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  1. #1
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    Reflecting on my return to mountain biking!

    So, now that I've finally returned to mountain biking, four months in, I'd thought I'd share some thoughts in this forum (since I'm over fifty).

    1. Now that I'm riding again, man, I forgot how much I enjoyed it! Yes, I'm older, but even when I quit in my late forties, I wasn't a spring chicken. But it's still great to get out there on the trails. I feel like a kid!

    2. Except, I'm not a kid. So even though I still like to ride tricky trails, I'm not going to do the things I was doing ten years ago. For example, no huge drops (by my standards) anymore.

    3. I can actually still ride. Amazingly, quite a bit of the technical stuff I could ride back then, I can still ride. In fact, I think if I learned anything, it's to trust the bike, but don't get carried away.

    4. Bikes have changed! Boy did I pick a good time to get a modern bike!

    5. It really is therapeutic! When you're concentrating on staying upright, or even just peddling away on an easy trail, life's problems kinda just fall away (at least, mostly).

    6. I'm in a whole lot better cardio condition than I was in July. It feels good!

    Sorry for the extended post - just thought I'd share some thoughts with a group who appreciates the virtues of riding past the half century mark! Looking forward to riding tomorrow!

    Cheers everyone!

    Reflecting on my return to mountain biking!-img_0086.jpg

  2. #2
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    I spent over a year on a road bike and hated it, felt like people where just trying to kill me.

    Traded it and went back to a short travel MTB then moved to something with longer travel.
    Really like it, just have to remember I wonít get the bigger bike up the hills as fast so Iím learning to just back off a bit , but I forgot how good it feels for the inner kid to blast down a hill or over some rocks.

    Iíd say keep doing what you enjoy riding and do it as long as you can, enjoy the ride.

  3. #3
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    I enjoy both my road bike and my mountain bike. Both have been a multi-bike journey over the last couple of decades...from my steel Paramount Series 5 to my carbon FXs6, and my Trek 850 to my Farley EX8. Riding the local singletrack usually takes preparation effort. Iím glad to have the road bike so that I can just get on the bike and go on the spur of the moment. I enjoy both, but my primary goal is the workout so either woks for me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    bjeast

    Reflecting on my return to mountain biking!

    So, now that I've finally returned to mountain biking, four months in, I'd thought I'd share some thoughts in this forum (since I'm over fifty).
    That's it in a nutshell for me too. Thanks for sharing and reminding !

    I've drifted in and out of frequent to moderate biking over the years as it fits my routine and for the most part, I like to get out with others to ride with. I try to round up a few rider buddies and then just roll it into the schedule as to when we can get out and how often. The more options the better and the 6 or seven I get out with are typically two different groups of 3, 4 or 5 others.
    The young guys are early 40's and us fossils (me at 56) get into the mid-late 60's and one guy my dads age at 77-78.

    In 1991, I got a mtb living in Michigan and within two years we relocated from our native state to Colorado. My eyes were opened immensely to the options of 'real biking' here and my Michigan rides were more path oriented without lots of adventure. Some emphasis on fitness and longer leisure rides versus the harrowing trails and drop offs that are more easily found and in abundance here in CO.
    Not a slam to MI biking, but the cool areas there are just fewer and farther to get to in many cases from my home area at the time.

    In 03 I got an updated bike - alum h/t with v-brakes then not quite a year ago, I went to a plus -steel h/t , also noting the new angles and rider placement on the new gen stuff. Not as aggressive or fast (me), the new bike still begs for adventure, fits me great and makes everything more fun and feeling dialed-in. It was a good choice for me and the Colorado terrain so I feel fortunate to have done my homework and taken the time to catch up on the industry trends. With so many choices, it would be very easy to get a bike then soon after, have 2nd thoughts about it being the right one.

    The rides are more fun than ever and I'm able to get out more often with so many great destinations and parks within 15 to 25 minutes of my home. It doesn't have to be an all day or even 1/2 day investment for that enjoyment. One park is a half block away with a few variations of 2 and 3 mile loops and offering a connection path to other greenway/trail systems that go 25 miles south and 20 miles north through and past the AFA.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  5. #5
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    Im with ya feel so much better after dropping weight and discovering MTB.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Bachman196, itís sounds like you have a great location! Yeti, I can see why youíd say that about a road bike! That said, Iím glad I have mine, particularly because itís good on gravel, and there are quite a few places around the lower mainland that are good for that! Sometimes I like to just get out and go on the road bike. Built thereís no doubt that for me, I definitely prefer mountain biking. So glad Iím still doing it in my fifties, and look forward to doing it into my sixties!

  7. #7
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    This is great to read and while I'm still two years away from 50 I am just getting back into Mtb after being away for, a long time. My last bike was a 99'ish FSR expert that I just loved. I rode a bunch from 95 until 2001 when I got a job in a hellish flat place 2hrs from anything resembling a hill. I am now getting back into it and it's impressive how the bike tech has evolved! I love that and I have had a blast shopping for and choosing a bike. I start my re-training in two weeks when I will be traveling in my RV and staying where I am within striking distance of some flowey trails that I actually started riding on back in 95. Should be a great time trying to get my legs back in shape and enjoying the ride!

  8. #8
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    Awesome. I also just started for the first time in Oct at 62. So far, lot's of fun riding.
    2017 Specialized Camber FSR, 2013 Specialized Secteur Sport

  9. #9
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    Definitely need to rerun the old guys poll.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvbiker View Post
    I am now getting back into it and it's impressive how the bike tech has evolved!
    It really has evolved - I feel the same way! From shocks, to drive trains to frame geometry and some things I'm sure I'm forgetting, equipment has really changed!
    Last edited by bjeast; 12-20-2017 at 02:45 PM.

  11. #11
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    couldn't agree more, glad to get off the roads and into te hills.

  12. #12
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    Don't forget to try extending your ride season if in doubt and some chilly weather. I'm not a crazy outdoor adventurist or Die hard but was hoping to experiment with the new plus bike in the snow this season.

    First order of business is seeing how I hold up in the chilly temps and testing some of the gear and gloves etc... Glad to say almost a week ago, we got out in the chill to play around at a starting temp of 22 f ending at 15 f 2 hours later. Was absolutely a blast. Nothing fancy just a few lighter layers and tried some cheapie bar mitts that really did nice coupled with thin gloves. Got a reasonably priced helmet lamp and bars lamp too.

    Can't put words to the fun times (have done a few night rides before) but so liberating to know winter will not suffer the experience.

    Merry Christmas !

    ~ bach
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  13. #13
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    Well, as far as extending the season, the only thing that keeps me off the trails on the North Shore is snow. But even that won't stop me from some lesser trails in the area. Of course, if I can't get on the mountain bike, I've got my gravel/road bike to ride. That I won't ride if the streets are icy, but fortunately here in Vancouver that doesn't happen for that long - though today is one of those days...

    Oh, forgot to add that I'm going to get wider tires for my Trek Fuel EX....

  14. #14
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    You read my mind.

    I hit my physical peak at about 39yrs old back in the late 90s. Let myself go to shit until three years ago. Dropped 65lbs ride and or row 3-6 times a week in season. I hope to still ride if temps get above 40 but mostly stuck in the gym for the next 6-8 weeks. That's OK, it helps to build strength along with cardio.

    A few minutes in the woods or on the water and all my troubles are forgotten.

    Bikes are awesome now but i would love to have a mid 90s bike with modern geometry. Those bikes were bulletproof. I spend a lot more time and money maintaining my 2017 bike then my 1996 bike.

  15. #15
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    Wow, that's quite a change! Congratulations on the lifestyle change! Cool that you row, too. That's something I've never tried, though I can certainly see the appeal!

  16. #16
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    Rowing is a little like riding a unicycle at first but after a few hours most people can get around well. It's very mindful at first then becomes meditative as skills build. MTBing is always mindful.

    Thanks!!

  17. #17
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    I turned 58 and began riding a road bike this past year (2017) trying to get back in shape and loose some weight. I got serious about riding and set myself a goal of riding 3 or 4 times a week and try to ride 3000 miles over the course of the year. I also purchased my first mountain bike (Cannondale Cujo 1) and really enjoy riding it on the trails. Well I reached my goal and surpassed it as I rode for over 4000 combined miles this year on the road & mountain bikes & lost over 20lbs. and feel great. Looking forward to the spring and getting back on the bikes. For the winter I plan to ride a stationary bike and do some spinning classes to mix it up.

  18. #18
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    Thatís great Thatís quite impressive for your first year back riding. I canít believe I canít believe I ever left riding for so long. It really is quite addictive. :-)

  19. #19
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    Reflecting on my return to mountain biking!

    you all make me feel old!!!! Heck you guys should be a 71 year old cancer survivor the last 3 years. I have started back Mtn biking on my fattie! Damn itís fun! Iím very thankful to mash the pedals down and keep moving up the hills! Hell yeh!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #20
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    Bo Bohannon,

    Welcome to MTBing! or welcome back! It will keep you alive longer.

  21. #21
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    bjeast - All I can say is DITTO!

    Returned to biking after a double hernia surgery and another correction follow up a year later. Used the bicycle as a physical therapy program to get back in shape and active again in my mid-50's. Now 58 and 5 bikes later I've fine turned a 2013 Niner Jet 9 short travel XC MTB to my 50+ riding style: Jones Loop H-Bar, ISM Sport saddle and Sturmey-Archer 5spd IGH. I ride slower and more upright than many years ago, but the comfort factor is there for 50+ milers at 50+. Cardio is/has returned to wonderful levels and the bike setup keeps my: hands, feet, back and bum fatigue free.

    What a great sport to ride off into the sunset doing!
    eSurly ECR (BBS02B)
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  22. #22
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    Nice post beast. Couldn't agree more. Btw, is that trail crinkum or 7th? My backyard!

  23. #23
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    Great thread. I just started riding again as well. I rode mountain heavy during the 80s and 90s, kinda switched to road during the early 2000s, then got bitten by the longboarding bug and almost completely quit bicycle riding for almost decade.

    A few years ago I retired and moved to nowhere New Mexico. I am five miles of bad dirt road to the nearest pavement, which is also not exactly longboarding Nirvana.

    The first few years I was here, I was so busy getting settled in (40 acres off the power grid) I lost weight and was quite busy. This last year, I've kinda gotten caught up. My wife and I still take the dogs for a long walk every morning, but I've found that my jeans are starting to feel a bit tight.

    I've broken out my old Cannondale F400 and ridden her around a bit. Felt great, but conditions are very different here from what I used to ride back in Maine. DEEP soft (like talcum) sand when it's dry (which is most of the time) and prolific goatheads (Tribulus terrestris if you prefer).

    Getting back to this site made me realize some things have changed. This whole fat bike phenom is really interesting. I like the notion of floating over the sand, and going tubeless with a good sealant may be the ticket for the puncture vine.

    Anyway, greetings from this 54 year old NM resident. Thanks for this thread, I look forward to reading more!

  24. #24
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    Nice. I turn 60 next May. Still riding and loving it as much as I ever did.

    Btw, that looks like a beautifully armored spot some talented builders created. That'd be a spot I'd eagerly anticipate every ride on that trail. Double that on a wet slippery day.

  25. #25
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    Good post bjeast, it really is therapeutic getting out there hitting the trails!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    Nice post beast. Couldn't agree more. Btw, is that trail crinkum or 7th? My backyard!
    Thanks Skooks, I actually thought it was Leppard, but now I'm wondering if it's Krinkum....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    Nice. I turn 60 next May. Still riding and loving it as much as I ever did.

    Btw, that looks like a beautifully armored spot some talented builders created. That'd be a spot I'd eagerly anticipate every ride on that trail. Double that on a wet slippery day.
    I do like that spot, but I'm not so sure about it when it's wet... :-)

  28. #28
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    I have been off the bike for 20+ years. My last bike was a Diamondback, steel frame, no shocks, brakes grabbed the rims, LOL!

    I joined this forum yesterday and hope to make the most of my next 25 years. Like some of the other old guys here, I been going through a life change. My dad died last year and I will be 50 this year. I changed my diet, lost 40 pounds, went from being breathless on stairs to running a 5K and feeling the best I have in a long time.

    New bike is en route and looking forward to being in the saddle. I moved to North Georgia from NY State in 2014 and all of the trails here will be new to me.
    I will never set any land speed or climbing records. I will probably end up walking my bike more than I want to, but dammit I am going to find adrenaline!

    Enough about me. Thanks to everyone who posts here. This community encouraged me to ride again, even though none of you know it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biblionaut View Post
    ...I will never set any land speed or climbing records...
    Oh man, that is definitely the case for me!

  30. #30
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    Those trails have armoring like that on almost all of the corners. They are actually very grippy in the wet. They are some of the best trails to ride in the rain. So fun!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biblionaut View Post
    I have been off the bike for 20+ years. My last bike was a Diamondback, steel frame, no shocks, brakes grabbed the rims, LOL!

    I joined this forum yesterday and hope to make the most of my next 25 years. Like some of the other old guys here, I been going through a life change. My dad died last year and I will be 50 this year. I changed my diet, lost 40 pounds, went from being breathless on stairs to running a 5K and feeling the best I have in a long time.

    New bike is en route and looking forward to being in the saddle. I moved to North Georgia from NY State in 2014 and all of the trails here will be new to me.
    I will never set any land speed or climbing records. I will probably end up walking my bike more than I want to, but dammit I am going to find adrenaline!

    Enough about me. Thanks to everyone who posts here. This community encouraged me to ride again, even though none of you know it.
    Ive been at since March of last year. You may surprise yourself. It has taken a long time to get lungs and legs in shape but now doing OK on hills. At 58 I am the oldie of my buddies (30 to 55) but we all rip pretty good.
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    MTB is therapy!

  32. #32
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    So, in case anybody is still reading this thread, I wanted to add one more thing. Where I am now in my riding is not where I thought I'd be when I started again. When I bought a new mountain bike back in early August, I thought a hard tail would be more than sufficient. I really never thought I'd be going to the North Shore or even Delta. I thought it would be mild, mild trail-riding, riding once in while.

    Instead, I've gotten, well, not obsessed, exactly, but the bug has bitten hard. The other day, I went out, in part, to practice doing this:

    Reflecting on my return to mountain biking!-trek-fuel-endowment-lands-drop-2.jpg

    So, it's not exactly Red Bull's Rampage, but I was kind of enjoying the fact that I could still do this, even if it's only maybe three and half, four feet. And, granted, the conditions were perfect for it. It was a soft gentle landing, concrete platform to launch off, etc. It's just that I never anticipated enjoying mountain biking again as much as I do. I'm looking forward to getting to the Shore again, and I've met people who ride. I just have to make sure I don't write cheques my body can't cash.

    I'll never be more than an intermediate rider, but man, this sport really gets in your blood. Even at 56.
    Last edited by bjeast; 01-25-2018 at 05:13 PM.

  33. #33
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    If you want some one to ride the shore with let me know. I am old and slow but know how to have fun on a bike.

  34. #34
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    Hey Skooks, I might do that. I've also joined the North Shore Mountain Bike Club and am planning to go on some rides with them once the weather gets better. I'll let you know what it's like!

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    Sounds good. NSMB is also great, and definitely worth supporting. I have been riding the Fiver enduro races the last couple of years. They are low-key and very fun. I am one of the slowest riders but I sure do enjoy it.

  36. #36
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    Hah. I'm pretty sure I'd give you a run for your money at being one of the slowest. :-)

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    ...make sure I don't write cheques my body can't cash....
    That should be fixed in big bold letters at the top of this forum.

    I've seen too many people proud of their ability to mix it up with the young ones find their mtb riding all comes to an end when they discover they don't bounce like a young one.

    We mostly have the same abilities, but age sucks the resilience out of us. We do the dead cat bounce when it goes wrong.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    That should be fixed in big bold letters at the top of this forum.

    I've seen too many people proud of their ability to mix it up with the young ones find their mtb riding all comes to an end when they discover they don't bounce like a young one.

    We mostly have the same abilities, but age sucks the resilience out of us. We do the dead cat bounce when it goes wrong.
    Yeah, now I look at the stunts that are six, seven feet off the ground and it's "no thanks." I can't afford a fall from that height.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    Hey Skooks, I might do that. I've also joined the North Shore Mountain Bike Club and am planning to go on some rides with them once the weather gets better. I'll let you know what it's like!
    I should come that way for a ride or two. I've been wanting to hit the shore for many years, but stuff always gets in the way. Those trails look boss.

    I'd be fairly slow on the climbs too.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  40. #40
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    There are some great trails! I've got a buddy who's going to bring up to speed on Seymour. You should definitely come up some time. And, actually, I want to come down to WA sometime.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    There are some great trails! I've got a buddy who's going to bring up to speed on Seymour. You should definitely come up some time. And, actually, I want to come down to WA sometime.
    I could definitely show you some great trails here. Bellingham is about halfway between where I live in Kirkland and Vancouver and has some of the state's best trails.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I could definitely show you some great trails here. Bellingham is about halfway between where I live in Kirkland and Vancouver and has some of the state's best trails.
    I would be happy to show you around the shore if you show me the trails down in Washington some time!

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    Delta? What am I missing about Delta?! Rode the short 23 mile way in today on my Soma Smoothie and had one driver who was such an ass that I instantly regretted not riding the dike all the way to 72nd like I normally do.

    Glad to hear you joined NSMBA, I ride here too but much more in Washington, usually the Olympic Peninsula.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I could definitely show you some great trails here. Bellingham is about halfway between where I live in Kirkland and Vancouver and has some of the state's best trails.
    I'm going to have to take you up on this when the weather gets better!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Delta? What am I missing about Delta?! Rode the short 23 mile way in today on my Soma Smoothie and had one driver who was such an ass that I instantly regretted not riding the dike all the way to 72nd like I normally do.

    Glad to hear you joined NSMBA, I ride here too but much more in Washington, usually the Olympic Peninsula.
    You mean the Delta Watershed park? It's kinda fun. It's not the Shore by any stretch, but it's better than riding the endowment lands (in Vancouver) by a long shot! There's an entrance by a school that I usually use....

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    I would be happy to show you around the shore if you show me the trails down in Washington some time!
    Absolutely!

    Just waiting for the weather to improve some.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    You mean the Delta Watershed park? It's kinda fun. It's not the Shore by any stretch, but it's better than riding the endowment lands (in Vancouver) by a long shot! There's an entrance by a school that I usually use....
    I ride through the watershed occasionally, last time was when we had snow. Yesterday I rode out to Mud bay and back on my Element

    Haven't visited the North Shore in quite a while, we used to go on holidays because everyone up there leaves town for Kelowna, Whistler, etc.

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    Just got back from a 3-day solo trip to Iron Mountain in Arkansas, grinning all the way home. I got back into mountain biking at age 63 after staying off trails for about 15 years. I'd forgotten what a rush it is to bomb down a trail.
    Riding again has been good therapy to focus on something other than troubles of the day. I'd also forgotten the intense focus it requires. I don't play golf, but this sport is similar in that the mental focus is a big part of the experience. A few times on the trail, I had to stop just to let my mind rest more than my legs after sorting out an obstacle filled with babyheads. Whitewater kayaking was like that in Class IV-V water but I quit boating, yet still miss it.

  49. #49
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    That sounds like it was a great trip! Thanks for sharing! And yes, I agree - mental focus is so important. Most often my crashes are a result of not paying attention or making a dumb decision.

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    Last Post: 05-28-2011, 05:52 AM

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