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Thread: Passion gone...

  1. #1
    dragonfly
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    Passion gone...

    I went riding at lewis morris park today and I came to the conclusion that I am done trail riding as my passion is long gone...


    I started up in 1996 when I got my first cheapo Manitoba mountain bike from the Sports authority and my brother got his Mongoose hardtail with no fork. Mind you these had no shocks and weighed a ton. We use to go to the back trails of Mercer County Park by Conover rd all the way to where now the APAW agency/row house is. Back then neither was there and the area was so clean and fresh and the trail had a gorgeous sense of FLOW. This site really wasn't popular than so we had a great sense of exploration and always wanted to see what else was around the corner and it was so fun to ride as again there was a sense of FLOW... no worn out deep ruts, no overly dangerous worn out downhill sections.

    Daily we use to ride there and my passion for riding was so strong that I used my bike to commute to the Princeton Junction train station almost daily. Soon my parents in 1998 bought my brother a Cannondale F600 from Halters cycle on Rte 1 because of his grades and I got to have his Mongoose. Every so often I would switch and ride his bike and man it felt so good... the layout felt like a jet fighter and the enjoyment of riding the trails multiplied by 100.

    I remember at the same time I upgrade to a cheasy fork for the mongoose that we took apart and tossed the urethane and stuck "springs" inside for more travel. Eventually our modification failed (a year or so later). And I upgraded to a Tassajara from Gary Fisher... beautiful bike but the angles felt nothing like my brother''s cannondale.

    Around the same time I slowly started to notice more and more people riding the trails and around the same time I saw Tinker riding his cannondale in the Olympics .. thats when the sport started to really take off and you could start to see low end mountain bikes at walmart. I still remember my brother and I looking at each other going "what the!?" when we saw a mongoose at walmart with front suspension.

    Well with the rise in popularity we started to notice things at Mercer would get vandalized. By the west parking lot there use to be a beautiful cement bridge and bench that someone smashed and destroyed. It was replaced with a log in the water that would bob and sink when you crossed so you knew your shoes were going to get wet. We also noticed errosion and ruts and the overall sense of FLOW going away. You could ride for a few minutes but then you had to stop because enormous roots would be sticking our or a bridge would be destroyed and you have to hop over a rock or wood in the water to cross.

    My brother started to get annoyed and he started freshman year in college and he was buzy with sports and so his bike was just parked in the garage all the time. Meanwhile I tried to keep up but by 2001 I started working full time in IT and the job market was HORRIBLE so any free time I spent studying and wanting to learn new materials. I got a job at dow jones as a PC operator BUT I had to work nights (10pm to 7am) at first it was great as I could ride during the day and sleep in the afternoons and work at night.. but it tooks its toll on me and eventually my bike just sat there also. Then of couse 9/11 happened and we were all in fear of losing our jobs so I didn't have time to ride anymore and was devoted to studying certs and getting new skills to get the heck outa dow jones. Strapped for cash ( I only made 14/hour working nights) I eventually gave in and sold my Gary Fisher on ebay. It wasn't to bad as I always wanted a cannondale and GF never felt quite like the f600. Come 2003 I was really overweight and the hunger was coming back to ride again... only now I worked at Bristol Meyers squibb and had a better paycheck SO I went to halters and bought a NEW F600 and took it out to Mercer.

    Only mercer wasn't like anything I remembered from 1997 to 2001, a row house was built, the long loops were rutted out, trails that I once loved were gone and overgrown with vegetation. I remember a great loop we use to ride over by the picnic area that is now gone as the trail gets cut off by the LAKE. Seems the lake expanded and swallowed up some of the trails. Now by the dock areas a new trail system has been setup, but its all mundane and boring like hamster going through a wheel as you really aren't going anywhere just zig zagging around the same area.

    The passion was there, the flow was gone so I rode whenever i was bored... till I all together stopped.

    Flash foward to 2005,I quit BMS and was a consultant working in Houston,TX. I consulted this board and learned of the usual trails by Memorial park but nothing intrigued me till I learned about Cypresswood. The trail was just like how I remembered Mercer in the 90's you can go full speed and not have to stop every few minutes because of huge ruts or roots. Garbage wasn't lined up everywhere and people properly respected and maintained the trails. With that I rode that trail almost everyday in 2005 as you could really just let it rip and have a blast, it felt so good and relaxing after working all day.

    Then my project ended and I came back to Somerset,NJ and I tried to continue my renewed passion as I ridden Kilmer, six mile, lewis morris and my dissappointment has come back... as you see these trails are so heavily ridden and damaged that you have to get on/get off/get on/get off every few minutes. I tried full suspension... but that is way to much monkey motion and feels silly riding a motorcycle with no engine in the woods.

    Today I rode Lewis Morris and i was getting on/off/on/off and the trails are so heavily damaged... that I said whats the point anymore.... If I could go back to houston i would be riding like crazy again.. but now that I'm stuck here (Family) I see not point. Clinton is gorgeous but is so far away. And overall I don't feel that urge to explore and more and the woods all look the same, the only draw I have to biking is the excercise and with out the FLOW of a good trail.. it just seems like tedious uneeded work instead of being fun and relaxing.


    So expect to maybe see my bike on ebay soon...


    sorry for the rant I just felt really nostalgic as I stare at my bike wondering if I should dump it and think back on all the miles I've ridden coming to this point and all the good and bad times.

  2. #2
    lotto baby
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    go surfing or something. then pick up your bike after a while. interest in everything ebbs and flows.

    by the way - what in lewis morris could possibly make you get off your bike? those trails are practically paved in sections...
    i spurt in the wind, and the wind drug it

  3. #3
    dragonfly
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    I went back by the blue trail and all the way to the bottom by the bridge there were so many ruts and roots my bike was clattering so hard. Dunno maybe Full Suspension is the way to go?

  4. #4
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    Dont get it...

    Why not get involved and help the situation rather than leave? There is pleanty of FLOW thourgh out the state of NJ, you just have to talk to folks and get involved to make sure the flow will still be here in years to come. Go to www.JORBA.org to get involved and let your thoughts be heard.

    Bob W.

  5. #5
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    I don't mean to rain on your parade or anything, but it sounds like you're just being nostalgic and questioning things in your life. Things are never going to be the same as they were when you were a kid. That just a fact - you can't recapture or recreate your youth. So don't blame the fact that the trails aren't the same as the reason you're not into mountain biking anymore - from your post it sounds like you lost your passion a long time ago.

    "The trail was filled with roots". Come on, you didn't seriously type that did you? You do realize that there are things like roots, rocks, sticks, and logs in the woods right? I'm not trying to give you a hard time, I'm really not. Look, I stopped riding for about 5 years from 1996-2001, I guess I thought I was too busy at the time. And while a lot had changed with biking in those 5 years when I got back into it I didn't say, "Oh, it's not the same, everything changed.", I said, "Why the hell haven't I been riding the past 5 years, what was I thinking?"

    Bottom line is that you have to ride because you love riding. If you don't then that's cool, but admit it to yourself that it's because YOU have changed, not anything else.

  6. #6
    it's just baby phat..
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    i felt like that a while back.. in the end it had little to do with biking and more to do with normal life stuff.. i do feel your pain though as finding motivation to ride when other aspects of your life are not quite 100% is tough. i am lucking to have friends that smacked me up a bit and made me come to my senses. . thank you kirt, bobby, jimmy and so many more.

    try posting a ride or going someplace new. ask someone to give you a tour. change your bike a bit... if that's not an option then try riding your LM loop in the opposite way you usually do it.

    hope you get out of your rut.

    phat

  7. #7
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    if you think the woods of NJ are all the same you haven't got yourself out to too many trails. sometimes i feel like i'm in a different country from one place to another. you need to try out hartshorne, allaire, and clayton. it sounds like things have changed a lot since when you started because i couldn't imagine finding fun in any trail that wasn't littered with rocks and roots.

    Clayton is probably the smoothest i've seen though in nj, might be worth checking out.

  8. #8
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    Lewis Morris Damaged?

    Lewis Morris may be the most maintained and easiest park in Morris County. I'm not sure what you expect out of mountain biking but rocks, roots and ruts are part of the game. Get a road bike if you think Lewis Morris is too difficult.

    While you started riding in the mid-ninties, the sport is much older than that. I've been riding dirt in north Jersey since the late 50's. Oh, we didn't call it mountain biking but that's only a name and marketing tool.

    As other said, if you have a problem be part of the solution. Show up at 8 AM the third Saturday of each month at the Sunfish Pond parking lot at Lewis Morris and help maintain the trails you think are too difficult.

    Also, you are talking about riding a bike here. If you don't like it any more, don't do it. The world will not be thrown off its axis if you decide you have lost your passion.

  9. #9
    Rip
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    Don't sell the bike, it sounds like you need to got to some different venues to mix things up.
    À tout le monde. À tous mes amis. Je vous aime. Je dois partir.
    These are the last words I'll ever speak And they'll set me free

  10. #10
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    Not sure if you have heard of it but should also take a look at cyclocross biking. They are like road bikes made for off road. All about speed and flow and less about technical (rock/root/log) riding.

  11. #11
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    I've ridden in a number of different places in NJ but I ride hartshorne 4-5 times a week because it is close to work. As much as I ride Hartshorne I feel like it is a different ride each time because I don't take the same route and then I take a different line if I do and man its always fun. Come and ride hartshorne with me and I'm sure I have enough enthusiasm for the sport to share..
    "hit hard, hit fast, hit often HOOAH!!!!"

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  12. #12
    vgt
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    Don't Give Up

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfly
    I went riding at lewis morris park today and I came to the conclusion that I am done trail riding as my passion is long gone...


    I started up in 1996 when I got my first cheapo Manitoba mountain bike from the Sports authority and my brother got his Mongoose hardtail with no fork. Mind you these had no shocks and weighed a ton. We use to go to the back trails of Mercer County Park by Conover rd all the way to where now the APAW agency/row house is. Back then neither was there and the area was so clean and fresh and the trail had a gorgeous sense of FLOW. This site really wasn't popular than so we had a great sense of exploration and always wanted to see what else was around the corner and it was so fun to ride as again there was a sense of FLOW... no worn out deep ruts, no overly dangerous worn out downhill sections.

    Daily we use to ride there and my passion for riding was so strong that I used my bike to commute to the Princeton Junction train station almost daily. Soon my parents in 1998 bought my brother a Cannondale F600 from Halters cycle on Rte 1 because of his grades and I got to have his Mongoose. Every so often I would switch and ride his bike and man it felt so good... the layout felt like a jet fighter and the enjoyment of riding the trails multiplied by 100.

    I remember at the same time I upgrade to a cheasy fork for the mongoose that we took apart and tossed the urethane and stuck "springs" inside for more travel. Eventually our modification failed (a year or so later). And I upgraded to a Tassajara from Gary Fisher... beautiful bike but the angles felt nothing like my brother''s cannondale.

    Around the same time I slowly started to notice more and more people riding the trails and around the same time I saw Tinker riding his cannondale in the Olympics .. thats when the sport started to really take off and you could start to see low end mountain bikes at walmart. I still remember my brother and I looking at each other going "what the!?" when we saw a mongoose at walmart with front suspension.

    Well with the rise in popularity we started to notice things at Mercer would get vandalized. By the west parking lot there use to be a beautiful cement bridge and bench that someone smashed and destroyed. It was replaced with a log in the water that would bob and sink when you crossed so you knew your shoes were going to get wet. We also noticed errosion and ruts and the overall sense of FLOW going away. You could ride for a few minutes but then you had to stop because enormous roots would be sticking our or a bridge would be destroyed and you have to hop over a rock or wood in the water to cross.

    My brother started to get annoyed and he started freshman year in college and he was buzy with sports and so his bike was just parked in the garage all the time. Meanwhile I tried to keep up but by 2001 I started working full time in IT and the job market was HORRIBLE so any free time I spent studying and wanting to learn new materials. I got a job at dow jones as a PC operator BUT I had to work nights (10pm to 7am) at first it was great as I could ride during the day and sleep in the afternoons and work at night.. but it tooks its toll on me and eventually my bike just sat there also. Then of couse 9/11 happened and we were all in fear of losing our jobs so I didn't have time to ride anymore and was devoted to studying certs and getting new skills to get the heck outa dow jones. Strapped for cash ( I only made 14/hour working nights) I eventually gave in and sold my Gary Fisher on ebay. It wasn't to bad as I always wanted a cannondale and GF never felt quite like the f600. Come 2003 I was really overweight and the hunger was coming back to ride again... only now I worked at Bristol Meyers squibb and had a better paycheck SO I went to halters and bought a NEW F600 and took it out to Mercer.

    Only mercer wasn't like anything I remembered from 1997 to 2001, a row house was built, the long loops were rutted out, trails that I once loved were gone and overgrown with vegetation. I remember a great loop we use to ride over by the picnic area that is now gone as the trail gets cut off by the LAKE. Seems the lake expanded and swallowed up some of the trails. Now by the dock areas a new trail system has been setup, but its all mundane and boring like hamster going through a wheel as you really aren't going anywhere just zig zagging around the same area.

    The passion was there, the flow was gone so I rode whenever i was bored... till I all together stopped.

    Flash foward to 2005,I quit BMS and was a consultant working in Houston,TX. I consulted this board and learned of the usual trails by Memorial park but nothing intrigued me till I learned about Cypresswood. The trail was just like how I remembered Mercer in the 90's you can go full speed and not have to stop every few minutes because of huge ruts or roots. Garbage wasn't lined up everywhere and people properly respected and maintained the trails. With that I rode that trail almost everyday in 2005 as you could really just let it rip and have a blast, it felt so good and relaxing after working all day.

    Then my project ended and I came back to Somerset,NJ and I tried to continue my renewed passion as I ridden Kilmer, six mile, lewis morris and my dissappointment has come back... as you see these trails are so heavily ridden and damaged that you have to get on/get off/get on/get off every few minutes. I tried full suspension... but that is way to much monkey motion and feels silly riding a motorcycle with no engine in the woods.

    Today I rode Lewis Morris and i was getting on/off/on/off and the trails are so heavily damaged... that I said whats the point anymore.... If I could go back to houston i would be riding like crazy again.. but now that I'm stuck here (Family) I see not point. Clinton is gorgeous but is so far away. And overall I don't feel that urge to explore and more and the woods all look the same, the only draw I have to biking is the excercise and with out the FLOW of a good trail.. it just seems like tedious uneeded work instead of being fun and relaxing.


    So expect to maybe see my bike on ebay soon...


    sorry for the rant I just felt really nostalgic as I stare at my bike wondering if I should dump it and think back on all the miles I've ridden coming to this point and all the good and bad times.

    Don't quit riding...you just need to get out and ride with some fellow mtb-ers. There are a lot of great places to ride.

    I would suggest you check out Clayton...that place is smallish....but has the type of trails you are looking for...and I think you will get your flow back.

    In my opinion, riding with some fellow mtb-ers that are enthusiastic will help a ton. Riding solo is always good.....but it's always much better with fellow riders. We ride Ringwood almost every weekend....just send a PM and we will show you where all the good stuff is.


    VGT

  13. #13
    RTM
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Today I rode Lewis Morris and i was getting on/off/on/off and the trails are so heavily damaged... that I said whats the point anymore....
    Click Here; http://www.logusz.com/~yupislyr/1/arnoldwhining.wav

    don't worry, your whining post is like the bat signal for magic elves that volunteer their time, pick up shovels and rakes, move downed trees and stack boulders on random beautiful days all summer for the greater good of MTB riders in NJ. most of whom they don't know, and will never meet. just sit back and wait for them to fix everything to your liking.

    ps - thank god for Rev Bubba's reply. all this coddling was getting disturbing.
    Last edited by RTM; 07-10-2007 at 08:23 AM.

  14. #14
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    First and foremost I would tell you to get on a singlespeed bike. I found that a SS made me look at the local trails in a whole new way.

    2nd. Go do some trail work days if you don't like the shape of the trails.

    We have put in over 200 man hours this year at 6 mile alone.

    Get in touch with Frank Harms via Jorba. I think he is doing a trail day this sat. I would be there but I will be at Pedro's fest. That too is a great way to get you juices flowing.

    Get out on some group rides and push yourself.

    Get a road bike and build your fitness. When you come back to the mt bike things will seem a lot easier with better legs.


    j-
    ..I'd rather be a headlight on a northbound train..

  15. #15
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    Hope Go ahead and quit.............

    Sell the Crackandfail f600 on ebay and donate the money to jorba...........there pleanty of people who are still passionate about the NJ trail system.

  16. #16
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    First of all the technical features make mountain biking what it is. I don't know any place in LM that is really bad. It is super maintained. I wish they would leave some of the logs down that blow down but it is so well maintained they don't. If you need some new enthusiasm try some new parks. I have a couple good words of encouragement: Allamuchy, Wawayanda, Ringwood, Kittatinny Valley. Try some new scenery and check out the other scenes before giving up...

  17. #17
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    Try jogging. If that doesn't get you back in saddle nothing will...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd2001mrg
    Try jogging. If that doesn't get you back in saddle nothing will...
    Lol...great comment, every time I run I wished I would have been biking instead. It's just too slow paced for me...

  19. #19
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    I ride Lewis Morris at least once or twice a week on an entry level Rockhopper Comp Disc. I've been on all the trails and really can't figure out where you'd have an issue. Yes there are roots, and ruts and rocks, and hilly areas, and gravelly sections, but it is mountain biking. The only time I have to get off is when my out of shape 47 year old body gives up on me.... otherwise I have a blast and enjoy that park...
    Last edited by CondorTrax; 07-10-2007 at 09:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    correction

    Quote Originally Posted by jdog
    Get in touch with Frank Harms via Jorba. I think he is doing a trail day this sat.

    j-
    Just an FYI....TM is sunday 8am til noon...not sat. Thanks J

    Also...get together with a fun group of people. I found some new guys to ride with 1.5 yrs ago and regretted (insert sarcasm) ever since. I have not ridden so much in a long time. Having fun while riding will get your juices flowing. So go out and find some idiots to go have fun with...I did
    Frank Harms
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    frank at jorba.org

  21. #21
    i want spring!
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    Just...

    There's plenty of trails and people to ride with to spike yer interest.

    I'm sure this post isn't really real.

    Just sell yer bike and quit yer crying. There I said it.
    Check out all these mountain biking t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts by Trail Hog today!

  22. #22
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    I was thinking about your (OP) trail selection. You said you were on the "blue trail and all the way to the bottom by the bridge". The only blue trail in Lewis Morris is designated as foot and horse traffic (no bikes). That may have been part of the problem. As a humble suggestion, give the park another chance (and yourself) and start with the yellow loop. I have a color coded tral map I can send if you want it.

  23. #23
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    Jogging.... uughh..

    Quote Originally Posted by jd2001mrg
    Try jogging. If that doesn't get you back in saddle nothing will...

    I agree....
    J.O.R.B.A. More than just tm. WWW.JORBA.ORG

  24. #24
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    Just raced Lewis Morris yesterday, and Dragonfly does have some points about the trails there. It's rooty, but not in a "good" technical way. The roots are small and many, making for a very bumpy ride. For all that I'd heard about how "easy" Lewis Morris is I would disagree. It's not technically difficult, though provides a good number of switchbacks to make for some good training. There are some nice long climbs there. Again, not many technical climbs, but a good workout nonetheless. But all the roots and babyheads make for a very jostling ride that you can't really finesse. I would ride there again just for the hill practice I suppose, but I would kill myself if Lewis Morris was the ONLY place I rode. There are so many FUN trails in NJ, why spend any more than 1 night a week at Lewis Morris?

  25. #25
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    Agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by emilyjaydawg
    Just raced Lewis Morris yesterday, and Dragonfly does have some points about the trails there. It's rooty, but not in a "good" technical way. The roots are small and many, making for a very bumpy ride. For all that I'd heard about how "easy" Lewis Morris is I would disagree. It's not technically difficult, though provides a good number of switchbacks to make for some good training. There are some nice long climbs there. Again, not many technical climbs, but a good workout nonetheless. But all the roots and babyheads make for a very jostling ride that you can't really finesse. I would ride there again just for the hill practice I suppose, but I would kill myself if Lewis Morris was the ONLY place I rode. There are so many FUN trails in NJ, why spend any more than 1 night a week at Lewis Morris?

    It was tough race, especially on SS with a 19 T for 3 laps. I wouldn't ride there too often, heck,..cheesequake has more flow with less roots than LM. Go travel NJ, there really are so many other places to be enjoyed.
    TeamBulldog.com Cyclecraft.com Mtbnj.com JORBA.org

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