Results 1 to 60 of 60
  1. #1
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546

    The mountain biking fitness barrier

    Hi, I hope this is the best place to ask these questions. Pick and choose whichever to answer, don't need to answer all. BS, bravado/ego-boosting, jokes, honesty... whatever goes... I'll appreciate any post, including ones that criticize me and theorize there's a conspiracy (higher motive) behind my questions.

    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?

    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)

    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?

    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?

    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?

    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences? Given questionable advice, criticize others for how they choose to participate, trying to open them up to a way you prefer (hype something up) or close them off to something that worries you (psych them out), suggesting alternatives that work better for you than them? (e.g. manipulating others so you're not getting left behind, or to get others to guinea pig an idea you have)

    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?

    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?

    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?

    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    Last edited by ninjichor; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:30 PM. Reason: Clarify Q6

  2. #2
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    1. I've passed on ride invites in which the descents were hyped up to be gnarly, such as bike parks, since I thought they were beyond my "pay grade" and I had an weight weenie-fied XC bike. I ended up taking it anyways, but brought lots of protective gear, encouraged to join since I was going with people with comparable skill.

    2. I try to do whatever I see others do, who seemingly are in a similar progression level. I'm cautious about following more advanced riders, but make a note of what's not impossible.

    3. Years.

    4. I've paid as much as 4500 at once, but continued to spend more to upgrade my kit. I think if I were to get a replacement, I'd be open to spending more (6k if it were "the one"), but would be even happier to spend less (2500-3.5k sounds fair).

    5. Way too much time wasted reading/watching stuff on forums/youtube. I can't say I learned anything conclusive that helped me progress nor help me make a decision/solution. It's not even analysis paralysis--I think the info I've been looking at is just too low quality (lack of relatable context), and I'm convinced that what I'm looking for is either too expensive or doesn't exist.

    6. I did one race and did get called out for not yielding, when I caught up to them at the finish line. I don't feel too guilty since I don't know the people. I hang with guys who don't care and just enjoy the company.

    7. Everything. I've improved hydration strategy to control how much I overheat and how soon I bonk (if I go hard). I don't use "recovery" as an excuse to skip riding, especially if I'm not riding everyday. I found out that I've been plateau'ing because I've been conservatively pacing myself to ride within my limits, and to last long enough to not get "stranded".

    8. I believe that someone's got to have a serious will to get out and interact with the world outside of civilization.

    9. I believe that mountain biking is not a form of "escapism"; it's a form of discovery. It's actually a solution to things that give you an urge to escape from reality, giving you a dose of true reality, rather than temporary relief from life's drudgery like other indoor hobbies provide, esp gaming. You discover nature, such as the physics and biology of the world and you discover more about your self and your body. Life's short/precious--can't criticize someone who wants to experience a majority of mountain biking in a short time frame (essentially cheating with a pricey super capable bike), rather than treat it as a way of life, as it's way better than isolating yourself indoors, demanding personalized safe spaces. There's so much to experience in this world...

    10. I want a quiver of bikes, optimized for all sorts of different trails, perhaps also optimized based on the other riders (to level the playing field). If I want to ride speedy open SoCal trails, I'd want a burly 29er with a long wheelbase (1225mm+) and ~6" travel, and high end tires and wheels and dropper. If I want to ride slower forest trails, I'd take a lightweight short wheelbase bike with small wheels (1100-1150mm, 26-27.5) and short travel for better acceleration. If it were a bike park... as for skills, I'll take Sam Hill's ability to see and execute fast "inside" lines.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Hi, I hope this is the best place to ask these questions. Pick and choose whichever to answer, don't need to answer all. BS, bravado/ego-boosting, jokes, honesty... whatever goes... I'll appreciate any post, including ones that criticize me and theorize there's a conspiracy (higher motive) behind my questions.

    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?

    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)

    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?

    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?

    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?

    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences?

    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?

    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?

    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?

    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    Q1: I hate group rides. I don't know why I can never keep up despite my lifetime miles being pretty high, but I just can't. I ride with a few friends and that's it.

    Q2: I like going to new places and riding. I haven't ridden in Sedona or Moab, so those are on my list. I want to ride as many new places as possible.

    Q3: I just started mountain biking this year or late last year, but I have ridden bicycles quite a bit since 2010. My goals change over time.

    Q4: I think an intermediate/advanced skills course would be worth the money and if it didn't involve a long trip to do it, I would sign up. I always think I'd enjoy a full suspension bike, but I don't need it, so I don't have one. If I find the right one, I'm going to buy it.

    Q5: I don't think any of my time was wasted. I'm still in way better shape than if I didn't ride at all.

    Q6: I only ride with trail riders, so no. If I rode with XC racers, I would. So I don't.

    Q7: There are no shortcuts. It's all about lifetime miles. Also, there are no "junk miles" no matter what anyone says. Just push the pedals.

    Q8: I think any man who can run a mile in under 10 minutes can probably come an intermediate level mountain biker inside of 30 days if he tries hard enough. I did. Get a good helmet and just go ride every green and blue trail you can find. You'll figure it out. If fitness is an issue, just make sure you have low enough gears and take your time. Anyone who can ride a mile can ride 20 miles, it's just a matter of pacing oneself.

    Q9: Ride with people who are more skilled than you are, and people with mixed skills. Almost all of my friends are better climbers. One in particular is really good at technical uphill. I am a better descender. One has a really chill attitude and will try anything. These are my people.

    Other advice: don't worry about weight, reductions in bike weight are not worth anywhere near what the bike companies would tell you. I am not saying that weight matters a little bit; I am saying that weight doesn't matter at all. Even 5 pounds of weight is 30-60 seconds per difference per hour of climbing, aka, totally not worth the entry fee for a lighter bike.

    Q10: I wish I never had to work again so I could force myself to buy experiences, not things. My best mountain biking memories weren't because I was on an expensive bike (although I have demoed the fanciest of carbon fs bikes with carbon wheels and $$$ everything and they are fun). The best is going to a new place and getting the experience of new terrain, new people, new beer, etc. Don't get caught up in an equipment race. No fancy piece of equipment will ever be a substitute for even a tiny new skill you learn by riding. And when you're looking off into the distance at the 14ers in Colorado, trust me, you won't be thinking about what bike you're on.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Hi, I hope this is the best place to ask these questions. Pick and choose whichever to answer, don't need to answer all. BS, bravado/ego-boosting, jokes, honesty... whatever goes... I'll appreciate any post, including ones that criticize me and theorize there's a conspiracy (higher motive) behind my questions.
    Good topic. Thanks for starting it. I dunno that it's necessarily something beginners experience exclusively, but they probably experience it more frequently.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?
    Most frequently, I'll say that I will pass on certain group rides if the people I know who will be attending are riding above my fitness level, or if the ride itself is aimed at a pace above my fitness level.

    Certain especially technical trails, I will avoid riding solo (at least for the first time) until I've ridden them with others and become more familiar with them. This is less directly related to skill, and more of risk assessment choice I've made that I won't push myself past a certain point unless there are people who can help if things go south.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)
    I have a couple. I want to improve my manuals and bunny hops on the technical side. On the fitness side, my goal is a bit more vague, but probably a bit more important to me - which is to simply improve my general riding fitness to keep up with faster group riders, and especially improving my climbing fitness. I have improved this year, but I had such a heavy workload this summer that my spring progress went backward for a few months, and I've only recently picked up where I left off.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?
    WIth fitness, for roughly the past year. At somewhere between casually and seriously, in spurts. For the technical goals, it's generally been a bit longer, but I've been working on other things, too, at a similar level.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?
    Nothing specifically on the fitness side. That one is just a matter of riding more, and specifically climbing more. I'm averaging about 400ft of climbing per ride more than last year, and about 30ft of climbing more per mile than last year, as well. I feel it in my legs, so I'm progressing.

    On the technical side, I have spent some money on skills work. It's not been a consistent amount, though. I haven't spent anything on it this year as my focus has shifted more to fitness, but in years past, I've spent a few hundred per year on weekend clinics.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?
    I don't feel like any money has been wasted, necessarily. But time, yes. Particularly in working on manuals. I went too fast too early, and went down hard a couple of times from looping out. Now I'm a bit gunshy and so my skills have gone backwards on that. I have sampled Ryan Leech's method for learning manuals and I really like it (it's where I should have started to avoid the wrecks in the first place). So I plan to work through his online training course for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences?
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. I strive to be polite on the trails all the time. Not just to other riders, but to other trail users I might encounter. My riding area is one of the busiest national forests in the country. Thankfully there's lots of space and trail miles to spread out on so I can still find quiet experiences when I want them, but I can still encounter others practically anywhere. I WILL call others out for being impolite, though. It doesn't happen often, but it seems to me that when it does, it's tourists, and not locals. If harshing on someone else's selfishness means I'm getting in the way of their efforts to get a fuller experience, then I suppose I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?
    For fitness, more frequent rides, simply enough. Sometimes, I'm certainly guilty of being lazy. Like today. I don't really have much else that I HAVE to do, but it's a bit on the sold side and I just don't feel like riding today. I will probably split some firewood later, but yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?
    Sure, I'm qualified to do that. I am certified as a guide and skills instructor for beginner and intermediate skills by the Professional Mountain Bike Instructor's Association.

    I think the minimum requirement is simply patience and the ability to be encouraging, along with a little bit of personal riding experience. All it really takes to get a beginner going is a fun first experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?
    Be friendly and welcoming to other riders. I'd say the lowest points in my riding in the past 20yrs have mostly been related to times when other riders in the area leaned towards standoffishness (if there were other riders at all - ha). I've moved around some over the years and have experienced a lot of different riding scenes. Even when there's a great community of riders, I still spend the vast majority of my riding time by myself, but a welcoming atmosphere from various groups goes a long way.

    I've lived in some areas where the general culture was VERY insular and a lot of individuals were standoffish or gruff towards new people (whether you were new to riding, but a long time resident, or whether you were an experienced rider new to the area). So you show up to a publicly advertised group event and nobody makes an effort to interact with you - you are just another body and you wind up feeling even more alone than if you went on a solo ride on purpose, or went to the bar on your own. That sort of place just never feels like it could be "home" to me.

    I've been other places where right away people introduce themselves and start little conversations and in short order, I run into them on the trail or at the bar or at the shop or whatever and we become friends. Even if I'm still riding solo most of the time, it's just a much friendlier atmosphere. That kind of atmosphere in a riding community encourages more frequent participation and helps stoke enthusiasm, especially for those new to riding who are maybe a little more reliant on some external sources of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    At this point, I dream to own enough property that I could build a bit of private trail on it. I have enough yard now that I have space for a little bit of stuff to play on, but it could never be an actual trail.

  5. #5
    slow
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,497
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Hi, I hope this is the best place to ask these questions. Pick and choose whichever to answer, don't need to answer all. BS, bravado/ego-boosting, jokes, honesty... whatever goes... I'll appreciate any post, including ones that criticize me and theorize there's a conspiracy (higher motive) behind my questions.

    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?

    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)

    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?

    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?

    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?

    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences?

    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?

    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?

    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?

    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    1. Never passed on an opportunity due to lack of fitness, but I have bailed out early on a 102 mile race with 14,000' of climbing.

    2. My goal this year was to climb a minimum of 100 vertical feet per mile ridden. Currently I'm at 92' per mile.

    3. Casually working toward this goal since January.

    4. No budget for this. Just ride more.

    5. No wasted time or money. Just riding more.

    6. Nope

    7. Ride more steeper hills and push taller gears

    8. I'll ride with anyone and select trails appropriate for their level so that they will enjoy the experience and want to continue to ride.

    9. Time spent on the bike is more valuable than money spent on the bike.

    10. I don't wish for anything aside from more time to ride. I'm happy with my bikes and comfortable with my skill level. Riding new trails is always fun, but my home trails are pretty great.

  6. #6
    Bikesexual
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,978
    [QUOTE=ninjichor;13893373]Hi, I hope this is the best place to ask these questions. Pick and choose whichever to answer, don't need to answer all. BS, bravado/ego-boosting, jokes, honesty... whatever goes... I'll appreciate any post, including ones that criticize me and theorize there's a conspiracy (higher motive) behind my questions.

    Q1. I pass on any advanced group rides. Not comfortable with rock gardens or huge drops.

    Q2. Just ride as much as I can. My time is very limited.

    Q3. Riding consistently the last couple of years and just want to improve my climbing and endurance.

    Q4. Haven't yet but a skill class wouldn't hurt.

    Q5. Zero, its my hobby so I don't see it as wasted money. Going to bars every weekend, that was a waste.

    Q6. Not if I ride alone.

    Q7. Ride more.

    Q8. Yeah, love getting people to ride, even though I'm a shit rider.

    Q9. Ride and ride.

    Q10. My stable is perfect for my riding. Skills? All of them.[/QOUTE]
    The Orange Fleet:

    '16 SC Heckler
    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid

  7. #7
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,797
    Time and consistency are the keys.

    Time on the bike to be comfortable on the bike going up, down and around things.

    Consistency is the best way to build fitness, four one-hour rides a week is better than one four hour ride. (not being thrashed half way through your one epic ride every week or two also allows you to be fresher, ride better, and become more comfortable)

  8. #8
    Make America Bike Again
    Reputation: richj8990's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1,412
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Hi, I hope this is the best place to ask these questions. Pick and choose whichever to answer, don't need to answer all. BS, bravado/ego-boosting, jokes, honesty... whatever goes... I'll appreciate any post, including ones that criticize me and theorize there's a conspiracy (higher motive) behind my questions.

    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?

    Huge difference between beginner and intermediate level groups. Beyond huge. The beginner groups here ride level fire roads for about 300 feet, then all stop to make sure everyone has caught up. Because, you know, maybe some sand caused a tire to slip for a fraction of a second and freaked out the rider. Or something. I mean, if you know how to ride a bike, you'd know how to ride on a level dirt road, no matter what bike you have. Maybe that's asking too much.

    Fast-forward warp speed to the intermediate level. Those groups are on trails that take two-foot drops. At speed. I can't do that with my bike, at least not yet. And what is the message under the subject meeting line? Often "Bring a good bike". Not bring a good skillset, or we are doing XYZ technical stuff, make sure you know how to do that, just bring a good bike. Like someone could just buy a $5000 bike and fit right in.

    And then there was the meetup message from an intermediate group last spring, about 100 different rules to follow in the group. I tried to get past that and look on the bright side until... The group leader posts the last sentence, and I quote "If you have to leave early, I assume you know the way out, don't expect me to show you the way out". That was the last straw. Screw that dude. That's not an invite, that's a Marine drill sergeant trying to haze people.



    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)


    No fitness level goals, riding is enough. Conquering mountains now, not just hills. Big difference. Mountains have much steeper sections, much more erosion of trails/fire roads, more loose dirt and large rocks. Very challenging to get up mountains. A lot of talent needed for climbing without the rear tire slipping. There are times I can barely even push the bike up some super steep sections. Most hills are pretty easy now.



    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?

    The conquering as many mountains as possible has been since maybe August.



    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?


    Equipment done, but not optimized yet. Need to change rear tire and gearing later. No rush on that.



    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?

    To be determined.



    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences?

    No, except maybe on here lol.



    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?

    I'm not a competitive person, so I don't care about that stuff.



    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?

    No, mountain biking takes a certain personality. It takes a risky, adventurous personality that thinks the reward is greater than the money spent and potential risk of serious injury. It's not for everyone. If someone was interested, sure, but I've taken out some people and they gave up pretty early. This is not some sport where you get instant gratification after five minutes of riding.


    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?

    Don't worry about getting the best and most expensive bike out there when you start out. Any bike with decent brakes and tires can ride offroad. ANY bike. I'm living proof. I'm on a $500 hardtail with less than three years experience and have already cracked the top 50% in many downhill Strava segments. If I can do it, you can do it. Just keep riding until you outgrow the bike you are on, and either upgrade that one or get a better one. Don't try to build Rome in a day. Don't worry about 1x, tubeless, long-travel forks, clipless, and all the other stuff right now that everyone saturates you with. Just ride whatever you have until your skill level passes the bike's performance level.



    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    My only dream is to keep riding as long as possible. Skill would be taking 2 foot drops and not crashing.
    Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres: quod Belgiae, quod Celtae, et quod Aquitainae.

  9. #9
    Barely in control
    Reputation: Schulze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,840
    Q9: Ride your bike on the road or buy a road bike to build leg fitness (power output), and do strength training for the upper body. You can do a little just riding a mountain bike, but focusing each muscle group is far better for progress.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    12
    Good post.

    Q1. I switched to road biking because of having problems riding the rocks in my area. It was easier to just jump on the road bike and go.

    Q2. To ride some of the nastier rock gardens on my trails.

    Q3. Just got back into mtn biking over the last year so ever since then.

    Q4. I hate the term "shortcuts" here. Not even sure I like the term "aids". To me "shortcuts" , and to a lesser extent "aids", are steps that one takes to avoid putting in hard work to achieve a goal. The things listed, equipment, lessons, etc. are more tools that one uses to improve themselves, at least in my opinion. A shortcut would be the person who gets a e-bike just so they can go faster uphill without working on their fitness first.

    But to answer the question directly, I am looking into getting a FS bike this year to replace my 18 year old HT. There are just some trails that a HT is barely adequate for that I want to ride and not have to hike a bike.

    Q5. I've spent a lot of time researching bikes over the past months. If I don't get one and stick with the HT, most of that time will be wasted, otherwise it will be an investment.

    Q6. No. I rarely ride with anyone else or see anyone else when I ride.

    Q7. If I had stuck with mountain biking instead of switching to road riding and trail running I'm sure my skills would be much better.

    Q8. Since my definition of beginning is just going off road onto jeep trails and smooth single and double track, I feel that I could easily guide someone to get a start in the sport.

    Q9. Never stop riding, running or being active. Don't give into fear. The fear of riding alone, the fear of riding new places or features, the fear of injury etc. That will just lead you to the couch and a lifetime of missed experiences.

    Q10. At this time It's a full suspension rig with a tall BB to avoid stupid pedal strikes. Also the skill to jump. For some reason that eludes me.

  11. #11
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    5. I think I wasted time by picking up bargain bin items, rather than the things I really wanted. From cheap lights that made it feel like I was gaining bad habits riding at night (brake checking too much) and cheap riding clothes (gives you the look of a rider, but doesn't do much to regulate body temp), to lightweight parts that were failing (tires, wheels, saddles, grips, bottle cages, pedals, and more) and frame choice (what's popular isn't what's best for you)... now that I'm fit, I no longer need the pricey items that aid in going faster (I need reliable stuff now), but they came in handy when I was starting out (or coming back from a long break), to ease me back in over the fitness barrier.

    5/6. Maybe the above explains why I thought forums and youtube were a waste of time, since advice such as "ride up grades, don't buy upgrades," was being echoed repeatedly. I presume that the ones saying this are already over the fitness barrier--I'd be parroting this advice myself if I didn't know better. I suspect that they're still buying upgrades themselves, and repeating rides for the sake of fitness, while I'm sticking to my goal of just discovering more nature and trying to experience as much as I can at least once. I'd like to say I'm learning about the world rather than trying to be an athlete who's spreading hate about others being lazy. I feel guilty for doing it myself, hyping things up and criticizing other opinions, but the objective of this thread is not to try and guilt-trip people for human nature (trying to see yourself in others, or putting your ideal traits into others if they're open to it).

    Q6 is a weird question. I think I wanted to say, have you ever took up a position as a "guide", despite being an amateur, giving guidance to other amateurs, and realized that your past advice was bad and felt guilty for it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,203
    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    2. My goal this year was to climb a minimum of 100 vertical feet per mile ridden. Currently I'm at 92' per mile.
    I don't think any of the trails (or roads) near me are that flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    buy a road bike
    l did that a few years back and shortly afterward, they paved over our nice smooth asphalt with nasty chipseal which should have been used on a rumble strip somewhere.

  13. #13
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    I don't think any of the trails (or roads) near me are that flat.
    If you're going to start a pissing match (pretty sure that's not what this thread is supposed to be), then you should probably cite examples or you're going to get called on it.

    Where I live now, 100ft/mi is about the minimum you're going to get if you ride singletrack anywhere. It's pretty easy to plan rides that offer double that. And triple that is certainly achievable. But I'm not going to begrudge anyone for trying to do better than they have in the past. I'm at about 120ft/mi avg this year, and I would like to increase that again next year.

    But I've lived and ridden places where it took some real effort to plan rides that averaged 100ft/mi, at the upper level. In 2016, for example, I lived in a flatter state and I ended up averaging about 39ft/mi, even though I still rode places that had higher climbing totals. My road/commute miles drove my climbing average down that year. So if I wanted to push my overall avg up, I'd have had to do some epic mtb climbing, that simply wasn't readily available.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    721
    Interesting questions. I'm weird-ish because I started MTB at age 48 and not in any kind of shape. To a certain extent, I fail/refuse to acknowledge the fitness limitations imposed by age. On every ride, I try to maintain at least double my resting heart rate for 45 minutes and do that without any trouble. Doesn't mean I'm fast or can charge up any hill. A whippet my age will of course whip my butt, but so can a lardy 30 year old.

    Q1. I have not declined anything specific, but I am wary of riding with some guys I know, more because of skill than fitness, but it winds up the same: I will slow them down. I'm in Dallas, so there aren't that many epic rides or epic climbs. Any such ride would involve "laps" of a couple of miles, which would provide a logical dropout point, probably before the point at which I peter out and hold people back because of fitness.

    I walk some technical climbs not entirely because of fitness, but because I know that the combination of being whooped and lack of skill means I won't make it up the climb and it could be dangerous for me (run out of momentum/gas, hit that big rock, stall, fall, and roll). I avoid trails/loops that I know have such climbs.

    Q2. I would like to get my fitness to a level where it's less of a factor on these technical climbs: so I don't have to worry as much about running out of gas and can focus on the line and the roots and rocks in the way.

    Q3. I have been riding for about 4.5 years, but my frequency and fitness dwindled to nothing until this past June, for an effective year or so stoppage. So I have been working on it a weather-interrupted six months. Because I have been forced to pavement and gravel, I have sought out hills and done intervals to increase/prevent fitness from deteriorating. When the trails are open, I ride loops that have hills that I can tackle technically given my fitness and try to hit them harder and more purposefully.

    Q4 & 5, nothing.

    Q6. I rarely get passed on a trail except by gravel bikes and an occasional super-stud with droning King hubs (this has actually happened). However, a lot of the trails I have to ride are pretty flat singletrack that don't implicate fitness the way some of the climby/droppy ones do. Speed on those trails has more to do with ripping turns and goalposting narrow trees/tree gates. On occasion, though, on some nested loop trails, I have seen other duffer riders, usually younger, hit the trail head on longer loops when I'm hitting from a shorter one and that's kind of humiliating.

    Q7. I could and probably should try some of the climbs that I avoid, just for the fitness aspect of it. I should probably also push myself farther/longer or faster on some of my flat rides, but that tends to involve repeating laps and frankly that bores me.

    Q8. I have ridden with some newbs on mild trails and felt reasonably competent to instruct them verbally if not by example. Generally younger than I, so probably somewhat inherently more fit or cardio capable than I.

    Q9. I pass along the standard wisdom: look ahead, pretty far ahead; don't stare at that rock/tree if you don't want to hit it; attack position and shifting weight for the various purposes; lean to turn, lean your bike not your body; etc. Again, because of location (Dallas, but I am also in central Dallas, away from the gnarlier trails), I don't have to teach people how to do extended technical climbs or descents, jumps, big drops or rock gardens.

    Q10. I dunno. I do wish I could manual/bunny hop better. I'm a slow-twitch, not-that-athletic 6-1, 200 lb guy and I'm not sure any amount of practice would get me proficient. I can get my front wheel up some on the trail, but less than on flat ground, and can't get my back wheel up at all. Throwing your weight around on level ground is one thing, but another on the trail.

  15. #15
    Snow Dog
    Reputation: sXeXBMXer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    2,111
    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?
    - for me, it is always the fear of riding with people who I might hold back. And the other ones would be avoiding features...usually techy, that I might not have the strength to maneuver/recover from

    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)
    - my big goal is to start doing long trips…the first 2 I am targeting are the GAP/C&O trail from Pittsburgh to DC and the Ohio to Erie trail that goes from Clevland to Cincy. I would also like to just get better strength for handling the single track riding I do…

    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?
    - all of my life sort of…but recently, just the past 5 years (after a 20 year break)

    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals?
    - I just buy stuff when I can. My bike was the first major purchase…4 years ago roughly. Probably my gym membership is the biggest ongoing expense. I am also thinking about getting a new bike packing specific wheel set: lighter, tubeless and a dynamo hub on the front…that will probably be pretty pricey….

    Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?
    - I still need to get the bike bags, but have much of the other gear from camping I already do. I tend to live and travel minimalist, so the expenses will probably be pretty small (being poor sort of helps curtail big spending!!)

    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?

    - well, to me none of it is a waste of time because it is all a journey to getting better. I average bout 5-7 hours of riding a week. Probably spend more time than I should window shopping on the computer; and on this sight. But it is all a journey in learning. I would say that I think about biking 24/7 (along with hockey and music).
    - As far as money goes…same thing. To me, it is an investment in my well being…not a waste. I can’t even imagine how much the total is….more than $10000 over the past 5 years. If I include the gym membership, my bike rack on the car etc…

    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences? Given questionable advice, criticize others for how they choose to participate, trying to open them up to a way you prefer (hype something up) or close them off to something that worries you (psych them out)? (e.g. manipulating others so you're not getting left behind, or to get others to guinea pig an idea you have)
    - I feel like the people who ask my thoughts about the activity will take what I say and sift what they want out of it. I do always try to remind them to make their own decision about how they spend their money and time. As I do with all aspects of my advice, I tell people to do their own research and assess their one situation. I give the same kind of advice to my students parents about expensive instrument purchases, so I am used to it
    - The only time I really feel “in the way” is on the trail, when people have to pass me


    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?
    - stay regular at there gym. I am really bad at going 10 steps forward, and 8 back.
    - I also feel like I don’t try obstacles or tech challenges quick enough…it takes some time to build up my confidence. ThenI do it ,and am like “why was I so afraid of that?”

    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?
    - that has already happened with me and my step-son, and my best friend and his son. We are all learning together, and failing together, and succeeding together. I just assume that everyone has a higher level of fitness tan I do…
    - I think for me, there minimum requirement for teaching/helping someone else is to not impart wisdom that I don’t have. The minima requirement is humility and honesty. I would never give advice about bombing down hills, but am comfortable giving advice about camping, packing a bike, and picking lines.


    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?
    - too much…probably the best would be from my dad: “ Stand Still. Shut Up. And Listen” For biking specifically, and not taken in the wrong way -> “Speed always helps you stay up” and trust your line.

    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    - I am still working on getting a good 180/360 for BMX
    - Climbing techy terrain better on MTB…climbing in general, but having the body strength to just “melt” through hard climbs
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: targnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4,675
    Words of wisdom...

    Ride what you brung

    It doesn't get easier, you just get faster

    If you ain't falling off, you ain't going fast enough

    If you can't spot the Fred, you're the Fred

    Ride it like ya stole it

    'Born to ride!'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  17. #17
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    If you ain't falling off, you ain't going fast enough

    If you can't spot the Fred, you're the Fred

    Ride it like ya stole it

    'Born to ride!'
    Can you elaborate on these?

    I looked up some words of wisdom, such as the quote, "the best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die." Seems to be made up (saw it in someone's sig), something not able to be tracked back to Prefontaine, and I learned more from the details surrounding it and the man it was attributed to, than the quote itself.

    Regarding "born to ride", it reminds me that I do notice that those who rode bikes as a child, with good memories of adventure, are much more likely to pick it up as an adult and get hooked, than those who didn't.

    P.S. your sig pretty much agrees with how I answered Q9 in post #2.


    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    7. Ride more steeper hills and push taller gears
    I've integrated a habit of pushing 1 taller gear than I think I should be in, away from my usual strategy of shifting often and shifting early. Seems to be a better long term strategy for getting stronger. I believe I read somewhere that 60 RPM is actually efficient in some way--I have to re-look that up for the context. It seems to lead to "blowing up" sooner, in which your legs feel weak; weak in what way, I'm not sure of (lactic acid?), but it's led to some gains. I'm averaging 8 mph up some climbs in which I would've comfortably settled going ~6 mph up.

    Was hoping to see more interesting answers to question seven. I know with technique, time spent on practice makes permanent, but fitness is a weird one. Fitness is merely rented, and seems like what you get out of it is proportional to what you put in. I noted that getting back past fitness seems a lot easier and faster than building up to it initially, as if your body remembers how it was and can quickly get back to it (similar to a "weight set point"?). Not sure if junk/garbage miles are really that helpful. I commuted to work by bike for years, and that only made me more efficient at sitting and spinning as if I were commuting... I was getting winded getting out of my "comfort zone", trying to keep up with others, and underestimating things like how SoCal dry dirt is a challenge to ride all by itself.

  18. #18
    Professional Slacker
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,797
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Words of wisdom...
    If you ain't falling off, you ain't going fast enough
    After breaking my left fibula one year and the right the next, I figured out that that little phrase is bunk.

    Just like any other sort of training/learning, it's a gradual process and going for broke every time isn't an effective approach. Figure out the techniques, apply the techniques, assess the feedback, repeat.

    Now I can cruise as fast as my all out pace from a couple years ago.

  19. #19
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Words of wisdom...

    Ride what you brung

    It doesn't get easier, you just get faster

    If you ain't falling off, you ain't going fast enough

    If you can't spot the Fred, you're the Fred

    Ride it like ya stole it

    'Born to ride!'
    Meh. Mostly meaningless words, imo.
    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    After breaking my left fibula one year and the right the next, I figured out that that little phrase is bunk.

    Just like any other sort of training/learning, it's a gradual process and going for broke every time isn't an effective approach. Figure out the techniques, apply the techniques, assess the feedback, repeat.

    Now I can cruise as fast as my all out pace from a couple years ago.
    I agree with this. If you are crashing, you are going too far. You learn by flirting with your limits, practicing and perfecting your technique, and NOT grossly exceeding them, crashing, and injuring yourself.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    5. and cheap riding clothes (gives you the look of a rider, but doesn't do much to regulate body temp),
    This brought back some memories. I was totally guilty of this and it cost me some time in one of the two races that I ever did on the road bike. Used cheaper knickers and a cheap jersey on a hill climb race and severely overheated. Despite that I did OK, but could have did much better. Part of it was also lack of experience in knowing how to dress for the weather.

  21. #21
    Keep on Rockin...
    Reputation: Miker J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,620
    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?

    None I can think of. In most any sport I've done consistently going at it with others better than me is something I prefer. That way I can go as hard as I want and not have to worry about the others. Also, I will learn more.


    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"?

    To be a better all around rider - like a modern day John Tomac. Everything from the fitness of a xc racer to a DH shredder.


    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?

    Since the day I started riding mtb, about 25 years ago.


    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?

    Nothing really. Best two training aids are time on the bike, and pushing weights on a power rack.


    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?

    Not much. Had some bad injuries but I think that is part of the learning progression and nature of the sport - if you want to ride hard.


    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences? Given questionable advice, criticize others for how they choose to participate, trying to open them up to a way you prefer (hype something up) or close them off to something that worries you (psych them out), suggesting alternatives that work better for you than them? (e.g. manipulating others so you're not getting left behind, or to get others to guinea pig an idea you have)

    Hmmm. Don't think I'm hindering anyone. But, I have been criticized by my wife and kids for subjecting them to multiple hour "death marches".


    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?

    More consistency is always better. Drink less alcohol. Eat better.


    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?

    Hmmm. Have to think about that one... my response is likely related to my answer for Q9. Do it hard, do well, or don't do it. I'm not into dabblers.


    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?

    You only get out of something what you put into it.


    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?

    Being able to manual like a pro.

  22. #22
    jcd's best friend
    Reputation: Battery's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,258
    1. XC rides with my family

    2. I set a weight loss goal that I am accomplishing on my road bike. I am going to get into better shape so I can race enduro in my local area.

    3. 1 year

    4. I don't budget. I just do it. I wanted to race local enduro so I picked up a bike that will get me in the door. I needed to lose weight so I bought a road bike and lost 30 lbs since June 2018. The only thing I need is strength training and I might rejoin a CrossFit gym for that.

    5. I don't waste money. I don't waste time either. I put my bikes and gear to work.

    6. Nope.

    7. I should have bought a road bike sooner.

    8. Do you mean coaching? I don't understand the question.

    9. Never stop learning.

    10. Tail whips and big air.
    Trek Emonda | Transition Sentinel

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,792
    "I should have bought a road bike sooner".

    Yup. My passion is mountain biking, but road biking makes you fast.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: targnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4,675
    @naysayers...

    Crashing is part of learning ^^

    Goes with any pursuit in life, walking, driving, living (metaphorical of course).

    If you truly want to progress, you're gonna fall off your bike.

    If you ain't falling off, then you're kidding yourself in thinking you're progressing.

    Injuries are gonna happen & if you're smart, they'll make you reassess & get better.

    At least that's how my tumbles have worked out.

    What other option do you have?

    You can either tuck tail & run...

    ... or put your head down & arse up & make sure you don't make the same mistake twice.

    'Born to ride!'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  25. #25
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    What other option do you have?
    You have the option of not crashing and hurting yourself. You don't HAVE to crash in order to learn. I would argue that you can do more learning if you don't crash, because you're not spending injury time off the bike. The more you crash, the more likely you're going to have mandatory time off the bike due to injury. But you don't even have to go that far for a particular crash to get in your head and work against your progression.

    Not to mention, if you don't crash, certain crashes won't get in your head and create psychological obstructions to progressing. I've been dealing with one of those for a few years now WRT manuals. Because I crashed and it hurt. Sure, I learned something. But I didn't learn the right thing and so now I have to work even harder to get myself out of my own way to make progress again.

    I would also argue that successes are far better for learning, anyway. Set yourself up for a series of small successes and you'll progress towards mastery far more quickly, anyway.

    It's possible to learn and progress without the crash. Do I have to say that again?

    Now, I'm not arguing that you're not going to fall off your bike. You absolutely will. There will be times that you make a mistake and you're going to go down. The key is to minimize the frequency of them, the time off the bike that they force due to injury, and to learn to get back on when it happens (and after any major injuries have healed). But don't kid yourself into thinking that doing so is the ONLY WAY you're going to learn, and that you're not progressing if you aren't falling off, because that's bullshit.

    I argue that if you keep crashing, then you AREN'T learning from your crashes. You're clearly not learning how to prevent those crashes.

  26. #26
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    9,911
    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?
    Racing. When I feel I'm not in tip-top shape, I don't race. And, ironically, racing is the best training for...racing. So then it's a self-defeating circle. I don't race because I'm not in great condition, and I'm not in great condition, because I haven't been racing.

    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)
    There are two very distinct goals. One is kind of unrelated to fitness, and that's to do an unsupported bikepacking tour of some sort. I enjoy going fast, but I also just love riding my bike and seeing new places. I like doing hard things. Waking up on the side of a mountain and knowing that I am the only person who has seen this view from this location in years. The other is a wattage number, for a given length of time, which isn't necessarily directly related to any other goal, but could shape how I do in other events.

    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?
    From the day I bought my first road bike, back in 2007. Bit of both.

    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?
    I live in CO, and am surrounded by many of the fittest athletes in the US. Any failings and shortcomings are mine, and not related to equipment. That said, I think I could benefit from a skills course. I think my worst skill is flat cornering, particularly to the right.

    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?
    A good amount. I've got a hardtail and a wheelset hanging from the wall of my garage doing nothing. That said, I will probably turn that bike into a dedicated winter bike soon.

    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences? Given questionable advice, criticize others for how they choose to participate, trying to open them up to a way you prefer (hype something up) or close them off to something that worries you (psych them out), suggesting alternatives that work better for you than them? (e.g. manipulating others so you're not getting left behind, or to get others to guinea pig an idea you have)
    I occasionally criticize others (never directly) for riding "too much bike" on the trails I ride. Then I realize that I've been doing this for a while, I ride every day, and I'm a bit more, ahem, durable in the event of a crash than many. Then, I realize that we're both out there doing the same thing, and I try to be happy for them.

    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?
    The advice I'd give to myself, and others, would be to ride with other people, as much as you can. Do different group rides, with different crowds. It's fun, and you'll improve faster in terms of skill and fitness.

    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?
    Sure. But, I'd also suggest that willpower and interest in improvement are the driving factors here.

    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?Ride in new locations as often as you can. Keep it fresh. Don't make it a chore.

    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    I'd like to finish in the top third of the pro class in Moab Rocks some day.
    Death from Below.

  27. #27
    Snow Dog
    Reputation: sXeXBMXer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    2,111
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    @naysayers...

    Crashing is part of learning ^^

    Goes with any pursuit in life, walking, driving, living (metaphorical of course).

    If you truly want to progress, you're gonna fall off your bike.

    If you ain't falling off, then you're kidding yourself in thinking you're progressing.
    I believe in this to a point. My first (serious) hockey coach always told us if you don't fall, you don't learn your edge, or where your edge is. You have to fall to learn how not to, and also to learn how to push and widen the threshold of your edge.

    Also, I agree with Harold in risking major injury to "get better" is a waste of time in the long run because of the "sit" factor. Risking major crashes, especially if you are not being paid big bucks to ride, is just stupid.

    So when I ride, I do what I did when learning to skate...push the edge. Fall - usually with little damage - and then do it again until I get comfortable.
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  28. #28
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    So the saying, "if you ain't falling off, you aren't going fast enough," got changed to "crashing is part of learning," but it's still missing context. I assume this is the missing context:

    Go to a safe environment to purposely go beyond your known limits (crashing), then push these limits further by developing more refined technique(s) (learning), and then repeatedly drill the new technique(s) until it's ingrained into muscle memory (practicing AKA "riding more").

    For example, when learning how to manual, bunnyhop, jump, and corner faster, do it some place where the fall is as safe as possible, such as soft grassy areas rather than areas where there's many more obstacles off the side of the trail.

    The original saying was up to interpretation. I first thought it was support for a suicidal pace, since the thread's about "the mtb fitness barrier", not techniques. I thought it also could've meant that a slow pace is safe, which I believe is counter-intuitively untrue; many technical sections are very unsafe when ridden at dismount-friendly speeds. Many will find that it's easier when ridden faster, up to a point--the section could have a sweet spot speed, and the further away your speed is from that sweet spot speed, the more difficult and unsafe it is (requiring more compensation with rider skill and equipment tuning to ride successfully). I didn't want to assume the poster was making the questionable claims I imagined, so I asked for elaboration instead.

    The fitness barrier is a pattern I've observed in which people are reluctant to open up to try various aspects of mtb until they reach a certain fitness level. This includes upper body strength needed to plow through chunk at higher speeds (arms absorbing impacts). It's like Daniel-san, in Karate Kid, being instructed to do chores before he is put onto learning techniques, to build up muscular strength that is needed to make such techniques effective in real use, rather than merely a martial art. Athletes that come from other sports, tend to pick up techniques far easier than people coming into mtb from non-athletic lifestyles (e.g. watching sports and drinking beers, relying on motor vehicles for almost all transportation, disliking even walking short distances if it could be cut shorter with a motor vehicle). Perhaps some coaches here can verify this...

  29. #29
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,758
    I'm going to go ahead and go on record that I find this thread suspect. I'm not convinced it's what most people think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  30. #30
    slow
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,497
    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    I don't think any of the trails (or roads) near me are that flat.
    We are fortunate to have tons of climbing to the west and flat riding to the east, allowing us the option of rest day spins and monster climbs. My altitude / mileage ratio is for all of my riding for the year including commutes / store runs, all my rides to and from the trails, as well as my weekly 30-35 mile date ride with my wife (in which we gain only about 700'). Travel and work have kept me off the bike for a cumulative 8 weeks this year so I don't believe I will climb much over 280,000 vertical feet, but there is always next year!

    I don't know that it matters, but 99.5% of my rides are loops or out and back so the actual amount of elevation climbed is done in half of the actual mileage ridden, and I get to descend the other half of my miles ridden!

  31. #31
    jcd's best friend
    Reputation: Battery's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,258
    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and go on record that I find this thread suspect. I'm not convinced it's what most people think.
    I think this could be a survey that leads to a top-secret government program aiming to recruit the best mountain bikers in the world to fight off an alien invasion. What's your take?
    Trek Emonda | Transition Sentinel

  32. #32
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    So the saying, "if you ain't falling off, you aren't going fast enough," got changed to "crashing is part of learning," but it's still missing context. I assume this is the missing context:

    Go to a safe environment to purposely go beyond your known limits (crashing), then push these limits further by developing more refined technique(s) (learning), and then repeatedly drill the new technique(s) until it's ingrained into muscle memory (practicing AKA "riding more").

    For example, when learning how to manual, bunnyhop, jump, and corner faster, do it some place where the fall is as safe as possible, such as soft grassy areas rather than areas where there's many more obstacles off the side of the trail.

    The original saying was up to interpretation. I first thought it was support for a suicidal pace, since the thread's about "the mtb fitness barrier", not techniques. I thought it also could've meant that a slow pace is safe, which I believe is counter-intuitively untrue; many technical sections are very unsafe when ridden at dismount-friendly speeds. Many will find that it's easier when ridden faster, up to a point--the section could have a sweet spot speed, and the further away your speed is from that sweet spot speed, the more difficult and unsafe it is (requiring more compensation with rider skill and equipment tuning to ride successfully). I didn't want to assume the poster was making the questionable claims I imagined, so I asked for elaboration instead.

    Crashing is still not the best way to get better, whether the frame of reference is skill, or whether it's fitness (they're too interconnected, as increasing speed through improved strength/fitness also requires you to improve your handling skills).

    You're not going to learn anything if you suddenly increase your speed by some arbitrary but significant amount above what you're used to riding, and go down because your skills haven't progressed with your speed. You learn more by progressing in metered amounts and flirting with your limits instead of blowing past them (and crashing), learning to recover from mistakes, or learning not to make them in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    The fitness barrier is a pattern I've observed in which people are reluctant to open up to try various aspects of mtb until they reach a certain fitness level. This includes upper body strength needed to plow through chunk at higher speeds (arms absorbing impacts). It's like Daniel-san, in Karate Kid, being instructed to do chores before he is put onto learning techniques, to build up muscular strength that is needed to make such techniques effective in real use, rather than merely a martial art.
    To an extent, I think this sort of self-filtering is a smart move. It's just not smart for someone to show up for a group ride that their fitness is not at least close to. Especially if the group is also riding at a more advanced skill level. If it's not a ride geared towards guiding less skilled and/or lower fitness riders through, then it's a dick move to expect the riders in the group to do that for a slower/less skilled rider. Like showing up for an energetic 20mi ride that averages 200ft/mi of climbing when you've never ridden more than 10mi at 50ft/mi of climbing, and expecting the group to escort you through. You should prepare yourself for that kind of ride first. If all you've got is fairly flat terrain for training, then use it, and just put down more miles with more intensity.

    Same thing goes for riding increasingly technical trails. You don't just go from green level trails (no matter how well you ride them) up to double blacks without practice and progression. That's dumb and it's a recipe to get hurt. It's much smarter to work your way up to that with smaller, more attainable increases in technical difficulty and probably a good amount of focused skills work, too. When I go visit an area that's significantly different than what I'm used to, I'll start on lower difficulty trails before I decide to step it up. Because oftentimes ratings vary from place to place. Just because I ride black diamond-rated trails in one place does not mean that black diamond rated trails in another place are going to be just as rideable for me. If I go somewhere that the trails have much more climbing than I'm used to, I'm going to seek shorter loops with less technical climbs until I'm comfortable increasing distance or attempting a more technical climb at the same grade.

  33. #33
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    @Harold so if I answered Q1, admitting that I told a fellow rider, "I can't", to their advice regarding how going faster through a rocky section is easier and safer, you would say that's a smart move? I don't like the word smart being used here--I'll just simply say it's a cautious move, and a refusal to be open to trying something new to them due to some issue.

    This thread was to see just how many are aware of this issue. Some call it fear, or a mental wall. I'm calling it a fitness barrier. It's me trying to define what makes a beginner rider fall back so far behind an advanced rider, and cause people of different progression levels to avoid each other. I was theorizing that people knew of it, but used different words to describe it. I was expecting people to not shame themselves, as that's not very respectable if they aren't a true beginner, as it possibly affects their "authority" and value of their other posts on this forum.

    If you asked me what bike would be ideal for a person who wants to join a mtn biking friend on their rides, that would be a very very difficult question. I'd be thinking of some cheater bike, and also thinking of which skills to build-up first. After thinking about it, I ended up with the idea that a fitness barrier exists. I doubt an ebike would be the solution, as that only gives a rider "world cup legs" (not the full body strength needed to ride), and a longer and heavier bike requires more strength to handle it, especially at higher speeds where there's less time for recovery in between impacts for any given trail. A light weight, compact, small wheel bike would work to give a good riding experience (at a slower pace), but then the vet rider would need to handicap themselves, especially if they're on a modern enduro bike. They'll probably be going, "it's my recovery ride", and going off to ride for real on other occasions without the other person joining. This bothers me, since the idea was to ride together.

    To verify the fitness barrier theory, I linked it to other chunks of info, such as why weren't there any females at Red Bull Rampage and Hardline? Or why are the female world cup champion DH racers putting out times slower than U21 men? I saw a video hyping up how Rachel Atherton and Tahnee Seagrave were doing upper body workouts, and some interviews asking if Rachel rides with her brothers to train.

    I hoped that I could've learned how to introduce beginners to the outdoor experience on a mtn bike, on a "fast track", that allowed them to join a vet rider in a short time frame. If I were to review answers so far, I'd be mostly ignoring the "spartan" types who say ride more. It's funny how there's more posters who essentially replied, "I wish I had time for that," while I'm here saying "I ain't got time for that."

    Am I going to have to prescribe someone to do a certain # of push-ups all at once, in order to qualify to ride rock-gardens faster? Maybe say that the ability to do 45 push-ups in a row is a minimum to do a rock garden with a certain roughness at a speed comparable to me? I'm opening up to this idea, and thinking that a good handicap for the vet rider is an ebike left off, putting the new rider on an ebike too, focusing merely on explosive upper body strength to handle short technical sections, as lower body strength takes ages to build up. I'd also opt for Pole Stamina-like geometry, as I believe that the more upright a rider is (e.g. out-of-saddle pedaling position), the more they'll use muscle strength and endurance they already have from running/walking (possibly even making them more fit to run/walk by biking). The long wheelbase and suspension also makes riding at speed safer and easier. Once they get above the fitness barrier, they can then opt to get a more flickable bike, as they won't need the "aid" from the ebike anymore, especially if they see others using lower cost, simpler, lighter, and more "pure" bikes to have fun.

  34. #34
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
    Reputation: alexbn921's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,487
    Q1.
    None. I have always been willing to ride any bike to the limit of my skills. For example I took a Blur classic to Northstar. It was not the best choice and I walked some of the lines. I almost broke my crash replacement blur XCc a couple of times hucking it. Made it apparent I need a bigger bike.


    Q2.
    My goal was to win the local CCCX cat 2 overall and sea otter cat 2 XC by 40 years old. I did both at 39.


    Q3.
    When I was 14 I rode across the USA in 34 days on a fully load touring bike with my grandfather. We where unsupported and averaged 100 miles a day. I drifted from riding for many years as life, cars and girls got in the way. At 27 I moved to California and my day gave me his old Gary Fisher. My love for cycling was back.
    Touring all those years ago seems to have put my fitness at another level than normal recreational riders.

    Q4.
    1000's. You can buy speed and you can buy experiences I want both. Last year I was invited to fly in a private plane to Moab for 4 days of riding with all the logistics worked out. Price $1600. Best money I ever spent on the sport.


    Q5.
    1000"s I like to try new parts, setups and bikes. It's a hobby and it's all wasted money. Car racing was even more costly, so this feels cheap.

    Q6.
    I have helped and will continue to help new riders enter the sport. Ride what you can afford or like. No shame in walking stuff either. I get a lot of I don't want to slow you down. I ride solo at my own pace enough to not worry about it.


    Q7.
    Food, sleep, intervals and not pushing too hard. Over training is my biggest problem.

    Q8.
    Yes for the most part. Mountain biking is dangerous! There is a certain level of risk that you have to accept. Some people are not capable of handling this. Riding for fitness only is very different than an riding enduro trail.

    Q9. Just ride and have fun. Everything else will fall into place.

    Q10.
    1990 Miyata 721 100 year anniversary touring bike.
    1997 Cannondale Super V XTR
    The mountain biking fitness barrier-20160815_155609_zpsvu0fur1h.jpg
    1998 GT LTS 1000 with triple clamp bomber z1.
    2001 Gary fisher Big Sur XT
    2005 Santa Cruz Blur Classic XTR/XT
    2007 Specialized Roubaix Dura ace
    2007 Santa Cruz Blur XC carbon XX1/XTR
    The mountain biking fitness barrier-20170420_152319_zpsqoo1nkmd.jpg
    2008 Santa Cruz Chameleon Full ridged XT
    2017 Santa Cruz Tallboy 3 CC XX1 Eagle/XTR
    The mountain biking fitness barrier-16991819_10211089392846684_5756699279521532842_o.jpg
    2019 Ibis Ripmo XX1 Eagle/XTR
    The mountain biking fitness barrier-ripmo-side.jpg
    Plus several other crap and town bikes over the years.


    Wish I could jump, manual, basically everything better.

    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  35. #35
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    @Harold so if I answered Q1, admitting that I told a fellow rider, "I can't", to their advice regarding how going faster through a rocky section is easier and safer, you would say that's a smart move? I don't like the word smart being used here--I'll just simply say it's a cautious move, and a refusal to be open to trying something new to them due to some issue.

    This thread was to see just how many are aware of this issue. Some call it fear, or a mental wall. I'm calling it a fitness barrier. It's me trying to define what makes a beginner rider fall back so far behind an advanced rider, and cause people of different progression levels to avoid each other. I was theorizing that people knew of it, but used different words to describe it. I was expecting people to not shame themselves, as that's not very respectable if they aren't a true beginner, as it possibly affects their "authority" and value of their other posts on this forum.

    If you asked me what bike would be ideal for a person who wants to join a mtn biking friend on their rides, that would be a very very difficult question. I'd be thinking of some cheater bike, and also thinking of which skills to build-up first. After thinking about it, I ended up with the idea that a fitness barrier exists. I doubt an ebike would be the solution, as that only gives a rider "world cup legs" (not the full body strength needed to ride), and a longer and heavier bike requires more strength to handle it, especially at higher speeds where there's less time for recovery in between impacts for any given trail. A light weight, compact, small wheel bike would work, but then the vet rider would need to handicap themselves, especially if they're on a modern enduro bike. They'll probably be going, "it's my recovery ride", and going off to ride for real on other occasions without the other person joining.

    To verify the fitness barrier theory, I linked it to other facts, such as why weren't there any females at Red Bull Rampage and Hardline? Or why are the female world cup champion DH racers putting out times slower than U21 men? I saw a video hyping up how Rachel Atherton and Tahnee Seagrave were doing upper body workouts, and some interviews regarding if Rachel rides with her brothers to train.

    I hoped that I could've learned how to introduce beginners to the outdoor experience on a mtn bike, on a "fast track", that allowed them to join a vet rider in a short time frame. If I were to review answers so far, I'd be mostly ignoring the "spartan" types who say ride more. It's funny how there's more posters who essentially replied, "I wish I had time for that," while I'm here saying "I ain't got time for that."
    So you started the thread with generalities and now you want to get specific? Fine, I'll play.

    If the beginner is physically unable to ride through the rock garden faster (due to a lack of strength or fitness), or whether they are simply afraid to, either way, it is wise to not ride it. Either situation increases the chances of a crash and injury. Better to walk it.

    Part of the reason advanced riders and beginner riders don't ride together is on the advanced riders. Look at all the threads about people who would rather ride alone. Quite a few don't like slowing down for other riders. For this to happen, faster and more skilled riders need to be willing to ride WITH slower/less skilled riders. Not just to show up to the same trailhead at the same time and then proceed to ride in their own faster group.

    And yes, some of it is on less skilled/slower riders being unafraid to "hold up" faster riders. That is a common issue, and less confident riders need reassurance from the faster/more advanced riders that they WANT to ride with them, at whatever pace.

    I don't think there is one answer to whatever point you're trying to make.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    @Harold - it seems that in the end, it's all about the challenge of getting someone out of their comfort zone. Once someone experiences something new, that experience sticks. That's valuable. That's living your life (my personal belief).

    To tie in my dislikes with the subject, I'd argue that doing rides on repeat is not living. That's closer to being "undead". There are requirements to doing new things though, and anything physically-demanding requires physical fitness. What's the minimum in this case of taking up mtb, as a beginner, perhaps joining veteran mtn bikers? I'm trying to generalize this answer, with what options are available in this day and age, with the additional goal of minimizing the time required.

  37. #37
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    @Harold - it seems that in the end, it's all about the challenge of getting someone out of their comfort zones. Once someone experiences something new, that experience sticks. That's valuable. That's living your life (my personal belief).

    To tie in my dislikes with the subject, I'd argue that doing rides on repeat is not living. That's closer to being "undead". There are requirements to doing new things though, and anything physically-demanding requires physical fitness. What the minimum is in this case of taking up mtb, with mtbing friends? I'm trying to generalize this answer, with what options are available in this day and age.
    IME, the beginners tend to be the ones who are better at getting out of their comfort zones than most long-time riders who have reached a point in their skills or fitness that they're mostly happy with.

    I have lived in some places where there are groups who are great at cultivating new riders and helping them progress, and places where that simply doesn't exist.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  38. #38
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    @Harold - that seemingly sounds like you're talking about the presence/absence of [peer] pressure. It also sounds like how people sort of rub off on each other, people gaining desirable traits/mannerisms they see in others, if they are capable of initiating that change in themselves.

    I wonder why the long time riders seem to reach a point in their skills or fitness that they're mostly happy with. I wonder if this point is this basically a comfortable point above the fitness barrier. I recognize that certain trails have certain fitness barrier "heights", and perhaps these long time riders seemed to have reached that with the trails around a certain distance from their home. Maybe they aren't pressured to cut their times or take unconventional lines/routes, due to there not being a valuable motivator/reward for the effort/risk involved.

  39. #39
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Yeah, there is a level of comfort involved with longer time riders hitting a plateau. Some of it is complacency. Sure, some riders ride the same stuff close to home over and over and they consequently don't see as much variety.

    Some riders stop getting faster because doing so requires more work than they are willing to invest. Not everyone has the same fitness floor, and not everyone has the same fitness ceiling, even given a set amount of riding.

    Does any of that really matter in the grand scheme, though? Everyone is going to have different motivations and goals for riding, so I wouldn't expect everyone to get the same thing out of it. Even if you could never stand riding the same things over and over or finding a comfort zone, there are some people who prefer that.

    Me, I also hate excessive repetition. I can't tolerate running in circles on a track, or working out in a gym. I would rather split firewood (which I did this afternoon).

    I am never going to focus heavily on fitness because I can't stand the repetition required for those kinds of gains in my fitness. I like the exploration aspect of riding, so for me, fitness is only a tool for me to go places. I also like having a bit of fun, so strength and skill are also tools for me to achieve that. I have my limits, though, so there are certain jumps, drops, and other technical obstacles I simply have no desire to do.

    As for peer pressure, it can be good, but it can also be very bad (cause people to hurt themselves). I have seen the bad side of it plenty, and have helped people get to the hospital after caving to negative peer pressure. I have also seen plenty of the good side, where it takes the form of encouragement and assistance. I try my hardest to only exude the good kind.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  40. #40
    Snow Dog
    Reputation: sXeXBMXer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    2,111
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post

    I am never going to focus heavily on fitness because I can't stand the repetition required for those kinds of gains in my fitness. I like the exploration aspect of riding, so for me, fitness is only a tool for me to go places. I also like having a bit of fun, so strength and skill are also tools for me to achieve that. I have my limits, though, so there are certain jumps, drops, and other technical obstacles I simply have no desire to do.
    this is exactly how I feel...but I have never been able to state it this way. I like the thought of fitness being a "tool" for other things.

    I am also like you in that I can't stand the gym, but I go because it is a means to an end. I have lucked out and found a great little gym, but it still si a struggle to get myself in there regularly.
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  41. #41
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,199
    Since this is ninjichor's survey, I did not read any of it. So these are unbiased answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q1. What are some notable potential mtn biking experiences you passed on due to lack of fitness (group rides, advanced trails)?
    I almost never pass on a ride. If they'll have me, I don't mind riding caboose if that's how things go, and I'm not too proud to walk an obstacle if it doesn't suit me. The only real bummer was riding 3 hrs. in Sedona and, by chance, meeting a good friend at the bike rental as I was returning. I really wanted to join him but I was cooked. I would've been a liability to him if I'd tried to continue. It was pretty disappointing. Chalk it up to lack of fitness.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q2. What things have you set a goal for, to reach a certain fitness level and "conquer"? (something you saw on youtube?)
    My goals are typically hill-oriented. We have a couple ~200-250ft climbs around here that, if you can climb them at all, you have to feel good about it. On lesser climbs, I try to not downshift too much, or not stand up.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q3. How long have you been working on such goals? Seriously or casually?
    Since I was 4 yo. So 45 years. Some years are better than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q4. How much have you been budgeting for "shortcuts/aids" (e.g. equipment, lessons, trips, training) to reaching these goals? Are you missing anything that you believe would help you significant (e.g. protective gear, suspension)?
    I feel like I've conquered more difficult terrain on my old 1990's rigid MTB, so gear means very little to me. Reliability counts for everything. I'd guess almost any $1300-$1500 bike would get me very far.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q5. How much time and money do you think you have "wasted" in trying to figure out how to reach your goals (e.g. costly mistakes like injury & equipment breaks from pushing beyond your limits; online research)?
    I tried building a late '90's weight weenie XC bike. Pretty much everything broke on it. That was probably close to $3000 all at once. Lesson learned. Very little $$$ has been "wasted" since.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q6. Do you feel like you are getting in the way of others who are trying to also trying to get fuller mountain biking experiences? Given questionable advice, criticize others for how they choose to participate, trying to open them up to a way you prefer (hype something up) or close them off to something that worries you (psych them out), suggesting alternatives that work better for you than them? (e.g. manipulating others so you're not getting left behind, or to get others to guinea pig an idea you have)
    I try not to preach, but I encourage riders to find their limits. I think a LOT of people have no idea what their bike can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q7. What do you think you could've done better to save time on your path of progression to reach fitness related goals?
    "Better" as in a more direct route to higher fitness? Yeah, use a real training program.
    But better for my goals? No. Mountain biking for me has always been about fun, not fitness. It just happens that the more fit you are the more fun you can have MTBing, so I became more fit by accident - out of a desire to ride more. I have found that there are many people who spend much more time on a bike than I do who are not as fast as me, just because they have a different riding style. I think I can accurately say that when I put my mind to it I can develop, endure, and enjoy a focused training ride that pays real dividends.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q8. Do you believe that just anyone, without a high level of fitness, can be guided by you through the beginning mountain biking experience? If not, what do you think are the minimum requirements?
    From the fitness standpoint, the rider has to be willing to get out their comfort zone. For me, that is a place I like to be. At the same time, patience is required as a person repeatedly plateaus, then breaks out. Those are tough times because you feel like you're working hard and gaining nothing. Sometimes those breaks happen by accident.
    From the skills standpoint, the beginner has to admit that they are a beginner, and digest the learning experience only as fast as they are able. There are lots of reasons some people never progress past a certain point.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q9. What advice/wisdom have you learned that you can share with others?
    If you are NOT having fun, you are doing it wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Q10. What's your dream bike/trail/skill that you wish you owned?
    I can't seem to get myself to hit a gap jump or a step-up jump. Jumping in general has always been a sore spot.
    I have the bike I want.
    There's one trail of large descending steps that I rode right up to, but never actually rode. Probably for the best. It is probably over my head. ...but I'd be the coolest kid on the block if I rode it.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  42. #42
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,199
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    ...

    I wonder why the long time riders seem to reach a point in their skills or fitness that they're mostly happy with. I wonder if this point is this basically a comfortable point above the fitness barrier. I recognize that certain trails have certain fitness barrier "heights", and perhaps these long time riders seemed to have reached that with the trails around a certain distance from their home. Maybe they aren't pressured to cut their times or take unconventional lines/routes, due to there not being a valuable motivator/reward for the effort/risk involved.
    I think a lot of veteran riders had an idea about "what is MTBing" when they started. Many of them, including myself, attained that vision in real life (the first time they got a good picture of themselves on their bike, on a cool section of trail ). There was nothing more to gain. They had arrived at the place where they first imagined themselves, and felt a real satisfaction about it. I did.

    Obviously, though, a lot has developed in the world of MTBing between when that initial vision was imagined and the self-realization occurred. Some riders adjusted/expanded their vision along with the sport. Some were/are very content with the attainment of their initial vision of the sport.

    That, my friends, has a million variables as to why (environment, terrain, culture, age, fitness, access to bikes, cash flow, health, scary/positive experiences, etc.).

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  43. #43
    Barely in control
    Reputation: Schulze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,840
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    IME, the beginners tend to be the ones who are better at getting out of their comfort zones than most long-time riders who have reached a point in their skills or fitness that they're mostly happy with.

    I have lived in some places where there are groups who are great at cultivating new riders and helping them progress, and places where that simply doesn't exist.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Yes, that liberated newbie feeling where anything is possible and they have no clue what they can do to themselves. I call my comfort zone my "no injury zone".

  44. #44
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Yes, that liberated newbie feeling where anything is possible and they have no clue what they can do to themselves. I call my comfort zone my "no injury zone".
    bahahahaha

    Nice turn of phrase.

    I would suggest, though, that the comfort zone doesn't necessarily have to involve the question of injuries. Certain aspects of it can, definitely. And I also prefer a lack of injuries, especially considering my medical history.

    I rode with a guy I connected with on mtbr, who was from out-of-town and looking for someone to ride with. He's faster, more skilled, and less inhibited than me. We rode a trail that I'd ridden before, but was new to him. I knew there were a couple spots on the trail that were either outside my skill level, or comfort zone. And in this case, at least, you could call it my "no injury zone". I walked those spots, as I have in the past. Though it was a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation because the trail is not heavily trafficked and the leaves were dry, fluffy, and extremely slippery and I still fell a couple times when walking.

    But the comfort zone can be about other things, too. Maybe riding a new trail system instead of riding the exact same one (that's closest to your house or work) all the time. Maybe trying bikepacking. Maybe showing up for a group ride, or a bike fest, or riding solo. Maybe doing a night ride. Maybe signing up for a race, or riding in colder/warmer temps than you're used to. I'm not entirely certain which of these kinds of things (if any) fit what ninjichor was getting at, but there are plenty of ways to push your comfort zone without increasing your risk of injury, especially if you pay attention and manage what you can.

  45. #45
    351
    351 is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    30
    My only goal is to ride as much as possible.

    Don't use bike computers or phone apps, and don't track mileage or speed. If I ride as much as I can fitness will take care of itself.

  46. #46
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
    Reputation: noapathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,904
    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and go on record that I find this thread suspect. I'm not convinced it's what most people think.
    Yup. I read through the thread to learn stuff anyway. Some of it was to learn more about people's ideas and experiences, some about self-improvement since I seem to be at one of those plateaus people talk about and would like to progress without crashing. It's also prety muddy out and around here that means messing up the trails. Good chance to exercise the brain muscle.

    As for the crash vs progress discussion...most of my crashes aren't because I'm pushing it, but when I get tired and lose focus. I already learned that lesson. Know when it's time to stop.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    105
    Q1: I don't think any yet.

    Q2: Being able to do 25-30 mile rides with my XC racer friends without feeling like I am holding them back. But most of my goals are about learning tricks and the like. I'd also like to do a few enduro races. Honestly I mostly want to get good at d!cking about in the woods.

    Q3: I am struggling to work on a lot of those goals particularly now in the winter with the short hours. I can ride the BMX around in the garage to learn skills.

    Q4: Does a trainer count as a shortcut cause I am budgeting for one of those. I would like to add a bit more protective gear.

    Q5. Wasted not too much. I wish I had of listened to myself and bought a Nukeproof Scout instead of getting talked into a POS Cannondale basic hardtail. But I sold that at not too much of a loss.

    Q6. Mostly I feel bad riding with friends cause they are always waiting for me at the top of hills.

    Q9. Listen to yourself.

    Q10. Dream bike garage. Aggressive titanium hardtail, Cotic Rocketmax and a FBM Steadfast (20" BMX). Dream trails to ride Whistler A-line, World Cup downhill track at Fort Williams. Dream skill: Tuck no hander or big one footed moto whip.
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), 6KU single speed (town/workout bike)

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    10
    Last season was my first season mtn biking. I had moved to Utah a year ago and knew that hitting the trails was just something I had to take advantage of. So moving to the state during the winter season, I wanted to get into bike shape so when the trails finally dried I would be ready to go.

    In January I got a stationary bike for my basement and about five times a week I would ride along with spin videos on youtube designed for climbing, HIIT, and overall cardio improvement. I made significant improvements throughout the winter in my overall power output as I was pushing the resistance on my bike further and further.

    After four months on the stationary bike and seemingly pushing myself every day when the trails dried I knew I was ready to climb. My first ride of the year was in Corner Canyon in Draper Utah with my brother who is a pretty hardcore athlete. My first climb was under 700 vertical feet and absolutely wrecked me. I was gobsmacked at how out of shape I was. I thought I was prepared.... boy was I wrong.

    It was pretty discouraging but I made my way to the top. After a few more weeks of riding like this I was in much better climbing shape. That's just a stark reminder/lesson that there really is no substitute for climbing other than climbing.

  49. #49
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
    Reputation: noapathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,904
    ^^^Imagine how bad it would've been if you hadn't done all that work. It wasn't for nothing.

    What was the relative elevation compared to where you were training? Just curious.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    ^^^Imagine how bad it would've been if you hadn't done all that work. It wasn't for nothing.

    What was the relative elevation compared to where you were training? Just curious.
    Yea I agree it wasn't for nothing, but it wasn't until I started climbing on the trails that I started to really improve.

    I had put some thought into why this was and what I came up with was this:

    When riding indoors you are in fine-grain control over your resistance. Subconsciously, when you want to "push yourself" you can increase the resistance over your norm ever so slightly, giving you the mental satisfaction of pushing yourself but without the significant challenge required to improve.

    When you're on the trail you don't have this luxury. Once you're in the lowest gear it's all on your body to get you to the top and you end up pushing yourself much harder out of necessity.

    And no the elevation wasn't any higher than where I live so that wasn't the issue. I think it was inadequate winter preparation. This winter I'm trying to push myself harder than I feel like I should.

  51. #51
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
    Reputation: noapathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,904
    Quote Originally Posted by The_D00d View Post
    And no the elevation wasn't any higher than where I live so that wasn't the issue. I think it was inadequate winter preparation. This winter I'm trying to push myself harder than I feel like I should.
    Gotta be a little careful with that. Just listen to your body and it'll tell you (primarily via pain or unexplained fatigue) when you're doing too much. I know from personal experience it's not good. Somewhere I heard this phrase and it's stuck with me. "Too much, too far, too soon". Do any one of those three on a regular basis and it's a recipe for injury. Sometimes I wish I'd take my own advice.

  52. #52
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Gotta be a little careful with that. Just listen to your body and it'll tell you (primarily via pain or unexplained fatigue) when you're doing too much. I know from personal experience it's not good. Somewhere I heard this phrase and it's stuck with me. "Too much, too far, too soon". Do any one of those three on a regular basis and it's a recipe for injury. Sometimes I wish I'd take my own advice.
    Yeah, for most of us, I don't think lack of intensity is really the problem. For most riders, it seems like simply increasing frequency, even at lower intensities, will result in significant gains. Sure, you absolutely can reach a point where you're not going to improve unless you add sufficient intensity, but I think for many, just putting down some miles more frequently can get you further. For me, maintenance of my riding fitness doesn't really appear to require a whole lot. Improvement does require a bit of effort, but that doesn't require me to absolutely smash myself on intensity. For that matter, I have always felt like a particular trainer ride is a poor representation of what an actual ride of similar time feels like. The few exceptions were the rare occasions I've been able to use a smart trainer. Those do a better job of replicating the feel of an actual ride, but it costs quite a premium to get that. Gotta avoid letting trainer time set your expectations for outside pedal time.

    I find my trainer time to be more effective if I ride it based on time and heart rate.

  53. #53
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5,199
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Gotta be a little careful with that. Just listen to your body and it'll tell you (primarily via pain or unexplained fatigue) when you're doing too much. I know from personal experience it's not good. Somewhere I heard this phrase and it's stuck with me. "Too much, too far, too soon". Do any one of those three on a regular basis and it's a recipe for injury. Sometimes I wish I'd take my own advice.
    ^^^This bit me hard in 2017 when I did a team relay on a 100 mi. trail run. I was in good biking shape, so the engine was raring to go, but I hadn't been running much. I could run 3 miles pretty easily (in the low 7's), but my segment would be 15-16mi. I ramped up to 5 mi. and 7mi. within 3 weeks and I could already tell I was overdoing it because my calves would not recover after a run. By the time race day came around, I was training at ~12mi. and feeling good except for my calves. They felt like they were going to rip in half. I had a good race, but by the end my calves were in bad shape. I took months off and tried running again, but I had immediate problems. It took more than a year before I could run hard and not injure myself further. I also had to be very careful about jumping and even walking up steep hills. My first race since was just in Sept. And all the unpleasantness was easily avoidable.

    But intensity is kind of a learned thing, too. The Winter training obviously put it in perspective for The_D00d (actually, maybe that first big hill put it all in perspective ). Plus, as technique improves, riding hard pays back more.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  54. #54
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    I was thinking of making a platform that you could put a bike on, that emulated slopes. I originally wanted to make it to test fit experimental geometry, but it sounds like it'd be useful for trainers, over ones that simply emulate rolling resistance or a headwind on level ground.

    Regarding listening to your body, I believe it's better if you manage it so well that it doesn't tell you anything, or nothing you don't already know. I don't wait for my body to tell me that I am ready to pass out, that I'm starving, or that my bladder is close to full. I'll pre-empt it, by sleeping before I need it, eating and drinking before I need it, and pissing before I go out. Sometimes it's questionable--if I just ate like a full package of junk food (10 oz potato chips, 10 servings of 185 calories), and my body's hungry for more (maybe hours later), it seems unwise to respond to it. When I wake up sore/sluggish, I know that my body will feel better once I start moving, rather than respond to it by being a potato ("resting"). I rest by merely readjusting intensity levels of what I normally do. How do you know you're interpreting your body's signals correctly? Is maybe a 50/50 rate of successful body signal interpretation, leading to "average" levels of healthiness, acceptable?

    Some things are crazy mysteries to me. One night last week, while laying in bed, I felt something like a splinter embedding itself into the bottom of my left big toe (odd, since my feet have no pressure on them, so I'm guessing something alive is burrowing in). I felt around my sock, but didn't feel anything. Haven't felt anything related to it since. Pain's too vague... heck, some people just filter/ignore it, or even just medicate it out. I don't conveniently have access to precise tools to investigate it all. Hence why I opt to rely on the body's built-in systems, but keep it well-maintained. I don't want to rely on my own head to interpret the data... that's probably how you end up with people believing in supernatural things, attributing things they don't understand to gods, spirits, aliens, fate, govt conspiracy theories, etc.

    Regarding listening to your body when training, you can be overly cautious or overly reckless, but being in between is what you consider rare talent. It's when you intuitively find that zone between caution/maintenance/plateauing and breakdown/injury/overtraining, and are able to sense what you need to know to progress quickly. You're not held back by risks of the unknown, but you're not going to screw yourself by going too hard--it just seems like it comes naturally to you. What's keeping people from reaching that talent zone? Trauma? Poor focus, over-analyzing micro-details? Misinformation?

    *shrug* I have trouble understanding other people, animals (dogs), and computer programs. They all have individual styles of communication. It's all trial-and-error, making vague sense of it. If I could interpret it all mostly error-free, hooo-leeee shhhh-eeeaat, I feel that I would be so much more productive that I'd be god-like. Omniscient in a way. Yea, errors... gotta expect errors, lots of them. Got a chest pain, but it goes away, maybe coming back without any major issue? Ignore it, waiting for another sign that indicates something serious? Future heart attack? Nah, can't happen to someone fit as a cyclist, right? Costly error maybe. *shrug*
    Disclaimer: I sell bike related stuff. 7% off with code: MTBRninja

  55. #55
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I was thinking of making a platform that you could put a bike on, that emulated slopes. I originally wanted to make it to test fit of experimental geometry, but it sounds like it'd be useful for trainers, over ones that simply emulate rolling resistance or a headwind on level ground.
    You mean like the Wahoo Kickr suite (including the Kickr Climb and the Kickr Headwind)?

    A shop near me has had all of these set up on a demo bike for some time now. Really cool how they all work together to simulate actual riding conditions for a trainer ride.

  56. #56
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
    Reputation: noapathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,904
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Regarding listening to your body...*insert freshman dissertation here*
    Thou speakest the gibberish well. None of that made a lick of difference other than to let us know you've overanalyzed it. If something hurts, don't ignore it and there's a difference between sore and injured. Simple.

    And yeah, Wahoo already beat you to the whiz-bang hill simulator. If I were rich...nah, I still wouldn't want it. I'd just travel someplace nice with my bike.

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Gotta be a little careful with that. Do any one of those three on a regular basis and it's a recipe for injury.
    Thanks for that, I appreciate it. One can definitely go overboard in the pursuit of achieving more, only to find that it ends up preventing from doing the thing they're trying to enjoy.

    I think it my instance it's not so much pushing myself to a danger zone but that there's a few more levels that I haven't discovered yet. I think one way to find these levels is to start training with a heart monitor and make sure that I'm pushing myself as hard as I think I am. Taking the subjectivity out of it should help me better figure out how I've been training and how far I have to go.

    I've definitely hit my ceiling while climbing trails before and it's a weird feeling when your body just says "no more".

  58. #58
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    23,913
    Quote Originally Posted by The_D00d View Post
    Thanks for that, I appreciate it. One can definitely go overboard in the pursuit of achieving more, only to find that it ends up preventing from doing the thing they're trying to enjoy.

    I think it my instance it's not so much pushing myself to a danger zone but that there's a few more levels that I haven't discovered yet. I think one way to find these levels is to start training with a heart monitor and make sure that I'm pushing myself as hard as I think I am. Taking the subjectivity out of it should help me better figure out how I've been training and how far I have to go.

    I've definitely hit my ceiling while climbing trails before and it's a weird feeling when your body just says "no more".
    It's worth pointing out that you don't necessarily want your fitness development to outstrip your handling skills development, either.

    There's a reason that triathlon riders and roadies converting to mtb are frequent subjects of jokes regarding bike handling skills, and fitness surpassing handling skills is precisely what gets those folks into trouble. It's a recipe for ugly crashes.

  59. #59
    www.ninjichor.com
    Reputation: ninjichor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    546
    I consider myself to hit the wall, and have "no more", when I feel that I need to stop and take a nap, since I can't hold focus any more (ability to stay conscious). Usually I would have been forced to switch to "eco mode" (or fat-burning mode), where I'm just cruising at ~60% max, and push it in this mode for 45+ minutes, being my new "max". I know the bonk/wall is coming up when I'm struggling to keep moving forward, such on a hill, and tend to curse at random, because I know I should be able to normally do it, but physically can't. I don't recall ever actually hitting the wall or bonking, so I just refer to the closest I've ever been to actually experiencing a real one.

    I recall taking a nap on the side of a hill, one I chose as a "shortcut" to get back sooner, laying on my back, feet on the road just past the curb, knees up and bent, and ass on the grass divider between the sidewalk and curb. Had some people slow down to ask if I'm alright, as if they thought I was in pain from a hit-and-run. I just tell 'em I'm out of energy. Usually, I can go on for another 30 minutes after laying there for 5-10 minutes, at a slow cruising pace, but then I notice my ass, back, and hands aching more from poor posture on the bike.

    I've accompanied some riders who entered this state. I just merely recognize it as a glycogen-depleted state. Can still function on fat burning. I just join them on their pace, and joke with 'em. I suggest them to invest in an energy drink like Tailwind Nutrition mix too. I don't push 'em very hard, but when they finally reach the end and get off the bike, for some reason they just seem like they're bright and full of energy and excitement, for some reason, as if that were the best ride ever for them. Quite the contrast from their zombie mode earlier. xD

    I just grin and push through if my body tries to say "no more" any other time. I know I have energy in the tank, since I come much better prepared, even if I'm riding with a cold/flu. I know when my body should have glycogen stores, since I have meals specifically to refill them. Would need to cramp up to stop me from continuing, otherwise even screaming legs won't stop me if I'm motivated to continue.
    Disclaimer: I sell bike related stuff. 7% off with code: MTBRninja

  60. #60
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,758
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I consider myself to hit the wall, and have "no more", when I feel that I need to stop and take a nap, since I can't hold focus any more (ability to stay conscious).
    I used to get that sensation a lot when trail running, a strong urge to just lay down in the middle of the woods and curl up for a nap. I don't seem to get it bike riding, I usually outride my legs before I outride my cardio. Since running takes more cardio and bike more legs, the running helps me in that aspect. I'll be spinning along in a flatter or descending section thinking "I can ride forever" then hit a climb and my legs scream "we're shot for the day". But I'm also more of a masher than a spinner.

    I have bonked a few times on the bike. Went out once for a road ride and ended up going a lot further than I had planned and with no food. Coming back, I was exposed to the hot summer sun for long stretches, which made it even worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

Similar Threads

  1. Road Fitness vs MTB Fitness
    By ArizRider in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 3 Weeks Ago, 11:10 AM
  2. Mountain biking = ultimate fitness sport
    By KevinGT in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 78
    Last Post: 03-05-2015, 04:40 PM
  3. Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX Winter Cycling Shoe
    By Normbilt in forum Commuting
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 02-24-2011, 01:22 PM
  4. leg fitness v. cardio fitness
    By Gatorback in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-15-2008, 05:17 AM
  5. Fitness Assessment: Will my local college test my fitness?
    By SuperClyde in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-29-2005, 11:49 AM

Members who have read this thread: 250

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2018 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.