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  1. #1
    Living the High Life
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    I'm Crying Inside Over DH

    I ride XC, I even got a road bike recently , but I loves me some DH! I ride XC with my friends from work, they beat me climbing, but I leave them behind heading down. But they still don't seem to understand DH.

    They admit "Matt is much faster than us heading down" <-- and I'm nothing special in the DH world. But they still don't see it as a "real" sport I keep suggesting they need to spend a lift access day with me...but only our summer intern has taken me up on the offer. Some of the guys were trying to tell her to buy a 5" bike to replace her hard tail so she'd be able to ride some lift stuff, but then be able to do some real mountain biking too...XC. She still bought a used Stinky.

    Come on XC folks (directed more to those NOT on mtbr), there are more DH'ers who ride XC and/or road than the other way around, give the dark side a try You may like it.

  2. #2
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    I gave it a try....and liked it. alot.

  3. #3
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    This will only end in tears and man-hugging, I can just tell already. You just keep your hands to yourself on Friday, neighbor.
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  4. #4
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    I trail ride at least 3 times a week. Absolutely love it....I can hold my own on any of the front range stuff. Nothing as is strenuous as a pinner DH run. It's not for everyone that's for sure and maybe that's why they don't consider it a "real" sport. They my friend have no clue and hopefully will never understand...haha.

  5. #5
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    One problem is perception - the perception of danger....and I am not sure the perception is incorrect. Take Sol Vista last weekend as an example. When two people much more skilled than I come out with broken wings, it makes me think twice. I am thinking of a new bike. Do I want an Enduro, a Demo 8, or a new XC bike (all three actually but big reality check there). Shawn and Chris' mishaps last weekend make me question the Demo 8 option. Maybe I should just get an FS XC bike and get out there and get some exercise, have some fun, lose a pound or ten and not put this old body at risk of life and limb.

    Another problem is the bike. My $800 hardtail is on it's 10th season with minor and inexpensive parts replacements. Riding DH it seems you go through a lot of big $ replacement parts.

    Gear...another barrier to entry. I spent enough $ on protection for my son and myself to buy myself a new hardtail (shoes, knee/shin, crash pants, body armor, goggles, helmet, gloves)

    Ga$oline and Lift Ticket$.

    DH is very fun but it's hard on the bike, hard on the body, and hard on the wallet.

  6. #6
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    I have seen some skilled riders get broken bones off landing on loose stuff and off slightly skewed landings. Just too much risk and not enough reward for me though I totally understand why some riders love it. I don't knock it at all but have little interest in it.

    Give me epic trails...the higher and longer; the better. The one thing I do appreciate is that it helps develop a better ability to launch off heights and keeps you safer (well- unless you go nuts and seek bigger and bigger launches).

  7. #7
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    Brother I hear you! I was visiting a friend in OR last year and we had the oppty to ride a semi-private DH/Freeride area (did it on my BLT with eggbeaters), and although I sucked, I was hooked.

    Got back and bought a DH bike. Tried getting some of my riding friends here to go and only got funny looks. Did several trips up to Keystone - separated my shoulder. out for a month. But I was back out there by the end of the summer (still sucking it up but still trying).

    I havent been back up this year, but I took a class with Lee last week because I want to be better.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMountain
    I have seen some skilled riders get broken bones off landing on loose stuff and off slightly skewed landings. Just too much risk and not enough reward for me though I totally understand why some riders love it. I don't knock it at all but have little interest in it.

    Give me epic trails...the higher and longer; the better. The one thing I do appreciate is that it helps develop a better ability to launch off heights and keeps you safer (well- unless you go nuts and seek bigger and bigger launches).
    All true but you could go ride the blue DH trails and have no higher risks than most of the front range XC stuff

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsj3831
    Do I want an Enduro, a Demo 8, or a new XC bike (all three actually but big reality check there).
    If I only could have 1 bike, I'd make it my 6" Enduro, it is my XC bike anyway (that's right, I have a 34 pound "XC" bike), and it can handle 75% of the stuff at SV or Keystone.

  10. #10
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    The first time I headed up to Keystone I was HOOKED! The next season I bought myself a used Super 8. It's more than a rush, it's an addiction. Riding at full speed, at the edge of control, catching air and letting the suspension suck up all the rocks and bumps is where it's at. Don't get me wrong, I ride XC and I can climb with the best of them, but my true passion is DH.

    You ride at your own speed and ability level. You cover yourself head to toe with armor and protective clothing. I've had a few bad crashes, and they are always the ones that take you by surprise, jack you up and you're like "How the hell did that happen?". So yeah, it's dangerous but I also have heard of guys riding XC getting eaten by cougars. (And I don't mean the cougars at Cool River either.)

    As far as durability of parts and such. I've got a 2003 M1 that I've been riding for 3 seasons (Had a Super 8 for the previous 3 before that) and it's more the little things that you need to replace. A chain here a roller there, maybe some new tires here and there. I just don't find it that hard to keep on top of. Hell, the gas to get to WP and Keystone is what's going to kill my finances this season.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    give the dark side a try You may like it.
    I plan to give it a try. Monday I bought my new "give it a try" ride.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider
    I plan to give it a try. Monday I bought my new "give it a try" ride.
    Reign X, excellent choice

  13. #13
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    All cycling is either recreation or transportation.

    None of it is a "sport"...


  14. #14
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    "Nothing is as strenuous..."

    Quote Originally Posted by jrok
    I trail ride at least 3 times a week. Absolutely love it....I can hold my own on any of the front range stuff. Nothing as is strenuous as a pinner DH run. It's not for everyone that's for sure and maybe that's why they don't consider it a "real" sport. They my friend have no clue and hopefully will never understand...haha.
    Take your lightest DH rig and bust out a time trial up Belcher, up the Belcher singletrack to the bench at the top, do it in under 40 minutes. Let me know how strenuous you thought it was.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    If I only could have 1 bike, I'd make it my 6" Enduro, it is my XC bike anyway (that's right, I have a 34 pound "XC" bike), and it can handle 75% of the stuff at SV or Keystone.
    You must be a weight weenie - my 4" travel xc bike weighs 34lbs...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    All cycling is either recreation or transportation.

    None of it is a "sport"...

    Some one (probably on these forums-Full Trucker?) said that once they make a special shoe for it, its a sport!

  17. #17
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    DHing is a different kind of strenuous.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Take your lightest DH rig and bust out a time trial up Belcher, up the Belcher singletrack to the bench at the top, do it in under 40 minutes. Let me know how strenuous you thought it was.
    I've done hill climbs, 12 hour, centuries, dirt crits, short track, cyclocross, and XC races. They're all hard in a slightly different way. Flinging a 45-50 lb bike down rocky sketch terrain while trying to go as fast as possible will exhaust a person. I'm not fast but when I really push a DH run (I'm still really new at it) I am panting at the end. DHing has given me better confidence and handling skills as I'm able to concentrate on one specific skill set. Think of Dhing like any other specific training i.e. interval training, hill repeats, base miles; they suit a specific purpose and will make you a better cyclist.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Some one (probably on these forums-Full Trucker?) said that once they make a special shoe for it, its a sport!
    The only problem with that theory of mine is that it includes GOLF as a sport. Ah well, back to the theory-drawing board...
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Trucker
    The only problem with that theory of mine is that it includes GOLF as a sport. Ah well, back to the theory-drawing board...
    Not to mention all the "special" shoes they make for womens' pursuits.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    I keep suggesting they need to spend a lift access day with me...but only our summer intern has taken me up on the offer. Some of the guys were trying to tell her to buy a 5" bike to replace her hard tail so she'd be able to ride some lift stuff, but then be able to do some real mountain biking too...XC. She still bought a used Stinky.
    Oh...Summer Intern...???!!!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Not to mention all the "special" shoes they make for womens' pursuits.
    Ah see, I have a theory about that too! You see... in that sport it's the hunted that wear the special shoes, not the hunter. Or is it the pusu-ee, not the persu-er? Either way, it's all a matter of perception, Danny.
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  22. #22
    Living the High Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Not to mention all the "special" shoes they make for womens' pursuits.
    So I guess hookers just became professional athletes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Trucker
    The only problem with that theory of mine is that it includes GOLF as a sport. Ah well, back to the theory-drawing board...
    Along with bowlers, soap shoes and heelys. Time to rethink that theory...
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  24. #24
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    I'll stick with Hemingway's assessment.


  25. #25
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    I'll give some blue runs a shot- me needs to learn launches safely or rather me needs to learn how to safely launch without fear

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Some one (probably on these forums-Full Trucker?) said that once they make a special shoe for it, its a sport!
    The theory is almost flawless until you notice that they make shoes for Bowling... that's a game, like Monopoly or Pin the Tail on the Donkey... not a sport... What's next, shoes for Darts?!

    I say if it goes into the Olympics it should be considered a sport... but onces Bowling goes in there, my theory is lost....

  27. #27
    skillz to pay billz
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    hahahahahahha


    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    So I guess hookers just became professional athletes.

  28. #28
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    So I guess hookers just became professional athletes.
    They weren't before?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhpimp
    I say if it goes into the Olympics it should be considered a sport...
    See that would make curling a sport and downhill mountain biking NOT a sport. Oh wait..... downhilling ISN'T a sport, we covered this already...
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  30. #30
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    We have the best of both worlds here...a lot of the XC trails along the frong range are DH worthy. I love nothing better than getting my butt kicked pedaling a 36lb bike on the climb up over rocks, roots, waterbars and step ups only to be able to turn around and ride down all that stuff. I think being a well rounded, capable of riding it all rider is better than focusing on one aspect of it "sport".

    I think that riding DH improves your XC riding 100%, it did for me. I gained confidence, riding skills and the guts to ride stuff I'm not sure I'm capable of but I know my bike is. Much of DH riding is mental, that's why I bagged on it for years....saying the DH was easy and for fat lazy people. I was shocked the first time I got on a DH bike and was more sore and tired than I have ever been on a XC bike and I was amazed how much fear played a factor. Conquer your fear and it's so much fun!

    I can't wait until Keystone is open and dry

  31. #31
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    I watch world cup downhill skiing

    Quote Originally Posted by athalliah
    I've done hill climbs, 12 hour, centuries, dirt crits, short track, cyclocross, and XC races. They're all hard in a slightly different way. Flinging a 45-50 lb bike down rocky sketch terrain while trying to go as fast as possible will exhaust a person. I'm not fast but when I really push a DH run (I'm still really new at it) I am panting at the end. DHing has given me better confidence and handling skills as I'm able to concentrate on one specific skill set. Think of Dhing like any other specific training i.e. interval training, hill repeats, base miles; they suit a specific purpose and will make you a better cyclist.
    Sometimes they've got a heart monitor attached to some racer. His heart rate can be upwards of 180 sometimes...but I just can't believe it's the same type of heartbeat of 180 registering on a heart monitor of a world class cross country racer as he's manually pushing himself on his skiiny skies for hours at a time. I mean, really, who's the fitter athlete?

    I'm almost thinking the high heart rate and breathing hard of a DH rider is more through the thrill of the downhill and forgetting to breath than it is about fitness. I never get to test this theory, though, because my descending skills can best be described as "glacial". Come to think of it, so are my climbing skills. I just happen to like climbing.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    ...I never get to test this theory...
    Then mayhaps you shouldn't go about supposing so much as you do then, hmmm?
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMountain
    I'll give some blue runs a shot- me needs to learn launches safely or rather me needs to learn how to safely launch without fear
    Don't do that. That is how I got infected. Turned me from a sensible climbing/trials guy into a DH addict. Took only a few runs.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  34. #34
    Your retarded
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    I remember when Klaus and Shawn used to show up to rides in full lyrca.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  35. #35
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    Damn, I'll stick with my regular riding..must stay break-free...too many people depend on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaba Klaus
    Don't do that. That is how I got infected. Turned me from a sensible climbing/trials guy into a DH addict. Took only a few runs.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I'm almost thinking the high heart rate and breathing hard of a DH rider is more through the thrill of the downhill and forgetting to breath than it is about fitness. I never get to test this theory, though, because my descending skills can best be described as "glacial". Come to think of it, so are my climbing skills. I just happen to like climbing.
    If I'm pinning it on a downhill, especially a relatively technical one, it can be as much work as climbing and BIG FUN!! I love climbing too.

    I've been really surprised at how hard I am working on some downhill runs - they just don't last as long as climbs

    Ed

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Sometimes they've got a heart monitor attached to some racer. His heart rate can be upwards of 180 sometimes...but I just can't believe it's the same type of heartbeat of 180 registering on a heart monitor of a world class cross country racer as he's manually pushing himself on his skiiny skies for hours at a time. I mean, really, who's the fitter athlete?

    I'm almost thinking the high heart rate and breathing hard of a DH rider is more through the thrill of the downhill and forgetting to breath than it is about fitness. I never get to test this theory, though, because my descending skills can best be described as "glacial". Come to think of it, so are my climbing skills. I just happen to like climbing.
    All I know is that at the start of summer once I start doing DH runs I am so sore in my arms, legs and shoulder muscles that it reminds me of my Rock Climbing days. For some reason DH riding pushes me to push my body way more than Trail Riding does. I expect it is because while trail riding I can be lazy where as on DH runs you have to ride hard and work hard.

  38. #38
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    I first started wondering about the fitness of downhillers vs climbers when

    Quote Originally Posted by zzsean
    All I know is that at the start of summer once I start doing DH runs I am so sore in my arms, legs and shoulder muscles that it reminds me of my Rock Climbing days. For some reason DH riding pushes me to push my body way more than Trail Riding does. I expect it is because while trail riding I can be lazy where as on DH runs you have to ride hard and work hard.
    I was on a trail that featured some fairly gnarly downs followed by real steep steeps. This rider who appeared to know what he was doing just flew past me, slicing and dicing down a hill that I was braking bigtime on. He disappeared. I came up to him about a 1/3 of the way up the next long steep climb and he was off the side of the trail, helmet in his hand gasping for air. As I happily ground past him upwards I thought, huh, mountain biking can sure accommodate a whole range of skilz and fitness.

    Now you all are telling me that DHing gets you as fit as climbing. I know you say you're sore after multiple DH runs but if you just did nothing but DH are you telling me that you could then turn around and ride Kenosha Pass, with all of that accumulated DH fitness?
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I was on a trail that featured some fairly gnarly downs followed by real steep steeps. This rider who appeared to know what he was doing just flew past me, slicing and dicing down a hill that I was braking bigtime on. He disappeared. I came up to him about a 1/3 of the way up the next long steep climb and he was off the side of the trail, helmet in his hand gasping for air. As I happily ground past him upwards I thought, huh, mountain biking can sure accommodate a whole range of skilz and fitness.

    Now you all are telling me that DHing gets you as fit as climbing. I know you say you're sore after multiple DH runs but if you just did nothing but DH are you telling me that you could then turn around and ride Kenosha Pass, with all of that accumulated DH fitness?
    Ahhh, XC elitism...

  40. #40
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    I was going to say something about that

    Quote Originally Posted by joelalamo45
    No but it tells me that the DHer had more bike riding skills than you, and that you are a better climber.
    I suck at descending and I admit it. In fact, when I saw that guy blow past me I said I wish he could bottle up some of those DH skilz of his and let me partake. Then when I saw him dying on the climb I also wondered does he even think being in climbing shape is part of the sport of mountain biking. I wish I could DH like him, does he wish he could climb without dying? If mountain biking always consisted of 50% climbing 50% descending would a guy like him even own a bike? Who knows, maybe later in the season he might be in shape enough to tolerate climbing (this was June) but I can't tell you how many times I've seen riders gasping for air or pushing their bikes uphill only to tell me "but it sure will be great on the downhill!!" A point of view I've never had.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I was on a trail that featured some fairly gnarly downs followed by real steep steeps. This rider who appeared to know what he was doing just flew past me, slicing and dicing down a hill that I was braking bigtime on. He disappeared. I came up to him about a 1/3 of the way up the next long steep climb and he was off the side of the trail, helmet in his hand gasping for air. As I happily ground past him upwards I thought, huh, mountain biking can sure accommodate a whole range of skilz and fitness.

    Now you all are telling me that DHing gets you as fit as climbing. I know you say you're sore after multiple DH runs but if you just did nothing but DH are you telling me that you could then turn around and ride Kenosha Pass, with all of that accumulated DH fitness?
    Seems to me they're different muscle groups. On my full DH days I'm sore/tired in completely different places than the days I'm riding up. I breath hard on the DH days but it doesn't feel like it compares to the cardio I get pedaling up (I'm also riding up on a 34ish lb 'XC' bike)

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I suck at descending and I admit it. In fact, when I saw that guy blow past me I said I wish he could bottle up some of those DH skilz of his and let me partake. Then when I saw him dying on the climb I also wondered does he even think being in climbing shape is part of the sport of mountain biking. I wish I could DH like him, does he wish he could climb without dying? If mountain biking always consisted of 50% climbing 50% descending would a guy like him even own a bike? Who knows, maybe later in the season he might be in shape enough to tolerate climbing (this was June) but I can't tell you how many times I've seen riders gasping for air or pushing their bikes uphill only to tell me "but it sure will be great on the downhill!!" A point of view I've never had.
    That's funny, because I had a similar experience. I suck at ascending and descending and I admit it. In fact, when I saw that guy blow past me on a climb I said "I wish he could bottle up some climbing stamina of his and let me partake." Then when I saw him thinking he was about to die on the downhill, I also wondered does he even think being able to descend is part of the sport of mountain biking? I wish I could climb like him, does he wish he could descend without dying like me? If mountain biking always consisted of 50% climbing 50% descending would a guy like him even own a bike? Who knows, maybe later in the season he might be confident enough to tolerate descending (this was June) but I can't tell you how many times I've seen riders gasping for air, mashing pedals on the uphill, or completely unable to even make a hint at a smile, only to tell me "but it sure will be great once I get to the top with a new PR!!" A point of view I've never had.

    The point is, anytime a rider fails to see the motives of another, it's time for that person to step outside their comfort zone and hit it. And I'm not talking about strapping on your big-boy shorts and using less brake on the descents or going to a higher gear for longer on the ascents. I'm talking about hooking up with some riders that will teach you how to find flow in a trail, techniques to build confidence, and how to descend without losing your ass. In the case of the climbers, hang with them and watch their techniques; how they spin up to steep slopes to conserve momentum, how smooth they are with their pedal strokes, and how much thought is put forward regarding their energy expenditure while on a climb. Both sides of the tracks require skill and talent of their own right so it's pure ignorance to insult one or the other.

    So, xcguy, in your case, I'd find some folks that are willing to pedal around with you, especially down a trail that is outside your comfort zone. Follow them, then have them follow you, and discuss. You'll be surprised what you learn just from sucking the tire of a confident, skilled rider, especially on the descents. And I can guarantee you'll adopt some of those skills into your climbing game.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  43. #43
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    I can ride xc or road for hours, but need to stop and catch my breath after 1 lap at the bmx track. Yeah, different muscles and type of muscle... I'd guess dh is more fast twitch than xc.
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  44. #44
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    i'm too old to start DH'ing

    shhh, quiet DWF.






    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  45. #45
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    I'd give it a try...

    Would like to improve my downhill skills, but don't really have the right bike or armor for it at this juncture. My question would be this. On trail rides I usually feel more "in the zone" or like things are a little easier after about 30 or 40 mins. when I'm warmed up to being on the bike. Are the 1st few runs (usually) a little more difficult/slower ? And does going up the lift mess up your "flow"?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I suck at descending and I admit it. In fact, when I saw that guy blow past me I said I wish he could bottle up some of those DH skilz of his and let me partake. Then when I saw him dying on the climb I also wondered does he even think being in climbing shape is part of the sport of mountain biking. I wish I could DH like him, does he wish he could climb without dying? If mountain biking always consisted of 50% climbing 50% descending would a guy like him even own a bike? Who knows, maybe later in the season he might be in shape enough to tolerate climbing (this was June) but I can't tell you how many times I've seen riders gasping for air or pushing their bikes uphill only to tell me "but it sure will be great on the downhill!!" A point of view I've never had.
    you're not the only mountain biker in the world. that is all.

  47. #47
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    Also, I can't wait to try some lift served DH this summer now that I've got a half decent bike for it.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickle

    The point is, anytime a rider fails to see the motives of another, it's time for that person to step outside their comfort zone and hit it.... Both sides of the tracks require skill and talent of their own right so it's pure ignorance to insult one or the other.
    Your kung fu is strong, Nickle.
    Now with more vitriol!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    I was on a trail that featured some fairly gnarly downs followed by real steep steeps. This rider who appeared to know what he was doing just flew past me, slicing and dicing down a hill that I was braking bigtime on. He disappeared. I came up to him about a 1/3 of the way up the next long steep climb and he was off the side of the trail, helmet in his hand gasping for air. As I happily ground past him upwards I thought, huh, mountain biking can sure accommodate a whole range of skilz and fitness.

    Now you all are telling me that DHing gets you as fit as climbing. I know you say you're sore after multiple DH runs but if you just did nothing but DH are you telling me that you could then turn around and ride Kenosha Pass, with all of that accumulated DH fitness?
    Sorry, no I didn't mean to imply that DH riding "gets you as fit as climbing" - it gets you fit in an entirely different area. Luckily, here in Colorado we pretty much get to do both. Some of the most fun down hill riding comes as a reward after a long brutal climb (Searle Pass or Jefferson Creek for example).

    For most of my riding life climbing has always been that "necessary evil" that would let me enjoy the joys of a down hill romp. Recently I have started finding myself uttering the words "the trail has a fun climb in it as well" and I can't decide whether it is because I have been beaten down or because I have actually gotten strong enough it feels enjoyable instead of just a long grind to the top.

    I do however absolutely love technical climbing (in short spurts ) There is a lot of fun to be had in finding a path through technical ledges and rocks.

  50. #50
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    i ride bikes


    bikes are cool

  51. #51
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    I'm a bike 51u+; I ride everything. I also suck at everything I ride
    Last edited by Pau11y; 06-25-2008 at 09:06 PM.

  52. #52
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    Back in the day, I used to race DH and XC. They both carry a different kind of pain. I started out racing DH until I broke my thumb, so the next month I tried out racing XC with my cast. Turns out it's the only race I ever won in DH or XC. Having slightly better handling skills than a normal XC rider pays off on the downhill and fast sections. That is of course if you can at least keep the leaders in site. What I found is that XC racing gives you a long, almost never ending pain. You have a lot of time to think about how much it hurts. The DH races I used to do were in SoCal and most of the courses had a fair amount of pedaling. So...40+ bike with a slammed seat....spinning as hard as you can on the flatter sections. There was no sitting down, just mashing the pedals and moving your whole body around to get the bike on the line you wanted. No time to think about how bad your legs and lungs were burning (nevermind I was mostly sucking in smog). You feel the pain after you cross the line where you feel like you are going to pass out and throw up at the same time. It is that bad. Since it's not back in the day anymore, I do the occasional XC race and no DH. I have found that I am too big of a wuss for the serious DH stuff out here.

    If you would like to get a taste of one part of DH pain, just take your lightest XC bike, slam the saddle and go climb Mt. Falcon.

    Oh, and I've heard of a guy that did Kenosha Pass on a 42lb Bullitt

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Dook
    Would like to improve my downhill skills, but don't really have the right bike or armor for it at this juncture.
    That is tough. However - renting is an option for full feature DH gear. But as long as stay away from the really gnarly runs you can probably just lower the seat post and start enjoying some runs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Dook
    Are the 1st few runs (usually) a little more difficult/slower ?
    Yes, absolutely. It takes a run or two to warm up and several runs to find the best lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Dook
    And does going up the lift mess up your "flow"?
    No, it does not. How could it? You are at the bottom of the trail. There is nothing else to flow through. The lift is a welcome break. Take a sip and a byte, work the cramps out of your fingers.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    I'm a bike 51u+; I ride everything. I also suck at everything I ride
    Your suckiness PALES in comparison to my suckiness. And I hardly ride ANYTHING.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider
    I plan to give it a try. Monday I bought my new "give it a try" ride.


    Sick Bike!!! I want one to compliment my Uzzi, and the X0 is only 32 lbs... I see yours has a dhx coil, and a 36 Van? With DH tires it'll be in the high 30 lb range, but you can put single ply tires on it and ride it anywhere.
    .




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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Sometimes they've got a heart monitor attached to some racer. His heart rate can be upwards of 180 sometimes...but I just can't believe it's the same type of heartbeat of 180 registering on a heart monitor of a world class cross country racer as he's manually pushing himself on his skiiny skies for hours at a time. I mean, really, who's the fitter athlete?

    I'm almost thinking the high heart rate and breathing hard of a DH rider is more through the thrill of the downhill and forgetting to breath than it is about fitness. I never get to test this theory, though, because my descending skills can best be described as "glacial". Come to think of it, so are my climbing skills. I just happen to like climbing.
    I like Matt, do trail rides and have even have raced XC and im more pooped after a DH race speed run than a 10 mile ride.

    Mabye we should get that XC guy on a timed DH run and see what his heart rate is.
    It is quite possible that the stress of the mental (fear) aspect will shot his HR through the roof. It is true you put a sprinter on a long distance run he will not do well. In turn the LD runner is not going to be nearly as good of a sprinter.
    2 different disciplines and 2 complely different results. I bet eventhough you are a XC rider and proobly verry fit, i dont think you could ride down a track at race speed without stoppingto catch your breath.

    Sorry for the bad grammar and spelling, the broken leg drugs make me a little crazy.

  57. #57
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    I pretty much always ride down the hills I ride up.

  58. #58
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    I was so bad at downhill skiing I took up cross country skiing

    All my friends kept downhill skiing but I saw those trees whizzing past my head at 30 mph and said "no way". Cross country skiing appealed to me because I could put out maximo effort without the danger. The danger of descending is always on my mind.

    All the group I ride mtn. bikes with are faster than me downhill. I tried to keep up with them to improve my descending skills but it was like downhill skiing...some have it and some don't and it was apparent I was going to do myself great bodily harm while trying to go faster. Their natural speed downhill was always about 20% more so even if I climbed with them they were that many minutes ahead of me by the start of the next climb.

    My motto has always been "I can kill myself going down but I only get stronger going up."
    I applaud everyone's downhill ability that I don't have but I've given up trying to go faster. The desire to want to faster isn't there. I think your co-workers' attitude that just DH is not a sport is totally wrong, but I have one last question for this forum: how many of you (who have great descending skilz) really are not interested in climbing and basically go through an entire season descending. When you think of riding do you think "downhill fast" rather than an endless climb up to the top of some trail (like I do). Truly, I never wonder if a trail has a sweet flowy descent. When I watch the Tour De France I only lust after the climbs like Alp D'Huez, not the coming back down. Weird, huh?
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Sick Bike!!! I want one to compliment my Uzzi, and the X0 is only 32 lbs... I see yours has a dhx coil, and a 36 Van? With DH tires it'll be in the high 30 lb range, but you can put single ply tires on it and ride it anywhere.
    Yes a 36 Van.
    About 37lb as is. The only stock component I'm not happy with are the boat anchor Race Face DH cranks, (almost 1400 g). I will lose nearly a pound by switching those out. With lighter tires it won't be too bad for having coil on both ends.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    I can ride xc or road for hours, but need to stop and catch my breath after 1 lap at the bmx track. Yeah, different muscles and type of muscle... I'd guess dh is more fast twitch than xc.
    Yeah, but you also pedalled your Sunday with DH gearing up A-basin to do Leenawee while us AM/FR bike guys with better gear ratios pushed. Yer nutz.

    I'd also like to add that I have no internal desire to push myself very hard on climbs. I tend to save it for the descents. Especially frustrating technical climbs. Don't get me wrong, in college riding Horsetooth there was no end of tech climbs that I loved to clear. But now? In my old age, I ain't got the patience for it anymore. Just get me to the goods!
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  61. #61
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    never done lift assisted runs. My Superlight wouldnt last very long. I think I would probably love it though, as Im not a huge fan of climbing. Although, technical climbing is slowly starting to become enjoyable as it feels like more of an accomplishment to get up a bunch of crazy rocks than it is to sit through 45 minutes of smooth pedal mashing up-hill.

    I can see both sides. Going down without having to climb seems awesome. But I do like the feeling of earning my downhill. and the more I ride, the less I hate the climb. You just have to get in good enough shape

  62. #62
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    It seems that you folks here on mtbr (god bless your bike riding enduced larger hearts ) understand that all types of biking are sport-like, with different types of fitness required.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518
    never done lift assisted runs. My Superlight wouldnt last very long. I think I would probably love it though, as Im not a huge fan of climbing. Although, technical climbing is slowly starting to become enjoyable as it feels like more of an accomplishment to get up a bunch of crazy rocks than it is to sit through 45 minutes of smooth pedal mashing up-hill.

    I can see both sides. Going down without having to climb seems awesome. But I do like the feeling of earning my downhill. and the more I ride, the less I hate the climb. You just have to get in good enough shape
    You should give it a try. Put the seat down and start to go for the more challenging lines. The accomplishment of DH is not to bang your bike into obstacles. It is all about developing the technique to flow down the trail even if it is gnarly. First comes being smooth - you get faster as you get smoother.

    The main reason for using the lift is simply to get more DH runs in. More runs is more fun, more training, more opportunities to nail a section. Earning your turns is counter productive from a progression perspective.

    Also you'll quickly find that once you start to use proper technique and do flow down trails DH becomes a tough workout. Many XC riders don't ever experience this simply because they cruise down the trail stiff as a pole. Start using body English to load, unload, float and carve - your legs and shoulders will be shot in no time.

    Once you start going demanding technical sections and stunts there is also mental exhaustion. You can stand fear only so often during a day.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    ...how many of you (who have great descending skilz) really are not interested in climbing and basically go through an entire season descending. When you think of riding do you think "downhill fast" rather than an endless climb up to the top of some trail (like I do). Truly, I never wonder if a trail has a sweet flowy descent. When I watch the Tour De France I only lust after the climbs like Alp D'Huez, not the coming back down. Weird, huh?
    Personally, I think that is a weird view to have. I never spend an entire season ONLY descending i.e. only riding lifts and shuttles. In fact, I can only think of ONE person who will only descend on a bike, and that is my friend Jamie that only rides mtn bikes when it's too hot to twist throttle at the moto track. Other than him, everyone I know spends probably as much saddle time peddling up as they do bombing down.

    I can see how you would not even think about the descents if you're experiences with descending were always harrowing and "near-death-like" or whatever. People tend to shy away from activities where they don't feel comfortable, for sure. However, if you spent a little time working on those bike handling skills you might find that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Dook
    Would like to improve my downhill skills, but don't really have the right bike or armor for it at this juncture.
    You can improve your descending skills on any trail bike, on any trail ride. You don't have to "armor up" and have some crazy long-travel DH rig to enjoy descending. Learning to brake and turn with confidence on the descents will make your overall trail riding experience that much better! Typically only the "gravity" guys go out to the BMX track or the pump track to work on "skills" or whatever, but I've also seen plenty of singlespeeders and XC guys learning this stuff too. Why? Because it IS mountain biking after all, eventually you're gonna encounter an obstacle. Learning how to deal with it in a more "controlled" environment (BMX, pump track, etc.) means you're more prepared to handle it on the trail.
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  65. #65
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    DH is definitely a sport... I did 15 runs at Sol Vista on Saturday and felt like I rode 30+ on XC. And as everyone points out above, take a DH bike and do a good shuttle like UPS-LPS-Porcupine and tell me it's not a sport.

    My only gripe w/ DH is that I am regularly passed by 14 year olds.... never thought I'd aspire to be as good as a 14 year old in any sport!

    Can't wait for Keystone to open this weekend!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by edenger
    My only gripe w/ DH is that I am regularly passed by 14 year olds.... never thought I'd aspire to be as good as a 14 year old in any sport!
    You think that's bad? Try racing and getting beat by 11 year olds!
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518
    never done lift assisted runs. My Superlight wouldnt last very long. I think I would probably love it though, as Im not a huge fan of climbing. Although, technical climbing is slowly starting to become enjoyable as it feels like more of an accomplishment to get up a bunch of crazy rocks than it is to sit through 45 minutes of smooth pedal mashing up-hill.
    Speaking of Superlights. Mine took about 5-6 years of super abuse before the rear triangle cracked. One example.

    Biker? I don't even know her.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by SylentK
    Speaking of Superlights. Mine took about 5-6 years of super abuse before the rear triangle cracked. One example.

    Umm... that actually looks pretty smooth.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    The desire to want to faster isn't there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaba Klaus
    Once you start going demanding technical sections and stunts there is also mental exhaustion. You can stand fear only so often during a day.
    Emotion plays a HUGE role. If you're not into it, you wont ride good no matter what shape you are in.

    That said - DH takes way more concentration than XC.
    I can let my mind wonder on XC (can be quite relaxing), not a good idea on DH.

    Either way, I cross country when I go down hills, dont you?
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Umm... that actually looks pretty smooth.
    lol you have a good eye! What you don't see is the 3' drop to flat at the end of the "bridge". This was at Vail around 2001-2.

    I had some pics of me "jumping" the drop thingys on upper Cowboy Up on the Supahlite, many moons ago, but can't find 'em. I've even used it for racing 4x . I think that's what might've broken the rear triangle....

    I guess I'm trying to prove that you can ride resorts with a 4" XC bike. But its soooo much more fun on a race-oriented DH bike!
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SylentK
    lol you have a good eye! What you don't see is the 3' drop to flat at the end of the "bridge". This was at Vail around 2001-2.

    I had some pics of me "jumping" the drop thingys on upper Cowboy Up on the Supahlite, many moons ago, but can't find 'em. I've even used it for racing 4x . I think that's what might've broken the rear triangle....

    I guess I'm trying to prove that you can ride resorts with a 4" XC bike. But its soooo much more fun on a race-oriented DH bike!
    Those "features" fell apart over the next few years quite badly.

    And yes - the upper stuff on Vail is very rideable on a 4" bike.

    BTW - That trail kicks a$$.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Those "features" fell apart over the next few years quite badly.

    And yes - the upper stuff on Vail is very rideable on a 4" bike.

    BTW - That trail kicks a$$.
    Oh totally! Those were the days when the pirate trails at Vail seemed like the best trails on earth!

    I tried to find those pics of me on Cowboy Up, but instead I found this lame one of that funky structure at the bottom of Keystone. GO 4" travel bikes!!

    Biker? I don't even know her.

  73. #73
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    Well done, mister!

  74. #74
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    Hmm...

    This is interesting. I've ridden with XC racers w/MAD fitness, DH'ers with MAD fitness, and the consumate backcountry MTB'er, FRMigz, and, as Miguel says, it's all good!

    Sustained climbing 'round here is TOUGH! But sustained technical descending is also TOUGH!

    It's like Baskin-Robbins, pick your flavor!
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by SylentK

    I tried to find those pics of me on Cowboy Up, but instead I found this lame one of that funky structure at the bottom of Keystone. GO 4" travel bikes!!
    So did you know the guy on his knees (ready to catch you?) or was he a spontaneous groupie?
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    So did you know the guy on his knees (ready to catch you?) or was he a spontaneous groupie?
    I don't remember who that was. He's actually taking a pic. I never met him before, so we'll just assume he's part of the 4" Bike Groupie Club . They're everywhere ya know...But legend has it he posted his pic of me in this forum. That's before I even knew mtbr existed....I think this was the last time the Sooperlite road the lifts as I think I finally bought a big bike later that summer.
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Take your lightest DH rig and bust out a time trial up Belcher, up the Belcher singletrack to the bench at the top, do it in under 40 minutes. Let me know how strenuous you thought it was.
    XCguy. Last year I was timing my uphill runs... on my 43lb VPFREE. I managed to do Chimney bottom to top in about 47 minutes (45 was the goal). As for Belcher, would 49 minutes count with a big bike?

    JROK is right, there are some more strenuous DH's that some uphills. But letting go of your brakes doesn't count. The DH Racers constantly have the gas on and are sprinting everywhere. I am amazed at how physicial DH really is.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    shhh, quiet DWF.

    No you're not! and you can always use one of my bikes to learn.

  79. #79
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    Break out of the mold!

    I was the first of my group to edge into the darkside. I was of the classic XC that mtn biking started on (we did everything). My group of friends were (and some still are) very against lift accessable trails. Not that that is bad, but they prefer to pedal up to the stellar down's. Last year, one of these guys and I were checking out a new high-country trail and decided that it was no longer worth riding (read: large stream crossings). So we headed over to Keystone for some DH fun.

    He had a Blur LT, fully clad in lycra but went for it. We took him down many blues and blacks. He had a ball! He also said that he learned a ton. The following all mountain ride we did, he was on my tail on the DH with new skilz to show.

    I would encourage all XC riders to take a day at Keystone. Humor it, if anything. It is a lot of fun, and you'll find that your skillz will increase 10-fold... and you'll be sore in places you never thought possible.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    I would encourage all XC riders to take a day at Keystone. Humor it, if anything. It is a lot of fun, and you'll find that your skillz will increase 10-fold... and you'll be sore in places you never thought possible.
    +1 on that. And if you're on a trail bike, WP is a ton of fun, too. Before I knew what big bikes were about, I had a blast at Keystone, Vail and WP on my 5" Titus. I remember thinking, "this is comparable to a powder day on my snbd".

    I'm gonna have to time myself next time up Chimney. I rode it yesterday in roughly 45 min from my house to the top. My bike does weigh 9 lbs less than your VPF...
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by SylentK
    I think this was the last time the Sooperlite road the lifts as I think I finally bought a big bike later that summer.
    That's probably the summer I met Rallyblue, back when he was just a dork w/ a new Gemini and a xc helmet.
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  82. #82
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    "To the top" means something different to each rider

    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    XCguy. Last year I was timing my uphill runs... on my 43lb VPFREE. I managed to do Chimney bottom to top in about 47 minutes (45 was the goal). As for Belcher, would 49 minutes count with a big bike?

    JROK is right, there are some more strenuous DH's that some uphills. But letting go of your brakes doesn't count. The DH Racers constantly have the gas on and are sprinting everywhere. I am amazed at how physicial DH really is.
    Chimney Gulch--from the parking lot off that busy 4 lane (93?) to the little parking lot up on top of Lookout Mountain.

    Belcher--I start at the big tree just past the rock garden, not the parking lot because there's just too many variables (gates to open, rock garden to navigate). I like to only time myself from the tree to the very top of the Belcher singletrack (up all those water bars) and touch the bench on top.

    IE, if you ride a medium I'll let you take out my 2007 Superlight and grind up these two climbs. Let's see what you can do on an xc bike (remember those? 27 lbs, 4" o' travel?)
    And since you're "The Man Who Cleaned The Wall of Shame" I'm not surprised at your 49 minutes on your big bike. I've never ridden a bike bigger than 28 lbs so I'm guessing my time on your VP Free would be...nah, I wouldn't even finish!
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  83. #83
    Stand back
    Reputation: dbabuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    IE, if you ride a medium I'll let you take out my 2007 Superlight
    Probably not necessary - I think IE has a blur xc at his disposal...
    If I want to be the guy w/ the most bikes, I think I'm gonna have to move to a different neighborhood...
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  84. #84
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    <snip>
    IE, if you ride a medium I'll let you take out my 2007 Superlight and grind up these two climbs. Let's see what you can do on an xc bike (remember those? 27 lbs, 4" o' travel?)
    I, for one, am really glad that IE rides a 40+ pound bike everywhere. That way he's not THAT far ahead of me on the big XC rides we do together.

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