First set of stairs today- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First set of stairs today

    Ok it may sound odd but I consider my self a beginner rider. I dont take a ton of risks do to me crashing a ton and actually doing severe damage to my body. I am starting to get over those fears and I started to push my limits today but not by a whole lot. I did my first set of stairs and when I say set I mean 2 stairs which lead of my back porch. Its a very short roll up so it was hard to get the confidence and balance to do it. I could manage only about a 1/8th of a pedal stroke and then I would coast over. I was happy I never crashed, but I came close when I wobbled a bit and tapped the end of my handle bar into the deck railing just as my tire went down the first step.

    I can track stand, I know the bunny hop is good. What are other simple things I can do to improve my bike skills and confidence?
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  2. #2
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    Track stand is the ultimate technique.
    I can't track stand for long, but I can track stand on anything (this includes half way down a flight of stairs).

    The second most important is the manual drop off.
    basically just manual off a step until you can time to land both wheels together every time.

    Once you have those two there will be little you can't go down.

    For going up, try riding up those steps. I can't happily roll up a flight of 6 steps on the way to work. Takes a bit of nerve ploughing into stairs at 20mph,


    hmm, good typo above. I meant to say I can happily roll up a flight of 6 stairs. but to fair, I can, but I am not normally happy, scared would be the most precise.
    Last edited by CaveGiant; 11-09-2009 at 05:31 AM.

  3. #3
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    people are getting a little troll happy here on mtbr.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    people are getting a little troll happy here on mtbr.
    Your comment is the only one that is out of place
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  5. #5
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    I did them today repeatedly with no real issues with my seat all the way up. I did feel slightly unstable being at full height but I did not endo was I was happy. I did wobble and put a nice abrasion on my arm from hitting the railing, but even that did not distract me from the task at hand.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  6. #6
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    No disrespect intended, but...

    This September, with less than a year of mtb experience and within 2 weeks of getting a cast off my broken leg, I started riding my mtb down a double run of about 20 concrete stairs at the local high school. I'm 46 now, so it's not like I'm super-athletic or anything. Just get on your helmet & pads, hang that butt waaaay back over the rear wheel and point the bike down the stairs. Lots of fun and a pretty good confidence builder, too. I've done it dozens of times and haven't had a wreck yet.

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  7. #7
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    Point it downhill , get your azz way back , and pull the trigger . If your worried about crashing your gonna crash , if your looking at something you dont want to hit , your gonna hit it .

  8. #8
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    i thought the thread said "first set of hairs today" now i'm bored
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeepseaDebo
    i thought the thread said "first set of hairs today" now i'm bored
    If I was only so lucky
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  10. #10
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    Wow talk about patronising the new guy!
    Stairs are not hard for a good, rider, but then again, not much is hard to a good rider.

    When I first started riding I was in awe of the guys who could manual off a curb. Now I can happily jump of reasonable drops and place both wheel exactly where I want as I land.
    Doesn't stop me still being impressed when I see someone do it well.

    I can't believe people who forgot that learning new stuff is fun! I still get a rush every time I drop steps, just because you can do something does not make it boring!

    lighten up guys, this is a hobby for fun.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62
    No disrespect intended, but...

    This September, with less than a year of mtb experience and within 2 weeks of getting a cast off my broken leg, I started riding my mtb down a double run of about 20 concrete stairs at the local high school. I'm 46 now, so it's not like I'm super-athletic or anything. Just get on your helmet & pads, hang that butt waaaay back over the rear wheel and point the bike down the stairs. Lots of fun and a pretty good confidence builder, too. I've done it dozens of times and haven't had a wreck yet.

    Steve Z
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  12. #12
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    I am a bit more timid than some riders, due to no health insurance because it got jacked up and I cant afford it. My Friend also faced planted a few weeks ago doing some urban stuff. Managed to get 20 something stitches in his face and broke his nose.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  13. #13
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    F the haters man! I did my first stairs a couple of weeks ago, and being a beginning rider also, it's definitely a cool feeling! Keep it up bro!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eratanun
    F the haters man! I did my first stairs a couple of weeks ago, and being a beginning rider also, it's definitely a cool feeling! Keep it up bro!
    Thanks

    I am also hoping when I go to a air fork that will help me feel more stable.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  15. #15
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    are you scared when you stare at paired stairs
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  16. #16
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    Try riding up the stairs.

  17. #17
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    I rode my rigid commuter bike down stairs yesterday. I found it less enjoyable than with my suspended bike.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  18. #18
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    I am a total novice so take my advice with a grain of salt. But I think you have dealt with the hard part and you need to find a longer stretch of stairs. Your two steps force you to deal with the transition to the descent and also the bottom to flat transition. But you arenít getting the fun of riding down them. I figure that once your ass is way back the only hard part to riding a long stretch of stairs is modulating the brakes. You obviously donít have a lot of traction. So donít try getting on the brakes hard in the middle of the stairs. If you do and you feel some skidding just let of some until it starts rolling again. I also figure you would start off rather slow since you will probably build some speed going down. Just my opinion, good luck.

  19. #19
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    Hmm... this thread has just made me do something... bbiab.

  20. #20
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    How doable you think this is for a semi-novice of sorts?





    I live on 4th floor, so I take a few flights of stairs like these when I go riding... always wondered if I should try to do em... all I can say about my abilities that is that I've already had 2 endos, and ppl keep telling me that I must suck, but I tell myself crashing is a part of the sport :-) That, and I started riding, every weekend, about 2 months ago.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    You want a gold star or something?
    Almost made me spit my lunch laughing at that!

  22. #22
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    OSOK - It is hard for me to tell if there is enough room to turn the bike around. In any case, I would not find that stairwell very fun. Maybe if I could hop down each step on the rear wheel...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    OSOK - It is hard for me to tell if there is enough room to turn the bike around. In any case, I would not find that stairwell very fun. Maybe if I could hop down each step on the rear wheel...
    I'd skip the stairs and just hop to the rail. Shouldn't be too hard, even for a beginner. I started doing this kind of stuff a couple days after getting my first mountain bike...and that was before I lost 'the weight.'




    DISCLAIMER: Totally joking. Please don't attempt.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    You want a gold star or something?

    Yes, please - I would like a shiny gold star.

    But seriously - I'm not saying it's a big deal at all. And only two stairs is even less of a big deal. What's next - a post saying "I got on my bike without falling over"?

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62
    Yes, please - I would like a shiny gold star.

    But seriously - I'm not saying it's a big deal at all. And only two stairs is even less of a big deal. What's next - a post saying "I got on my bike without falling over"?

    Steve Z
    Its a big deal for someone who has never done it. I also can get on my bike without falling over
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    ... I also can get on my bike without falling over
    I can't - it's hilarious
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    Its a big deal for someone who has never done it. I also can get on my bike without falling over
    yeah Im brand new here, but been on plenty of message boards in my time(unrelated to MTB) anyways, I see nothing wrong with people writing about there experience's. no matter how easy/silly it sounds to others. just have a good time, and pay no attention to people who post negative things to stroke there own ego's. I havent tried to ride down stairs yet, but you bet Im goin to try it this weekend. just gotta find some.....

  28. #28
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    You guys might find this funny. On the very same day I was out with my friend on a small ride. We stopped for a moment and started back up. I before I even managed to get pedaling I put my front tire in a rut and did the worlds slowest endo. I swear I had a smile on my face the entire time when I went down.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    Its a big deal for someone who has never done it. I also can get on my bike without falling over

    Good enough.

    And I should watch what I say - me & the bike just plain fell over only two weeks ago (first time in clipless pedals).

    Steve Z
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62
    Good enough.

    And I should watch what I say - me & the bike just plain fell over only two weeks ago (first time in clipless pedals).

    Steve Z

    Wont be the first time you just fall over on them either. I think that me going to clipless to soon may also be one more reason I have held back in learning some skills. I have been riding some nice platforms lately and I find my self more confident.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    You guys might find this funny. On the very same day I was out with my friend on a small ride. We stopped for a moment and started back up. I before I even managed to get pedaling I put my front tire in a rut and did the worlds slowest endo. I swear I had a smile on my face the entire time when I went down.
    no, my friend did the slowest endo ever.....we built this small step down, with a pit in the middle (for no apparent reason)........and my friend tries to do it, but goes way too slow and cases it bad.... his front wheel catches the edge of the pit while his back wheel was just over the lip of the ramp.....his momentum kept him going and he was at the balance point on his front wheel for about 2 second, then slowly he started falling forward and eventually endoed onto the landing ramp.....took him a total of like 4 seconds to endo (count it out, its actually quite a long time to be in an endo)....
    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverTail
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  32. #32
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    Advice...

    Think about stairs in terms of physics. The slope isn't that steep in terms of a hill. The rise of each stair is going to be around 6"- 8". The radius of your tire is going to be greater than 14" - 15" inches.

    All this means that with enough momentum and positioning yourself behind the saddle a little bit, you'll roll right down the stairs.

    You should use your arms and legs (elbows and knees) as shock absorbers. The bike should be moving independently of your body. Your head should be stationary on your shoulders and the bike should be bouncing down the stairs.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    Think about stairs in terms of physics. The slope isn't that steep in terms of a hill. The rise of each stair is going to be around 6"- 8". The radius of your tire is going to be greater than 14" - 15" inches.

    All this means that with enough momentum and positioning yourself behind the saddle a little bit, you'll roll right down the stairs.

    You should use your arms and legs (elbows and knees) as shock absorbers. The bike should be moving independently of your body. Your head should be stationary on your shoulders and the bike should be bouncing down the stairs.

    Well put .

  34. #34
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    I think a good thing to do is try riding as slow as you can. A friend and I would set narrow boundaries and ride from point a to point b as slowly as possible. Slowest person wins. When I was young, I spent a lot of time just riding around town and riding on or over whatever obstacles I could find. I developed a good sense of how to handle my bike that way.

    Another thing to try (more fun than riding slow) is bunny hopping up stair cases. You need a wide stair case, something a little wider than the length of your bike. I usually do it by getting my front wheel up on the first stair, with the back wheel on the ground. Then you hold the brakes and bunny hop sideways and up, with each wheel going up one stair at a time. The front wheel will always be a step higher than the back. I'm not sure why I do it that way, but it's always how i've done it.
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  35. #35
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    going down is the easy part. when I learn the manual wheely, after learning to loft the front wheel, we were supposed to manual up a to the top of a 3 step stage. I look more daunting just riding up to it, but if you can manual the front wheel up the momentum will carry the rear up, and even if the rear tire doesn't make it, just start pedaling and your all good. the manual wheelie is where you push the bike forward and by holding onto the bars the front wheel will loft.

    Try it off the bike first, by standing next to it holding the barsk, push the bike forward like your throwing it, hold onto the bars and the wheel will lift on it own. Then try it on the bike. You will need to get the bike moving forward a a moderate speed to make this work.

    At very slow crawl speed, this is were you do a pedal wheely. get into the lowest gear. then push down on the pedals and maintaining your pedaling. You'll get it after a couple of pulls. Once the wheel is up it's pedal and balance.

  36. #36
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    riding up stairs is pretty fun.. really works your balance and weight shifting skills. riding down just seems to mess up your wheels

  37. #37
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    Going UP

    Speaking of riding UP stairs, what do you think of this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYt6IqaHk_Q

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboy62
    Speaking of riding UP stairs, what do you think of this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYt6IqaHk_Q

    Steve Z
    Makes all the comments about how easy 29ers roll over stuff kinda silly...
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  39. #39
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    I can only do stairs half as steep as that with pedaling.
    full steepness stairs just needs a huge amount of momentum to roll up.

    I should add I ride a 29"

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonlong
    I think a good thing to do is try riding as slow as you can. A friend and I would set narrow boundaries and ride from point a to point b as slowly as possible. Slowest person wins. When I was young, I spent a lot of time just riding around town and riding on or over whatever obstacles I could find. I developed a good sense of how to handle my bike that way.
    This is good advice (although not necessarily on stairs ). It's also good to do slow turns and maneuver around obstacles. My company has a warehouse that I sometimes ride around in when no one else is around. There's always stuff on the ground to ride around and in between.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    You want a gold star or something?
    In case you are lost, you are now in a forum called "Beginner's Corner"

    DH/FR is here: http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=47

    pinkbike.com is here: http://www.pinkbike.com/

  42. #42
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    Congratulations on riding down two steps. Next: As many said before... find stairs with more steps.

    The trick is to stay relaxed, low and using the front brake only gently. Many will tell you to go way back. But that is actually wrong. Stretch your arms and two bad things happen: (1) You are stiff and start to bounce. (2) You cannot steer. The stairs you usually encounter on walkways and such don't require you to go back at all - unless you brake hard. But then you go back just for a moment, don't stay there.

    Anyway, mountain biking is a technical sport. Go visit a book store or your next library and browse some books. You'll find something for every level.

    Survival techniques (avoid crashes):

    Brakeing effectively (use both brakes the right way)
    Cornering correctly (different techniques for different situations!)
    Balance (riding at low speed, even track stand)
    Floating (getting over small obstacles and short rough sections)

    Fun (risk crashes):

    Pumping
    Jumping
    Dropping
    Rolling steeps
    Balancing
    ...

    I've started with Hans Rey's Trial Tricks on a Mountain Bike. Not a good primer. But a darn good inspiration and admittedly I am still profiting from the time I spent on low speed bike handling.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    In case you are lost, you are now in a forum called "Beginner's Corner"

    DH/FR is here: http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=47

    pinkbike.com is here: http://www.pinkbike.com/
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSOK
    How doable you think this is for a semi-novice of sorts?





    I live on 4th floor, so I take a few flights of stairs like these when I go riding... always wondered if I should try to do em... all I can say about my abilities that is that I've already had 2 endos, and ppl keep telling me that I must suck, but I tell myself crashing is a part of the sport :-) That, and I started riding, every weekend, about 2 months ago.
    Just curious, but how big a drop is it to the ground if you should happen to endo over that ledge?
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  45. #45
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    He said 4 floors, so if he starts on the 4th and falls off half way in between one would link 30 to 40 feet.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaLD
    Just curious, but how big a drop is it to the ground if you should happen to endo over that ledge?
    that appears to be a ladyfinger bananna tree in the pic - which only grows 8-10 feet tall- so I'd say that drop is only 5.2 feet
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    that appears to be a ladyfinger bananna tree in the pic - which only grows 8-10 feet tall- so I'd say that drop is only 5.2 feet
    Are you are arborist, or something?
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  48. #48
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    not really but,
    I am good at growing greenery
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  49. #49
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    Dammit Dremer! Now you went and made me have to go start trying to ride off drops and down stairs when I got home last night!

    FUN WAS HAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks man!
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSOK
    How doable you think this is for a semi-novice of sorts?



    I live on 4th floor, so I take a few flights of stairs like these when I go riding... always wondered if I should try to do em... all I can say about my abilities that is that I've already had 2 endos, and ppl keep telling me that I must suck, but I tell myself crashing is a part of the sport :-) That, and I started riding, every weekend, about 2 months ago.
    going down the stairs is the easy part....it's that left hand turn that's gonna be a bugger...you'll need speed control and balance....or it's gonna hurt...
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  51. #51
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    Checked out the video with the bike going up the stairs.

    Damn those 29ers look so awkward with those wheels. Almost like circus show freak bikes.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    not really but,
    I am good at growing greenery

    I want to go mtb with this guy!!

  53. #53
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    i like to find large rocks/ smallish boulders and figure out how to ride over them. it will improve your bike handling.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    Think about stairs in terms of physics. The slope isn't that steep in terms of a hill. The rise of each stair is going to be around 6"- 8". The radius of your tire is going to be greater than 14" - 15" inches.

    All this means that with enough momentum and positioning yourself behind the saddle a little bit, you'll roll right down the stairs.

    You should use your arms and legs (elbows and knees) as shock absorbers. The bike should be moving independently of your body. Your head should be stationary on your shoulders and the bike should be bouncing down the stairs.
    Good advice, as is what someone else posted about not moving your butt too far back because it can limit your control of the bike. It will take some experimenting to find what works best for you, but in using your arms/legs as shocks (don't lock your knees or elbows) I tend to think of adjusting my body position as raising or lowering my chest or center of gravity.
    As for your tentative approach to riding, that reminds me of when I was in college and riding dirt/street freestyle with mostly high school kids. They had no fear but I was constantly thinking of how I'd lose my manual labor job with no insurance at the time if I broke an arm or leg (like I witnessed some other riders do). I was still able to have fun, but it did limit my involvement in some aspects. I've only been into mtb a few months now after not touching a bike for about 8 years, so I'm still re-training my brain every time I hit the trails, but I'm pleased with my progress so far. But I guess my point is you don't have to go all-out to have fun on your bike. It's cool to try new things even if others call them simple, but if worrying about a crash takes the fun out of your riding, what good is that?
    Crashes will happen, so wear the appropriate gear.

  55. #55
    Old man on a bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    Checked out the video with the bike going up the stairs.

    Damn those 29ers look so awkward with those wheels. Almost like circus show freak bikes.
    Especially when they're 36ers...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabidchicken
    Try riding up the stairs.
    With or without the AR?

    Hardwarz

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dremer03
    Ok it may sound odd but I consider my self a beginner rider. I dont take a ton of risks do to me crashing a ton and actually doing severe damage to my body. I am starting to get over those fears and I started to push my limits today but not by a whole lot. I did my first set of stairs and when I say set I mean 2 stairs which lead of my back porch. Its a very short roll up so it was hard to get the confidence and balance to do it. I could manage only about a 1/8th of a pedal stroke and then I would coast over. I was happy I never crashed, but I came close when I wobbled a bit and tapped the end of my handle bar into the deck railing just as my tire went down the first step.

    I can track stand, I know the bunny hop is good. What are other simple things I can do to improve my bike skills and confidence?
    Props on trying new things When I think of stairs coming off a deck I think narrrrrow. Get some friends together head out after dark (not hard during winter) find some banks, strip malls etc (anything lit with street lights) and play on those stairs sets. You may find it easier to practise on when there isn't a narrow railing to either side and a lot of places have some wide steps, not so steep.

    Once you got that all down try as others suggested and jump off the stairs. Master curbs then find youself a good stair set with only 3 steps. Small steps up make er nice and easy

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