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.
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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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    Trail Etiquette: You Don't Have to Stop

    I didn't want to sully the sticky etiquette post above with this minor tidbit.

    There is an easy trail right near my house. Because it is easy, there are many beginners and kids there. I go there when I need the quick ride fix. It is easy and narrow so I can go pretty fast compared to someone who is still learning to dodge trees.

    I want to stress to these people, and I do, that You do not need to stop or pull off the trail to let a rider pass.
    ...unless you want to.
    Despite the narrow tree gaps, there are plenty of safe, wide places to pass. You make me feel like I am interrupting your ride. If I am faster, I will be there and gone in seconds. All you need to do is lean a little to the right and I will be nothing but a memory and you can get back to your ride.
    Don't panic.
    Don't hurry.
    In the best scenario, you'll keep rolling and I'll say "You mind if I come around up here?" and you'll say "Go for it."

    That is all.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
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    Trail Etiquette: You Don't Have to Stop

    Agreed. Happened a bunch of times on my last ride. On a few occasions, both of us kept going. I noticed that most of the folks who stopped outright were beginners. They just didn't seem comfortable with the idea of squeezing two bikes onto a stretch of singletrack.

    A few even stopped when they clearly had the right of way. I let them know that since they were climbing, they did not have to stop.

  3. #3
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    Went for my first downhill experience last weekend, when I heard riders behind me I got nervous because I thought I was ruining their run, especially since each lift-assisted run cost money. So I stopped where I could to let them pass.

  4. #4
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    I think it's more the fact that they are newbs and don't want to spoil your ride by getting in your way.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brockwan View Post
    I think it's more the fact that they are newbs and don't want to spoil your ride by getting in your way.
    Exactly, that is how I felt last weekend

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfuse View Post
    Went for my first downhill experience last weekend, when I heard riders behind me I got nervous because I thought I was ruining their run, especially since each lift-assisted run cost money. So I stopped where I could to let them pass.
    Good etiquette on your part.
    In the future, no need to get nervous though. Traffic is part of the game; ride along til you find a spot your comfortable stopping. Once you've let some faster people go by, try to tail them (not necessarily match their speed of course, but keep them in sight as long as you can. You can learn a ton from watching and following faster riders, even if they drop you quickly at the beginning.

  7. #7
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    Ok, what do u do if theres a rock section on a single track? I was going down, he was going up. He forced me off the drop on my side of the trail. Was I wrong to get angry?

  8. #8
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    Rider going up always has right of way. Rocks don't matter. If he was hike-a-biking up the climb, that's different.
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  9. #9
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    Many times slower riders might welcome the opportunity to stop and take a breather, and the thought of someone staying close enough to their rear wheel to be able to pass at the next opportunity is more bothersome than pulling over and stopping. Eventually, they will figure out when it's fine to just move to one side and keep pedaling, but that can be scary to new riders. Experienced riders may be fine with it, but it could scare the bejeezus out of some noobies to get passed on singletrack.

    Cordiality and understanding by everyone will go a long ways in making sure we all have a good time on the trails we share.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashDummy31 View Post
    Ok, what do u do if theres a rock section on a single track? I was going down, he was going up. He forced me off the drop on my side of the trail. Was I wrong to get angry?
    Most likely, yes. Climbers have the right of way in almost all cases besides designated downhill trails, such as lift-accessed or purpose-built downhill shuttle runs. Other than that, you should always make an honest effort to yield to climbers. Many times, they'll wave you on anyway, but you should leave the choice with the uphill rider. Hills are a whole lot harder to clean on the way up.

  11. #11
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    You make me feel like I am interrupting your ride.
    A lot of beginners are not comfortable on narrow trails for some reason. Trail width figures heavily in IMBA's trail difficulty rating system.

    If they aren't comfortable on a narrow trail when they have it to themselves, they are for sure going to want to get off the trail when they meet someone.

    If I see someone coming the other way who looks hesitant, and I am sure the trail is wide enough for both of us, I slow down, get over to the right and say "come on, you're good". Sometimes they will proceed, but more often or not they will get off the trail.

    I was never particularly bothered by narrow trails, but when I started I got off to let others pass too. You weren't interrupting my ride -- I needed a break anyway

  12. #12
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    Just yell

    TO YOUR RIGHT (or LEFT)

  13. #13
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    I'm a newer biker. And I stop every time i see a rider to say hi. I kinda wanna make a friend. I have only had one time where riders came behind me. I could hear them and stopped at an intersection comfortably.

  14. #14
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    Junctions are a good place to stop and rest and meet people. You can judge how popular a hangout area it is by looking at the ground around it. Or better yet the parking lot.

    But if you see someone coming down the trail and stop, you can bet they're not going to stop too -- typically they will ask "are you OK?" and unless you need help they won't even slow down. Sometimes you get in the groove and it's all automatic like in a dream....
    Last edited by DennisF; 10-04-2013 at 06:27 AM.

  15. #15
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    I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that MTB is like golf, fishing or many other activities where you don't want to see anyone else, except your buddies.

  16. #16
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    Maybe I'm extra friendly. Or accustomed to community/team based sports. I prefer riding with a friend, but have to go solo half the time.

  17. #17
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    Hell no I love meeting new people on the trial, shoot the **** while you take a rest and look over their ride to compare it to yours LOL.

  18. #18
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    I pull over when somebody overtakes me because I am trying to make sure they pass me and I don't crash in the process. Alot is going on visually and action wise and my skills frankly can suck sometimes, so instead of taking us both out, I'd rather pull over and stop. As a more experienced runner, I have seen walkers and slower runners do this and until I became a noob singtrack rider, I always found it curious and odd and thought that same as you, OP. But now I realize that they are just making sure they don't hurt somebody else or themselves by having an accident that can easily be prevented by more space. It takes literally 2 seconds and can prevent months of injury rehab or a toasted ride.

    So really, OP, you do your thing and let the other person do theirs. Stopping and heeding is just courtesy and nothing more....I don't think you should decide what other people do or don't do beyond typical trail rules & ettiquite. But that is just me deciding for you what you should do lol....nah, just saying I've see both sides. Hey man, as long as somebody is heeding, I don't give a rats ass how far the birth is or if they fully stop or not.
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