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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.





    Punch it, Chewie.

  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
    Living the High Life
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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
    Living the High Life
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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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    Reputation: gotdirt's Avatar
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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
    Now with 10% more!
    Reputation: Da Dook's Avatar
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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
    Gaa-zee-raaaa!
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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
    Mojo0115
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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
    eci
    Reputation: snowskilz's Avatar
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    i ride bikes


    bikes are cool

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