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  1. #1
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    Hitler & Nike Missle Drop

    Rode Hitler at China Camp for the first time today. Wish I had lowered my seat. I also wish I had a combo cleat/platform pedal. I'm wondering if folks who ride it well ride it slow and delicate or just bomb down it? All the scree, trees and troughs makes it look hard to bomb down.

    Also, I'm trying to get my nerve up to do the steep drop at the missle site. I've done the short, more sloped ones to the left of the tree--they are fairly easy although intimitdating for me since I just started riding. I assume it's best to just let it rip and stay off the brake but it's a pretty short runout. I'm sure my enduro can handle it, it's the frame of the 35 year-old rider I'm worried about.

    Surfpriest

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    I have not tried the steep drop...

    but the rocky decent to the left of the raised pad is not too bad.

    I found the trick is to keep the bike moving to skim the tops of the rocks, rather than get bogged down in them. On that 'to the left' drop, I would not just roll down brakeless, but keeping the momentum up sure helps. It's a pretty technical climb as well. Good practice, especially at night (which is illegal, so I won't ever admit to trying it myself : )

    I have not ridden Hitler since the erosion was so bad the last time I was there. The trick with most of this stuff is to just keep rolling. Try to avoid the temptation to slow down too much, or you will fall over, or endo.

  3. #3
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    The erosion on Hitler is pretty bad. Still, it was a good challenge and I enjoyed it. At least to hone my skills--if I can do it without damaging the trail more. I found it very hard to ride without skidding because of all the small rocks. I did my best since I'm sure lots of skidding is what has torn it up so much. Could barely touch the back brake without causing it to slide.

    Just picked up some Crank Bros Mallet C for my Enduro. They are probably a bit heavy for the riding I normally do, but I keep wishing I had a platform for certain sections. Besides, I'll just get in better shape cranking that weight around. Now I'll have to try that drop...

  4. #4
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    getting pinched at China Camp

    you guys know anybody who's been popped with a ticket for riding China Camp @ night? I heard a rumor that they were handing them out latley.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenfrog
    you guys know anybody who's been popped with a ticket for riding China Camp @ night? I heard a rumor that they were handing them out latley.
    I was warned at twilight one evening by a ranger that they are indeed handing out tickets. The front side is too dangerous to poach at night since its right next to the road and they can see you easily from their trucks. I've heard dirt bikes up high at night but I don't think its rangers. You can climb (legally i think) up Gold Hill in the back at night. At any rate, there's not a paved road next to it where the rangers can lurk.

  6. #6
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    thats enough for me

    [QUOTE=Impy]
    yea China camp is so exposed to the rode it is not worth hitting it up a night. Might as well ride stuff that you cant during the day. My new favorite spot at night is Point reyes. Kinda far out there but so worth it.

  7. #7
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfpriest
    Rode Hitler at China Camp for the first time today. Wish I had lowered my seat. I also wish I had a combo cleat/platform pedal. I'm wondering if folks who ride it well ride it slow and delicate or just bomb down it? All the scree, trees and troughs makes it look hard to bomb down.

    Surfpriest
    I rode Hitler for the first time a couple weeks ago. It'd be easier to just bomb down most of it instead of picking through it. I didn't crawl through it but I did ease up on the downhill since it was my first time through. The regulars just let it rip.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  8. #8
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    Gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog
    I rode Hitler for the first time a couple weeks ago. It'd be easier to just bomb down most of it instead of picking through it. I didn't crawl through it but I did ease up on the downhill since it was my first time through. The regulars just let it rip.

    george
    What kind of bikes do the regulars use? How about armour? My enduro is up to it, but I'd at least like to have something for my shins and knees if I was going to try and bomb that. Actually, shoulders and head are probably more of a concern. Did you wear any armour? It seems unnecessary for most of china camp--I don't have any armour (other than a regular helmet of course) so it's hard for me to say when it should be used. Hitler is a pretty short run but I wouldn't want to take a highspeed stack on it without some protection.

  9. #9
    the bomb
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    Good job! give it a try

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfpriest
    I don't have any armour (other than a regular helmet of course) so it's hard for me to say when it should be used.
    It's a matter of opinion. It's amazing to me how much people over think the issue. I get the strangest comments from people (wow look at the shin guards, what trail are you riding that you need armor, what's with the face protection?). Mostly macho stuff if you ask me (i don't need armor, armor is for pussies, blah blah) If you think you might crash, and you don't like to get all scraped up, wear some armor. No special right time.

    I have the old style roach leg guards. I wore them all the time when I got them last winter, but found they were too hot over 70 degrees. I tried puting them on just for decents, but they were still too hot. Plus it was a total PITA taken them on and off. Had to abandon them for most of the summer. Just got the new fox 911 guards. Only one ride so far, but they're much lighter and cooler. Hardly noticed they were on the whole ride. They could use an extra strap around the bottom of the knee, but maybe because mine are a little big. Hopefully they'll be comfy in warm weather too (but more than the roach for sure) and I'll just wear them all the time.

    oh yeah, bomb down it! That's still my weak point. I try to got to slow through that kind of stuff. I'm learning to let go of the brake, but be careful not to let go too much. Learned that not to long ago, took my finger completely away and then couldn't find my way back to the leaver when I needed to. Gotta hover.
    Womanhood ain't for sissies.- oldbroad

  10. #10
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfpriest
    What kind of bikes do the regulars use?
    Three guys were on hardtail singlespeeds and one guy was on an Elsworth Truth. They all bombed down, no armor, execpt for a helmet.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  11. #11
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    That confirms it

    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog
    Three guys were on hardtail singlespeeds and one guy was on an Elsworth Truth. They all bombed down, no armor, execpt for a helmet.

    george
    Thanks, that confirms what I keep trying to tell myself: I don't need a new or different bike, I just need more time on my bike. I just started riding after moving to the bay area. I'd surfed for years in SoCal and I was always tweeking my boards. But like learning to surf, the main thing is to spend time of what you got. Aside from my fork (which I dont' like) my bike is fine.

    I'm trying to find that line between what and how I want to ride and what my skill level warrants. I want to bomb Hitler and try the steep drop by the missle site, but I took a hard spill a couple weeks ago pushing the limits and my shoulder is still messed up. Oh well, no pain no gain right? Of course, the guys I ride with just laugh and remind me that it takes a bit longer to heal at 35 than it did at 25. How true. Still, gotta a push it a bit. Maybe I will invest in some knee armour. Knowing me I'll be crashing a lot the next little while.

  12. #12
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfpriest
    I want to bomb Hitler and try the steep drop by the missle site, .
    The guys I rode with didn't do the Nike drop.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  13. #13
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    Where about's are these trails? are they singletrack or what?
    I once heard a smart man say that for every mouthful of dirt, you take in one hundredth the carcinogens in a comparable mass of asphalt, hence i decided to ride MOUNTAIN bikes....

  14. #14
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    ride any bike

    Hey, ride any bike you want as long as you feel comfortable and CONFIDENT. If you are riding sketchy technical stuff like that you need to keep moving and stay loose. I ride up there a couple times a week usually on my rigid one speed but also on my cyclocross bike. I haven't done the drop at the nike site on it , but Hitlers everytime. As for night riding up there, I know someone who got a ticket from a SR cop for night riding. It is San Rafael park and all the trails are illegal for everyone(evenhikers) but they don't enforce this. I was riding up there one day and there was a massive search for a missing women (they found her alive and well) and I got to talk to the police about the area. As for the erosion on Hitlers, you used to be able to ride motorcycles up there.....and MT Tam for that matter.
    -Erio

  15. #15
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    what is the Nike drop? is it that short vertical section that is at the top of the hill?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenfrog
    what is the Nike drop? is it that short vertical section that is at the top of the hill?
    If you go to the highest point at the missle site, where the cement platforms are, the biggest drop is off to the side. If you are standing on the platform looking back down the paved road that runs up to the site (there is a dirt path that runs up from the opposit direction) than all the drops are off to your right side. There are two long and steep drops (at least in my opinion) then a tree followed by three or four short, more sloped sections. The steepest one, which I have not done, looks to me to be about 30 feet long and somwhere between 65 - 75 degrees. It's a lot steeper than your average ski run thats for sure. The runout is the shortest for the longest drop. You can see where people have slammed on the brakes as soon as they have leveled out. It goes from pretty steep to flat so I assume the hardest part is making that transition. I don't know if people keep their weight back and roll into the bottom or try to lift their front wheel out. I doubt I woudl have the presence of mind to do the later. Since the runout is level there doesn't appear to be much room for error. I was up there last week and there are a lot tracks so it's getting a lot of use. I've never seen anyone try it. A friend of mine who rides there a lot says he has mostly seen guys with full helmets and some armour on downhill/freeride bikes doing it, but he has also seen a few guys with just a helmet and an XC bike do it.

    I think it would be a rush, but I'd like to see it done a few times first. An endo on it could be the end of your spine.

  17. #17
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    I did it once on my single speed but the transition is definatly easyer on the giant AC. It took me a while to grow the balz and do it but once i did it I was wondering what all the stress was about. Just lean back and keep your hands OFF the brakes. I looked at all the rocks that stick out and wondered how my front tire would bounce off it bit just stay relaxed and stay smooth.

  18. #18
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    Did it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenfrog
    I did it once on my single speed but the transition is definatly easyer on the giant AC. It took me a while to grow the balz and do it but once i did it I was wondering what all the stress was about. Just lean back and keep your hands OFF the brakes. I looked at all the rocks that stick out and wondered how my front tire would bounce off it bit just stay relaxed and stay smooth.
    I had my first ride on with my new Zoke Z1 FR SL fork today and it gave me the confidence to try the Nike Drop. Of the two big ones I did the one on the left so I wouldn't have to come off the silo platform straight into the drop. Plus the transition at the bottom looked better. Wow, what a blast. Glad I lowered my seat. At the bottom my rear shock bottomed out with a clunk. got all 5 inches out of that one. It was much easier than I thought it would be--of course, it all happens so fast. There was plenty of room to stop too.

    My friend who watched said my rear tire came away from the rock about half way down and I was just rolling the front tire. He was worried I was going to go over but once the front tire transitioned into the flats it came back down. I guess that was the clank. Maybe I wasn't back far enough. I'm really stoked I did it. Now I have to decide if I got it out of my system or want to keep doing it. It didn't seem so hard, but it is definitely high-risk, low reward. I loved the buzz but it's not like it made my whole day or anything.

    surfpriest

  19. #19
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    the steep chute by the nike site isnt too tough, just gotta keep your weight way back and maybe a little bit of back brake but dont lock it up. I've done it on my rigid 91 rockhopper single speed. not gonna do that again (scary as ****) and I have done it lots of times on my giant VT, just gotta drop the seat and lean WAY back like ass on the tire.

  20. #20
    ballbuster
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    eh, you don't 'need' suspension...

    ...but the rough stuff beats you up a lot less on a boinger. That's why I got one.

    Hitler is fun, but it is eroding like mad. I'm inclined to stay off it. Too many people draggin their rear wheels down it.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 03-21-2004 at 04:08 PM.

  21. #21
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    Well, thanks guys, I guess...

    This post is the reason I made my way up there to check it out.

    Now as I see it, Nike drop has two problems:

    1. I ain't got the ballz to try the big chutes... yet! Gimme some more encouragement and I might give it a go the next time.

    2. As intimidating as the smaller three might look, they ain't shiznit, and to make matters worse they look like the playschool playground in photos. Me:"Hey, look what I did today!" You:"Uh, yeah, so?!?"


  22. #22
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    It is definitly steeper looking/feeling than the photo shows. The photo makes it look like you could climb right up after you went down--I sure couldn't climb it. It is pretty uneven and quite steep. The photo does make the chutes off to the left look steep. I did the first one to the left of the tree. The transition at the bottom just looked a lot better than furthest one over. A buddy of mine talked to a guy who does the drops a lot but said he will only do the farthest one over with armour. He jumps off the picnic table onto the platform and then right into the steepest chute. Even though he only does with a full helmet and armour, I'm assuming the guy doesn't have a mortgage and kids.

    Hey, as long as you're stoked it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

    If you do the steeper one lower your seat. After my friend told my back tire was in the air half the way down I went and got my seatpost trimmed. I didn't even touch my break levers. Wrapped all the fingers around the grip because I knew if I panicked I grab some break and it would be all over. It forced me to go for it. It happens so fast I don't think I would have had the presence of mind to do subtle break stuff.

  23. #23
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    I've been riding there a few times a week for years, first on my hardtail, and then on successive FS bikes (currenly a Quasimoto). I try to not brake at all on Hitler and ride it at the top of my middle gears or in big ring. You can roll all the drops at the missle site on a hardtail with an 80mm fork, you just need to trust yourself. Actually airing them out is much better on a full suspension though.
    Last edited by gurp; 03-23-2004 at 04:53 PM.

  24. #24
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp
    I've been riding there a few times a week for years, first on my hardtail, and then on successive FS bikes (currenly a Quasimoto). I try to not brake at all on Hitler and ride it at the top of my middle gears or in big ring. You can roll all the drops at the missle site on a hardtail with an 80mm fork, you just need to trust yourself. Actually launching them is much better on a full suspension though.
    Well I wish I'd have run in to you on Sunday to show me the ropes.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by f*nŠtik
    Well I wish I'd have run in to you on Sunday to show me the ropes.
    Just keep your weight low and let it go.
    Last edited by gurp; 03-24-2004 at 12:18 PM.

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