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  1. #1
    dru
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    OMG, pucker factor

    I met Defiant MTB and Peter Weldon this weekend.....pretty crazy riding out at Hilton Falls. Amazingly my hardtail survived unscathed except for a flat. Damn there's some wicked stuff in there. I rode a lot of stuff today that was way beyond my abilities and fear levels but rode anyways (failing too, obviously) all due to the encouragement of the awesome people I was riding with. Seriously, the consequences of falling off some of the stuff would definitely been broken bones, which is why my HR was 185 at more than a few points! I was actually laughing about this after I cleaned the Dome, as my arms slowly stopped trembling. Later I considered doing the jump on Fraggle rock for about a millisecond and then pondered rolling off the higher face to the left and realized I didn't need to die! It has to be a good 7 feet high on a very steep and rocky pitch. Two of our group did the jump though, landing perfectly on the tranny. I simply didn't have the cajones or skills! Despite being too chicken to ride a few of the most extreme features today I certainly upped my game and am a better rider as a result. Strangely enough, I'm not entirely comfortable with the level of fear that was induced or the consequences of screwing up. Weird to have such mixed feelings about a ride that was completely awesome.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  2. #2
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
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    That's a great group of guys out there and centuries of experience among them. You were in good hands!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  3. #3
    dru
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    Yes GM, I was wasn't I? Peter, right off the bat offered me some shin guards about 2 seconds after I met him. The concern was genuine I believe, because I was wearing tights, the MTBR jersey, a HR monitor, and riding a hardtail with clipless pedals!

    My pride caused me to refuse, but I did think 'what the hell am I getting into?', while keeping my game face on...

    Only luck saved me and the bike because I did bail twice on the rocks, and somehow avoided blood and damaged paint.

    That feeling of 'what the hell am I getting into?' continued the rest of the day needless to say, mixed with terror and elation!

    There's probably a reason I didn't see a another single hardtail the entire day.
    occasional cyclist

  4. #4
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    Peter along with the core group of guys there are all great folks. They always have spare armour, parts & lights on the rides they host just in case someone gets in over their head or forgets something, which happens with some regularity from what I'm told. Peter showed the same generosity and concern for me the first time I showed up on one of their local rides, I was on a hardtail and had to borrow a set of flat pedals from him since I forgot my clipless shoes at home. I then proceeded to shin myself with the pedals while doing trackstands in the parking lot. Doh! Fortunately the rest of the ride went a lot better, no falls, no broken bike parts, and tons of fun with a great group of riders.

    Anyway, glad to hear you enjoyed your ride, and it's always interesting to hear others' impressions of the Hilton Falls area. And yeah, scaring yourself silly is part of the fun, and it's even sweeter when you succeed and get away with doing what you didn't think was possible.

  5. #5
    Workin for the weekend!
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    I've destroyed 2 hard tails @ Hilton, that's enuff for me. Will go back, but only once it's snowed and filled in some of the terror...

  6. #6
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    Hilton Falls/Agreement Forest is a great set of trails, but its a lot different then Durham or Albion or other XC racing oriented trail systems. Its about balance, challenge, getting over features and lots and lots of rocks.

    I am pretty sure my first day with the group was the same day as Aerius mentioned above cause I remember that. I've ridden trails somewhat similar to this in northern NJ on a hardtail 29'er. It can be done, but your body takes a jarring. Plus I think it is easier to keep the momentum you need over the rock gardens with the rear end is active.

    I don't really care how good one thinks they are, they should wear some armor on those trails as a fall could keep you off the bike for a while, and we all want to maximize the time spent with the rubber side down. Riding these trails will up your skill level even if they are not the types of trails you want to do regularly.

    I like to mix it up, and HF offers a good challenge.

  7. #7
    dru
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    I've ridden trails somewhat similar to this in northern NJ on a hardtail 29'er. It can be done, but your body takes a jarring. Plus I think it is easier to keep the momentum you need over the rock gardens with the rear end is active.
    Too true. I noticed more than a a few guys sitting where I was forced to stand in order to put hip action into the flow.

    I'm a passably good technical climber which really helped, but I'm still sore today in my hips and the ride was Saturday!

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

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