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  1. #1
    Bike Shop Girl
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    10 Things to Know as a Beginner

    I'm working on a list of, right now it is 10 but want to make longer, of things you wish you had known as a beginner. Maybe we can do the hard work for some ladies starting off so they loose less skin!

    1. You do not have to ride a women's bike just because you are a woman

    2. Don't wear underwear under your bike shorts - it will cause chaffing and can trap in moisture

    3. Bike shorts will feel like diapers, the more expensive they are, the better they will fit, and the longer they will last.

    4. Do not put a gel pad on top of your bike seat, you are putting a band aid on a bad fitting bike or saddle

    5. Wear a helmet you idiot. It won't save your life if your head gets run over a car, but most of my accidents it has kept me from getting a concussion, broken nose and in some states it can be looked at as negligence if you are hit by a car without a helmet and have head injuries.

    6. You do not need to feel uncomfortable while buying a bike. Just like a car, find a new shop, or in the beginning tell your fears or worries so the bike shop can address them.

    7. Bike shops can not read your mind. Tell them to the best of your abilities what you want to do with your bike, what your longer term goals are and what your budget is.

    8. As fast as humanly possible, find a group to ride with. It will make you a better rider and you will feel safer.

    9. It is okay to be scared and have fear. Learn to harness it and "push" through things. Always try to conquer your fear, if you can't manage the hill or rock garden, get off but at least try. (I forget this one at times!)

    10. You do not need to have a fancy bike to enjoy riding a bicycle.


    what do you have to add to this list?
    Last edited by Arsbars; 07-10-2012 at 06:28 AM.
    Bike Shop Girl Empowering women in cycling

  2. #2
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    11. It's OK to walk - "hike a bike"

    ^ I think everyone at one point feels like they'll be laughed at or thought of as weak/lazy/fat/whatever if they have to get off and walk, whether it's because of a steep climb, or super technical stuff or stuff that is plain unrideable. But there's no shame in it! Definitely better than getting yourself into something you can't handle, or falling over from sheer exhaustion

  3. #3
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    Get out and ride, ride, ride. There is no way to get better or more comfortable if you bike is sitting in the garage, minimum 3x/week is what I need to see real improvement in both cardio and confidence.

    There is always going to be someone faster, stronger and more confident than you, no matter how long you ride. Leave your ego at home.

    Bike down for fun, bike up for chocolate and beer.

    Take a lesson, or at least ride with patient people who are better than you.

    Focus on one or two things on a ride that you have not cleared before. Recognizing those small improvements help with confidence.

    Get a professional bike fitting.

    Learn basic maintenance and cleaning of your bike. (I still need to work on this, I am so hooped if I blow a tire without my SO around).

  4. #4
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    Be patient with yourself and don't give up. If you 'ride, ride, ride', you'll get there.

    If you can't find a clinic or lessons, get Lee McCormack's "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" and read it several times.

  5. #5
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    At some point you will probably cry, either from a fall or frustration, don't worry we have all done it.

  6. #6
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    These are really great Arsbars! It got me thinking about things I wish I had known, or that helped me out:

    1) Before purchasing an expensive new bike - take the time to demo lots of different bikes.

    2) Allow the local bike shop to do a proper fitting and make suggestions about components rather than just opting for the cheapest build kit that the bike maker offers. You will appreciate and take care of and get more out of your expensive bike if it is configured just right for you.

    3) Discover what you enjoy most about riding, and follow your own passion. Did you get a big rush from your first time clearing big roots and rocks? Do you seem to want to ride all day when others are ready to hang it up? Do you feel like pushing harder up the hills? Are you just enjoying seeing the improvements in your fitness? Do you just want to explore new trails and enjoy new scenery? Mountain biking is very diverse, creative and individual, so give yourself appropriate goals, find the routes and create the type of rides that you enjoy most, and find others with similar passions. I guess the same can be said in other areas of life.

    4) Most importantly, see my signature.
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
    ~Fairfaxian

  7. #7
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    Look at where you want to go and your bike will follow.

    Focus ahead and stop looking at the front tire.


    Look where you want to go !

    Yes repeating myself until I get it

  8. #8
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    These are great, keep them going!!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by miatagal96 View Post
    If you can't find a clinic or lessons, get Lee McCormack's "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" and read it several times.
    Skills clinics are worth it if you can get to one. We tend to say "practice makes perfect", but not if you don't know what you're practicing... You'll get more fit from getting out there and riding, and you'll eventually learn things through trial and error, but unless you're a visual learner who can naturally figure things out by just watching others (and hopefully the others you're watching are actually doing things right vs. just being more fearless than you are...), that can be the long and painful way to try to improve. Breaking things down step by step and learning the fundamentals will save you a lot of frustration!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleopatra999 View Post
    At some point you will probably cry, either from a fall or frustration, don't worry we have all done it.
    This happened to me on my last ride because I couldn't keep up with the boys who had been doing the trail for a long time. Glad to have my boyfriend hang back with me and support and encourage me to push through it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleopatra999 View Post
    At some point you will probably cry, either from a fall or frustration, don't worry we have all done it.
    LOL, I love this! Sometimes it's not a good day unless I cry a few times. I can be an emotional person, so sometimes its just what I have to do to let out stress and frustration!

  12. #12
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    I think my first hard climb had me doubled over for 10 minutes trying to puke. Crying or puking - you'll be hooked anyway by the euphoria of clearing some rocks for the first time or getting that fix of cruising down some sweet flowy singletrack. Brace yourself for the wild ride ahead...

    And try platform pedals with grippy soled shoes like 5-10's first. Don't buy the hype that you have to start off with clipless pedals. It is not required for mountain biking, and you can go your whole life without clipless on a MTB and have a wonderful time (a more fun time, with a faster progression no doubt).
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
    ~Fairfaxian

  13. #13
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    All of the above!

    - dont let somebody convince you a big rock/log is "easy". Remind them, that they are more experienced, and may not remember what its like to be a beginner.

    - ride within your limits, if something makes you feel uncomfortable, then dont ride it. But at the same time, at least give a half attempt if you can! you have to find a balance. If you see a big log, and know you probably wont make it over, then at least try hard enough to get the front wheel over. you'll feel better to even make that half attempt. Eventually, that half attempt will turn into a complete attempt!

    - practice lifting your front wheel in the yard. i cant do super wheelies or anthing like that, but getting the hang pulling up the front wheel, even a few inches, will help clear logs.

    - yeah, you might cry. i have! maybe even throw up! often, the puking (for me anyway) happens if you eat a big breakfast, and then start climbing huge hills in the beginning of the ride. Pace yourself, and warm up.

    - splurging (at least a little) on good grippy tires will increase confidence, especially on slippery roots or corners. i dont have fast tires at all. Actually, they are pretty damn slow! but i'm not all that concerned with speed, i prefer technical handling as a skill i want to build.

    - i echo what somebody said about commitment. yeah, 2+ times a week, at least, is what you probably need to build stamina and skills. weekend warriors tend to hurt themselves. If you dont want to do it that much (assuming you have the time) then maybe its not the sport for you. You should know early on if the suffering is worth the fun you're having.
    fap

  14. #14
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    thanks to everyone for posting this! So relieved to find a place about mountain biking that is women specific. First time back on a bike in 16 years and first time on a mountain bike ever. I knew I was in for a physical challenge but it wasn't until this last weekend that I realized what an emotional journey it would be for me as well. I cried, I hiked my bike, I felt embarassed knowing my ass was eating my seat, and ridiculousthat I was probably the only person not only walking the bike UP the hill, but down it part of the way too. My entire body was pushed to the limit and I had to get off because I felt like I could no longer control my bike because I was so exhausted. I had to deal with the bf, who was very patient to wait for me rather than just leaving me in his dust, but who also said "I don[t understand why going downhill is so hard, just let the bike do it, just roll". He didn't realize that it took every ounce of energy and for me to hang on for dear life and steer the damn thing. I didn't feel scared at all, which I'm really proud of. But looking back at what I overcame this weekend, I feel like I should have been scared. All I can say is the feeling of not only riding the bike, but overcoming obstacles, physical and emotional is really therapeutic and I'm glad to have found a forum of other women who sound like they get it too!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie View Post
    Skills clinics are worth it if you can get to one. We tend to say "practice makes perfect", but not if you don't know what you're practicing... You'll get more fit from getting out there and riding, and you'll eventually learn things through trial and error, but unless you're a visual learner who can naturally figure things out by just watching others (and hopefully the others you're watching are actually doing things right vs. just being more fearless than you are...), that can be the long and painful way to try to improve. Breaking things down step by step and learning the fundamentals will save you a lot of frustration!

    buttin into the women lounge, but "practice make permanent, good practice make perfect"

  16. #16
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    Top 10 Things a Newb Should Know:

    1. You don't have to spend $5k for a good bike, but you'll look better on the trails if you do.
    2. Don't get all of your information from online forums and magazines. Talk to actual people who ride about their bikes.
    3. Spandex is for puss!es. No, really, it is.
    4. Specialized bikes are garbage. Ask the kids in China who made them.
    5. DH riding isn't really mountain biking. See, you can never really only ride downhill. Real mountains require you to ride up them as well, which is what real women do.
    6. Learn to ride better by riding more and in groups of riders more skilled than yourself. Look for a group on Meetup.com.
    7. Half of riding is anticipating which gear you need to be in ahead of time. The other half is getting into that gear at the right time.
    8. There will be a group of 4-5 filipino guys on $7k bikes ahead just around the bend. Do not look them in the eyes. Just keep riding!
    9. Trek will at one point or another buy the company that made the bike you're riding now, whore out their name for a few years, then throw it away like a used tampon.
    10. There are not too many bikes to choose from. There are exactly as many bikes on the market as the market will support. Pick one.
    11. If you're about to post that I wrote eleven items in my ten item list, you're going to be one of the jerks on this forum who starts arguments and railroads otherwise good threads. Delete your account now.

  17. #17
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    All great posts! Love it. I'm not a woman but have been riding for many, many years and have ridden all over the place with many people of many levels.

    One of my friends coined this term - Time In The Saddle (T.I.T.S.). We all need more. This fits on so many levels with bike fit, bike feel, riding up, riding down, riding over roots, rocks and so on. The experiences and fun factor never ends.

    The OP #10 was one of the best. You don't have to have a fancy bike to have fun. My other friend also coined on a mountain bike you can be 9 years old forever. Thanks so much for sharing, it's a great post for everyone!

  18. #18
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    Just my opinion here - but here are 10 things I would have found helpful as a beginner.

    (1) If you ride enough and are challenging yourself, you will eventually fall. I had a particularly nasty fall over the weekend. Slid out going way too fast in a turn and had to walk my bruised and battered body back up the trail and to the car.

    (2) Carry a small first aid kit. You just never know. I recommend some alcohol pads, bandaids, and some pain killer.

    (3) Speaking of sliding out - learn how to corner really well. Keep practicing until you find the right balance. This is currently on my to-do list.

    (4) I agree with everyone who said flat pedals and sticky shoes. 5-10's have changed my riding for the better! I have never and will never ride with clip ins. I don't like feeling like I can't quickly get unattached to my bike, or put a foot down if I need to. And there have been many times when I've needed to.

    (5) Climbing is hard for beginners, especially when you feel like your legs are concrete blocks and your lungs may blow up. Find your granny gear and spin. Do what you need to do to keep moving, even slowly. Just try not to stop. Keep at it and you will find that every time you ride you are building your fitness and endurance. It will get easier and easier and at some point you may find that you enjoy the climbing as much as the downhill.

    (6) I agree with people who mention riding with people who are better riders than you. I ride with my husband and that is fun and challenging. But at the same time I think it would be equally fun to ride with other women at a similar skill level as me. With better riders, I never feel like I can keep up and I don't like feeling like I'm making people wait for me. I think there are pros and cons either way - just find some supportive and patient people you like and ride as much as you can.

    (7) There is no shame in getting off your bike and walking down something you find too challenging to ride over. Walking it is better than getting hurt and then not being able to ride.

    (8) Invest in some decent glasses that are less likely to fog up. They will protect your eyes from dust and rocks and prevent you from feeling completely frustrated that you have to stop to clean your glases - or ride with limited visibility.

    (9) Carry some sort of energy/electrolite replacement. You never know when you may need a little snack to help you get over some difficult hills. This has helped me on some longer rides.

    (10) Invest in a couple of really good wicking jerseys or tanks. You'll stay comfortable and cool on rides.

  19. #19
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    - Master basic bike handling skills first (body positioning, braking, cornering, pedaling); the "bigger" stuff will come later. Take a few lessons and you'll be much happier and more confident on the trails.

    - EAT BEFORE riding. You'll feel better and have more energy to last longer (and won't drive your riding partners nuts because you've bonked half way through a ride).

    - A lot of mountain biking is mental. Keep an open mind, share your fears and successes, and most importantly IMHO, enjoy the ride for what it is and have fun.

  20. #20
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    Great thread! Keep em coming!

    Agree so much on the clinic, lesson thing. Not sure I woulda stayed in this sport without learning the basics. And as I ride I often mentally remember words from my coaches that get me though places... Either by self correcting something they'd pointed out, or giving me courage to do something in the real world/trail they'd taught me at the class.
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  21. #21
    It's about showing up.
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    MTB is an advanced category of cycling.
    I don't rattle.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skarin View Post

    (3) Speaking of sliding out - learn how to corner really well. Keep practicing until you find the right balance. This is currently on my to-do list.
    I thought this was a pretty good how-to. If nothing else, the guy has a cool accent...
    Cornering Video - Pinkbike
    whatever...

  23. #23
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    Balance is everything in biking. Better your balance by practicing track stands; lay a 2" x 6" on the ground and keep trying until you can ride all the way across it - then do it with a 2" x 4"; get a balance board, or stand on one foot while you brush your teeth.




    .

  24. #24
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    Awesome thread!

    Learn how to bunny hop

  25. #25
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    The Downhill Position. I've found that if I keep my back parallel to the ground when moving at speed on flat or downhill sections of trail that I can control the bike better and use less of the brakes.

  26. #26
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    yes, scooting the bum back on descents is a big one. Though, it seems to become instinctual. nobody had to tell me that, i sort of figured it out.

    i also had to perfect my climbing, by putting more weight forward to keep the front end down. i used to wheelie uphill quite a bit. Doesnt happen much anymore.
    fap

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    yes, scooting the bum back on descents is a big one. Though, it seems to become instinctual. nobody had to tell me that, i sort of figured it out.

    i also had to perfect my climbing, by putting more weight forward to keep the front end down. i used to wheelie uphill quite a bit. Doesnt happen much anymore.
    Indeed. Slightly grazing the tip of the saddle with your taint seems to help with climbing

  28. #28
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    Indeed. Slightly grazing the tip of the saddle with your taint seems to help with climbing
    you describe it much more erotically, but yes. dropping the elbows helps too
    fap

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by skarin View Post
    (4) I agree with everyone who said flat pedals and sticky shoes. 5-10's have changed my riding for the better! I have never and will never ride with clip ins. I don't like feeling like I can't quickly get unattached to my bike, or put a foot down if I need to. And there have been many times when I've needed to.
    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    And try platform pedals with grippy soled shoes like 5-10's first. Don't buy the hype that you have to start off with clipless pedals. It is not required for mountain biking, and you can go your whole life without clipless on a MTB and have a wonderful time (a more fun time, with a faster progression no doubt).
    4) Not to derail the thread, but if you "have never and will never ride" clipless pedals how do you know if they are better or worse than flat pedals? I rode with flat pedals and toe clips the first 3 years I mountain biked, and when I made the switch to clipless my climbing improved dramatically. Now I feel insecure if I am NOT clipped in, even in tech sections. And I have no shin scars from platform pedals whacking me when my foot slipped off!
    Of course, I actually followed the advice of people who told me to start with the clip-in tension at its lowest, and practice getting in and out of them alot before riding an actual trail with them. I spent my first day riding around the MUT clipping in and out until I had the motion down. In fact, 9 years later I still ride with low tension on my clips. And I have never had a fall I can blame on my pedals. I can clip out without consciously thinking about it now.
    Of course, I would never tell anyone to start as a beginner with clipless. There's enough to learn about shifting, braking and balance when you are first starting out, without adding that into the mix. But lots of riders love clipless pedals with good reason, even if you don't. And it irritates me when someone dismisses something out of hand with no experience to back them up.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  30. #30
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    ^ i think its the idea that some gear snobs tell you that you HAVE to clip in and there's no other way. Yeah, i've seen people like that. Some just dont like them. I ride mostly clipped in, but i still swap back depending on my mood becaus i think there are pros and cons with each system.
    fap

  31. #31
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    Hey MtbRN - Just to clarify my point - as Nicole already has, it's more a reaction to the opinion that is quite prevalent that it is a requirement to use clipless pedals, or if you don't, you are some kind of noob who can't ride. All I mean is flats are legit, even when you are a more advanced rider. I definitely wouldn't recommended clipless for brand new riders. That being said, after you have the basics down and feel comfortable on the bike, if you try a clipless system and like it by all means, enjoy them! You offer some great points here for how to start out with clipless pedals. I have used various clipless pedal systems on and off, and did not find any real performance gain over flats for climbing, except on the road or really smooth terrain. My husband who has spent a lot more time on clipless pedals than I did, did not find any real loss when he decided to switch to flats, yet he is a better downhill/technical rider than he used to be. Another rider friend switched to clipless from flats, gave it several months, and noticed no appreciable difference in the climbs. There are lots of articles debunking several myths about clipless pedals/performance. What is right? Well, neither - it's just a preference. I definitely do use them on my cyclocross bike, which I ride on the road and on trails. Shimano XT pedals are the shiznit! But if someone likes the flats and chooses to remain with them, it's not like the gods of mountain biking will strike them down, or they will never become a more advanced rider. Likewise for clipless. If you feel more comfortable in one system over the other, why hobble your riding development trying to follow what works for somebody else?
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  32. #32
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    Spend as least as much on your head as you do your butt.

    Time yourself changing a flat. Buy yourself a beer if you beat 20 minutes.

    Ride as many of you friend's bikes(observing appropriate courtesy) as you possibly can. Note the handlebar, seat and tire choices. It'll save you a thousand bucks(over a few years) of unnecessary purchases.

    Bicycling is only exercise if you ride five times the distance you would normally walk.

    Biking is ageless, unlike almost every other physical activity. Thus viagra will not make you a better rider.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    If you feel more comfortable in one system over the other, why hobble your riding development trying to follow what works for somebody else?
    I like this... I started with clipless one month after mountain biking for the first time (aside from when I was a kid riding a bike). If you read the forums, everyone advocates "oh you gotta ride so and so many months/years before going clipless"/whatever. Just gotta go with what feels comfortable. I have hybrid pedals, so I can flop them over and use flats if the trail gets a bit hairy. But now I'm to the point I hate not being clipped in. If I listened to a lot of advice, I would still be on a flats, thinking I hadn't reached the magically time point that makes clipless suddenly alright. I know this isn't for everyone, though. So I really don't care for the debates on flats vs clipless, because I only know what feels comfortable for me.

    If you want flats only, do it. If you want clipless right away, do it. If you wanna ride bare foot, do it (well... hmm...). Whatever... it's your bike and time spent. Don't let others sway you one way or another based on what they think, pretty much! Only way to figure things out is to form your own opinions and see how things work for yourself.

  34. #34
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    Wow! Great thread. Did you start this thread for me? I have ridden on the trails about 10 times. I am ordering that book if the local book store doesn't have it tomorrow. Thanks ladies! I do need some advice.

    This was the first thread that I pulled up after establishing my login...

  35. #35
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    My friend started riding about a month ago. Her helpful feedback to me as she's progressed has been....

    Take the time to set the saddle (seat) height, angle and fore/aft.

    Rotating the handlebars just a little this way or that way can help with wrist pressure.

    Ride with an experienced rider who has a multi tool and the patience to make minor changes to rider position while on the trail; maybe even bring a headset spacer.

    Air pressure, especially on a hardtail, can make or break not only traction but overall comfort.

    It's okay to cut down bar width if your shoulders are narrow, and Ergon grips are very comfortable.

    Don't give up on a new seat right away. Give it a few rides before you pitch it and go shopping.

    As you can see the theme for her is comfort, riding position and efficiency. I've been on about 5 of her rides and the smile combined with the increasing distance and difficulty of trails says it all.

  36. #36
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    Don't ride too hard if your fitness isn't up to it. It's okay to start out with an easy 2 miles ride, doing 2.1 miles next time, 2.3 miles after that, gradually building up the distance in small increments, giving your body time to adjust to the new activity. It keeps things easy and manageable, if you did 3.4 miles yesterday, surely you can do 3.6 miles today.

    Don't be butch and throw yourself at 10 miles of tough terrain right from the get go. You'll be sore and devastated and find a million excuses for never riding the bike again or at least leaving it in the shed for 2 weeks. Stick with the plan of starting out easy and build up distance and difficulty in small steps and you'll be ready to rock that 10 mile killer track in a month or two.

    ..oh and your butt will be sore for the first couple of weeks no matter how padded your saddle and shorts are, it's a matter of the muscles in your butt learning to adjust to the new task of sitting on a bike saddle.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    ..
    Air pressure, especially on a hardtail, can make or break not only traction but overall comfort....
    Very true. If you inflate to the maximum pressure shown on the tire sidewall, your bike will want to bounce off obstacles and it will be harder to control. Experiment based on your terrain, weight, etc., but 30 lbs would be a good starting point.

  38. #38
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by aruuk View Post
    ...Bicycling is only exercise if you ride five times the distance you would normally walk....
    I have a 7 mile/ 1500' vert lunch loop that suggests otherwise. Not all miles are created equal.

    And FWIW I'm one of those people who would have gladly thrown in the towel if I'd ridden with a faster/better group of riders all the time. As I growled at my husband one day while on a ride where I was feeling truly terrible :"If I wanted to feel pressured to go faster or pull off more all day, I could just go back to work. This is MY.WEEKEND. dammit- I'll do whatever I want."

    The "go big or go home" vibe clearly works for some subset of folks, but really turns off a whole 'nother group- me included. Oddly enough though I keep finding more ways to push myself when I'm out alone and I keep getting better, but it's a relaxed, incremental process mostly spurred on by curiosity rather than bravado.

    And sometimes I just don't want to take the chance. I once had a group of dudes trying to goad me into taking something (that I've seen plenty of people fall on FWIW), and I finally raised my hands and yelled "GUYS- I have no pen!s to waive in this conversation, I'm walking it!" They kinda let it go at that point, lol.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  39. #39
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    How about not riding with isolating earplugs? Especially if you are riding on roads with cars? It is one thing to have over the ear headsets on - with the music off - to listen to your computer or GPS. Or even to have a tune on so you can just hear it and still hear the whisper of a car comming up on your six. But to have music on and not hear the environment around you while riding seems insane. I see it all the time. ( I expect to see people say - no headphones at all?)

  40. #40
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    This is my 3rd season on DH bike. My advice is " Be patient". I wasn't and each year I was injured pretty bad. Sure, I had fun but I couldn't bike for she time. Speed and technique will come with time. Just ride and have fun

  41. #41
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    Sometimes just taking the fall causes less pain than trying to save yourself!

  42. #42
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    Jenni!!!!

    welcome to the dark side! (i'm 99% sure i've got the right Jen )
    fap

  43. #43
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    Protective gear.

    Get it and wear it. Your shins, knees and elbows will thank you. Plus if it doesnt hurt to fall you wont mind taking chances . Besides the obvious helmet the next best protective gear for a begginer are shin guards. Ahh the memories of pain haunt me just typing this....

  44. #44
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    Don't let the sport consume you. You'll get good at riding, but when you no longer define your bike and instead your bike.defines you, you may hit a wall and end up tiring of the sport. I sometimes have a hard time appreciating the same trail I've ridden some three hundred times, but still I have fun on them.

    Learn how to tune your bike. You don't need to know how to do an overhaul to save a lot of money on basic maintenance.

    Know your limits. From repairs to riding. "Don't do things you've seen on TV." Don't touch your wheels unless you have the right knowledge.

    Don't feel embarrassed wearing heavy gear even when some guys are only wearing helmets. After a silly concussion, I don't care about any flack I catch for wearing a FF helmet on groomed trails. "wrap your meat" you never know

    Don't litter. Pick up the trash of others if you can. I haven't had time for real trail work in the area, so I do my thing picking up litter when I take a stop. I picked up this habit watching another rider do it. Now that I've been doing it, a couple other riders have also done it after watching me do it. Imagine that.

    Be creative.

  45. #45
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    as a new mountain biker these are really helpful tips and I thank all of you for your insight

  46. #46
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    Great Thread! My gf has been riding for almost two years. She's taken a few spills and has shed a few tiers and has had moments of vomiting and brief retirements but always comes back. She went clipless a few months back with double sided peddles and has been doing great. We've been riding 2x a week and one day of spin class at the gym. She's been up for those long 15+ mile rides.

    She's been really excited about riding lately. I've been buying a few upgrade components here and there for her 2010 Myka HT Comp. She been wanting to switch to full suspension so we are juggling the idea right now.

  47. #47
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    I am loving this thread...some of this stuff has been drilled into my head by my DH and friends, but other bits are new. I am *patiently* awaiting the arrival of my first real mountain bike (by real I mean one that actually fits and cost us more than $350 on warehouse closeout), a 2013 Salsa El Mariachi 3. After riding around on a too-small-for-me Cannondale for a while I really want to take my mountain biking to a new level...and am finding that road riding isn't as appealing or challenging to me as it once was. And falling doesn't scare me like it did a year ago.
    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '11 Redline Conquest Apex
    '13 Salsa El Mariachi 3
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonia440 View Post
    Be patient with yourself and don't give up. If you 'ride, ride, ride', you'll get there.

    If you can't find a clinic or lessons, get Lee McCormack's "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" and read it several times.
    I'm going to add this book to my Amazon.com cart. I'm also tentatively planning on attending the Midwest Women's Mountain Bike Clinic next year with some friends of varying ability levels. I've heard rave reviews.
    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '11 Redline Conquest Apex
    '13 Salsa El Mariachi 3
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3

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