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  1. #1
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    Shinguard People at Wissahickon?

    What's with the guys who ride the wissahickon every day wearing all this body armor like they're going on american gladiators? Someone please explain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    What's with the guys who ride the wissahickon every day wearing all this body armor like they're going on american gladiators? Someone please explain.

    Are you really asking that?... people were it so they dont get hurt when riding the trails.. not the fire road... I have seen alot of injurys there over the years.. some that were pretty bad.. so if you think someone looks like a moron because there wearing knee pads or any other type of protective gear... than thats a shame.. its not a fasion show out there.. safety is ALWAYS FIRST

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    hey, i'm all about safety ... i' don't want to be an organ donor. but going out there looking like you're going play catcher for the phils or running back for the birds is a bit much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    hey, i'm all about safety ... i'm don't want to be an organ donor. but going out there looking like you're going play catcher for the phils or running back for the birds is a bit much.
    NO IT'S NOT...the next time you go down (Which would suck ) & you bang up your knee & can't walk to good let alone ride out of there .. ya may wish that you were wearing a pair of those ridiculous looking knee/shin guards.. i have a freind now who has not ridden in about 3 weeks cause he fell - whacked his knee, and has a bruised bone.. lotsa pain for him----guess what he went out & finally bought.. it only takes one fall & one injury to realize its NEVER a bit much.. I dont care how stupid I look out there.. but the guys i ride with have gotten banged up enough to justify the goofy look of knee/shin guards.

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    alright, not trying to get in a flame war here. especially about something as fundamental as safety. i guess i see these pads as being pretty burdensome and heavy. have you had good luck using them? how do are they on long rides? do they cause chafing? i've banged my knees/legs/arms/etc pretty good a few times as we all have. i can live with bruises, scars, etc. do you think these pads could prevent a broken leg?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    alright, not trying to get in a flame war here. especially about something as fundamental as safety. i guess i see these pads as being pretty burdensome and heavy. have you had good luck using them? how do are they on long rides? do they cause chafing? i've banged my knees/legs/arms/etc pretty good a few times as we all have. i can live with bruises, scars, etc. do you think these pads could prevent a broken leg?
    I have 2 pairs ( One being a few years old & at the end of the line )... I pay them no mind when riding.. there not heavy at all, i use them every were i ride.. even at places that are not so technical... because ya never know, they dont cause any chafing because of the location of the straps, the place were it would cause that would be right behind the knee.. but the straps are below & above the knee. Also about the weight thing.. even if there was a little extra weight i dont care.. I ride a full suspension bike & I dont race, so the weight does'nt matter plus in the end it is worth the VERY LITTLE weight, the ones that I have were not expensive at all.. there made by Fox - Yes there are better ones.. but there also more $$. As far as preventing the broken leg thing.. I cant say for sure.. but I am almost positive that if my freind was wearing them.. he would not have been as hurt as he is, and probably would have been back riding by now. For 12.00 ( On Sale ) that I paid for them.. they have served there purpose, even if i did not like them.. its only 12.00$ or 20.00$. I personally feel better with them. I know it looks goofy.. my brother & freinds make fun of me as well, BUT when they wake there knee's.. I just tap on the pads and say "See---what did i tell ya - 12.00$" Alsoo I had knee surgery when I was a teen, from riding BMX, I was into the whole freestyle thing back then.. I hurt my knee pretty bad.. I didnt walk for almost a year.. so its kinda "in my head"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    do they cause chafing?
    perhaps you should change your screen name to wuss-rider


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    What's with the guys who ride the wissahickon every day wearing all this body armor like they're going on american gladiators? Someone please explain.
    People wearing "armor" at Wissahickon basically fall into one of three groups:

    1. Newbies/inexperienced riders OR very cautious (perhaps overly so) folks.

    2. People who don't use clipless pedals. Often you'll see people who run flat pedals wear shingaurds to keep from tunring their shins into hamburger should they happen to slip off of the pedals.

    Lastly, the only group for whom full armor makes sense:

    3. "Freeriders" who frequently ride the steeps that drop down onto forbidden drive. I kinda wish these guys would stick to places like Spring Mt/Bear Creek/Mountain Creek/Diablo etc. because, given the current state of the trails at Wiss., the last thing we need are guys cutting new "more eXtreme" lines. Fortunately, it seems this group at least has enough sense to only hit the trails in the very early morning (when they're less likely to be seen by other trail users).
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    wuss-rider ... nice. i lauged out loud at that. i need to switch to clipless. i'm dreading the learning curve. next spring, hopefully.

    do people ride the wiss all year long? i've only been riding since the spring, but i would imagine you could ride in the winter on the days where there's no snow and it's reasonable outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    wuss-rider ... nice. i lauged out loud at that. i need to switch to clipless. i'm dreading the learning curve. next spring, hopefully.

    do people ride the wiss all year long? i've only been riding since the spring, but i would imagine you could ride in the winter on the days where there's no snow and it's reasonable outside.
    Yeah, you can ride there year-round. I ride there a lot during the winter. I think I prefer riding there when it's cold because the trails are usually empty.

    I ride in the snow & ice, too. It's a blast, especially at night, but you have to be patient and wait until the snow is packed down by foot traffic or it can be really difficult to get anywhere. Riding on ice is fun, as long as you have the right tires and brakes. Disc brakes are really a must-have for staying in control. Rims ice up too easily and once that happens, you're SOL if you have V-brakes.

    As for tires, studded are mandatory for riding on the hard ice that usually forms on rock outcrops and in spots along forbidden drive. I make my own using old tires, innertubes, and sheet metal screws, but you can buy really nice ones (for $$$) from Nokkian and IRC.

    Temperature really doesn't matter, as long as you dress for it. Polar fleece, etc does wonders to keep the body warm. Usually, the most difficult parts to keep warm are feet and hands. I picked a pair of Sidi Storms last winter, rode in temps between -5 and 30 through Jan - March and didn't get cold feet once. They're pricey boots, but worth every penny!

    Gloves I use are Pearl Izumi amfibs. They're great.

    Oh, the other thing to keep in mind is there's a curfew in effect during winter, so you're supposed to be out of the park by 8:30, fwiw.

    happy trails....
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    great! thanks for the info!

    maybe this belongs in a different thread, but is there still a group that meets at valley green around 6:15 on thursdays to ride the wiss?

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    I was forcefully "dismounted" from my ride today by ignorant rocks on the downie behind the Inn. 3 TIMES! At that point, I actually considered knee/shin pads. Then I considered not taking that particular trail until I get my conditioning back. Probably a smarter choice.

    One thing to keep in mind about riding Wiss year-round: be VERY careful when the leaves start to fall. Can be a real female dog when all those aforementioned rocks and roots are covered by "the pretty colors". Usually after a few days, it's not too bad, as others have cleared them out/packed 'em down. But the first week or so of falling foliage can cause problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    People wearing "armor" at Wissahickon basically fall into one of three groups:

    1. Newbies/inexperienced riders OR very cautious (perhaps overly so) folks.

    2. People who don't use clipless pedals. Often you'll see people who run flat pedals wear shingaurds to keep from tunring their shins into hamburger should they happen to slip off of the pedals.

    Lastly, the only group for whom full armor makes sense:

    3. "Freeriders" who frequently ride the steeps that drop down onto forbidden drive. I kinda wish these guys would stick to places like Spring Mt/Bear Creek/Mountain Creek/Diablo etc. because, given the current state of the trails at Wiss., the last thing we need are guys cutting new "more eXtreme" lines. Fortunately, it seems this group at least has enough sense to only hit the trails in the very early morning (when they're less likely to be seen by other trail users).
    You could not be anymore wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by ayce
    You could not be anymore wrong
    Care to tell me how?

    I've been riding in the Wissahickon valley for almost 15 years. When I started riding there, there was no such thing as "armor". Guess what? Nobody needed it. What's changed since then? Not much, except bikes have better brakes, more travel, etc. and a few companies (roach, fox, 661, core rat, etc. to name a few) have capitalized on the "freeride" scene in B.C..

    Given only intermediate skill and nothing more complicated than a rigid singlespeed, one can still ride all of the 'legal' trails in and around Wissahickon without armor, and doing so does not leave one any more vulnerable to catastrophic injury.

    If you want to wear extra protective gear, that's fine. You seem to take offense at any comment that even implies that armor is unnecessary. I'm not telling you how to ride, or which gear to use. All I said (or implied) was that the majority of people whoe ride 'cross-country' at Wissahickon don't **need** armor and that those who elect to wear it are either riding illegal spurs (which I admit are more advanced than the average trail at Wiss, and thus warrant a full-face helmet and pads) or they're simply very cautious folks.

    Does it mean that you may be more vulnerable to cuts and bruises if you crash? Probably. But given a choice between that and suffering for 2+ hours in the hot summer sun, sweating my ass off as a result of erring on the side of caution...I'll take a scraped knee or a bruised shin.

    And in case you're wondering, yes, I do own two sets of 661 pads (4x4 knee/shin and elbow/forearm and also a set of their lighter, cooler 'race' pads). I use them for downhilling and occassionally for riding on ice/snow, but I'd never bother with them on a typical loop around Wissahickon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Care to tell me how?

    I've been riding in the Wissahickon valley for almost 15 years. When I started riding there, there was no such thing as "armor". Guess what? Nobody needed it. What's changed since then? Not much, except bikes have better brakes, more travel, etc. and a few companies (roach, fox, 661, core rat, etc. to name a few) have capitalized on the "freeride" scene in B.C..

    Given only intermediate skill and nothing more complicated than a rigid singlespeed, one can still ride all of the 'legal' trails in and around Wissahickon without armor, and doing so does not leave one any more vulnerable to catastrophic injury.

    If you want to wear extra protective gear, that's fine. You seem to take offense at any comment that even implies that armor is unnecessary. I'm not telling you how to ride, or which gear to use. All I said (or implied) was that the majority of people whoe ride 'cross-country' at Wissahickon don't **need** armor and that those who elect to wear it are either riding illegal spurs (which I admit are more advanced than the average trail at Wiss, and thus warrant a full-face helmet and pads) or they're simply very cautious folks.

    Does it mean that you may be more vulnerable to cuts and bruises if you crash? Probably. But given a choice between that and suffering for 2+ hours in the hot summer sun, sweating my ass off as a result of erring on the side of caution...I'll take a scraped knee or a bruised shin.

    And in case you're wondering, yes, I do own two sets of 661 pads (4x4 knee/shin and elbow/forearm and also a set of their lighter, cooler 'race' pads). I use them for downhilling and occassionally for riding on ice/snow, but I'd never bother with them on a typical loop around Wissahickon.
    First of all know one is taking offense.. i just think that it is funny that people can make thses types of comments about SAFETY.. i have seen some bad crashes there.. freinds of mine take falls & bang up there knees or what ever.. there is nothing wrong with wearing knee pads.. ya never know.. I have been riding there for years.. and i am NOT A NOVICE RIDER by far & I am not more vulnerable to stuff like what you are indicating. But to say that people dont need to wear anything because you would rather take the busted knee, and others would rather take it as " Just in case" is ridiculous.. your never to safe.. I had knee surgery when i was younger as a result of Bmx freestyle.. didnt walk for a long time, so if I look like an idiot wearing knee pads that so be it.. i have ridden with many ppl who whacked there knee/ shin or what ever.. and trust me at that moment they wished they had them.. again im not taking any offense, but dont think that its fair you speak for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ayce
    so if I look like an idiot wearing knee pads that so be it.. i have ridden with many ppl who whacked there knee/ shin or what ever.. and trust me at that moment they wished they had them.. again im not taking any offense, but dont think that its fair you speak for everyone.
    First, who said I think you look like an idiot? Not me. I never said people look stupid wearing pads and I honestly don't pay any attention to what other riders wear or don't wear. I simply said they're not for me under most circumstances at Wissahickon. I don't ride over my head there and I don't crash all that much these days (knock on wood). That's not to say I'm perfect or above getting hurt, but I tend to ride a lot more in control these days. (A badly broken leg, fractured wrist and hand 3 yrs ago having taught me a lot about humility). The ironic thing is, those are the worst injuries I've suffered in a decade and a half of off-roading and no pads on the market would have kept those bones from breaking the way they did.

    Second, when did I say I spoke for everyone? I stated my opinion, and I've said more than once already that if you choose to wear pads...more power to ya. Be as safe as you want. I'm NOT critcizing you for it. That said, I still don't see how my *original* post in this thread was wrong. You simply fall into the first group (OR...very cautious folks). I never said there was anything *wrong* with being cautious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiss-rider
    great! thanks for the info!

    maybe this belongs in a different thread, but is there still a group that meets at valley green around 6:15 on thursdays to ride the wiss?
    I believe some of the Jersey Action Riders meet at Wiss on Thursday nights. You can check them out on their website: jerseyactionriders.org
    Tact is for people not witty enough to use sarcasm...

  18. #18
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    wow, that's ironic. I've been in Europe for the past 2 weeks and I figured I'd check mtbr for some reviews on SHINPADS so I could order them and have them there for when I got back. Aside from a broken bone, I can't think of anything that sucks worse than a nice shin bang that breaks the skin and hurts if you tap it for the next 3 weeks.

    I was also wondering about the 'Hickon because I hear PA's been hit again by heavy rains from Ivan. Is this true? Can't imagine what the park would look like if there was a repeat of mid-summer. Just hope my cellar is dry when I get back (live in W. Mt. Airy).

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