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  1. #1
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    Palmer Park blood loss

    Ok, I just bought my bike last week and I've been riding Palmer Park a lot, since I live next door to it. I'm not very good. I'm sort of in decent shape, but technically I have my troubles. It seems that even the "easy" trails there are full of rocks, drops, roots, and and plenty of things I have to either walk around or wipeout over. I never come out of there without some blood loss. Yesterday it was two endos and a couple bailouts to avoid more trauma. And that's fairly typical.

    So here's the question, do you guys set up your bikes a bit differently for this technical riding, than you do for smoother trails? Also, do you recommend me to get some more basic skills prior to tackling these trails? How?

    For what it's worth I've got a hardtail and 80mm of suspension in the front, and it seems every little bump wants to pitch me over the handlebars. Now I'm nursing a bruised rib that I reinjured the other day.

  2. #2
    starladear
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    more skills and more suspension! take it easy dude

  3. #3
    Cynical Bystander
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    Quote Originally Posted by starladear
    more skills and more suspension! take it easy dude
    Psh, you don't need suspension to ride well that just makes it easier.


    What fork do you have on there? Also, are you sitting down when you approach these things hoping your fork will soak it up? Just go slowlyand use your arms and legs to soak it up. If they're on a down slope lean backwards over the rear of your saddle.
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    is making a comeback.

    Turns out that five years of not mountain biking, really makes one strive to get back to it.

  4. #4
    Shinobi-Wan Kenobi Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by routerguy
    So here's the question, do you guys set up your bikes a bit differently for this technical riding, than you do for smoother trails? Also, do you recommend me to get some more basic skills prior to tackling these trails? How?
    Drop your seat. This is important for several reasons. It lowers your center of gravity making you more stable, it makes it easier to get behind the seat on downhills and it forces you to stay out of the seat on technical climbs. Being out of the saddle on climbs allows you to throw your weight around more and enable better climbing (so long as you have enough weight over the rear tire to keep it from spinning). Riding with a lower seat will feel a little weird at first, but you (and your legs) will quickly get used to it being lower.

    On the "easy" trails in the park, just drop your seat an inch or so from your normal climbing position. On the moderate stuff, 2-3 inches is good and on the wild stuff, drop it all the way.

    Remember that technical riding is simple physics. Picture yourself riding something down steep. Now picture an imaginary vertical line rising straight up out of your front hub. As long as you keep your center of gravity behind that imaginary vertical line, it is impossible to endo (so long as your front wheel doesn't stop). Make sure that you are getting out of the saddle on technical downhills and exagerate how far back you are getting behind the seat--I guarantee that you aren't getting as far back as you think you are if you are having problems endoing.

    The other important thing to consider is wearing armor--especially in the park. My technical riding absolutely took off when I started wearing armor because I felt I could safely push things a little. A set of good leg and arm armor should run you less than $100 which is WAY cheaper than stitches.

  5. #5
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    stay in the back seat for your techy downhill stuff if you are centered on your bike you are more likey to go over the bars.

  6. #6
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    Momentum is your friend.

    Going too slow through technical stuff is what gets most beginners. Don't fight the bike, relax and allow the bike to flow through and over rough stuff. As a buddy of mine says "Frow rike watah (Flow like water)". After you crash - try to play it back in your head...it normally happens because you slowed down to a snails pace.

    Of course...going too fast can get you pretty quick too!

    And the big thing that a few have already mentioned is getting your butt way off the back of the seat. Try it while riding on a flat section, feels really goofy - but helps out when you hit some steep stuff. Get your behind off the seat and drop it down almost touching your rear tire...the seat should be in your sternum. THAT is how to go down wicked steep and technical stuff. It's called "Rhoid Buffing"...
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  7. #7
    Inflexable...
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    As said before, momentum is the key to most riding - even downhill. Practice, practice and practice is the fastest way to become proficient at most anything. Tackle the easier moves over and over until they become second nature and work your way up.

    Riding with and following someone else who knows the moves will also get you up to speed faster...

  8. #8
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    Shorter Stem

    If you are endoing a lot you may need a shorter stem. A longer stem will place more of your weight forward. See if you can get your LBS to loan you something a bit shorter to see if this is the case. Also, keep your elbows unlocked so they can absorb some of the bumps etc. You are part of the suspension as well, the fork will only help so much. The other comments apply as well.

  9. #9
    Gravy Boat Regatta
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    Go ride with someone who is a decent rider and a good teacher. I'm neither, but I bet there's many here who would love to ride with you if the schedules line up.
    Hi

  10. #10
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    i have no idea what im doing....

    seems every time i go out, i do something wrong, whether it results in a crash or not. climbing, decending, simply pedaling level ground. my mind is still in dirt bike mode and i cant get out of it.

    one thing i do know. the more armor you wear the more you crash, it makes you crazy!!!!

    no, not really....


    mike, 50th ride Nitrous 11 report to come soon.

  11. #11
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    LOL...rhoid buffing!!??!! Well that certainly drives home the point that I need to get farther back on the bike. I think I'm getting back a little bit but not nearly far back enough.

    I think I'm still sort of controlling the bike with the seat between the legs. I guess I need to get comfortable with letting the bike roll around a little more by having the seat float around under my chest. I bet this would let me feal a little more comfortable carrying some speed through the bumpy stuff. And I think this would help because a lot of falls are at lower speeds where I hit a rock and the bike almost stops.

    I took a break today. But tommorrow I'll go out and report back on with developments in regards to my lowered seat and farther back position through the bumps.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by routerguy; 09-15-2005 at 09:38 PM.

  12. #12
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    I went out for a quick 45minute ride today with a lower seat and attention given to getting farther back and lower down the hills and through the bumps. It did make a big difference. I felt in much more control and not once did I feel like I was in danger of getting pitched over the front. I felt like I even had a bit more control on the uphills also.

    I did have one wipeout, but it wasn't an endo. It was in a place where I've previously walked around. I'd rather at least attempt this stuff rather than walking like a total wuss. But there's a whole lot of stuff out there that is so far beyond my skill level now, that I just avoid those areas altogether. One day maybe I'll get there.

    Thanks much for the tips. I may investigate the shorter stem idea and the armor idea. We'll see.

  13. #13
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    You sound like myself 4 years ago. I also live by palmer, and learned to ride technical trails there on a fully rigid 15 yr. old schwinn.

    I crashed many times before I learned to keep my weight back on the descents.

    I eventually could ride the majority of the park on the rigid bike, and did so for several years until getting a 5" travel bike. Now, I ride the same trails MUCH faster and with more enjoyment.

    Basically, it seemed to me that learning on a hardtail made it seem so easy with full suspension. Wait until you are extremely confident on your current bike before you upgrade, that way you will appreciate it more.

    You should also check out the cheyenne canyon trails, when you have more time to ride there is alot more to explore up there.

    If you can master the toughest palmer park has to offer, then technically speaking, you can ride just about anywhere.

  14. #14
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    Where is Palmer Park located? It sounds like fun

  15. #15
    Gaa-zee-raaaa!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbahus
    Where is Palmer Park located? It sounds like fun
    Pretty much in the middle of CO Springs - Kristian or someone else could tell you more specifically though.
    Now with more vitriol!

  16. #16
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    Keep riding the hard tail and 80mm fork. You will develop greater skills so when you make the switch to full suspension you be able to light up!

  17. #17
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    palmer park is in colorado springs between circle, union and austin bluffs aka my back yard. right now it super sandy but yeah its fun to go for an after work/school ride.

    my recomendation is to manhandle your bike around, if those a drop coming up don't slow down a ton and roll it, go in with confidence pull up on your bars and drop it, throw you bike into corners its slick up there so run a lower pressure and get used to drifting a little. and if your climbing and theres a rock to get over, pedal harder to get you front wheel up a bit and then make sure your pedals are leval ans your BB is over the edge and then yank up your rear.

    I have ridden p park on several bikes (xc hardtail, dj hardtail, xc fully, trail fully, freeride fully, and full on dh fully) and those tips apply to whatever kind of bike your on, just lean back lift up where needed and power it!!!!
    style is everything more like style is... keaton likes sausage.
    Scratchy Rat Racing more like stupid Rediculous Rectum.

    I hate keaton and joey but love them so much at the same time

    LOWER YOUR SADDLES FOR SATAN

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