to watch out for them ... and some nice s-curves between trees .. while going downhill ...

    i am going to try to go over there at least once a month .. if not more often .. till i can ride it without bailing off like i did ...

    i learned how to fall on a bike back in the 80's ... and so far i can say i haven't forgotten that part of it ... it is just taking me a bit to get accustomed to how it feels to be on a bike again ...

  10. #10
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    You need to go more than once a month if you really want to develop your skills.

    Baton Rouge is full of roots too, so I'm used to that....hate the damn things personally. Which is why my 29er is on order

  11. #11
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    haha yeah ... may just have to get a bike rack for my little car so gas isn't so killer taking my truck over there from the monroe area ... would gladly go there each weekend if there was someone with me to laugh when i bust my ass again ...

    haven't tried a 29 yet ... my bike i have now is almost to big for me .. but was the smallest one i could find ... only got about 1.5 cm of clearence before i go up an octive ...

    i have a hydration pack on the way ... and if the weather is good .. hopefully can go there again this saturday or sunday maybe ...

  12. #12
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil-
    haha yeah ... may just have to get a bike rack for my little car so gas isn't so killer taking my truck over there from the monroe area ... would gladly go there each weekend if there was someone with me to laugh when i bust my ass again ...

    haven't tried a 29 yet ... my bike i have now is almost to big for me .. but was the smallest one i could find ... only got about 1.5 cm of clearence before i go up an octive ...

    i have a hydration pack on the way ... and if the weather is good .. hopefully can go there again this saturday or sunday maybe ...
    I'm short myself, only about 5'7". The 29 inch wheels won't matter, the frame size is what matters. My current 26" bike is a 16" frame, and my 29er will be too.

  13. #13
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    i am on a 16" frame as well .. but feel as tho a 15" would be better ... mostly i just have short legs hah .. oh well ...

  14. #14
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    not only do you have awesome points but more importantly welcome to the world of MTB! Glad to have ya on board, it's just the best... I could list all the reasons but the post would be massive... keep riding and good on you!

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