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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    Try and beat this stupidity

    So I go to a local "trail" (mostly flat and not challenging but fun place to get some exercise close to my house) Sunday. I am currently shopping for a hitch rack so in the meantime I'm removing my seat and front wheel and can fit the bike in back of my car.

    After my ride my bike and I are filthy which i'm pretty happy about and the ride in general was good. I remove the wheel and rest it on the side of the car and load up the bike. I then sit for a minute in the gate drinking some water and catching my breath. Drive home thinking about how i'm going to clean the bike/car up, how i need to get a rack, going to lube chain etc......

    I get home and pull the bike out and have it standing straight up on the rear wheel balancing it with the rear brake as I go to reach for the front wheel.

    (this is where you realize I did not say I put the wheel back in the car before driving off)

    Hauling ass back to the trail I remember that as I backed out of the gravel lot I went over a little bump which I thought at the time was a stick. Now i'm really stressing thinking I ran over the tire and when I pull up, If its still there, it will be crushed. Really cannot afford a new wheel at the moment. Really hoping that when i get there maybe i just popped the tire? Dreading seeing that I bent the spokes or disc rotor.

    Get to the parking lot and see the tire. Pick it up and it appears to be fine. Toss it in the car and haul ass outta there hoping no one saw my stupidity.

    When I get home I inspect the wheel closely and see no damage. I took the tire off and the tube and checked the inside of the rim and spun it a few times to see if it was dented or bent at all. Everything appears fine to me. It was good practice too as it was the first time i changed a tire. Rode it around for a few minutes and didn't notice anything. My bike is due for the 30day tune up soon as i recently purchased it so they will check the true for me.

    So what stupid things have you done? I'm sure i'm not the only one to leave a piece of a bike somewhere but did you also run it over on your way out?

  2. #2
    My little friends
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    I drive a topless Jeep Wrangler when I go biking; no doors, no top, wide open. On one ride, about 5 miles in, I realize that my keys were not in my pocket, I must have left in the ignition...nice! I do my best to haul ass back to the parking lot, but this trail in this direction doesn't lend itself to much hauling. I finally reach the trailhead and find my Jeep still present and accounted for. Unfortunately, the keys were not in the ignition! Oh no! I lost them on the trail! I headed back out scouring the trail for them, they must be here somewhere! As I stopped to rest after a big climb, I leaned my elbow against a bulge in my shorts, (no not that one! ), only to discover that I put the keys in my other pocket and didn't even look there! That's what I get for looking at the cute biker girl at the parking lot instead of paying attention to what I should be doing!

  3. #3
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    I put my truck mounted bike rack on the family sedan on my way to my first race. On the within about 2 miles of where the race began, my wife and I heard this "PFFSSSHH". we both wondered what the noise was the car was still handling fine thinking that we popped a tire. So we get to the race, I go to pull my bike off the bike rack and notice that the front tire on my bike was flat. this explained the sound we heard on the road. So I'm thinking that we flipped something into to tire that caused it to pop so i start to slowly spin the tire to find the hole. Next thing I know I've burned my hand and have melted rubber stuck to my fingers. As it turns out i didn't pay attention to where the front tire sat in regards to the exhaust on my car. it was literally 6 inches away. The tire, tube, and rim tape was all fused together in a glob of melted rubber. Even the little plastic reflector on the rim I had yet to remove was melted. and all of this happened 15 minutes before i was supposed to start my race.

  4. #4
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    One time in college I got back from a nice long ride on a super hot day. Kind of out of it from the heat I leaned my bike against my jeep and started getting changed hooped in the jeep threw it in reverse. Completely crushing the 3K bike nothing was salvageable but the front fork and wheel. Felt like the biggest idiot ever and being a college student thought my riding would be over for a least a year while I saved to buy something else. In the end Home owners insurance picked up the tab and the local bike shop completely rebuilt the bike for me. Every since then I always double check that all bikes are secure before even putting the keys in the ignition.

  5. #5
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    Got ready to go out riding with my boy and younger brother. I was to load up the spare bike and pick him up. My roof rack consists of 2 fork mounts and one tray where you don't remove the wheel. I always use the one where I don't remove the wheels as it's quicker.
    I load up my bike. Loaded up the boy's bike on the fork mount and put the front wheel in the trunk. Loaded up the spare bike on the other fork mount, lay the front wheel BEHIND my car. I drive off and half way there I begin to wonder if the spare bike's wheel is in the trunk. I call home to wake up the wife and look for the wheel. She tells me someone ran it over. Pissed off at myself I make a detour to pickup my other spare bike I had loaned to a sister.
    When I get home the front wheel is at home and still round. Wife had "joked" that the wheel was ran over.

  6. #6
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    I did something pretty stupid just this weekend in fact...! I drive a 4Runner so my bike goes in the back. I fold down half the back seat, remove the front wheel, and lock the fork into a cleat that I mounted to a 2x4. Anyway, after riding about 11 miles on friday in the AZ heat (1200 miles elev gain) I was pretty beat... I got home, pulled into the garage and took my bike out of the back and forgot to close the liftgate. Well fast forward a few hours and my wife gets home and opens the garage door from her car in the diveway. The elec opener puts a huge gash in my rear lift gate, which she doesn't notice, then she closes the door. Again the gash.... next morning, we go to take our boy to swimming lessons, she opens the garage again, then closes it, again!! 4 times my lift gate got gouged by the electric door!! I finally noticed it after the 4th time... I have to own this mistake, not her fault that I am an idiot!
    Toughen Up Buttercup

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Got ready to go out riding with my boy and younger brother. I was to load up the spare bike and pick him up. My roof rack consists of 2 fork mounts and one tray where you don't remove the wheel. I always use the one where I don't remove the wheels as it's quicker.
    I load up my bike. Loaded up the boy's bike on the fork mount and put the front wheel in the trunk. Loaded up the spare bike on the other fork mount, lay the front wheel BEHIND my car. I drive off and half way there I begin to wonder if the spare bike's wheel is in the trunk. I call home to wake up the wife and look for the wheel. She tells me someone ran it over. Pissed off at myself I make a detour to pickup my other spare bike I had loaned to a sister.
    When I get home the front wheel is at home and still round. Wife had "joked" that the wheel was ran over.
    LOL, I would like to +rep your wife.

  8. #8
    Probably drunk right now
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    Oh, that's easy.....

    Quote Originally Posted by hankscorpio View Post
    So I go to a local "trail" (mostly flat and not challenging but fun place to get some exercise close to my house) Sunday. I am currently shopping for a hitch rack so in the meantime I'm removing my seat and front wheel and can fit the bike in back of my car.

    After my ride my bike and I are filthy which i'm pretty happy about and the ride in general was good. I remove the wheel and rest it on the side of the car and load up the bike. I then sit for a minute in the gate drinking some water and catching my breath. Drive home thinking about how i'm going to clean the bike/car up, how i need to get a rack, going to lube chain etc......

    I get home and pull the bike out and have it standing straight up on the rear wheel balancing it with the rear brake as I go to reach for the front wheel.

    (this is where you realize I did not say I put the wheel back in the car before driving off)

    Hauling ass back to the trail I remember that as I backed out of the gravel lot I went over a little bump which I thought at the time was a stick. Now i'm really stressing thinking I ran over the tire and when I pull up, If its still there, it will be crushed. Really cannot afford a new wheel at the moment. Really hoping that when i get there maybe i just popped the tire? Dreading seeing that I bent the spokes or disc rotor.

    Get to the parking lot and see the tire. Pick it up and it appears to be fine. Toss it in the car and haul ass outta there hoping no one saw my stupidity.

    When I get home I inspect the wheel closely and see no damage. I took the tire off and the tube and checked the inside of the rim and spun it a few times to see if it was dented or bent at all. Everything appears fine to me. It was good practice too as it was the first time i changed a tire. Rode it around for a few minutes and didn't notice anything. My bike is due for the 30day tune up soon as i recently purchased it so they will check the true for me.

    So what stupid things have you done? I'm sure i'm not the only one to leave a piece of a bike somewhere but did you also run it over on your way out?
    Ride long enough and you'll do plenty of stupid stuff....

    1. Left my bike at the trailhead
    A couple years ago, I was riding a lot in the morning. I'd start around 5:30 or so and ride until it was light. My bike went in the back of my car. I usually backed in to the parking lot. I realized that I drove off without my bike about 15 minutes in to my drive home. I turned around, drove back and found my bike fallen over where I drove away from it.

    2. Lost front wheel
    I used to have a roof rack with a shallow basket between two bike rails. I'd usually put my front wheel in the basket and let gravity secure it. I was coming back from a bike trip and a guy on I-70 caught up to me and asked me to pull over. It turns out that he wanted to lecture me because my wheel came flying off my car and almost hit him "right at mile marker 113". I listened politely to his lecture so I could turn around and try and find my wheel. I never did. Someone found a great wheel or it tore up a KDOT mower.

    3. Drove my bike in to a parking garage
    I was late for a meeting, pressed for time and forgot that my bike was on my roof rack as I hastily pulled in to a parking garage. The top of the garage caught my seat tube and scraped the entire rack (and attached bike) off the back of my car. It ruined my seat and seat tube and created scratches, gouges and dents in the roof of my car.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  9. #9
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    Before i had a hitch rack, I would remove the seat and post and front wheel to place the bike in the trunk. Arrived at the trailhead, suited up and started to assemble the bike. all went well except where the heck is the seatpost clamp ? apparently loading the bike the clamp decided to jump off the bike and land quietly on the front lawn. So.,., blah blah blah road the trail with seatpost slammed down to the frame bmx style and ruined the carbon seatpost.. But what a work out with out sitting down.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  10. #10
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    1. Left gear bag in driveway, drove 1hr 30min to trailhead, had to drive home, didn't ride that day.
    2. Realized i left my helmet at home, toss camelback in trunk, close trunk, go to open car door, doors locked, keys in camelback in trunk.
    3. Left front wheel at home, drove to trailhead, drove home
    4. Going for night ride, bring light, forget battery still charging in the wall at home

    These things happen
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  11. #11
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    Sorry to read these stories, but time heals all wounds, right?

    1) Left my favorite gloves on the bike while driving off.
    2) Didn't secure my bike tightly on a tray rack and it fell off after I made a turn into a bumpy street. Thankfully, it didn't fall off 5 secs earlier on a busy street. Got some scrapes on the left grip and that was it. *phew*
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  12. #12
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    Glad i'm not the only one, still feel pretty stupid though. I can't guarantee I wont do something stupid again but I can 99.9 percent guarantee I wont leave my wheel behind again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hankscorpio View Post
    Glad i'm not the only one, still feel pretty stupid though. I can't guarantee I wont do something stupid again but I can 99.9 percent guarantee I wont leave my wheel behind again.
    I haven't done anything twice, but there are plenty of other opportunities to be a goober

    I haven't forgotten my bike yet, so thats something, knock on wood.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  14. #14
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    Great reading.......I haven't stopped laughing. Most of my stories revolve around not adjusting my clip-ins prior to riding.

  15. #15
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    Well mine isn't while biking but this one day at the mart my mind was really elsewhere. I don't remember what I was checking on the bottom of the shelf but I had 20 bucks in my hand and I placed it on the shelf to look at whatever I was looking at after that I just walked away and left the money there. Only realized that when I was already standing. Ran back, found it - good ending huh? Nope, went back to the line and after paying and putting my groceries in the bag I turn around to walk out and I left my change pocket in my wallet unzipped, change rain began, the whole freaking floor just flooded with change (I had a lot of change in there) good thing the security guard guy was kind enough to help me out so I don't think I lost too much money the thing is - that was so embarrassing I couldn't leave the house for a week .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
    I drive a topless Jeep Wrangler when I go biking; no doors, no top, wide open. On one ride, about 5 miles in, I realize that my keys were not in my pocket, I must have left in the ignition...nice! I do my best to haul ass back to the parking lot, but this trail in this direction doesn't lend itself to much hauling. I finally reach the trailhead and find my Jeep still present and accounted for. Unfortunately, the keys were not in the ignition! Oh no! I lost them on the trail! I headed back out scouring the trail for them, they must be here somewhere! As I stopped to rest after a big climb, I leaned my elbow against a bulge in my shorts, (no not that one! ), only to discover that I put the keys in my other pocket and didn't even look there! That's what I get for looking at the cute biker girl at the parking lot instead of paying attention to what I should be doing!
    Cute girls.....90% of why men do stupid things.
    They other 10% is because, well, we're stupid.

  17. #17
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    Surprised there aren't many of the left bike on roof rack and drove into the garage stories. I've met a couple people who have done that.

    I'm pretty OCD about not leaving anything behind or losing anything and it has worked pretty well for me (except for the lost time checking everything multiple times).

  18. #18
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    A few years ago, I was out mountain biking at a trail that doesn't get much use. I kept my cell phone and keys in my camelbak. I took my keys out to unlock my trunk, put the keys back in my camelbak, and for some reason never unlocked the car. I threw the camelback in the trunk, took the front wheel off the bike and put it in the trunk, and put the bike on the roof rack. I then closed my trunk. Go to open the door and it's locked. Trunk is locked with keys and cell phone safely inside. It was quite a walk to get to civilization. So I waited about an hour for a car to come by. I then called my wife to ask her to bring me the extra set of keys. Just so happens, that one of my kids, who was a baby at the time, just started his afternoon nap. Needless to say, she was less than happy with me. I always unlock my car doors first now, and make sure to leave my keys somewhere visible.

  19. #19
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    for some reason i took it upon myself to catch the sunset over at a local trail, which opens up at the top of a hill and looks out over the bay, sun sets at 8:20 and i get to the parking lot which is right on the side of a very busy road at 8:05, fifteen minuets to get to a hill that normally 25 mins away. i hustle and get there, and hang out and soak in the view. i take my time getting back and wind up at my car around 9 to find my car unlocked with a note from a very kind person reading
    "this car was unlocked with the door open, you also left the keys in the ignition, i put them under the seat, next time i would atleast take your keys with you be cause i might not be as generous next time around
    -love, steve"
    and to this day i have no clue who Steve is but i would like to thank you if you happen to read this your a great man steve

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Got ready to go out riding with my boy and younger brother. I was to load up the spare bike and pick him up. My roof rack consists of 2 fork mounts and one tray where you don't remove the wheel. I always use the one where I don't remove the wheels as it's quicker.
    I load up my bike. Loaded up the boy's bike on the fork mount and put the front wheel in the trunk. Loaded up the spare bike on the other fork mount, lay the front wheel BEHIND my car. I drive off and half way there I begin to wonder if the spare bike's wheel is in the trunk. I call home to wake up the wife and look for the wheel. She tells me someone ran it over. Pissed off at myself I make a detour to pickup my other spare bike I had loaned to a sister.
    When I get home the front wheel is at home and still round. Wife had "joked" that the wheel was ran over.
    +rep for your wife! That's funny stuff...and I think your wife and my wife are related...jokes at our expense.

  21. #21
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    My most common mistakes are setting things on the roof or the bumper of the car and forgetting them. I lost a pair of gloves after a ride by taking them off and setting them on the truck bumper while loading my bike. I've also set my sunglasses on the car roof on a few occasions but still have those

  22. #22
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    1. Locked bike to roof rack. Drove 40 miles to the trail head. Get out and realized I left my roof rack key on the table at home. Tried to pry open the rack by to no luck. Drove back home and called it a day.

    2. Drove 20 miles to trail head and realized I left my bike shoe at home. Drove back home and called it a day.

  23. #23
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    This is great. It's giving me a mental list of things to check before and after rides.

  24. #24
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    Which reminds myself of what i learned after my first fall a few weeks ago. I fell going up hill taking a bad line, hit a root that was too big and just stopped my tire sending me off the side luckily and not otb. I did a quick glance for gushing blood and saw only a few scrapes. From there it was kind of a mad dash to get back on and get moving before things hurt or anyone saw me. I didn't think to check the bike that thoroughly because it wasn't that bad of a fall and the bike didn't really take much of a hit. I didn't have much of a ride left after that so i just kept going to get home. The next day I took my bike out to ride and noticed the wheel wobbling quite a bit. I had opened the QR on my front tire. It was at that point i thought about making sure they are not pointing forward. Anyway, if/when i fall again I'm pretty sure i will think to minimally check the QR's on my wheels

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-hawk View Post
    for some reason i took it upon myself to catch the sunset over at a local trail, which opens up at the top of a hill and looks out over the bay, sun sets at 8:20 and i get to the parking lot which is right on the side of a very busy road at 8:05, fifteen minuets to get to a hill that normally 25 mins away. i hustle and get there, and hang out and soak in the view. i take my time getting back and wind up at my car around 9 to find my car unlocked with a note from a very kind person reading
    "this car was unlocked with the door open, you also left the keys in the ignition, i put them under the seat, next time i would atleast take your keys with you be cause i might not be as generous next time around
    -love, steve"
    and to this day i have no clue who Steve is but i would like to thank you if you happen to read this your a great man steve
    Same Sh*t happened to me yesterday! I leave the parking lot, go ride four about an hour and half. Coming back towards the parking lot I see my driver's side door wide open. First thought was someone broke in my car . Then a second later I realized I left it opened as I don't remember closing it. I always carry my wallet and keys with me so I had no fear of anything getting taken out. Luckily it was a good neighborhood/lot and my car was untouched.

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