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  1. #1
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    Santa Teresa riders.. tips on rocky ridge descent?

    I rode rocky ridge DH for the first time over the weekend. What a blast. It's hairy as f$#k and I feel like I did ok for my first time. I only had to stop a few times for crappy lines, or not carrying enough speed to hop fat rocks.

    I know there are a lot of veteran riders here, and I wondered if you had any good pointers for that specific trail?

    I also feel like I maybe need to reduce the pressure in my rear shock. Any tips on shock settings?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Maybe try riding up it. I think you will learn faster to ride the technical rock sections, as it takes a lot more skill to go up it then down. On your first few attempts you may have to walk some of the tougher sections, but if you keep at it I would bet that you will see noticeable improvement on both your up and downhill speed with each attempt.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Maybe try riding up it. I think you will learn faster to ride the technical rock sections, as it takes a lot more skill to go up it then down. On your first few attempts you may have to walk some of the tougher sections, but if you keep at it I would bet that you will see noticeable improvement on both your up and downhill speed with each attempt.
    I've ridden up it. It was super tough I am a bit cardio challenged. It was fun though. Had a lot of hiking "opportunities" I took gladly.

  4. #4
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    I read 600 posts on how to ride RR, but the best advice turned out to be simply riding behind someone who can ride it well. Of course, this depends on how long you can keep up with them; just make sure you tell them what you're doing so they wait up for you at the "halfway" fence.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biking Brazilian View Post
    I read 600 posts on how to ride RR, but the best advice turned out to be simply riding behind someone who can ride it well. Of course, this depends on how long you can keep up with them; just make sure you tell them what you're doing so they wait up for you at the "halfway" fence.
    Ah yes that is very good advice. Unfortunately said person probably would rather not wait for the climb/walk I need to do to get there.

  6. #6
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    On another note about rocky ridge... I somewhat felt I needed a better helmet when I was headed for those rocks: http://www.bellhelmets.com/cycling/h...super-2r-8668/

    Anyone agree? A couple of times I got a bit squirrelly on the trail I felt it would probably be nice to have some face protection in case my head starts heading for a rock.

  7. #7
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    Santa Teresa riders.. tips on rocky ridge descent?

    My 2 cents (Just an intermediate rider who has standard and full face helmets)

    Protection is never too much

    However, a helmet does not help to build skills. A good rule is, do not anything you wouldn't do with a standard helmet. Helmets are useful for when things don't go as expected.

    I do not think you need fullface helmets at that trail unless you are going like a wc racer or far above your skills.

  8. #8
    Dirty by Nature
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    First- Ride everything at Demo (except the Flow trail)

    Next- Take some road trips, like Downieville and Tahoe

    Then- Return to Demo

    Finally- Go back and rip Rocky Ridge and wonder what all the fuss was about!



    Also, wider bars/shorter stem, bigger tires, and an Enduro Blue™ kit probably wouldn't hurt. And riding with better riders. Good luck!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 06-04-2015 at 09:38 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Which sections are you having trouble with? Is it the rock garden which requires more slow maneuvers?

  10. #10
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Agree with dirtvert. Go find harder stuff, you'll be amazed what previously scared you.

    Also, reps. Lots and lots of reps. Try to do 3 laps time you go, more if you can.

  11. #11
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    Keep your speed up and lower your seat.
    Also, be as light as possible on the bike, else you will destroy tires and rim from smacking into rocks.

    Trusting your skills and knowing the trail are probably the best things you can do.

  12. #12
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    Go fast, stay light, ramp up the lawn.

  13. #13
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    When you start getting faster, don't use a cheap saddle bag that will unzip and eject your emergency tool kit onto the trail due to all the jiggly-ness

  14. #14
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    There is a rock that has a stash hidden behind it. I usually stop here and spark up, which makes the rest of the descent much more enjoyable. And be sure to replace any beers taken from the stash on your next run down.

    It's a brownish-red rock on the left as you pass a group of about 7-9 rocks. It's a little bigger than the others--you can't miss it.

  15. #15
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    If u r on a xc full suspension bike, try to borrow a nomad or something with 6 inch of trval and slack headtube angle. 29er hels too. Blast right thru it.

    Dh bike during demo days is even better but is a beast to pedal up

  16. #16
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    No brakes and go straight. If you're weaving around rocks, you're doing it wrong. Speed is also your friend, the slower you go, the rougher it will be. You will be amazed at what you can ride over if you're going fast, leaned back on the bike, and off the brakes. Also remember that you can pump the backsides of rocks to gain speed just like you can the rollers on the "flow" trail or a pump track. It's all about maintaining momentum.

  17. #17
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    Yeah I noticed it was easier when I carried the right speed, but since I'm green I'm not always going the right speed, and sometimes pick the wrong line.

    Also with pumping sometimes I timed it wrong and smacked a rock.

  18. #18
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Yeah you gotta learn when to pump / stomp through rocks, and when to be light and float over them. I try to be either light or heavy, but never in between, because when you are JRA you are letting the trail dictate to you, and you'll get bucked like a bronco.

  19. #19
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    1) Sprint off the line and pedal until you puke, then tuck
    2) Don't use your brakes
    3) Go straight and jump over anything in the way (including hikers, mountain lions, and riders pedaling up)
    4) Yell "Strava" once you are done puking.

    That should get you well under 5 minutes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider View Post
    1) Sprint off the line and pedal until you puke, then tuck
    2) Don't use your brakes
    3) Go straight and jump over anything in the way (including hikers, mountain lions, and riders pedaling up)
    4) Yell "Strava" once you are done puking.

    That should get you well under 5 minutes.
    Lol. I love it.

  21. #21
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biking Brazilian View Post
    I read 600 posts on how to ride RR, but the best advice turned out to be simply riding behind someone who can ride it well.
    That is why I let D-bug follow me
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  22. #22
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    Stay light on your bike is the best advice I can give. Almost float the rocks.
    here is a video I made a few years back. I ran into Porkstacker in the big rock garden so I stopped to chat that why is missing that part. e>
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  23. #23
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    Here's an instructional video - except replace "turn" with "jump over it":



    You're welcome!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowjnky View Post
    I ran into Porkstacker in the big rock garden so I stopped to chat that why is missing that part.
    Did he try to make love to you? He's a very passionate man.

  25. #25
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    Tips? It depends on your goal there....it is a good place to build skills. Going fast is just one of the things you can experiment.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Did he try to make love to you? He's a very passionate man.
    He tried. Butt the pillow talk was all about his fat.....bike
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowjnky View Post
    That is why I let D-bug follow me
    You're an excellent instructor. Giving constant advice like:
    "Whoops, don't go this way!"
    "Don't follow me!"
    "This line sucks!"

    You've made me a better rider with the constant examples of what not to do.
    I owe you a bottled water.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-bug View Post
    Also, be as light as possible on the bikeo.
    What does that actually mean? To me this sounds like "feel orange on the downhill".

    My advice would be: Take time getting your speed up. The rocks are going to be much harder than any bones in your body. And I've tested that quite a bit!
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  29. #29
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    Does snowjnky still ride? I think he lost that bike in Gooseberry 4 years ago to the rack of death?

  30. #30
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    You guys made me go back today, hahaha. To the OP, be careful not endoing if you hit the roughest part at full speed.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by OS-KR View Post
    You guys made me go back today, hahaha. To the OP, be careful not endoing if you hit the roughest part at full speed.
    Thanks for the tip. My approach was to have enough speed but not too much. Right at the point where if you go too fast the bike is riding you instead of you riding the bike if that makes sense.

    My approach worked fine but I found that typically I would discover the bad line a few rocks after I had made a choice. So then I started looking further ahead to determine 3-4 moves ahead which helped.

    Fairly straight not a lot of steering correction like others had suggested. If I picked the bad line I would typically just stop at the first chance making sure I didn't endo then reset my line and continue.

    I'm definitely glad I am running flat pedals for that stuff. I find it easier to correct mistakes on the fly. There were a few times I would have bailed if I was clipped in. I never got to a point where I was good at managing those pedals.

  32. #32
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    I'm also confused by what you guys mean when you say "be light on the bike." Do you mean "be light on the bars" as in don't have a death grip and keep your elbows bent?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUZe View Post
    I'm also confused by what you guys mean when you say "be light on the bike." Do you mean "be light on the bars" as in don't have a death grip and keep your elbows bent?
    The op is doing some pretty burly downhill so he should know, you'd think. To be light on the bike is just that. To do a bunny hop you push down on the bike and in the release from pushing down there is a little spring back up. This weightlessness and springyness is being light on the bike. maybe a bad explanation. Also like when you go up on a curb or in this case a rock garden. lets stick to the curb because throwing your weight forward on a downhill rock garden is not a good idea. But on a curb, you lift the front however you do and then many just let the back wheel slam into the curb. to slam less you can shift your weight forward making the back weightless (or lighter) then it pops up on the curb easily with less damage to the tire or you. You have weight to the front or to the back and sometimes not on the bike at all.

    How does one stay weightless or get weightless on the bike if not constantly on the release of a bunny hop? I have no specific training in this be forewarned. Most likely they dont but do it when they need it. Can be light and loose the whole time but only weightless for short periods.

    Another seemingly related concept is the pump track. Pushing down and releasing in this manner can not only make you jump and make you coast easily over rough stuff it can propel you too. Dont ask me the physics behind the pump track but it is interesting. It is like a swing and relates to burms as well, to slingshot you around by manipulating your weight on the bike or using hills like a swing. Sometimes you can feel it naturally and might push into a turn or when cresting a hill.

    Being light on the bike will allow you to swiftly go over things. Think of it like this too. Say you got just a root in front of you. If you push down on your bike all heavy it will be jarring to go over. Instead stay loose and flowy, the bike will bounce up and your legs will act as the shock absorbers (if ur standing). It is light, ie you are not putting weight on the bike. If that makes any sense.

  34. #34
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    I will second the notion of following a more experienced rider down the hill. I believe that Dion will agree with me that trying out Rocky Ridge on a fully rigid bike for the first 50 or so times will help you respect the terrain though, and there is lots of experience to gain from going up Rocky Ridge many times. Once you make the transition to a front-squish or full-squish bike from the fully-rigid, you’ll find you can take the same lines with amazing speed and confidence.

    Oh, and yell “Strava!!!!” to any hikers in your way.
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  35. #35
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    How often do you ride RR? A lot of the people that have posted here are ST regulars. I have been riding there a few times a week since I moved up to South San Jose. If you would like to ride a loop some time PM me. It should be pretty easy to line up a ride with an ST veteran though this thread. I'm usually out there Tues and Weds after 5ish. We can go see the new gate they are putting up. Dang it!
    Brian

  36. #36
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    Never been on this trail. But Gianter essentially has it right regarding being light on the bike. Essentially it means being dynamic with your weight (on the pedals) and trying to make sure you are pulling the bike up and not pushing down with your weight when going over obstacles. You want to push down/be heavy on the pedals on places with relatively better or smoother traction, or right before an obstacle, and be light when actually reaching the obstacle, so you can pull the bike right up and flow over it with enough practice. On an extended rock garden part of the key, in addition to line choice and proper body position, is picking the right places to weight and unweight. Handlebars are involved too but the weighting/unweighting is mainly on the pedals.

    If you don't do this you will bash into things and your ride will involve greater risk and less enjoyment.

    I'm not very good at this but have done it enough times to know that making this a constant part of one's riding is one of the cardinal steps to mastering the sport. If you watch the great ones you can see them doing this instinctively.
    Last edited by J-Flo; 06-09-2015 at 12:22 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoHillBri View Post
    How often do you ride RR? A lot of the people that have posted here are ST regulars. I have been riding there a few times a week since I moved up to South San Jose. If you would like to ride a loop some time PM me. It should be pretty easy to line up a ride with an ST veteran though this thread. I'm usually out there Tues and Weds after 5ish. We can go see the new gate they are putting up. Dang it!
    Brian
    Thanks for the offer, but I wouldn't subject a veteran rider to waiting for my frequent hike a bikes! I want to build up more stamina so I'm not too embarrassed

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    Never been on this trail. But Gianter essentially has it right regarding being light on the bike. Essentially it means being dynamic with your weight (on the pedals) and trying to make sure you are pulling the bike up and not pushing down with your weight when going over obstacles. You want to push down/be heavy on the pedals on places with relatively better or smoother traction, or right before an obstacle, and be light when actually reaching the obstacle, so you can pull the bike right up and flow over it with enough practice. On an extended rock garden part of the key, in addition to line choice and proper body position, is picking the right places to weight and unweight. Handlebars are involved too but the weighting/unweighting is mainly on the pedals.

    If you don't do this you will bash into things and your ride will involve greater risk and less enjoyment.

    I'm not very good at this but have done it enough times to know that making this a constant part of one's riding is one of the cardinal asp. If you watch the great ones you can see them doing this instinctively.
    Definitely great description. When I was a kid I was basically glued to my bmx bike. I learned those skills when we used to challenge each other to bunny hop competitions or made sweet jumps. It seems that muscle memory definitely applies here.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUZe View Post
    I'm also confused by what you guys mean when you say "be light on the bike." Do you mean "be light on the bars" as in don't have a death grip and keep your elbows bent?
    Ever watch mogul skiing on tv? Notice how the fastest skiers' upper body barely moves while their lower body soaks everything up. Being light on the bike is being a part (the most important part) of the suspension, allowing you to maintain your downhill momentum and avoid being knocked off line by trail obstacles.
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