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  1. #1
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    Never judge a rider by their appearance!

    My first mountain bike ride was when I was 22 (I am 29 now) in college. I went up on a group ride with a buddy. I remember seeing mainly 40 somethings and 50 somethings at the trailhead. Many had beer bellies and looked out of shape. Flash forward two hours later when I am getting smoked on the trail and nearly vomiting all over the trail.

    Since then I have progressed immensley. I have built up endurance, speed and leg strength. So when I was invited to go on a trip to Moab with three guys old enough to be my Dad I naively though "Ok, well should be a cakewalk since they are so old", these dudes wore me and my buddy (same age) out the whole week.

    I sometimes am impressed by how many beer-bellied, awkward looking guys/gals at the trail can shred so hard. Many of these types have cheaper bikes than most and don't insist on wearing the expensive lycra and name brand shoes.

    So next time you see someone who looks out of place on the trail, he/she might just shred harder than you think!

    Any similar stories out there?

  2. #2
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    I think we all probably do.

    In my circle of riders, they range from hammerheads to fat to 70+ years old and the vast majority hammer unbelievably. The 70 year old hammered up a rock trail that i could only clear in a wet dream.

    I learned long ago never to make judgments on any rider.

  3. #3
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    I generally take a look at a guys gut....

    Then I line them up from fastest to slowest...

    Usually pretty accurate...we got a lot of ascending to do around here.

  4. #4
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    I don't have a gut and I suck at endurance. Maybe growing one would help. Hmmmm.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  5. #5
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    Gut and speed do have a correlation but a lack of gut doesn't mean they are fast or a good rider. Ever ridden with a smoker? Or a naturally skinny guy who has an ideal mountain biking physique but is just out of shape? I have seen fatties detroy skinny guys on the trail many times.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I don't have a gut and I suck at endurance. Maybe growing one would help. Hmmmm.
    Might be good for energy reserves? Like 20lbs of hammer gels? I am pretty average weight, but I ridden with some beer-bellied dudes who weren't super fast but could ride all day just fine. Lungs and legs can be pretty strong on them.

  7. #7
    AZ
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    I'm a lot slower than I appear.

  8. #8
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    It happens to me all the time. I am mid 40's but race Cat 1 open class mostly. Anytime I ride, that is not a race, I usually wear baggies, BMX shoes and an AM helmet. I do not shave my legs ever and show up on a 6" travel Ventana El Chucho. On the group rides there are always some 20 year old guys wanting to be the fastest up a climb and I will just sit right in. Get to the top and they turn around and are stunned I am there not even breathing hard.

    Occasionally someone else shows up and does the same to me and I am like WTF, lol.

  9. #9
    Candlestick Maker
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    Quote Originally Posted by az.mtns View Post
    i'm a lot slower than i appear.
    hahaha!
    baker

  10. #10
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    Going riding with my older brother and his friend next week and will likely get smoked. I am 46 and he is 50. He is very lean though and has a lot more time to ride than I do.

    I feel better now that I have justified my failure!

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Beware the guy on the "that's not a MTB"


    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  12. #12
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    Op. I had the same story as you! I was shocked and their legs were like pistons. I was amazed!

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    My buddy Tom (who was a cat 1 racer and former pro BMX guy) actually showed up to a ride with his
    old 20" BMX race bike (his mountain bike was in the shop). He resembled Charles Manson and looked like a slob with a nasty old looking concert AC/DC t-shirt, dirty jeans, and ripped up old sneakers... Anyway, after all of the "new guys" that did not know him were done laughing and talking crap about how ridiculous he looked and how the ride was going to suck, it did not take long for them to drop their jaws in amazement. Tom intentionally started in the back of the group, but once we hit the first nasty climb he blew by everyone like they weren't even moving, passing people through the woods. I knew how fast he was on a mountain bike, and I honestly had no idea that he was going to blow our doors in like he did on an 80's BMX bike. He led the rest of the ride. To this day I still have no idea how he totally embarrassed us, as most of us at the time were decent riders, or so we thought....

  14. #14
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    Ok, GBW you are pretty close. I'm 65, been riding for 30 years. I love it. I ride with name brand shoes, because I have tried riding in other types. They all sucked! You would love my current setup. Shoes $275, orthothodics $450 (carbon fiber BTW), my visits to doctor meh, $25 copays. Maybe 5 visits. All this time and money for only one reason. I want to be able to ride my bike(s). I can hear my Reign calling to me as I type this. Later, James

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak View Post
    Ok, GBW you are pretty close. I'm 65, been riding for 30 years. I love it. I ride with name brand shoes, because I have tried riding in other types. They all sucked! You would love my current setup. Shoes $275, orthothodics $450 (carbon fiber BTW), my visits to doctor meh, $25 copays. Maybe 5 visits. All this time and money for only one reason. I want to be able to ride my bike(s). I can hear my Reign calling to me as I type this. Later, James
    For me? XC running shoe: $45, Nike gym shorts: $30, Ratty old t-shirt: $10, Bike $3400.

  16. #16
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    I don't remember where I saw this, but years ago I read about a guy on a MTB who likes to "lay waste to the roadies in the Marin Headlands". The poster referred to the guy as a "freak" because he was faster than the roadies even though he was riding a mountain bike.

    I wanted to give that rider some major kudos, not make fun of him!

  17. #17
    saddlemeat
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    I wear a Belly Bandit under my jersey just to fool youthful riders into thinking I'm some lamo skinny rider. Then I smoke them.

    Belly Bandit Video | Classic Shapewear
    Making the smack track baby.

    A Useful Bear
    is a handy thing...

  18. #18
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    These two gents were a pleasure to talk to. They had been to places and altitudes I can only dream of doing someday.



    and yes, they smoked me on the way back up,

    Hank

  19. #19
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    I rode with an older guy earlier this summer. It was my first time riding with someone at least 10 years older than me. We went along some flat ground for awhile and then got to a steep hill. He took off so fast up the hill that I was stunned. I was so surprised I forgot to shift and ended up stalling out on the hill and had to walk up it. By the time I got to the top, he wasn't even visible on the other side. Lesson learned.
    Nathan

  20. #20
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    objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

  21. #21
    bust a move
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    I am an over 50 year old amputee. I think some riders think I should be struggling more than I do. When I use to ride with a 74 year old hombre, the 2 of us would get a lot of comments (all very positive). btw, I am not fast or slow...just steady.

    A couple years ago I met a guy named Hank at the trailhead and ended up riding with him. He was built just like Family Guy and could absolutely shred! I for sure judged him incorrectly .
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  22. #22
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    How about getting smoked by the fairer sex?

    A friend wanted to ride with our group. When he found out that the wives were going, he said he was going to bring his son on the Weeride. He ended up not bringing his son and then my wife smoked him up and down the trail. Good thing he left junior home!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    For me? XC running shoe: $45, Nike gym shorts: $30, Ratty old t-shirt: $10, Bike $3400.
    Sounds about like me most of the time when I hit the trail!

    I'm often the guy you're talking about. Well, not on the climbs -- at 6' and 245#, I climb about like I look like I would. But not many can keep up with me on the downhill side of things. I get comments frequently from surprised kids at a bike park or resort or riding a busy mostly downhill oriented trail (eg Whole Enchilada). Same thing happens playing bball at the gym or something like that.

    I might look fat and out of shape, but I still have the balance, coordination, and and so forth of a 3-sport letterman!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  24. #24
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    I quickly figured out that mountain biking is like racquet ball. Don't mess with the old guy that looks out of shape. They will wax you up and down the court (or trail).

  25. #25
    ~*~*~*~*~
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    Ha! I'm an older gal and don't have a beer gut and I don't think I look awkward, but I do have a big butt


    .

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