Mean All-Mountain Bigots!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    TNC
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    Mean All-Mountain Bigots!

    LOL!...well, OK, my feelings aren't that sensitive. However, I noticed something very interesting about rider tolerance and perception during my Moab trip this year that kind of applies to many of the posts that have surfaced here about riding apparel and protection as it applies to trail and AM riding.

    I've always been a proponent of some form of armor and riding protection when riding. Our local trails are decently gnarly with rocks, ledges, and cactus, so it always seemed somewhat logical for me to use some amount of armor. When our group goes to Moab, most of us wear a minimum of knee and elbow protection with a decent helmet and full-finger gloves. A couple of us even wear some upper-body, vented, MX-style armor...me included. We're pretty decent riders as far as skill level goes, so we go pretty fast and ride hard over technical lines. None of us are Cedric Gracia, but we ride at a fairly decent level of competency.

    What fascinated me on this trip to Moab this year was the number of fairly bold comments made by other riders about our armor. Some of them seemed honestly inquisitive about our reason for wearing armor, but quite a few were obviously from a perspective of "WTF are you wearing that stuff for?" Now...please don't think I'm a crybaby who is ultrasensitive about what others think. I'm 55 and come from a career that provided me with a very tough hide as to impact on my tender psyche. But two things came to mind during these fairly frequent encounters.

    The first thing that popped into my head was, "why does this person feel that he/she has an obligation to get a little smart-alecky about their opinion about what I'm wearing while I ride?" I don't know this person...they're a complete stranger...and who put them in charge of the fashion and/or equipment police. What ever happened to that small level of human decency in interacting with strangers who may have a different view about what's proper in equipment, safety, and apparel...as long as it has no negative impact on others? I find it fascinating and maybe a little disturbing that many out there feel they have a need...and maybe even an obligation...to point out how someone's taste in biking apparel or style needs commentary from a complete stranger. Is this some kind of by-product of too many reality-based TV programs, or something?

    The second thing that came to mind was how these persons making such comments were able to assess the need or reason for the other rider to wear such armor based on a few second encounter and observation. Were they psychic? Did they have a crystal ball? These encounters were usually with people going the same direction on the trail and often occured at overlooks and such where people would congregate for a break. Or it would happen on climbs where my 61 year old riding partner and I would be going more slowly or even pushing our bikes. The end result, almost without fail, wound up being that my buddy and I would later fly by these critics at mach 2 on the decents while they were picking their way through rocky, technical areas at walking speed. Yes...I have to admit that it was somewhat satisfying. To go further with this, there was often the encounter that occured after the ride at the parking lot or trail end where we would sometimes run into these same authorities who would be somewhat shocked and amazed to realize that these two geeks wearing this body armor were actually almost senior citizens. This seemed to ease their concerns as to why we "needed" this body armor. I mean, some of them were amazed that we were not in wheelchairs. On the other hand, I don't see why some feel you need to be very young or very old to need or desire the use of extensive body armor. I could easily have expressed my opinion about how many of these same riders were not using logic by wearing sleeveless "macho" shirts in a gnarly, technical riding area. Heck...the skin cancer alone will kill you...LOL! But alas...none of that is my business and basically has no personal effect on my ride. Common sense and human courtesy requires me to keep my mouth shut.

    Most of these encounters, comments, and observations from other riders who felt compelled to supply a very opinionated view of our attire were actually humorous and provided an interesting view into human behavior. Obviously we all have opinions about what people wear, what they ride, how they ride, etc. It's just interesting to see how some act on their irresistable urge to announce such opinons in public with complete strangers. Please don't confuse that comment with our participation on these tech and opinion forums...except perhaps as it relates to the obvious vitriole and condemnation that is sometimes displayed in some of the exchanges. Most of us come here to get other opinions and share ours...hopefully in a friendly and constructive manner.
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  2. #2
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    well said.

    Matt

  3. #3
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    The blue jeans and torn off sleeves crowd does seem to be congregating to the big bikes again. It's the same macho roadie no helmet ethos, chicks dig scars and all the rest.

    Just remind them that when they hit 60 they'll suddenly rediscover every bone they've ever broken.

  4. #4
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    I hear ya....it's the group thing that brings out these kind of comments, the same guy who commented about your attire would never make such comments out loud if you and he were to meet alone. In fact that same guy would be cordial and would be happy to talk for a moment about the days ride, or your bikes or whatever. It's just that stupid mob mentality that takes over and makes people act funny. The other week one guy in a group of 3 (at the trailhead) made a pointless comment to his buddies about how 'Blue' my bike was and how he wouldn't ride a 'pink' one either. He chuckled about it out loud. Hmmm..

  5. #5
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    Ego and Insecurity

    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    LOL!...well, OK, my feelings aren't that sensitive.
    Maybe mtbr.com needs to open up a "touchy-feely" forum titled "How does mountain biking make you feel?"

    Seriously, though, one could just explain this behavior by realizing there are quite a few ass#%@s in the world. But I think in reality it's more complicated than that.

    I agree that the logical approach to using armor is looking at the terrain, the likelyhood of crashing, potential severity of said crash and repercussions of crashing (bodily injury leading to personal sufferieng, time lost from work, etc.). IOW, dress for the crash, not the ride. I'm with you on that.

    Let's do a little psuedo-psycho-analyzation of these guys who 1) don't feel the need to wear enough armor and 2) have the gall to comment about others.

    1)They don't wear armor because they either think they are so good that they don't need it or they don't want to appear to others they they need it. IMO even if ones skill level is high that doesn't necessarily mean that the potential for injury goes down. Those riders who are very skilled (many on these forums, I'm sure) have crashed many times during the learning process.

    Though they may have gained mastery of many bicycling skills and even have learned how to fall properly there is always a chance that they may "fall wrong". And considering the fact that most good riders push themselves constantly they are always doing things that are just beyond their skill level (and inherently more dangerous). So, it's their prerogative to not wear armor, a full-face, etc., but it's not necessarily logical and is probably driven by ego.

    2) Riders commenting about other's riding apparel is just like anyone else who makes fun of someone. They are using insults to help them feel better about themselves and hide their own insecurities. They may be embarrased to wear that much armor because they are afraid that other people (who are insecure like themselves ) will make fun of them. Imagine how threatened they feel by someone who wears armor that they themselves are too insecure to wear. Someone secure enough about themselves that they can wear whatever they want and not care what others think. I would hate to go throught life with that level of insecurity.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences with the AM support group here , and keep those pics from your trips coming, I've really enjoyed them.

    Patrick
    Last edited by PCinSC; 05-16-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  6. #6
    TNC
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    Damn, PC...

    Are you a psychologist or something...LOL! Hey...I say that with some humor and a healthy level of respect for what IMHO is a fairly good assessment of what is probably going on in the heads of some of those fellow riders that I mentioned. Thanks for the input.

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    Armor is excellent.

    I wish I had mine on yesterday.

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    a few observations and a short anecdote...

    First off, let me say that at 40, I pray to be riding the terrain you and your buddy are when I am 55/61. Personally, the older I get, the younger people older than me seem As far as the armor goes, I personally need to be at work on Monday morning and in one piece. I've got a mortgage, car payment, expensive biking addiction, etc. I say, wear what you need to keep things attached.

    As for the comments, chalk them up to insecurity, immaurity, and overall lack of class. On the whole, I find most in the MTB community to be pretty cool, and laid back.

    Finally, a short anecdote. A few years back, I was riding with a group of guys at one of the more technical trail systems around. There are 20-30 ft drops with huge gaps, etc. (not for me, but fun to watch). Anyhow there was this guy there riding with no t-shirt, no helmet, and a pair of shin guards. He passed a few comments to his buddies about some of the protection the group I was with was wearing. I just shook my head and said to my buddies.... Picture the Dr. in the ER "Unfortunately Mrs. Smith, your son has a fractured skull, permanent brain damage, a shattered elbow and has lost most of the skin off his back. He does have the most beautiful legs, however. Thank goodness he was wearing shinguards."

  9. #9
    ride hard take risks
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    The part wherre you passed them going down then at the parking spot they have nothing to say is great!! I had a guy muttered a coment to me for pushing up a hill, i latter passed him going down as he was picking himself up off the ground & said to himself "thats how you ride that" in referance to the obstical i railed & he tumbled. I also ride with a guy thats into body building & he does not wear a shirt or jersey. One time doing a DH section we heard a loud crack of a branch breaking, my son says ouch sounds like he found a tree. Shure enough he found a Manzanita branch but was lucky not to break anything only a 3in X 12in bruse, if that was me i would have had broken ribs.
    You should have asked twinkle toes why he was going so slow, kidding.

  10. #10
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    TNC, as usual an interesting topic to say the least.

    I had this experience hugely with snowboarding. I was fortunate to be able to experience snowboarding in the US of A (Tahoe) & Canada (Banf etc). I purchased a snowboard helmet, it made me feel safer and I would go harder. Back in New Zealand on my next snowboard adventure I wore the helmet. At this time of snowboarding, very few if any were wearing helmets, man alive the s******s and mocking I got. You ignore it usually, but it is the lines at the lifts etc. I held my head high (not saying I didnt wish to crack them over the head with the helmet ) and carried on, after a few years it really caught on. Now it is the norm.

    I think people also think the accidents will never happen to them! There is the addage also, if you dont fall off, you are not going hard enough!

    Before the 2 shoulder re constructions, I would get annoyed with myself if indeed I didnt fall off, it is easy to get scared of falling off.

    I always laugh also to those that wish to try hard to smoke me with what some would call a crappy bike. Some of us work hard for a passionate hobby.

    I will say though, I think the whole mtb scene is far easy going and laid back than the roadie crowd. As some of you may know, I purchased a road bike to keep the fitness on track, man alive, that has been some learning. Loads of comments, snide remarks. No worries though, am in Spain and cant understand the language, so no effect on me.
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

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    im just sick of hearing about it....who cares what you wear? honestly, why do you even take offense or feel the need to defend yourself. i myself wear some baggy shorts a t-shirt and a full face...ive learned many times that shin guards can be great, and my shins are all banged up, but it doesnt bother me enough to buy more equipment, and it all makes u hotter and heavier imo, and less agile. either way, its not like id have something against someone with armor, but he|| why is it such a big deal...this forum annoys me and ive only spent a minimal amount of time here and probably wont be spending much more because all i see are like 100 posts arguing whether or not your AM or DH or XC or what the he|| you should be wearing. WHO CARES! wear whatever the heck u feel comfortable in and whatever you feel safe in. yeah, eventually everyone will go over the bars and land on a rock and hurt their back so armor would have seemed like a good idea, but if u choose to wear it and the next guy doesnt whats the big deal? i know thats your main point but i dont see y this topic is constantly being brought up and argued about...why doesnt everybody just do what they want to do and not worry so much about what the guy riding next to you is thinking about the way you look. its quite petty..if someone needs to reassure themselves that theyre "awsome" by making fun of you, go ahead and let them b/c when you pass them laying on the trail bleeding you will have a big smile on ur face and it will be a real kick when you hop off your bike to lend a hand with all your gear on
    Last edited by AaronD; 05-16-2006 at 11:34 AM.

  12. #12
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    Do any of these lines sound familiar?

    "Geez looks like a lot of pads you got there. You going DHing?"

    "What trail are YOU going to do?"

    "Nice klown kostume."

    "Are you one of them thar "freeriders"?" I've heard 'em all. They're just jealous! Hahaha

    Anyone got any other classics along those lines?
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  13. #13
    TNC
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    Oh my!

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronD
    im just sick of hearing about it....who cares what you wear? honestly, why do you even take offense or feel the need to defend yourself. i myself wear some baggy shorts a t-shirt and a full face...ive learned many times that shin guards can be great, and my shins are all banged up, but it doesnt bother me enough to buy more equipment, and it all makes u hotter and heavier imo, and less agile. either way, its not like id have something against someone with armor, but he|| why is it such a big deal...this forum annoys me and ive only spent a minimal amount of time here and probably wont be spending much more because all i see are like 100 posts arguing whether or not your AM or DH or XC or what the he|| you should be wearing. WHO CARES! wear whatever the heck u feel comfortable in and whatever you feel safe in. yeah, eventually everyone will go over the bars and land on a rock and hurt their back so armor would have seemed like a good idea, but if u choose to wear it and the next guy doesnt whats the big deal? i know thats your main point but i dont see y this topic is constantly being brought up and argued about...why doesnt everybody just do what they want to do and not worry so much about what the guy riding next to you is thinking about the way you look. its quite petty..if someone needs to reassure themselves that theyre "awsome" by making fun of you, go ahead and let them b/c when you pass them laying on the trail bleeding you will have a big smile on ur face and it will be a real kick when you hop off your bike to lend a hand with all your gear on
    A little bit of hostility there, eh?...LOL! Dude...that was the point. I found it more interesting, maybe even amusing, than upsetting concerning some of these rider's reactions and comments. It's just an observation, not a praising or condemnation of the events. I'm sorry it appears to have gotten your ire all fired up...well, actually I'm not. Man, we're just talking about something that has come up frequently here and having some fun with it. After all, it is a discussion forum. Choose not to discuss it or choose to discuss it...take your pick...but don't rail on the folks who might want to discuss it. If this forum "annoys" you that much, maybe it's not good for your health. To some degree, I've found these different opinions on the AM issue, armor, no armor, long travel bikes, etc., etc. to be an interesting view into the minds of mountainbikers. What does it hurt? I don't have to agree with everything I see here, and neither do you. But it really bothers you, then maybe that's not a good thing.

    Oh...and I hope my original title for this post was taken with the intended "tongue in cheek".
    Last edited by TNC; 05-16-2006 at 12:01 PM.

  14. #14
    "Its All Good"
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    AaronD, in all seriousness, did you run your cat over this morning? catch your scro tum in your zippa? Dude you seem all bitter & twisted.

    None of us have lost sleep over this, it was a discussion. If you dont like, dont participate.

    Easy peazy japanesy lemon squeezy
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  15. #15
    TNC
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    LOL! Oh yeah!

    Quote Originally Posted by SylentK
    Do any of these lines sound familiar?

    "Geez looks like a lot of pads you got there. You going DHing?"

    "What trail are YOU going to do?"

    "Nice klown kostume."

    "Are you one of them thar "freeriders"?" I've heard 'em all. They're just jealous! Hahaha

    Anyone got any other classics along those lines?
    Here's one of my favorites for all the years I've been going to Moab. A riding buddy and I are on Flat Pass trail (flat...yeah, right) when a guy on a new Heckler comes pedaling up. He looks at our bikes...a 36 pound dual crown forked Bullit and a 33 pound air suspended Bullit. I'd estimate that his Heckler was at least as heavy as my 33 pound Bullit. He makes the statement, "man, I sure hope you guys find some place to ride those bikes around here". Then he pedals off quickly in an obvious effort to show us up with his bicycling prowess. Dude...now who can resist a fun challenge like that? We were still in the main uphill section of Flat Pass, but my buddy just blows by this guy on the climbs. Being somewhat older, I'm only able to keep him in sight and maintain a 100 yard distance. When the big, long downhill section begins that goes all the way to the creek, I blow by him in the first couple of hundred yards. At the end of the section, it's a few minutes before the guy shows up. He comes up to us and says, "well, I didn't do too bad for an old guy". I ask him how old he is and he responds, "34". I pull my full coverage helmet off and tell him I'm 53 (at the time)...my riding buddy reveals that he's 44. The guy does a double-take and changes the subject. I hope we didn't damage this guy's psyche too badly...LOL! Like I said earlier, I find it interesting and sometimes downright fun to see what people are willing to say to strangers in situations like these.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Here's one of my favorites for all the years I've been going to Moab. A riding buddy and I are on Flat Pass trail (flat...yeah, right) when a guy on a new Heckler comes pedaling up. He looks at our bikes...a 36 pound dual crown forked Bullit and a 33 pound air suspended Bullit. I'd estimate that his Heckler was at least as heavy as my 33 pound Bullit. He makes the statement, "man, I sure hope you guys find some place to ride those bikes around here". Then he pedals off quickly in an obvious effort to show us up with his bicycling prowess. Dude...now who can resist a fun challenge like that? We were still in the main uphill section of Flat Pass, but my buddy just blows by this guy on the climbs. Being somewhat older, I'm only able to keep him in sight and maintain a 100 yard distance. When the big, long downhill section begins that goes all the way to the creek, I blow by him in the first couple of hundred yards. At the end of the section, it's a few minutes before the guy shows up. He comes up to us and says, "well, I didn't do too bad for an old guy". I ask him how old he is and he responds, "34". I pull my full coverage helmet off and tell him I'm 53 (at the time)...my riding buddy reveals that he's 44. The guy does a double-take and changes the subject. I hope we didn't damage this guy's psyche too badly...LOL! Like I said earlier, I find it interesting and sometimes downright fun to see what people are willing to say to strangers in situations like these.
    That would nearly be better than pulling cat TNC. Good on ya. My dad is 58 (or 59, when he got to his 50īs the age sort of stayed the same) anyway he still competition surfs, I think that rocks. Great seeing my dad out surfing true 8 footers. It keeps him alive. Its the adrenalin we worked out, same for me too.............. He would always say to me when I was in a break form mtb and moto xing, slow down, those bug jumps will do you in. (he was correct, but lets forget that for now) I say to him, well its dam funny how you only surf this particular spot when its above 5 - 6 foot. Ok ok he says. That dam adrenalin is addictive, hope that never leaves our souls
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  17. #17
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    Next time, just remind whoever is giving you grief that it is Utah law that persons over 55 use body armour and full face helmets when riding. Hey, don't believe me? Look it up! Civil Code 145 section 3 paragraphs 6-7.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka
    Next time, just remind whoever is giving you grief that it is Utah law that persons over 55 use body armour and full face helmets when riding. Hey, don't believe me? Look it up! Civil Code 145 section 3 paragraphs 6-7.
    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL

    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  19. #19
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    Good story. Good topic too. Its always interesting to observe other riders' group reaction when another rider comes by. If the "other" is not the same (style, type whatever), the observations and comments can be amusing to listen in on.

    Age is relative. My wife gave me a button when I turned 30. (umm, cough, years ago) "I'm a 10 year old trapped in a 30 year old body". I need to change that 3 at some point.
    Don't harsh my mello

  20. #20
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    I am not saying this is the case with your incident (I have never been to Moab...yet so i don't know the trails) but there may be reasons people say stuff about wearing armor (or not wearing armor for that matter) on certain trails.
    When you see a rider wearing armor that usually says something about the rider and the type of riding he is doing. If I were on a multi-use trail with lots of hikers and horses and I saw a couple of riders pushing dual crown fork bikes up hill with all their armor I'd probably make a comment. Perhaps it would be better to stop and explain to them that bombing down this trail would be a bad idea but I doubt I'd do that, i'd just make a smart ass comment as I passed.
    Or if the trail is extremely easy (which is subjective) then I might say something. I have had friends ask me if they should bring armor on a ride and sometimes I have said they don't need it. IF they would have just shown up at the ride with it on I probably would have given them (friendly) sh!t. Of course this isn't a total stranger as in your case.

    Agian, I am not saying this is what happened in your situation, just some thoughts.

    On the other hand you get the oppsite kind of poeple. For example there are these two brothers that ride with us sometimes who never wear a helmet. So I said to them the other day before a ride that they should wear a helmet on this ride becasue the trail is rocky and technical at some points. One of the brothers responded something like "If you are are doing 30 mph the helmet is going to help you from breaking your neck" and the other responded with a clssic response "Helemts are for pvssies". I just shook my head. You can't argue that that brilliant logic . I just won't take them on any of the good trails around here until they get helmets. What is really amazing is that these guys are college educated and in their thirtys so its not like they are just some punk kids trying to be cool.
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

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    All I've got to say is (and no disrespect here) I hope that when I'm 55 (37 later this year) that I will be riding a MTB and on that tech terrain. My hats of to you and all the guys 50+ that are still MTBing or even worse now starting to MTB - I don't know if I'd have those kahones. You guys give me something to look forward to and yes if I'm still active at that age I WILL be wearing the appropriate armor/wear for the sport to help prevent injury.

    On a side note... Damn you guys moust have been hot in those FF helmet though. I also know a guy who rides without a shirt of any sort and have heard stories about him falling, but he just gets up and brushes it off - absolute animal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  22. #22
    TNC
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    That's a secret modified helmet.

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    All I've got to say is (and no disrespect here) I hope that when I'm 55 (37 later this year) that I will be riding a MTB and on that tech terrain. My hats of to you and all the guys 50+ that are still MTBing or even worse now starting to MTB - I don't know if I'd have those kahones. You guys give me something to look forward to and yes if I'm still active at that age I WILL be wearing the appropriate armor/wear for the sport to help prevent injury.

    On a side note... Damn you guys moust have been hot in those FF helmet though. I also know a guy who rides without a shirt of any sort and have heard stories about him falling, but he just gets up and brushes it off - absolute animal.
    LOL!...Well maybe not a secret. It's a Pryme AL that has a lot of vents and has been modified in the jaw, neck, and ear hole padding. It's honestly not any hotter than a Giro Switchblade. I have a Mad Max too, and you're right...it would have been unbearable.
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    Human Nature to put down the things you don't understand. The first time I went for lift serviced, I sat on the chairlift and laughed to myself about the guys wearing body armour and riding 8 inch bikes ( I wa on an xc hardtail with rim brakes). About half way up the chair, the terrain got gnarlier, and I stopped laughing so hard. By the time I got off the chair, I had a pretty good idea I was in over my head. That first run was ultra slow, but I still dropped my chain 4x and felt like I was going to rattle the teeth out of my head. Live and learn, now I keep my dumb mouth shut until I really understand. Good life lesson.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wg
    Age is relative. My wife gave me a button when I turned 30. (umm, cough, years ago) "I'm a 10 year old trapped in a 30 year old body". I need to change that 3 at some point.
    Just say Never

  25. #25

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    The next time someone questions you as to why you are wearing armor, just respond with a simple "because.... I ride harder than you."

  26. #26
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    Armor is for wimps

    At least that's what I thought until I ended up in TraumaSurg, with a mortage, family, career. My trails for the most part don't require amor so I have no use for it. But now I have the humility to use it if I need it.

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    Another cute one....

    "So, who's pitching to you today?" That one always slays me!!!

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    Well, those guys are *******s. I wear my helmet although it looks stupid, except I know its protected me in many cases. Anyway...your bike is awesome. (its like my dream bike)

    So remember, if anyone says that to you, say **** you ive got a nicer bike

  29. #29
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    Maybe cuz you look like a space man in that pic!





    I get weird looks when I wear a full face helmet. But then again I acknowledge that I look like a complete tool. I also don't care what anyone else thinks when it comes to protecting my face/body. If you ride hard enough and crash often enough, who is the bigger fool? The douche that doesn't wear a helmet or any protection, or the guy who does and ISNT in the hospital at the end of the day?

  30. #30
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    Flash Gordon, baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Maybe cuz you look like a space man in that pic!





    I get weird looks when I wear a full face helmet. But then again I acknowledge that I look like a complete tool. I also don't care what anyone else thinks when it comes to protecting my face/body. If you ride hard enough and crash often enough, who is the bigger fool? The douche that doesn't wear a helmet or any protection, or the guy who does and ISNT in the hospital at the end of the day?
    LOL!...oh yeah, I know what you're referring to there for sure. No, the reason for my post was and is that fascinating human element of complete strangers feeling the need to tell you how "they" feel about your choice of apparel, bike, equipment...and maybe even underarm deodorant. Don't get me wrong. I love talking to strangers about the ride, the scenery, the bikes, and any other suitable topic for friendly discussion with strangers. I just find it interesting that a fair number out there feel compelled to "question" your logic as why you're riding that particular bike or wearing that kind of apparel. It's just a fascinating aspect of human nature that some have.

  31. #31
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    Actually, I'm a little surprised by the reaction. So many people are suiting up for Moab trails that I would think the attitude has changed. Maybe it had more to do with the helmet than the armour. Personally, I give people in full face helmets a second glance, too. I want to know what they're up to, want to see what it is they're going to be riding off of that warrants the extra protection (because, I may not want to ride off 20' drops, but I like to sit at the top and contemplate what it must be like). But I wouldn't be condescending toward someone who was just wanting to keep their dental work intact.

  32. #32
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    Armor is for sissies!
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    What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???

  33. #33
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    LOL! Geez...where did that pic come from? The bike and the cheerleader outfit are awesome! Good stuff.

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    TNC, you're probably a lot nicer of a guy than I am, if some young punks [I'm 49] sarcastically asked me what all the body armor was for, I'd probably say something like " I wear this stuff so that when I'm done kicking your impudent narrowminded ass, I won't get any of your body parts adhered to my own skin", or something along those lines.
    ****

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    TNC, you're probably a lot nicer of a guy than I am, if some young punks [I'm 49] sarcastically asked me what all the body armor was for, I'd probably say something like " I wear this stuff so that when I'm done kicking your impudent narrowminded ass, I won't get any of your body parts adhered to my own skin", or something along those lines.
    Renny, You are such a BADASS!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaholic
    Renny, You are such a BADASS!
    This coming from a guy who rides in a skirt, well, yes , I must be!
    I hope to god that doesn't turn you on or something.
    ****

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    This coming from a guy who rides in a skirt,
    Ummm, I believe the proper term, Renegade, is a skort.

    Cheers,
    EBX

  38. #38
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    Devoted to the Full Face Helmet

    I agree with armor all the time and I was just "convinced" into wearing a full face helmet last fall. A routine Saturday morning "all mountain" ride turned into a blood bath when I got crossed up in some soft soil after doing a 3' drop. Over the bars and into a tree I went. I was wearing a regular bike helmet (the paramedic said if I wasn't where a helmet they would have taken me out of the woods in a pine box, not on a backboard) and it saved my mellon but not my ear. It took 4 guys and an ambulance to haul me out of the woods and 16 stitches in my ear to seal up the gash that went through my outer ear, yes, I said THROUGH my ear.

    After that, my doctor recommended (see mandated) a full face helmet for the rest of my riding life. Lets just say ears don't reattach well twice. So when you see me riding XC on my singlespeed with a full face helmet on, just remember, it can happen to you too when you are JRA...

  39. #39
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    Facinating topic here...

    This is an interesting thread on a few levels. Let me first admit I have mixed feelings about the whole Freeride/full armor scene. I'm in awe of some of the riding, but don't care for so much of the extreeeeeme aspects of the scene itself. Maybe I'm old skool or a purist, who knows...

    On the one hand I know there is a need for armor for some riders and some terrain. One the other hand when I see folks geared up like that I wonder if maybe they should just go ride moto for reals... Looking at your pic I know I'd probably be thinking to myself "Damn! That guy has a LOT of armor on!!" but thinking something and saying something are two different things. You know what your Mamma said about not saying something if you don't have something nice to say...

    The bottom line is that talking shitt on the trail or anywhere else is just WEAK. It serves no purpose other then making the shitt tawker feel better about themselves.

    As for me, I'm as hypocritical as the next lame-O. I've been riding mountain bikes for a pretty long time (20+ years) and have been on a hardtail for almost all of it and I've always favored more technical, sketchier terrain, but I've never had any armor besides my trusty lightweight helmet du jour. I've had to be ambulanced out unconcious and all that. I always chalked it up to learning "hard lessons" on the trail. Or just being stupid.

    Now having moved to riding a 6" bouncy bike I can tell that I'm gonna be getting some armor for all the same reasons I got this bike in the first place: I'm picking and riding lines that I either might not have taken on the hardtail or would never have taken at the speeds I can hit them with now.

    Its a progression and we are all different. The key is respect.
    - -benja- -

  40. #40
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    dunno if it makes any difference but...

    i always wear a helmet and full fingered gloves.

    ALWAYS wear a camelback. best protection money can buy. i land on my camelback more than anything else.

    sometimes wear knee/shin. the knee/shin is nice because it keeps me from getting deep bruises and damage on my motor. gotta be able to pedal to work mon-fri you know.

    don't own arm or chest/back protection or a FF helmet. seems like those things would impede my ability to move/react which probably wouldn't bother me on the way down with my 6" travel bike, but on the way up or riding my HT 29er it just doesn't pay.

    if i could bear the weight/heat of having more armor i probably would. pedaling up 5K feet of mountain with a bunch of pads on just makes a suffer-fest worse, especially when it is over 80 degrees out. might as well just start punching myself in the face on climbs.

    as far as rude comments, i make them toward people with no helmet or stupid @$$hats crashing into other trail users and riding over their heads, like the kids screwing around riding their 10" travel bikes down SJT with their feet off the pedals that ran into my wife and almost knocked her off the side of the mountain.

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    Personally, I think what you're wearing is pretty overkill, but then again, you are like 60, so maybe you're fragile.

    Nothing wrong with some pads, but all that stuff would be taking it a bit far for my tastes. Hot and chafy, no thanks.

  42. #42
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    Fragile, eh?...LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by NoTreadOnMe
    Personally, I think what you're wearing is pretty overkill, but then again, you are like 60, so maybe you're fragile.

    Nothing wrong with some pads, but all that stuff would be taking it a bit far for my tastes. Hot and chafy, no thanks.
    Hey Tread...you didn't happen to be in Moab anytime during the last two weeks were you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Hey Tread...you didn't happen to be in Moab anytime during the last two weeks were you?
    Nah man, Im just kidding around. If thats what you need to feel safe, go for it. Crashing really isnt a big deal for me, especially just trail riding, so I dont wear full on football gear. Just ride your bike and dont worry about what people think. Unless its me. My word is gospel.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    Maybe mtbr.com needs to open up a "touchy-feely" forum titled "How does mountain biking make you feel?"

    Seriously, though, one could just explain this behavior by realizing there are quite a few ass#%@s in the world. But I think in reality it's more complicated than that.

    I agree that the logical approach to using armor is looking at the terrain, the likelyhood of crashing, potential severity of said crash and repercussions of crashing (bodily injury leading to personal sufferieng, time lost from work, etc.). IOW, dress for the crash, not the ride. I'm with you on that.

    Let's do a little psuedo-psycho-analyzation of these guys who 1) don't feel the need to wear enough armor and 2) have the gall to comment about others.

    1)They don't wear armor because they either think they are so good that they don't need it or they don't want to appear to others they they need it. IMO even if ones skill level is high that doesn't necessarily mean that the potential for injury goes down. Those riders who are very skilled (many on these forums, I'm sure) have crashed many times during the learning process.

    Though they may have gained mastery of many bicycling skills and even have learned how to fall properly there is always a chance that they may "fall wrong". And considering the fact that most good riders push themselves constantly they are always doing things that are just beyond their skill level (and inherently more dangerous). So, it's their prerogative to not wear armor, a full-face, etc., but it's not necessarily logical and is probably driven by ego.

    2) Riders commenting about other's riding apparel is just like anyone else who makes fun of someone. They are using insults to help them feel better about themselves and hide their own insecurities. They may be embarrased to wear that much armor because they are afraid that other people (who are insecure like themselves ) will make fun of them. Imagine how threatened they feel by someone who wears armor that they themselves are too insecure to wear. Someone secure enough about themselves that they can wear whatever they want and not care what others think. I would hate to go throught life with that level of insecurity.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences with the AM support group here , and keep those pics from your trips coming, I've really enjoyed them.

    Patrick
    What a bunch of rediculous garbage. Can you really be serious? You are actually saying that people do not wear armor due to inflated egos, and that it is not logical to not wear armor?

    Did you ever stop to consider that for many, including myself, mountain biking involves riding UP mountains, as well as down. Therefore, wearing or carrying extensive armor would not coincide with a long, all day loop ride with large amounts of elevation gain.

    If you choose to wear armor for whatever reason, go for it. But to imply that the armorless have insecurity issues requires a thought process that severely lacks in intellegince. To sum things up, you are a fool in every sense of the word.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    When our group goes to Moab, most of us wear a minimum of knee and elbow protection with a decent helmet and full-finger gloves.
    Don't you know that there is nothing more manly than bloody limbs and spandex?

    LOL, I know how you feel, I take my knee/shin guards with me on almost every ride...

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    What a bunch of rediculous garbage. Can you really be serious? You are actually saying that people do not wear armor due to inflated egos, and that it is not logical to not wear armor?

    Did you ever stop to consider that for many, including myself, mountain biking involves riding UP mountains, as well as down. Therefore, wearing or carrying extensive armor would not coincide with a long, all day loop ride with large amounts of elevation gain.

    If you choose to wear armor for whatever reason, go for it. But to imply that the armorless have insecurity issues requires a thought process that severely lacks in intellegince. To sum things up, you are a fool in every sense of the word.
    Hmmm...should I:

    1)Get into a flame war with someone who insulted me on the internet and try to explain to them the meaning of a post when they obviously didn't understand it the first time they read it or 2) respond and dismiss his post with the longest run on sentence I've ever written.

    I take option number two (combined with one?). Have a nice day.

    Patrick

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    A little bit of hostility there, eh?...LOL! Dude...that was the point. I found it more interesting, maybe even amusing, than upsetting concerning some of these rider's reactions and comments. It's just an observation, not a praising or condemnation of the events. I'm sorry it appears to have gotten your ire all fired up...well, actually I'm not. Man, we're just talking about something that has come up frequently here and having some fun with it. After all, it is a discussion forum. Choose not to discuss it or choose to discuss it...take your pick...but don't rail on the folks who might want to discuss it. If this forum "annoys" you that much, maybe it's not good for your health. To some degree, I've found these different opinions on the AM issue, armor, no armor, long travel bikes, etc., etc. to be an interesting view into the minds of mountainbikers. What does it hurt? I don't have to agree with everything I see here, and neither do you. But it really bothers you, then maybe that's not a good thing.

    Oh...and I hope my original title for this post was taken with the intended "tongue in cheek".
    no hostility, i just think its stupid that there are so many posts in this forum discussing what to wear and if its acceptable for "AM" or to others. I dont see what the big concern is about having everyone think your dressed right. do what you want and be happy with that, thats how i feel about it. If you DH and wanna wear spandex then go ahead. if you ride road bikes and you wanna wear baggy shorts and armor, be my guest, why does everyone else need to be so concerned about it?

  48. #48
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    Good job! Armour

    I'll throw my 2 cents in on this one. Wear what you want, it's your body and your level of acceptance. There will always be someone criticizing something or someone else..can't stop it...just consider it an indication of who/what they are.

    I don't have armour but am looking into picking some up. More for legs and arms, but if i ventured into some heavy stuff i wouldn't think twice about picking up some heavier pieces.

    The camelbak comment was so true....i got thrown from my bike once and landed back down on rocks....got right up no worries, i remember the sound of all the air being forced out of the camelback when i hit...i think if that wasn't there........

    This thread comes down to respect. People feel they have the right and ability to criticize others....i look at it like this...

    ride on, protect yourself so you enjoy the ride! J

  49. #49
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    T'heck with the chuckleheads.
    I wear full length leg and arm gear every ride. My area is crazy technical and full of wheelstoppers. Sooner or later you're gonna go OTB and it's nice to have the landing gear. When the ground is covered in jagged embedded granite. Going down is a real excersize in picking a LZ....Believe me you get used to mid-air body manipulation to fall between the season-ending rocks.

    Armor protects much more that the area it covers. When you're going down if you know you can drop and roll off your legs and arms, you can protect the rest of your body and can avoid stiff limb breakages because you can plan the roll. High speed crashes are different but armor sure helps there too b/c you can rag-doll and let your limbs slow your roll.

    The other thing is the confidence it gives is protection in itself. If you aren't worrying about slipping and slamming your knee into the bars or stem, if you are focused on the trail feature and not how you're gonna take the hit if you don't make it, you can do much better. Confidnce and comittment is half the game.

    Last year was my first trip to Moab and I wore armor for the full run on extended Porc trail. The next day we did Gold Bar and I carried it on my pac until we got to the portal. It was a nice break climbing w/o the armor for sure but I was glad to have it when we got to the top.

    It's hot and heavy but I feel vulnerable w/o it. If I was riding pure XC on twisty smooth flowy singletrack then I'd ride without it. But I'm always looking for aggessive lines (up and down) and trailside stuntry so I always wear it.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 05-18-2006 at 07:59 AM.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    LOL! Geez...where did that pic come from? The bike and the cheerleader outfit are awesome! Good stuff.
    When you ride a girls bike you might as well dress the part!!
    Nothing to see here.

  51. #51
    TNC
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    You Turner-Geek!

    Are you saying the "hump" on my bike represents a girl's step-through frame?

    Damn...now that I look at it...LOL!
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Are you saying the "hump" on my bike represents a girl's step-through frame?

    Damn...now that I look at it...LOL!
    If the shoe fits......

    You would think that after 4000+ post you would have your terminology correct. Turner-Geek = Homer


    My humps, my humps, my lovely lady humps...check it out!
    Nothing to see here.

  53. #53
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    I just got back from a week of riding in SoCal, Sedona, and Flagstaff. Man, we had ball and logged over 200 miles in the five and a half days I had to actually ride. We rode about everything in Sedona I guess, and spent a full day exploring Eldin Mountian in Flag- man, it was some of the best riding I've done in my life.

    In the entire time I was there, I never once put on a stitch of armor..heck, all the armor I own is a pair of shingaurds and an old MX helmet! In fact, the only guy in our group that brought any along was Mondo- and he left it in the room.

    It was after a ride on the airport loop that I looked at my buddy Hoser and said "Man, when do we aknowledge the fact that we should be wearing armour?". I mean, we are railing down this cactus lined trail full of axe heads, with sheer drops on one side, and all we have on are XC lids and baggies. None of us has a problem, but there was sure the potential for serious carnage.

    It really struck me that we crossed the line when we rolled up to the "Wall of Death" and "Corkscrew". I sat there looking at these things and thinking "that looks simple...yea, if you screw it up you are going to the ER, but the line is clean and it is simple". With armour, you would have gotten banged up been probably walked away. In our gear, you would have taken a ride in the white bus if you made a mistake. Personally, I've got a family and can't afford to take stupid risks.

    So, we got to talking about pads and it pretty much came down to this: We all started out as XC riders and wore XC gear. After a while your skills progress, the trails become harder, drops become bigger, you go faster, and you push the envelope further. BUT, because your skills have progressed so far you no longer perceive what you are doing as high risk. In fact, you never even acknowledge the "what if" at all, you have trained yourself to hyperfocus on the trail and none of those thoughts are allowed in.

    It was only after the fact, over a few beers and a few tacos, that someone said "Dude, we need to be wearing pads". Yup...I guess so. I won't wear them on every ride, but they will definatly be in the gear bag for some rides.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipV

    " In fact, the only guy in our group that brought any along was Mondo- and he left it in the room".
    Yeah..that Mondo dude is super gnarly!
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    What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???

  55. #55
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    I'll second what ChipV said. When I started riding no one wore armor, and to this day I only know one rider that wears armor on a regular basis. The poor guy succumbed to our peer pressure on our last ride and left his armor in his truck. That ride ended when he gashed his leg so bad it required staples.

    There is a significant difference in the pace of a ride with or without armor. It seems like armor goes hand in hand with a bigger bike. Riders carry their armor uphill at the best pace they can manage while pedaling 40+ pounds of bike. There's a rest at the top while said riders don their armor, followed by the downhill. Typically the route is a mellow uphill trail or fireroad, and a wicked descent. Armorless rides involve a faster pace uphill, preferably with some technical sections that are difficult to clean. The downhill is pretty much the same.

    I guess I'll be more amenable to armor when it doesn't impede my favored riding style - or after I've been to the emergency room

  56. #56
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    good points...

    Quote Originally Posted by gunfodder
    There is a significant difference in the pace of a ride with or without armor. It seems like armor goes hand in hand with a bigger bike. Riders carry their armor uphill at the best pace they can manage while pedaling 40+ pounds of bike.
    This sort of nails my personal issue with the intersection of "All Mountain" and "Freeride" or whatever... Namely, I actually LIKE climbing! When I decided to build a big bouncy bike I knew that if I let the thing creep much past 30lbs I'd been more annoyed then happy with it. If I can't pedal through the technical ups then I'm missing out on much of the FUN of riding. The armor issue is the same: if schlepping armor uphill either on your body or in your pack is too annoying then why bother? Is it really adding to the experience?

    I guess it comes down to your personal riding style, preferences, riding history, skills... all that. I'll also admit that I feel like a dork sporting armor on rides where I've never wore it before.
    - -benja- -

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaholic
    Yeah..that Mondo dude is super gnarly!

    BWAHAHAHA....I met Mondo for the first time on this trip- frigin awesome guy and skilled rider. Of course, those west coast boys sure dab alot (he he)
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  58. #58
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    I've never seen so much manass either....Seemed like every time I turned around I was yanking prickly pear thorns out of someones bare bottom.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    I guess it comes down to your personal riding style, preferences, riding history, skills... all that. I'll also admit that I feel like a dork sporting armor on rides where I've never wore it before.
    Exactly. You also left out that the group you ride with also makes a huge difference. If a group is jamming on big climbs and doesn't really chill at the top before dropping in, then wearing pads on the climb is a huge hassle and putting them on at the top is nearly impossible unless you're the first one to the top.

    I have to admit there was a time when I looked at someone donning a bunch of armor on what I deem an XC ride and skoffed (inside voice) at them. At this point, I could really care less and if someone feels safer wearing something like that and it doesn't impact their groups' flow, then more power to them.

    Our crew almost always has a break after an extended climb. Part of that is to rest, but also we don't just jam back down until everyone else has made it up and we've reconvened. I've ridden with several groups before that get to the top of a climb and then they just head back down and I'd rather just ride solo than with a group that does that. Anyway, that break usually gives plenty of time for putting pads on if necessary.

    Also, if everyone brings armor on a ride in my crew, there's usually a reason for it. We'll rip tech xc descents all day sans pads, but once you start talking drops, gaps, ass-on-rear-tire steeps, big exposure, then the pads are usually donned. That usually means hauling them in the pack to the top and then putting them on before heading down vs. climbing with them on. Since none of us are johnny racer boys, waiting 5 minutes to have someone put on pads is really no big deal.

    A good example of XC rides that I do wear shin/elbow pads is Porc Rim or Munds Wagon (along with other unsanctioned Sedona trails) because the speed that we ride those trails really warrants it, imo. Couple that with the fact that we're usually popping over big sections of chunky rock, exposure, etc. and the chance of f*cking oneself up is pretty high with a miscalculation. Another is Cheap Thrills in Whistler. It has 4-5 super steep granite slabs and a few drops that if you mess up, you're hosed. It's a fair sized climb up to it, so I keep the pads in the pack and put them on before the descent.

    Also worth noting, I've got an XC and a FR set of pads. The xc is much lighter and isn't nearly as restrictive....I noticed that I was less likely to bring my heavy pads on burly xc rides some time ago and just made an investment in a lighter set.

    Cheers,
    EBX

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    Hmmm...should I:

    1)Get into a flame war with someone who insulted me on the internet and try to explain to them the meaning of a post when they obviously didn't understand it the first time they read it or 2) respond and dismiss his post with the longest run on sentence I've ever written.

    I take option number two (combined with one?). Have a nice day.

    Patrick
    OK, I admit, the last 2 sentences were way out of line. I simply did not agree with your post, which in no way makes you a fool lacking in intelligence. For that I apologize.

    However, I would be willing to bet that sometime throughout your entire life you have written a longer run on sentence. I could be wrong, but it seems like a reasonable assumption.

    You have a nice day as well

  61. #61

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    I live in the UK and ride in the Cotswold Hills which are nothing like as gnarly and rocky as Moab. I have only been to Moab once but didn't ride. I think i would want armour there. I think most of the riding around here is more XC than AM but there are some good downhill tracks starting to appear. There are some great AM tracks in South Wales though that I visit as often as possible.

    I only ever wear an ordinary helmet (Giro Xen), baggies, shirt & full finger gloves. I often think to myself when riding that I wouldn't consider riding my motorbike without full leathers on, so why am I going down this rough track at 30 + mph with no skin protection.

    My main problem is that there is a lot of granny ring climbing on the trails I ride. I think leg armour would get very hot and uncomfortable whilst climbing. I did try some once but it wouldn't stay in place and was a major annoyance. I think it would be great if someone marketed some lighter weight more flexible armour for more XC use (maybe they do and I haven't seen it yet). Also some lighter better vented full face helmets would be good. The only one I have seen is the Met Parachute, but it looks a bit flimsy to me.

    One issue I have with armour is that it makes some people too confident. They think that because they are wearing it they are completely protected and that makes them ride faster than their ability warrants, causing them to crash more often. I'm not saying that is a case for not wearing armour, it is just an effect it has on some people. Not me though, I am a permanent chicken downhill!

    As for strangers making rude comments. Such people are just brainless morons to be ignored (or better still steralized to stop them breeding ).

  62. #62
    TNC
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    Exactly Aaron

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronD
    no hostility, i just think its stupid that there are so many posts in this forum discussing what to wear and if its acceptable for "AM" or to others. I dont see what the big concern is about having everyone think your dressed right. do what you want and be happy with that, thats how i feel about it. If you DH and wanna wear spandex then go ahead. if you ride road bikes and you wanna wear baggy shorts and armor, be my guest, why does everyone else need to be so concerned about it?
    I think that's basically what I said in the original post. This was never about what one wears or what bike one rides. It was about the interesting human element in some folks that compels them to voice an opinon in a somewhat critical manner about your choice when one is a complete stranger. I never intended this post to be a critique about what everyone should be wearing. It was just an observation about some people's reaction to something different to what they were wearing, riding, or doing and their willingness to let a complete stranger know how they felt about it in a condescending manner.

    Actually after seeing that pic of the guy in the cheerleader outfit, I may consider changing my apparel preference. It looks so light, airy, and comfortable...LOL!

  63. #63

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    Dorks will be Dorks

    Dress for the crash. Wear the gear and F##K what people say. As others have said, you'll ride better if you're not worying about tearing up your bod, I know it made a big diff for me when I started wearing full gear when I rode Enduros on my dirtbike. It's saved many body parts many times and I do things I wouldn't think of without full protection (a couple times I've landed on my back on some serious rocks. No chest protector, no walk away). Besides, gear is getting so much lighter and more comfortable. What, it's cool to walk around with torn up knees?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    OK, I admit, the last 2 sentences were way out of line. I simply did not agree with your post, which in no way makes you a fool lacking in intelligence. For that I apologize.

    However, I would be willing to bet that sometime throughout your entire life you have written a longer run on sentence. I could be wrong, but it seems like a reasonable assumption.

    You have a nice day as well
    OK, apology accepted. Since you were so nice to rescind your insults I'll try to make myself clearer. I have a feeling that you disagreed with things that I did not say, so I want to clarify my statements (not that it's that important). Of course, you're still free to disagree with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    You are actually saying that people do not wear armor due to inflated egos, and that it is not logical to not wear armor?
    First off, let me state up front that I do not wear armor (other than an open-face helmet and gloves). If I think completely rational about my riding situation and about the potential for injury I should probably be wearing a full-face, knee/shin pads, elbow/arm pads, goggles and spine protection. And I ride what most would consider XC, sometimes aggressively. If I crash at speed the potential for injury is high.

    Just last month my wife and I were riding a trail that is loaded with switchbacks, in fact it's basically one right after the other. It was late afternoon/early evening and the sun was going down but was very bright and visible (IOW, blinding) through the trees. Every time we switched back that direction it took a few seconds to adjust (and I was wearing sunglasses). When we came around one turn I was completely blinded for about 2 seconds until I rode into the shadow of a tree. And I think you can guess what happened: I rode right into the tree. I hit it with my left front deltoid, the meaty part of the front of my shoulder. I fell down, sunglasses went flying...but I was ok. I had a nasty bruise for a week or two, but was fine otherwise.

    But here are some other possible injury outcomes from this crash:

    If I hit the tree 1 foot to the left I would have smacked into it face first (at probably 15+ mph). That would've hurt. A full-face would help here.

    If I hit the tree six inches to the right I would have snapped my collarbone like a twig. Now think about this: even if I was wearing all the armor I mentioned above, in this circumstance I would still have broken my collarbone.

    So why did I share this (very long) story. I guess my point is that we all take calculated risks when we mountain bike (or drive a car, cross the street, etc.). I used the word ego in my previous post to describe the reason behind the decisions made and maybe that word isn't correct in this context. It's up to each of us individually to decide what risks we are willing to take. If I think logically (IOW, about my well being), I would wear more gear. But I do what most of the rest of us do, "I'm probably not going to crash, I'll be alright with what I've got on." Not necessarily the most logical choice. We're playing the odds here.

    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    If you choose to wear armor for whatever reason, go for it.
    I never said I wear armor, you assumed that.

    Although I am thinking about getting some 661 Veggie shin pads to avoid having my shins look like hamburger all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    But to imply that the armorless have insecurity issues requires a thought process that severely lacks in intellegince.
    That's not exactly what I said. Here's what I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    Riders commenting about other's riding apparel is just like anyone else who makes fun of someone. They are using insults to help them feel better about themselves and hide their own insecurities.
    What I intended to say is that those who make fun of other's riding apparel have insecurity issues because they have to insult others to feel better about themselves. This insecure person is also threatened by the person who is secure enough to wear armor and doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks. Of course, this is just my opinion which you're free to disagree with.

    Now to actually apply this to the OP's situation. TNC was riding gnarlier terrain than I usually ride and if was riding that terrain I would be wearing the same level of protection. Especially given the amount of armor I feel I should be wearing on the non-gnarly trails I currently ride.

    When I read his post I thought about it and I couldn't imagine myself insulting...

    1) an absolute stranger and
    2) someone who has decided to protect themselves against bodily harm while doing a potentially dangerous activity.

    Maybe I'm just a nice guy, but I couldn't imagine myself doing that. If anything, they should be commended for being a good example of a safety conscious sportsman. So tried to think of why someone else would insult them. And this treatise is what I came up with. It's just my opinion, and once again, you're more than welcome to disagree.

    Patrick

    For TNC: I am not a psychologist, but I do play one on the internet.

  65. #65
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    I'm all for wearing as much armor as I can tolerate. I get extremely pissed at myself when I suffer and injury that my armor, if I'd been wearing it, would have prevented.

    Here's an old shot of me at my first DH race. The armor fashion police had every right to comment on my padded lycra shorts faux pas. Just can't take me anywhere

    <img src="https://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h16/_Danno_/Race/Dannoafter.jpg">

  66. #66
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    I wear pads on every ride, once you get use to them they are no big deal. gives me one less thing to worry about when heading for a drop etc. besides sometimes I just fall down while standing there. gravity wins every time.as an aside, one time this kid rips by me, no shirt,skate helmet( thats good) and wearing FLIP FLOPS!! he lands a six foot stump drop and just keeps going. I gotta say I was impressed.

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    No man you can't wear all that sh1t!

    I'm afraid you aren't allowed to ride anymore now give me that nomad!


    Here is a little poem for you.

    There are old Mountainbikers
    And there are bold Mountainbikers
    But there are no old bold Mountainbikers

    Wear as much armour as you need and screw anyone who doesn't like it

  68. #68
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    Wink

    I remember a few years back my brother and I were riding in Wellington, NZ. We got to the top of a hill, and put our seats down for the descent. As we were doing this a xc group came up the trail, and the leader said to us "You don't need to put your seats down guys." What? My brother just responded "Well you do if you go as fast as us mate." That shut him up, and we proceeded to enjoy a sweet high speed descent. Come to think of it I was wearing knee/shin guards that day, guess the guy missed that fact.

  69. #69
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    I rode with a group of MTBers last Saturday as they experiment a new trail. According to them it was their 2nd time to ride this trail. While on the descent, the 3 guys ahead of us clear it very smoothly, the guy in front of me was not succesful and fell. As we pick him up, his legs was caught by the outer ring.... the two teeth of the outer ring penetrated his legs and was ripped real bad... the cut was around 7 inches and I think i saw his bones, through the deep cut.... A simple shin guard could have prevented that thing to happen. But too late, he has 16 stitches now on his legs... Maybe next time he rides he will be wearing an armour already...

  70. #70
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    Perhaps they saw your Escalade parked at the trailhead?

    Your gear looks too new and too clean.

    Once your bike and protective gear get beat up a bit I'll bet people will stop commenting. Underneath that stuff you might be all scarred up and scratched and dinged, but you just look too much like a mountain biker fashion model in the photo.

    (By the way, I just bought elbow and knee pads and a full-face helmet. I'll let you all know what sort of comments I get, if any! My guess is -- that stuff must be really hot!)

  71. #71
    TNC
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    LOL!...digital pic quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave
    Perhaps they saw your Escalade parked at the trailhead?

    Your gear looks too new and too clean.

    Once your bike and protective gear get beat up a bit I'll bet people will stop commenting. Underneath that stuff you might be all scarred up and scratched and dinged, but you just look too much like a mountain biker fashion model in the photo.

    (By the way, I just bought elbow and knee pads and a full-face helmet. I'll let you all know what sort of comments I get, if any! My guess is -- that stuff must be really hot!)
    You know...I think the same thing when I see pics of my bike posted here...that they look so new and shiny. In reality, these digital cams and the pixel size used for this forum don't show all the warts...no, not on me...the bikes and equipment. That body armor is a few years old, and it has all manner of scrapes and dings.

    Escalade??? You cheap gheto bastid! I'll have you know I drive a Porshe Cayenne...with a custom T2 bike rack. (In my best General George S. Patton imitation)..."only a cheap, New Orleans, whorehouse pimp would drive an Escalade".

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    Hey TNC, you got hip pads?

  73. #73
    TNC
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    Damn x-ray vision?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoTreadOnMe
    Hey TNC, you got hip pads?
    LOL!...yeah, the thin but effective hip pads out of my MX pants. The neat thing is that the velcro that holds them to the inside of the MX pants sticks to the lycra in my baggies just as well. I don't wear a cup, though.

  74. #74
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    Funny enough, after reading this thread last week I decided to put on the body armor for my weekend ride (661 Pressure suit plus elbows pads, which I bought few months ago and used only once...).
    Had a very nice ride, about 4 hrs on sweet singletrack, got some 'looks' from incoming riders, I'm sure about my armor.
    Anyway, toward the end of the ride I was coming down a pretty steep and techie singletrack section, at moderate speed and in one split second something stopped my front wheel, turn it 90 degrees on the right and projected me OTB. Landed about 15 feet ahead of the bike on rocks, pretty hard on my head and shoulder and took me about a minute to get up.
    I realized I wasn't hurt (apart from a deep scratch on my left knee) and the reason it took me time to get up was just the shock of the rough landing. (Btw Xen helmet is great)
    Two years ago in a similar landing I ended up in ER with separated shoulder.
    Body armor adds weight but to me it's the same thing it happened 10 years or more ago for convincing people using the helmet. People wear pads and protections for much less aggressive activities.

    There are pretty light and cool body armors out there today and I think the main drag for me to use them is that I feel like I'm the only one to use it (like I have "special needs")
    Other than that is just a matter of habit...

    Anyway, thanks for the thread, saved me some pain
    "There is no A-line"
    Savvy Bike

  75. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoncreek
    What a bunch of rediculous garbage. Can you really be serious? You are actually saying that people do not wear armor due to inflated egos, and that it is not logical to not wear armor?

    Did you ever stop to consider that for many, including myself, mountain biking involves riding UP mountains, as well as down. Therefore, wearing or carrying extensive armor would not coincide with a long, all day loop ride with large amounts of elevation gain.

    If you choose to wear armor for whatever reason, go for it. But to imply that the armorless have insecurity issues requires a thought process that severely lacks in intellegince. To sum things up, you are a fool in every sense of the word.



    Personally I am 27 and am considering getting some light arm/leg armor for the same reasons. I have a carrier that doesn't smile when they see road rash, burses, casts, scars, and or any other sign of bodily harm. Not being able to type and or write would be a huge issue; not to mention being presentable to the peeps with the money. =P

    Seriously, armor isn't that heavy at all. If you can't handle carrying an extra 3lbs of gear with you something is wrong... Cumbersom yes, heavy no.

  76. #76
    JMH
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    TNC- I like your Flat Pass story. That happens a lot.

    It's pathetic... the non-armor wearers (that like to criticize) always use the "I like to ride up" story. The funny part is, a lot of people out there in armor on Saturday are really fast XC racers on Sunday. Try to tell me that I don't ride up.

    It's even worse if you also have a road racing background. Try having THAT discussion!

    Bottom line is, it's just ignorance. It doesn't bother me to get this attitude from groms, but the sad part is its usually the riders with a lot of experience that flip this attitude.

    JMH

  77. #77

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    Ah hell....

    I like to keep the blood inside my body, and my bones intact.....

    Up until recently, I couldn't afford armor, so I rode accordingly. I know that sometimes I'm really exceeding the speed/bone-tensile limit when it comes to a potential crash, but I tried to keep that in check.... while wearing nothing but my old German MTB helmet and some half-finger gloves....

    But now.... I dunno..... It's getting harder and harder to keep the trails & rocks from becoming a blur from speed, and as I said before.... I really like keeping my blood inside my skin.
    So I'll deal with pedalling a 34lb+ bike uphill with a decent suit of armor, in 90+ degree weather.
    Does that make me a baby, from wanting to stay unhurt?
    Maybe....
    But I'd rather equate it to a rather odd form of masochisim...... It's much kinkier that way....

  78. #78
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    I think, just to be fair, I'll start making fun of the singlespeeders... :-) Just kidding, I have one of them too. It looks nice hanging on the wall next to my road bike! I don't know why people think they know what's best for everyone else... It must be an ego thing. Since they don't wear it, you shouldn't either. Someday that guy will start wearing armor and he'll be making fun of all the people that don't.
    If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot !

  79. #79
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    I've been riding for a lot of years and almost always am either grinding up granny gear climbs bordering on max sustainable heart rate and in 95+ degree weather. Or, decending down the other side of the granny gear climbs at a good clip. I've broken 2 bike helmets in crashes and had road (dirt) rash scrubbed out at the ER (because I was having shoulder separation checked out.) It is just plain too hot to do the kind of riding I like to do wearing MX armor and full face sweat bucket.

    This I think is where the AM category comes into play. I'd love to find padding that wasn't full blown MX style with hard plastic outer shell etc. Instead, some kind of well vented, thin light pads to reduce abrasion and maybe bruises on shin bones. I don't want a full face helmet but would like more of a 3/4 coverage helmet that protects ears and temples area.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  80. #80
    TNC
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    Interesting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlliKat
    I've been riding for a lot of years and almost always am either grinding up granny gear climbs bordering on max sustainable heart rate and in 95+ degree weather. Or, decending down the other side of the granny gear climbs at a good clip. I've broken 2 bike helmets in crashes and had road (dirt) rash scrubbed out at the ER (because I was having shoulder separation checked out.) It is just plain too hot to do the kind of riding I like to do wearing MX armor and full face sweat bucket.

    This I think is where the AM category comes into play. I'd love to find padding that wasn't full blown MX style with hard plastic outer shell etc. Instead, some kind of well vented, thin light pads to reduce abrasion and maybe bruises on shin bones. I don't want a full face helmet but would like more of a 3/4 coverage helmet that protects ears and temples area.
    But are you aware that most of the bicycle body armor is much hotter than the stuff I'm wearing in that pic. The actual MX stuff is more highly vented and doesn't have as much thick fabric padding. This debate comes up frequently on the DH/FR forum, and I'm one of the few who promote MX style armor for aggressive trail riding. I agree that the thicker padded bicycle stuff is probably more protective overall, but who can wear that when you're riding 20 miles in 80's or 90's degree heat with climbing involved? Additionally not all MX armor is equal. The kind I use has foam standoffs that will actually absorb energy during impact, whereas some MX stuff is nothing more than plastic clamshells attached to each other. Quality MX armor has these standoffs and a high degree of venitlation for air flow. Mine even holds my Camelback just off my back for additional air flow. Like I said earlier, I'm not trying to sell people on wearing armor, but if they want to, there are some good options out there. Our group did about 20 miles in Sunday's heat with me outfitted just like I am in that first pic above. I didn't have a heatstroke.

  81. #81
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    wear what you want that keeps you confortable and safe on the trail. if someone else doesnt like it, screw em. i have a friend that wears full body armor on stuff i just wear knee pads on because it makes him feel comfortable. fine by me i have no problem riding around with someone in combat metal armor if they want.

  82. #82
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    Hopefully you haven't unsubscrubed to this yet....

    TNC,

    If it will make you feel better, you come ride with me over here in Deutchland buddy. You can ride and wear whatever you want and ride any trail you want. The beauty of riding over here is you can't understand a word that's said. They might as well be complimenting you on your gear. Or in the case of the volks-march hikers, cheering you on vigorously, pumping their fists in the air as you pass them bye. I have an incrdeible fan base over here because everyone shouts and "cheers" me on down the trail. BUT...if I catch you wearing lycra and or shaving your legs then I'll make fun of you!
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer" General Patton


    CAUTION: ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION CONFUSES ME

  83. #83

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    I'm fat, I bounce. No body armor here. LOL

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