Trail Report: A beginner on his first xc trail ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good job! Trail Report: A beginner on his first xc trail ride

    The following is a trail report stated by a "newbie" to the sport of mountain biking. I am using this report to encourage others and to somewhat guage my performance compared to other beginners. If you have feedback, I welcome tips, advice, criticizm, encouragement, etc.

    Thanks all!

    Well I just got back from my first cross-country trail ride. I am pleasantly pleased with my results though considering, I'm 33 (almost 34), WAAAAYYY out of shape, I'm as inexperienced as they come when it comes to cross-country, I used a brand new bike I know little about (Trek 4300 Disc), and as result, I managed to ride about 4 miles total in only 40 mins (3 miles on the trails, 1 mile on a paved trail) Did I mention I'm really out of shape? Here is a link to the parks website with the park's trail map. You really can't see the difficulty from the map but let me tell you, there are LOTS of up and downs to conquer. It's quite a challenging trail system becaue their are some decent little climbs and some technical aspects. It's a pretty nice park and 99% of the trails are rock trails. No mud or dirt so it's very loose and bumpy with big rocks that like to "flick" the bike to the side. I now know what more experienced riders meant when they said, "be smart and don't get out there thinking your 12yrs old again". Yep.........I thought I was 12 again and raced some of the downhills. After the bike slipped a few times and I could see myself singing "I Believe I Can Fly".....I used those good disc brakes I paid extra for! :-) I never crashed (this time). May my luck hold out.

    Link to the trail map
    http://www.slaughterpen.com/home.html

    Link to the website.
    http://www.slaughterpen.com/home.html

    If anyone ever visits this part of North West Arkansas, it's a nice park and a good destination. It's currently being designed to add an additional set of trails that will virtually double the size of the park. It's only been open since the Fall of last year and its been a great success.

    Here's a link to the local bike shop. Great folks!!! If you are not from this area and need last minute supplies or even repairs, these guys are top notch and amoung the best mechanics in the area. I bought my new Trek here and I couldn't be happier with them.
    http://phattirebicycles.com/

    If you are still reading this (and you're interested), look on the map above and you can see the trails where I rode.

    I started off on "Seedtick Shuffle". It's relatively flat and as entry level as it gets. I was bored and wanted more (the 12yr old in me). Naturally being a guy, I was a glutten for more punishment. So I turned around about halfway down Seedtick Shuffle and came back to the the entry point and began riding "Armadillo's Last Stand". Needless to say, I took several breaks to catch my breath or to let my legs stop burning but considering it has some technical areas on the trail and some areas are considered "intermediate riders only", I was pleased that I made it without crashing, without having cardiac arrest (thank you Lord), and without weezing like an old fart! After I managed to make it down to the Free Ride area, I turned around and returned to the entry point of the park, doubling back on Armadillo's Last Stand making roughly 3 miles of XC trails on my first ride. Then I took a ride on the paved trail down to the Free Ride park again as a cool-down. Then I raced back to my truck and managed to get the bike into the last mid-gear and sustain a good pace for a while (gear 8 on the mid-range gear). I could have kept going through the gears but my legs were aching and there were pedestrians walking dogs and jogging ahead. I didn't want to go too fast, (park rules and all).

    So after the ride..........my legs were on fire!!!!!!!!! It's a good thing I didn't have to peddle the truck home or I would have been up a creek with no paddle! Haha! So all in all, I've discovered a new sport that I hope will help shed some pounds and get me into better shape.

    Hang on, more trail ride reports to come........... :-)


    For that matter, is there not a forum specific to "reports" for trail, rode, etc.? That would be fun.

  2. #2
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    awesome man, i am going to be new to this sport too. awaiting many more trail reports to come!

  3. #3
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    Just keep at it, my friend. Your first ride sounds a bit like mine. Tired, legs burning, but feeling great about the ride. Pretty soon, you'll be riding 10-12 miles and thinking nothing of it. Your legs will quit burning, and you won't be huffin' and puffin so bad. I'm 31 and have been riding weekly for about 9 months now. I was pretty out of shape, but now I could ride all day if I had the time. Once your fitness improves, you'll really get hooked.

    I'm about 2 hours away from NW Arkansas. I need to come check out SP Hollow. I spend most of my time at Turkey Mountain in Tulsa. If you are ever over this way, bring your bike and check it out.

  4. #4
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    Keep it up

    I just started riding again this last spring as well. I remember thinking a 6-8 mile ride was tough. Then I remember a 16 mile ride being tough. Later I completed a very intense 28 mile ride with crazy hills.

    You will get better and stronger, but you have to push yourself. Ride with people above your ability level and try and keep up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freewillie
    I'm about 2 hours away from NW Arkansas. I need to come check out SP Hollow. I spend most of my time at Turkey Mountain in Tulsa. If you are ever over this way, bring your bike and check it out.
    My co-worker (who is a very experienced rider) just rode Turkey Mountain this weekend. He used to live in Tulsa and rode it a lot but since heís moved to NWA, he has become a bit spoiled to standard single-track and forgot how technical Turkey Mountain can be. He was just telling me how it can be a very slow and technical balancing act on the rocks. Pretty much an all-mountain course in some areas. SPH is more single track with lots of ups and downs (short & small technical climbs) as the trail winds through hollows with lots of loose gravel. Being a beginner, my Bontrager tires are decent but I prefer something with bigger paddle type treads to help grip on the loose gravel & rock trails.

    Yep I could tell on my way back that after I got warmed up, I could attack those short climbs a lot easier and with more aggressive energy. I donít think Iíll get into the weekly ride (donít have enough time) but I will try to get out there and enjoy myself as often as I can. I have too many other sports that keep my busy. Fishing primarily and golf second. I think the new mtn. bike hobby will bump into second place and kick golf back down to third place! (haha)


    So my co-worker said his 11yr old son has rode the entire park and with little trouble. If he can keep up with his Dad on a $4,000 Specialized dual suspension bike, I think this trail may disappoint someone whoís used to Turkey Mountain. Itís still a nice park though. After Deer season closes, there is always Hobbs State park which is more hills and more technical areas. Thereís always Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs as well. Thereís tons of places in NWA. Do some research and youíll find a good weeks trip over here.

  6. #6
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    Nice, man! Now you gotta start bringing your camera. I love looking back at pictures from when I first started riding, was out of shape and stuff, and comparing them to now. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
    :wq

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozark-XCrdr
    I donít think Iíll get into the weekly ride (donít have enough time) but I will try to get out there and enjoy myself as often as I can. I have too many other sports that keep my busy. Fishing primarily and golf second. I think the new mtn. bike hobby will bump into second place and kick golf back down to third place! (haha)
    You've been bitten by the "bug"...once spring rolls around biking will shoot up to 1st on your ranking.

    When I started, I thought I'll do this every now and then. These days if I don't get my weekend ride in, I'm grumpy. In the spring I'll probably be out there at least twice a week.

  8. #8

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    im a spring -just started riding again fella too. your legs will get stronger each ride and you'll get too 7-10 milers in no time. at the end of summer i rode 32 one weekend then the next 24 miler. a BIG help to me was getting a stationary bike to ride in the house.i try to get in 5-10 miles a night in if not more.it is rather boring but is a big help when u hit the trail.


    keep at it it is super fun and good for you too

  9. #9

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    Sounds like a good ride! I'm 23 and in pretty great shape, and even once I started riding, after about 7.5 miles my legs felt like rubber as guys twice my age were blowing past me, haha. I could barely walk up/down stairs once I got home.

    Give your legs a little bit of time to heal and strengthen that new muscle and you'll just get more and more endurance the more you get out on the trails.

    Biking is addictive, isn't it? Glad to hear you had a good time!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by holycrikey
    Sounds like a good ride! I'm 23 and in pretty great shape, and even once I started riding, after about 7.5 miles my legs felt like rubber as guys twice my age were blowing past me, haha. I could barely walk up/down stairs once I got home.
    I think I could have kept going a bit more but I would have to take a small 5-10 min. break. I knew that if I did keep going, i would be so sore that I couldn't climb stairs. This morning, I felt a little soreness around my knees and I'm saddle sore but other than that, I could jump on a bike now and take off.

  11. #11
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    I took a couple of beginners out on their first ride last week end. We completed an 8 mile loop, mostly flat fireroad with several creek bed crossings and a little single track with small climbs, tight turns, rock and sand creek beds, to give them a little taste of mountain biking. They were both very excited after the single track and we all had a great time!

    I hope to continue to take out new riders to introduce them to our great sport.

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