Hi, relatively new to MTB, new to this forum. Introducing myself. very long.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Smile Hi, relatively new to MTB, new to this forum. Introducing myself. very long.

    Hi, being new here i thought i'd introduce myself.

    I've started biking about 2 yrs ago. 1st road (for a yr), then took a (well advised) left and started MTB uphere in the mountains for more than 1 yr now. No question i like it very much. I have a simple trek 4500, which has served me very well so far in spite of having to replace almost every single component on it (shortly after i started MTBing). Its geometry (21.5") seem to suit me very well in comparison to other bikes...yes, it weighs a good 40# IMO (its much heavier than all other FS/disk bikes ive lifted) but being accustomed to it, it does NOT make it more difficult to climb compared to other, lighter, bikes ive tried. Ive added heavy non-flat tubes to it to make it more resilient. The fork (Judy) aint great, maybe an inch of travel and half of that is wishfull thinking. I ride about 80-100 miles a week (commute) and 30-40 miles of that is MTB 2 to 3 times a week. I do mostly XC but enjoy speedy and curving downhills. I take good care of the bike now...and so do not feel the need for better components..but a FS would be nice.

    I don't look like much of a moutain biker with my gear on...in fact, from afar, you'd say "heres a giant 6'1, 180# popsticle coming at me...". I have a huge WallMart Bell helmet, I wear colored soccer socks up to my kneecaps, baggy shorts with more pockets than $ in my bank account, my favorite orange shirt was torn on 1 side by a branch, I still use my 1#/ea shoes from my hoops days, and, very effectively, use chemical lab plastic goggles. Now, get this, after a few ill advised and painful falls i now wear...my soccer chin gards..on each forearm. I figured if i ever entered a MTB race (no matter what level) id probably win, since most other cyclist would drop dead laughing. An old lady with a poodle told me i looked like some guy named "Steward" which i take it to be some golf player....

    There's a good reason for this weird attire....the lab goggles are really light and effective by design, they became a necessity after my eyeballs got acquainted 1 to many time with suicidal bugs (dirt doesn't help either i found out). the orange torned shirt, should keep the hunters away from making the evening news (even though i can read sometimes a desperation in their eyes--after a fruitless (bloodless?) hunt--that they wouldn't mind shooting at a moving target)...

    worst thing ive seen on the trail is remains of deer on the track (no kidding and likely put there on purpose), and carcasses hanging upside down. The hoop shoes are a perfect complement to my toe-clips: flat with grip and hard soles for good feel of terrain..can't bring myself to clipless...i payed dearely at 1st, and have marks on my chin bone to prove it...in fact, those marks are a perfect match to the teeth from my pedals should i ever have to prove ownership of the bike...im pretty good now with toeclips in spite of a few close calls. The baggy shorts result from suffocation under anytihng tight..the soccer chin gards are light, effective, cheap, and "breath" well, I havent really fallen since then though..ill let you know how they work if i can still type...The socks keep the dirt away from my skin and car, and any accidental contact with pedals (doesn't really help there) and nasty plants i may brush, they feel cozzy too.

    Why do i like MTB so much now? I think i figured it out...when you're biking you are, in part, in survival mode all your attention and focus is on riding well enough not to kill yourself...In short, you take a break from thinking every day things, it cleans the mind..a bit of a catharsis..its relaxing in spite of the duress of MTBing...and, if not taken by the instinct of self preservation, you are taken in contemplation of some gorgeous scenery and nature in isolation..quiet peace and, at times, sounds of winds baked in sunshine...the coolest thing ive encountered was riding along 4-5 racing deer (may be 20 ft away from me), down hill and close to full speed, narrow single track/bumpy rocks and roots, and bushes/trees on the side under the shadow of tall trees, and a piercing sunlight thru the leaves...it had the feeling and the looks of a camera on a rail in the making of an INdiana Jones movie...well, from my perspective! they "keptup with me" for maybe 30sec-1min on my right side, as i was looking back and forth between the track and those creatures.

    I cant bunny-hop, not even a tiny millimeter...the description on how to do it on this forum makes no sense to me, and it seems to violate the laws of physics (how can you lift without pulling up!..and you can't push from downup! )...so to clear logs/rocks/big roots I pull very hard on my bar and accelerate to clear high and long so that i dont mess my chainring (which i did anyway).

    I found out that the skills needed most are control of momentum, and confidence you will make it, getting pissed can substitute for the latter...only training i do is, over sections i didnt clear, i repeat as many times as it takes (sometimes 20). I lift weights twice a week to reduce injury potential (it worked playing bball) and focus on upperbody muscles i feel i use a lot during MTBing (pulling for ex,) , I do a light leg workout (only 2 apparatusx3) mainly squats and lunges...but work the middle section quite a bit...this regiment will deform me but, what the heck, my attire has already done me in...I like to relax with a couple of brews and music post-MTB cleansing stress.

    Will i race? dont think so...i wandered in the training techniques forum, and no way i have a lick of a chance..guys are doing stuff way beyond me...ill race myself and find a way not to lose and have a good time.

    My moniker stems from my inability to hold on my biking buddies (you know, the last of the mohican)...I've gone thru 7-8 of them and all have quit...some broke their bikes, another puked when i was ahead and trying to push him to do more climbing, he never showedup again after that (a friend told me he got sick, thats how i know...had no idea then), another one was a great rider fast and strong with stamina and recklessness, but he had some bad crashes (and goodness, i mean Baad!), and stopped coming, another one i had to come back with my car to pick himup on a fire road dejected (he swore off MTB after that), 2 others fell/broke their bikes never showedup and hate MTB now, another, after the 1st 500 yrds gave up and thinks MTB is terrible...I've come to the point of following serious looking MTBers...and, guess what?, after feeling a bit weird in tailing them, the 1st guy falls off...i stop...the one ahead screams something after what must have been a fall (we were on a difficult climb)...i decided to packup and leave the other way...Since, ive tried to hookup with 2 guys that race (and one girl)...start talking about MTB, etc. in the hope they'de offer to ride together...since i believe they are much better riders, i did not want to intrude and waited for them to offer...still waiting :-)...anyway, not much luck in that front (in fact it seems im bad luck)...so i ride alone now (and i mean alone since i rarely cross paths upthere with MTBers)....its not bad, i enjoy it.

    anyway, its long, sorry..i have many questions that i will bug you with later...

    take care and, again, hi.

  2. #2
    life is a barrel o'fun
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    welcome, fellow addict!

    I think I may need to get me some chem-lab goggles. Lately, I find that bugs and dirt are a huge problem, even while wearing my sunglasses. Maybe I just need to wear my big ol' alien-looking bike glasses and stop wearing the prescription, "everyday" ones.

    The knee socks also sound like a good idea, as do the "elbow" pads Sounds like you're bringing back a retro style that could catch on......!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I am VERY new at this myself.
    The guys at work have tagged me as 'the one to talk to' since I just did a lot of research and took my time buying my first mtb during the past couple months. I leveraged off the knowledge of three or four people who got into it in the past couple-three years so it is only fair that I pass what little I learned along. Hopeing to get a couple three of us dirty this upcoming week.

    I DID go out and pick up some safety glasses since my shades (also polycarb safety glasses) were too dark for riding when I reached home after work. I used to hate gnats back when I was road riding in school.

    You sound a little obsessive. If you want to bike with people you cannot expect everyone to be at the same endurance or skill levels. You have to modify your style to accomidate the folks with you. Nobody in their right mind, under normal circumstances, enjoys pain or puking their guts out.(I have less sympathy for the puking as it is somewhat self inflicted but the fact that you didn't know what was happening to your riding buddy is not a good sign.)

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Hi Christine and Archer...goggles and riding...

    Hey Christine, the goggles i was talking about are NOT the "fully encapsulating" ones as they will condense water on the inside surface (you probably already knew that, but just in case...). Those are cheap (bout $5) ones..under UV from exposure to sun, they can go bad over time (but can see many months-1yr of use)..as for your back problem in your thread above id suspect most result from chronic stress, so posture, and bike fit should solve your problem (as they buildup problem overtime, rather than catastrophically)...i would stop the gym until well beyond past you feel no more pain (give it an xtra week more than what you think you'd need at 1st)...worst thing you can do is work thru it...but after that, i suspect strengthing core muscles should reduce your likelyhood of re-injury....prestretching before ride a good idea too IMO.

    Archer, not sure what you mean by "obssesive" :-)?...btw, took out a Newbie yesterday and im glad to report he made it back and happy, I was freaking out the whole time though because i was afraid he'd get hurt, i coached him a bit (for ex. on how to clear logs and position on fast descent)...only one "good fall"...I could not let him go out of my sight for more than couple of minutes...not fun..since i had to stop and bike back often, but he enjoyed it so that was the most important...im typically very concerned about others riding experience if theyre not used to MTB, ...now, if i sense that im getting on their nerves by being too cautious and telling them how to do things too much, i let them be, tell them to take their time and tell them I wont be too far away (usually 10 min. max.)...Dont know what more i can do...


  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Hey we are all a bit obsessive about something.
    What I ment, reading from your first post is that you sounded kinda far into it. That you would like to ride with someone but nobody rides like you ride.

    Your second post on the other hand goes a little in the other direction. It is great that you are willing to help others get into the swing. I do that with a number of my hobbies when I get the chance. With some things and some people teaching is fun. Having paitience is not the easiest thing though.

    Like I said, I'm new and off to get the bike dirty again later this week.

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