Why is Descending < Climbing?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why is Descending < Climbing?

    I'm mostly an all-mountain/XC style rider and, although climbing is pretty important for many riders, I feel like competent, flowing, riding loose and highly skill descending doesn't get the props it ought to.

    In my neck of the woods, there's such an emphasis on "getting footies" and PR's on climbs, and climbing this and that, and more climbing, and getting those legs and lungs to burn, and let's go do zero technical fire roads and take your climbing medicine, and more climbing... blah. Rarely do people brag about their descending (except the downhillers, of course) and all the praise goes to the fastest climbers.

    Personally, I like the mix of decent climbs, but also, technical flow, building the competence and skills it takes to descend well with controlled speed. Learning how to use brakes to actually go faster, pumping, body english, line choice, navigating through extremely technical terrain... all that stuff. I won't even do a climb unless there's a good downhill pay-off... If there isn't a fast, technical single track on the other side of that long, boring fire road... I'm not interested.

    Lately, I've really been paying attention to, not only my climbing endurance, but my ability to shave off time with competent descending. It's a part of riding that I think is incredibly important - just as important as fast climbing.

    It's a shame when I see fast climbers white knuckle it going down a hill. Props goes to the folks who can climb and descend quickly.

    So... what's your feelings on descending vs. climbing?

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    Best climbers win races.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Best climbers win races.
    So, is winning races the ultimate goal of MTB'ing? I know a lot of guys who emphasize climbing the most and don't race.

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    For me it's always been about the ride down. It's just a matter of pride that I rode up and "earned my turn".

    I have no problem with being the last one up or stopping for a smoke on the way or even shuttling (doesn't happen much where I rode). I definitely try not to wear myself out on the way up. Riding down takes a lot of strength and endurance.
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    Climbing is what I need to do to get the best downhills, that's it. For me climbing up a fire road and then bombing down it is a waste of a day. Id rather grind for 3 hours in order to bomb for 30 minutes with a sh!t eating grin on my face. To each, there own. Some ride for fitness and some ride cause they miss being a kid. Best part of climbing has nothing to do with biking for me, helps me haul stink on the board when the snow falls

    DH and fast flowy riding does get mad props, just usually on a different forum hehe.

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    The only riders I have met who will not give props to descending and DH in it's own right are XC freaks who pride themselves solely on fitness and uphill speed.
    However, the best riders I know realize that each discipline has it's unique challenges and respect what it takes to be good at both.
    Once people understand that and get off the "earn your turns" crap, it's fun to see what it takes to excel at descending.
    The best XC racers I know are excellent descenders.
    I like DH and will happily pedal for it,
    I get a big kick out of being so much faster on descents than "faster" riders.
    It's a weird perspective on the fun v work v rewards equation.
    Descending is the most fun aspect of MTB to me. Climbing is the work component-even when it's fun it's work.
    Descending can be both-fun and work, but get it right and it's WAY more fun than any uphill and feels effortless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Best climbers win races.
    Apparently there's a segment of the MTB race community that races this thing call DOWNHILL.

    The best climbers win XC races.

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    Anyone can sit in the saddle for 300 miles a week and get some serious lungs and heart and crush any climb around, but to truly haul the mail downhill takes drive, skill, balls, and natural ability, many people are missing one or more of those components.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Apparently there's a segment of the MTB race community that races this thing call DOWNHILL.

    The best climbers win XC races.
    No shat Sherlock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    Anyone can sit in the saddle for 300 miles a week and get some serious lungs and heart and crush any climb around, but to truly haul the mail downhill takes drive, skill, balls, and natural ability and a shuttle truck, many people are missing one or more of those components.



    .....

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    In my mind, there's something impressive about taking a 2 foot drop with cat's grace, but there's something more impressive about going up a 2 foot gap. Just some food for thought.

    Each discipline has it's own fans, just so happens that XC reigns where I am.

  12. #12
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    Take cars as an example: what gets more press, lateral g's it can pull or its 0-100mph time? I think when it comes to cyclists, people like to rev their v8 engines and talk about putting out watts of climbing power. But to be honest, I don't really hear too much boasting about either in the real world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    In my mind, there's something impressive about taking a 2 foot drop with cat's grace, but there's something more impressive about going up a 2 foot gap. Just some food for thought.

    Each discipline has it's own fans, just so happens that XC reigns where I am.
    Umm, there's nothing impressive about a 2 foot drop/gap in any direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Umm, there's nothing impressive about a 2 foot drop/gap in any direction.
    Your right, anyone can handle a 2' drop, but not everyone can do it with some flow, style and as mentioned... cats grace

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    I always thought it was interesting that few people saw fire road downhills as technical or understood that between two trails, of equal elevation gain, one was a better up than a down.
    I don't rattle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Umm, there's nothing impressive about a 2 foot drop/gap in any direction.
    There are few riders that can get a MTB up on top of a 2' tall ledge without getting off their bike. I mean where does that even exist on a trail? Around here everyone seems intent on removing anything taller than a few inches, much less a 24 inch tall wall.

  17. #17
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    Descending takes skillz. Climbing takes endurance. Strength is required for both. Climbing is simple from a technical pov and bombing down a hill takes ball since your going fast and usually hitting gaps and jumping. Climbers are usually weight weenies but argue that they are stronger. I take my dj bike on many local singletrack trails and easily keep up with the xc, lycra wearing dudes.

    With that being said Im on the descending side of mtb mainly because its FUN and even more so with some friends. When my buddies and I ride dh we dont race: we enjoy the ride and focus on feeding off one another and trying diff lines. Climbing is usually a bunch ******s competing which is boring..

    to each his own I guess. Slow climbing is boring IMO. You want a rush? push yourself by catching some speed and dodging roots and rocks dh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Umm, there's nothing impressive about a 2 foot drop/gap in any direction.
    There is to me. I'd love to be able to ride up a 2 foot drop. It ain't likely to happen in my lifetime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    There are few riders that can get a MTB up on top of a 2' tall ledge without getting off their bike. I mean where does that even exist on a trail? Around here everyone seems intent on removing anything taller than a few inches, much less a 24 inch tall wall.
    I hear you.
    Obstacles that size and much larger exist on plenty of trails.
    Any "modern" mtb in the hands of a skilled rider can get up "big" obstacles.
    People have been pedaling up much bigger things for a loooooooong time. It's standard fare for many XC trails, but it depends where you ride.
    I've seen "black diamond" trails in the midwest that Colorado riders would consider smooth and featureless.
    I've seen XC trails in the east that redefine "rocky."
    There are sooooo many rides in the western US where BIG rocky ledges and features are the norm and not the exception-MOAB comes to mind. So does Grand Junction. So does Gray Eagle. So does Vegas.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Best climbers win races.
    I think it takes both disipiles to win races. If you can get to the top fast but can't downhill worth crap ya will eat cookies on the way down and lose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    There is to me. I'd love to be able to ride up a 2 foot drop. It ain't likely to happen in my lifetime.
    You are selling yourself short.

  22. #22
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    I don't really see the point of discussion here.. it is like discussing foods... to each his own. i hate climbing - i can't see how it can be fun going up the hill, redlining and telling legs to shut up, but there is a strong sense of accomplishment at the top of the tough climb... everyone must love going down the hill, should be a no brainer... it takes way more skills than going up, especially on the same bike...

    i am into xc and race a lot. i respect good climbers - it is true that they win our races - as long as they have other required skills, including descending... but - truth be told - xc races are won going up the hill...

    i also respect great descenders - "how can that boy sit down with his ball so big" - is a masterpiece of control, balance and BALLS. how can one not enjoy watching that descend... when bombing around on my AM bike and with a bunch of friends - the most fun is to be had on descents... climbs are necessary evil, just to be able to descend...

    there should be no disrespect from either side of the fence... i don't understand those that trashtalk "sausage suits" as well as those that pee on flat pedals. Who really cares what others are having fun with... i know what puts that sh!t eating grin on my face and can appreciate it either way...

    going either up or down requires certain skills and those that do it both, or just up or just down - it's all good... neither is better than the other. both are MTB ingredients and there to be enjoyed... by all...

  23. #23
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    The goal for me is to be an efficient climber so that im not too physically worn out to enjoy the fun downhill sections. I do appreciate the challenge of a technical climb though. BUT if you get to the top and youre drained, the downhill loses its appeal. Thats why i aim to be a good climber.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Obstacles that size and much larger exist on plenty of trails.
    Really? I've done some riding in Moab, Sedona, the east coast, the west coast and I have never come across a mandatory 2' tall drop off that the rider is supposed to go up.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Any "modern" mtb in the hands of a skilled rider can get up "big" obstacles.
    Back in 1988 at the age of 15 I could hop my BMX bike 32" off of flat ground, I can't hop my MTB that high, but I'm no slouch when it comes to getting my MTB off the ground without a jump.

    When riding places like Gooseberry mesa I'm usually looking for the ledge that is just a bit taller than the last biggest one I got up, if the edge is rounded as most all of the are, they are pretty forgiving and I can get up ledges the height of my wheel, but a 24" tall square edged ledge is quite formidable.

    In short, I know mtbs can get up big obstacles, but only a bunny hopping geek will ever get up a 24" tall drop cleanly.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    People have been pedaling up much bigger things for a loooooooong time. It's standard fare for many XC trails, but it depends where you ride.
    "Much bigger things"? So you think the average rider can get up 3' drops? Thats full on trials riding, Jeff Leonce has the world record for bunny hopping a MTB and that is 48", fwiw.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    There are sooooo many rides in the western US where BIG rocky ledges and features are the norm and not the exception-MOAB comes to mind.
    What trails in Moab have mandatory 2' drop that you have to ride up? I'm not talking about a near vertical ledge with a rounded top that you can roll your rear tire up, thats rookie ****, I'm talking a 2' tall bunny hop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    You are selling yourself short.
    Not really. I'm 55 years old. Been riding mountain bikes for almost 50 years. My riding has been getting tamer over the last 5 or 6 years due to old age. In the last year, cancer has kicked the **** out of my abilities. I'll build myself back up but probably not to the level I was even 10 years ago.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll try riding up a 2 foot drop. I just don't expect to make it. Although I AM 50lbs. lighter than I was 4 months ago. That might help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
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  26. #26
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    You gotta enjoy both to truly love the sport of XC.
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    It's all good. If you enjoy climbing, great. If you enjoy descending, fine. Why should you care if anyone gives you "props"- are you out there to impress people? Is gaining the admiration of others the reason that you ride?

    I have to disagree with the "Descending takes skillz. Climbing takes endurance" comment, though. I think cleaning a technical climb takes plenty of "skillz" AND endurance. That is the stuff that I find most challenging. And I enjoy a good challenge.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    You gotta enjoy both to truly love the sport of XC.
    Thankfully you don't need to just be into XC to truely love MTB'ing.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Umm, there's nothing impressive about a 2 foot drop/gap in any direction.
    You can actually ride up a 2 foot vertical drop?

    I wanna see a video of someone whose last name is not macaskill or akrigg going up a 2 foot vertical drop. MTBR feet, not pinkbike feet.

  30. #30
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    Dion, it definitely takes skill to go down a hill quickly. There is somewhat of a fear factor to it, I think. Racing uphill, you are unlikely to get hurt. Racing downhill, well, that is another story. So a lot of people who are will to go up a hill as fast as possible would not be willing to go down it as fast as possible.

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    Dion, that's not necessarily true in all mountain biking communities. Some places have no climbing, but may have superb rolling, twisting, techy ST.

    Climbing is focused upon in regions where it is unavoidable, where there are mountains, big hills.

    Basically, cycling is a form of exercise and all of us who do it are a little bit healthier because of it.

    Therefore, climbing is your workout. Descending is your reward. Fun fits in here anywhere you want it to.

    If you go to places where shuttling or ski lifts are available, then climbing is pretty much taken out of the scenario. Live somewhere like this and the phrase "climbing" may never come up...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    I don't really see the point of discussion here...
    I guess this came about when I had a thought in regards to some local group rides in my area. It seems the entire point of the rides is climbing or "getting footies" - every frighin' ride. I was starting to think there was something wrong with me when the thought of riding just to climb didn't sound like a good time.

    I mean, for the guys that like this - more power to them. But, then I started asking myself if climbing is the ultimate goal. After thinking about it, I just don't think so. for awhile thre, all I wanted was to climb fast, and, well, my descending will just "come over time".

    I'm wildly impressed by good descenders as much as I am by good climbers. I like being at the top of the climb quicker than others, but I also really like being at the bottom quicker than others, too. Setting a PR on a downhill is just as important to me as setting a PR going uphill.

    But it seems among some, flowing skillfully downhill isn't worth much of mentioning.

  33. #33
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    You can lose riders on a long climb... its a good measure of whos a good match to ride with you. Even slow descenders arent going to leave you at the bottom of a long downhill run for more than 5 minutes on most trails.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    You can actually ride up a 2 foot vertical drop?



    Of course. Christ can walk on water, going up a 2 foot vert. is cake walk.

  35. #35
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    I ride year round (in all weather) and I ride both XC and DH. In my brief mtb experience I've becoming a stronger climber with practice. I'm mostly slow and steady and I make it up most hills on my AM bike. DH has made me a better technical rider. I have ridden with XC riders with way more years experience on the trails than me who often ride around features or walk down descents (especially steep and gnarly) that I'm able to ride. I learned through DH that its better to choose my line, let go of the brakes and go with the flow. The pay off to climbing is the ride down!

    I don't race XC although I might race DH one day but for me its a pleasure just to ride and enjoy the scenery on the trails.
    Last edited by cyclelicious; 09-23-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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  36. #36
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    i wanna see vids of this steezus character climbing a 2 foot ledge. pics or GTFO, as they say.

    i like climbing because it is the main factor in giving me back my legs and lungs since i started riding this year. i hate climbing because it sucks the life out of me sometimes. going down is a blast- going down fast is a REAL blast. i never go fast enough, though, mainly because my skills are not commensurate with my balls or my ego... but sanity usually takes over and reminds me that i still have to go to work tomorrow.

    dion- what is this 'getting footies' business? i dont know that lingo.
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  37. #37
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    Climbing is the ticket- descending is the ride.

    The way I figure you can either enjoy the pain and strive to improve or beach & moan the whole way up.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    There are few riders that can get a MTB up on top of a 2' tall ledge without getting off their bike. I mean where does that even exist on a trail? Around here everyone seems intent on removing anything taller than a few inches, much less a 24 inch tall wall.
    I know what you mean man. There are many trails, especially in cities, that are almost featureless, that have all rocks, roots, and other obstacles removed, but there are plenty of trails that are "real" mountain biking out there too.

  39. #39
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    As the saying goes - You can't have your cake and eat it, too..

    Seriously though. The places I ride the most have a good mixture of climbing and descending. Personally, I enjoy it. I don't mind a climb as long as there is also the thrill of a fun descent.

    I have respect for both sides of this discussion. I just like to go out and have fun. That's the point of riding to me.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    Really? I've done some riding in Moab, Sedona, the east coast, the west coast and I have never come across a mandatory 2' tall drop off that the rider is supposed to go up.



    Back in 1988 at the age of 15 I could hop my BMX bike 32" off of flat ground, I can't hop my MTB that high, but I'm no slouch when it comes to getting my MTB off the ground without a jump.

    When riding places like Gooseberry mesa I'm usually looking for the ledge that is just a bit taller than the last biggest one I got up, if the edge is rounded as most all of the are, they are pretty forgiving and I can get up ledges the height of my wheel, but a 24" tall square edged ledge is quite formidable.

    In short, I know mtbs can get up big obstacles, but only a bunny hopping geek will ever get up a 24" tall drop cleanly.



    "Much bigger things"? So you think the average rider can get up 3' drops? Thats full on trials riding, Jeff Leonce has the world record for bunny hopping a MTB and that is 48", fwiw.



    What trails in Moab have mandatory 2' drop that you have to ride up? I'm not talking about a near vertical ledge with a rounded top that you can roll your rear tire up, thats rookie ****, I'm talking a 2' tall bunny hop.
    There are places in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky that has 2 feet high places and higher to climb and Pisgah National Forest in N.C. has many of those. The roots stop the soil and it washes out below the roots. Some of these are scary to go over and I can't climb all of them, especially if I'm tired. Anyways, there are places like that out there, but they're not everyone by no means. You have to get off the beaten path to find these true technical trails.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    You can actually ride up a 2 foot vertical drop?

    I wanna see a video of someone whose last name is not macaskill or akrigg going up a 2 foot vertical drop. MTBR feet, not pinkbike feet.
    I can break out a tape measure and post a video sometime, when I get time. I'm just an average joe like anyone else though.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    I don't really see the point of discussion here.. it is like discussing foods... to each his own. i hate climbing - i can't see how it can be fun going up the hill, redlining and telling legs to shut up, but there is a strong sense of accomplishment at the top of the tough climb... everyone must love going down the hill, should be a no brainer... it takes way more skills than going up, especially on the same bike...

    i am into xc and race a lot. i respect good climbers - it is true that they win our races - as long as they have other required skills, including descending... but - truth be told - xc races are won going up the hill...

    i also respect great descenders - "how can that boy sit down with his ball so big" - is a masterpiece of control, balance and BALLS. how can one not enjoy watching that descend... when bombing around on my AM bike and with a bunch of friends - the most fun is to be had on descents... climbs are necessary evil, just to be able to descend...

    there should be no disrespect from either side of the fence... i don't understand those that trashtalk "sausage suits" as well as those that pee on flat pedals. Who really cares what others are having fun with... i know what puts that sh!t eating grin on my face and can appreciate it either way...

    going either up or down requires certain skills and those that do it both, or just up or just down - it's all good... neither is better than the other. both are MTB ingredients and there to be enjoyed... by all...
    Extremely good post. Well said.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I guess this came about when I had a thought in regards to some local group rides in my area. It seems the entire point of the rides is climbing or "getting footies" - every frighin' ride. I was starting to think there was something wrong with me when the thought of riding just to climb didn't sound like a good time.

    I mean, for the guys that like this - more power to them. But, then I started asking myself if climbing is the ultimate goal. After thinking about it, I just don't think so. for awhile thre, all I wanted was to climb fast, and, well, my descending will just "come over time".

    I'm wildly impressed by good descenders as much as I am by good climbers. I like being at the top of the climb quicker than others, but I also really like being at the bottom quicker than others, too. Setting a PR on a downhill is just as important to me as setting a PR going uphill.

    But it seems among some, flowing skillfully downhill isn't worth much of mentioning.
    I have to ask. What is getting footies? Anyways, most people don't enjoy climbing. Once you ride more you will be able to climb faster, but it doesn't get easier. You only get faster. Climbing is how people show off their legs and it puts huge gaps on other riders. It sounds like you are riding with a group that does some racing or they wouldn't care as much about time up the climbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Even slow descenders arent going to leave you at the bottom of a long downhill run for more than 5 minutes on most trails.
    Depends on the trail. I've waited much longer than that for some folks.

    Dion, I read your post with a "geez, really?" look on my face. What you're imagining describes my riding community pretty well. All my friends climb for a reason: to descend. And in general, the best DHers in the group are also the strongest climbers. They're strong and have the best bike handling skills and don't get knocked off stride by the rocks or roots that others spin out on or fail to climb.

    On the other hand, there is a hardcore community of XC riders who approach every ride as a training ride, and choose trail combinations that I would never consider - climbs with no payoff and returning via the road. Sure, I could use a kick in the pants fitness-wise, and these guys get results. But I ride for fun, and that doesn't sound like it to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by "Rod" View Post
    There are many trails, especially in cities, that are almost featureless, that have all rocks, roots, and other obstacles removed, but there are plenty of trails that are "real" mountain biking out there too.
    Both you and Stezus have talked to me like I'm a nOOb that has never seen anything other than road biker MTB trails, why are you doing this? I have clearly posted about my travels and my ability to get my bike off the ground. Yet you still post as if I'm a nOOb that only rides nOOB trails, quit it.

    I think what is really going on here is that neither of you are familiar with a tape measure, I'm a carpenter/skatepark builder and am very familiar with a tape. And I am all too familiar with people throwing out big numbers for ledge heights and rail heights in design meetings only to find out that 2' is a lot bigger than they thought, I'm %99 sure that is going on with you and steez, you are not familiar with a tape measure.

    How's about a friendly wager? You and Steez post up a vid of yourself hopping your everyday XC bike up the highest thing you can find, it has to be clean, no bashing your rear tire on the front of the obstacle, and the take off has to be dead flat, use a tape measure in the video so there is no guessing at height. We each put $20 in the pot, highest hop takes all. I haven't even been on my bike in 3 weeks and I'm fat from a summer of not enough riding so this should be a cake walk for you guys.

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    I just want to be the best I can be at all aspects of riding. When I descend I find things I could get better at and when I climb I wish I could make it up obstacles easier. I like to climb a lot because then I can eat crappy food and look better with my shirt off. hehe

    Jackbombay you seriously don't have any trails with a 2 foot high obstacle? I would show you one but then I would have to listen to you complaining about riding uphill. hehe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogs View Post
    Jackbombay you seriously don't have any trails with a 2 foot high obstacle? I would show you one but then I would have to listen to you complaining about riding uphill. hehe.
    I love riding uphill, I haven't posted anything that suggests otherwise.

    Pull out a tape measure, 2' is well above your knee.

    Also, put your money where your mouth is or GTFO, $20


    I am very eager to see videos of all you keyboard champions easily getting your bike on top of 2' tall obstacles.

  48. #48
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    Because Orgasm is Better Than Foreplay?


    What do I win?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    There are few riders that can get a MTB up on top of a 2' tall ledge without getting off their bike. I mean where does that even exist on a trail? Around here everyone seems intent on removing anything taller than a few inches, much less a 24 inch tall wall.
    We NEED to lag bolt more downed trees back where they belong again....(RIP, Logjam)

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    Yeah but the point of foreplay is to beat around the bush.

    Some days I really don't care to climb and would love to be shuttled. I miss days when that was an option, but it isn't anymore. Climbing has perks. Some days I enjoy being winded and other days I am not enthusiastic about it at all. I enjoy progressing in both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    We NEED to lag bolt more downed trees back where they belong again....(RIP, Logjam)
    I'm not sure of you've read the rest of the thread, but all the riding where we live is ultra easy super manicured road biking on dirt, everyone that doesn't live here has assured me of that.

    There is no riding anywhere around us that anyone would consider difficult. Just the other day this 2 year old on a scuut blew by me on my favorite trail but since every trail here is so smooth it makes sense that a bike with 8" wheels and no cranks could go so fast, but he was drafting behind his mom on her "Townie".

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    Just so everyone has a visual of what 2' looks like compared to a MTB (26" wheel) here is a pic, the top of the black tool box on top of the gray refrigerator is 24.5" from the floor, who would build a trail with a wall this tall that had to be ridden up to continue on with the trail?


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    Well, I personally want to invite everyone in Southern Utah to bring us some big, ledgy, gnarly rocks that we can install on our trails, seeing as there actually aren't any rocks in the Big Holes. Trust me, I keep looking. They all moved down into the valley to become Teton Topsoil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Of course. Christ can walk on water, going up a 2 foot vert. is cake walk.
    Exactly this.
    Sometimes I forgot my awesomeness and fail to realize that the common rider will view my standard riding exploits as miraculous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    Just so everyone has a visual of what 2' looks like compared to a MTB (26" wheel) here is a pic, the top of the black tool box on top of the gray refrigerator is 24.5" from the floor, who would build a trail with a wall this tall that had to be ridden up to continue on with the trail?

    Thank you for the perspective.
    I've changed my mind.
    24" is no big deal, but 24.5" looks like Mt..Everest
    The long stem, short travel, and skinny tire bike in the pic helped me to realize the impossibility of the obstacle.
    Please don't feel or think I envision you as a noob. Your tenacity and focus combined with your full scale obstacle representation in this thread is expert class.

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    Climbing is inevitable, we all know that. For me it is as much a mental battle as it is a physical battle, especially when you round a sweeping corner or crest a small hill only to be faced by some monster climb. But the best part of any day out on the bike is definitely taming the downhills, no question! Although fast sweeping riding on single track deep in a forest can be pretty awesome too.

    Did anyone see the mtn bike race in this years Olympics? It looked like they had a pretty nasty downhill section through a giant rock garden, quite a few riders crashed in there.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Dion, that's not necessarily true in all mountain biking communities. Some places have no climbing, but may have superb rolling, twisting, techy ST.

    Climbing is focused upon in regions where it is unavoidable, where there are mountains, big hills.

    Basically, cycling is a form of exercise and all of us who do it are a little bit healthier because of it.

    Therefore, climbing is your workout. Descending is your reward. Fun fits in here anywhere you want it to.

    If you go to places where shuttling or ski lifts are available, then climbing is pretty much taken out of the scenario. Live somewhere like this and the phrase "climbing" may never come up...
    What some fail to understand --and this is not directed at you-- is that there comes a point in which one has to conserve strength on the way up, either by pushing or otherwise, in order to be able to push as hard as you can down the hill. The terrain is so rough and steep, the jumps are so big, that it isn't really feasible to ride up and bomb down, unless one happens to be a super buff Enduro or trained WC DH racer. But for us normal folk, I suppose we have to choose between challenging ourselves mashing up or bombing down.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    I love riding uphill, I haven't posted anything that suggests otherwise.

    Pull out a tape measure, 2' is well above your knee.

    Also, put your money where your mouth is or GTFO, $20


    I am very eager to see videos of all you keyboard champions easily getting your bike on top of 2' tall obstacles.
    Oh sorry for this misunderstanding. I never said I could climb it. But I can find you one. And I would try.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteezusChrist View Post
    Thank you for the perspective.
    I've changed my mind.
    24" is no big deal, but 24.5" looks like Mt..Everest
    The long stem, short travel, and skinny tire bike in the pic helped me to realize the impossibility of the obstacle.
    Please don't feel or think I envision you as a noob. Your tenacity and focus combined with your full scale obstacle representation in this thread is expert class.
    And so the deflection begins, in hopes that we won't remember his initial claim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big terry View Post
    dion- what is this 'getting footies' business? i dont know that lingo.
    There's this trend among my riding community that is all about feet of elevation, like, "I'm going to go out and get 6,000 feet today..." with no regard to, what I would say is "the complete package" of MTB'ing. I avoid these rides, because they just don't seem fun.

    When I post a ride on Strava where I've done a lot of climbing, I get comments like, "Getting some footies!" - but that, in my opinion, wasn't why I rode that day - getting elevation is never the sole reason why I ride. I ride for more than just getting elevation gains. But for some, it seems that's the ultimate goal.

    But, like some said, it seems it is more of a "fitness" thing (although I believe descending, technical, and flat out sprinting requires a great deal of fitness). Like running intervals or seeing how many pushups you can do, so I understand the intrigue and how it can be important to some.

    I also think that some folks are afraid of descending fast. I was climbing a fire road in Santa Cruz one time and an old guy passed us, chugging along (we were chillin'). When he was coming back down the "dirty road" he just climbed, it was all white knuckles and heavy, heavy braking. It was almost as if he climbed faster than descended. That's when I coined the term "cardio geezer".

    Along with descending, I also think that drag racing (sustained, flat speed) is something that a lot of riders don't emphasize. At Sea Otter, there was an area that was flat and fast, and pushing the big ring to maintain speed took a lot of fitness. But this is more of a racing thing,

    This wasn't meant to be a discussion of one being better than the other, rather, my curiosity of why among some communities, climbing is the ONLY thing important to them. Guess I kinda answered my own question. My personal feeling is that climbing is not MTB'ing, but rather a complete package of competent, technical descending (and other things).

  61. #61
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    Why does anyone even care? You ride what you like, I'll ride mine.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post

    When I post a ride on Strava



    There's the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    There's this trend among my riding community that is all about feet of elevation, like, "I'm going to go out and get 6,000 feet today..." with no regard to, what I would say is "the complete package" of MTB'ing. I avoid these rides, because they just don't seem fun.

    When I post a ride on Strava where I've done a lot of climbing, I get comments like, "Getting some footies!" - but that, in my opinion, wasn't why I rode that day - getting elevation is never the sole reason why I ride. I ride for more than just getting elevation gains. But for some, it seems that's the ultimate goal.

    But, like some said, it seems it is more of a "fitness" thing (although I believe descending, technical, and flat out sprinting requires a great deal of fitness). Like running intervals or seeing how many pushups you can do, so I understand the intrigue and how it can be important to some.

    I also think that some folks are afraid of descending fast. I was climbing a fire road in Santa Cruz one time and an old guy passed us, chugging along (we were chillin'). When he was coming back down the "dirty road" he just climbed, it was all white knuckles and heavy, heavy braking. It was almost as if he climbed faster than descended. That's when I coined the term "cardio geezer".

    Along with descending, I also think that drag racing (sustained, flat speed) is something that a lot of riders don't emphasize. At Sea Otter, there was an area that was flat and fast, and pushing the big ring to maintain speed took a lot of fitness. But this is more of a racing thing,

    This wasn't meant to be a discussion of one being better than the other, rather, my curiosity of why among some communities, climbing is the ONLY thing important to them. Guess I kinda answered my own question. My personal feeling is that climbing is not MTB'ing, but rather a complete package of competent, technical descending (and other things).
    Mountain biking is whatever the trails around you have to offer. Mountain biking is whatever trails you like to ride, however you like to ride it. I'd rather see a more inclusive mindset among fellow "MTB"ers, personally. Why judge the old fella? Good for him for getting out and riding! He has a healthy respect for his own mortality and abilities - good for him! You don't have to push your limits - uphill or downhill - to be mountain biking.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by bclagge View Post
    Mountain biking is whatever the trails around you have to offer. Mountain biking is whatever trails you like to ride, however you like to ride it. I'd rather see a more inclusive mindset among fellow "MTB"ers, personally. Why judge the old fella? Good for him for getting out and riding! He has a healthy respect for his own mortality and abilities - good for him! You don't have to push your limits - uphill or downhill - to be mountain biking.

    Cheers
    You didn't get my point. I'm curious of why in some cycling communities, climbing is THE ONLY thing that is important, which makes it not inclusive, but rather exclusive. To me, climbing isn't everything, but it is what gets recognized among many.

    The "cardio geezer" term is really a tongue in cheek ribbing. Believe me, I think it's great that the old guy can hammer up a climb.

    This also came about when my wife started getting back into riding. She rides road, and after a gigantic spill OTB, she's been deathly afraid of descending. She is a strong climber for her level of riding.

    Over and over, she's getting faster down the hill. When I complimented her on her PR, she was, like, "Yeah, but that's going downhill..."

    I explained to her to not sell herself short. Going downhill, even on the road, takes skill, concentration, competence and balls. She should be proud of her improvements on going downhill - as it is as important as the fitness of going uphill.

    I realized there's this "culture of climbing" that may be cutting out a very important aspect of riding. I didn't want my wife to think that descending wasn't important - because it is.

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    Just did my first race and even though I am no goat, I was begging for more climbs and was dreading every descent. Lesson here, is to practice descents more, since I know it cost me a couple places. I was gaining on climbs but was getting caught on descents. Plus it sucks to slow faster descenders down because I rode like a wuss.

  66. #66
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    Nothing wrong with climbing, it is where u burn more calories and build your strength. However, I love going down more than climbing...I climb to go down.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    And so the deflection begins, in hopes that we won't remember his initial claim.
    Let he who is without skills hike-a-bike the first stone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja View Post
    Not really. I'm 55 years old. Been riding mountain bikes for almost 50 years. My riding has been getting tamer over the last 5 or 6 years due to old age. In the last year, cancer has kicked the **** out of my abilities. I'll build myself back up but probably not to the level I was even 10 years ago.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll try riding up a 2 foot drop. I just don't expect to make it. Although I AM 50lbs. lighter than I was 4 months ago. That might help.
    Awesome.
    Congrats on the big weight loss and staying on the winning side of the cancer fight.
    Keep trying, but next time expect to make it. You've done harder things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    You didn't get my point. I'm curious of why in some cycling communities, climbing is THE ONLY thing that is important, which makes it not inclusive, but rather exclusive. To me, climbing isn't everything, but it is what gets recognized among many.

    I realized there's this "culture of climbing" that may be cutting out a very important aspect of riding.
    I guess I can't offer insight on your question then - I live in Florida. There's nothing to climb here .

    But as a Florida rider and not being a part of that culture, I can tell you that there's far more visibility for the "descending culture." I don't see many climbers, as it were, but every awesome video you find on the interwebs is focused around a culture of descent.

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    Nothing wrong with climbing, it is where u burn more calories and build your strength. However, I love going down more than climbing...I climb to go down.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  71. #71
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    ride what you want, when you want, where you want. Isn't that mtbing

    edit

    I forgot how you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF1963 View Post
    Just did my first race and even though I am no goat, I was begging for more climbs and was dreading every descent. Lesson here, is to practice descents more, since I know it cost me a couple places. I was gaining on climbs but was getting caught on descents. Plus it sucks to slow faster descenders down because I rode like a wuss.
    Right on, Peter! Glad you recognized that - good luck in future races.

    I am absolutely not the fastest climber, but I do get held back a lot on descends in races. I'll smoke guys on the downhill, just to get sucked back on the climbs. That's racing!

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    XC climbing == running
    descending == alpine skiing

    Everyone can run, few can ski.

  74. #74
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    Not everyone can run either. I climb better than I can run. I have never ridden on a "mountain", so my DH skills have never been developed. All the trails that I have ridden have rolling hills and rapid changes in elevations. If I can't climb them, I'm mountain walking with a bike. That's no fun.
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  75. #75
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    that is racing for sure... and we have to work on our weaknesses... one can never get too good a climber... there is always room for improvement...

    however, same applies to descending... just different, equally important, pieces of the puzzle...

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    Not everyone lives near the slopes or can afford a season lift pass. Those who do have an inherent advantage. Kids on the trails here are mostly scrubs. Last time I was in Ashland, 15 year olds were riding on par with the rest. It's circumstantial.

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    The fastest descenders I know almost never ride chairlifts, despite there being lifts close by. Lift accessed DH is usually beat to **** and a lot less fun that XC descending, but if you want to learn to ride 3" deep moondust I supposed lifts would be a good place to do it ;-)

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Best climbers win races.
    Although not everyone races, I have to agree this is why people concern themselves with climbing. You literally spend more time on a bike climbing that descending. So putting more preference towards what you do most of the time seems like a good idea.

    Personally, I prefer to gear my stuff towards descending, even though it's 90% non-shuttle climb/descend type riding. But I climb for two reasons: to get in shape and to descend. So I'll put up with a bit of a porky bike with longer travel, wider bars and shorter stem, just to have some more fun on the downs.
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    Here's a clip of me screwing around on my DJ bike. Maybe not quite 24", but close. It gets very difficult around 30", as the rear tire almost contacts the vertical part of the ledge as you pop the front wheel on top.

    I'm almost 40 years old, 5'10", 190 lbs with beer gut, and not related to MacAskill. If I can do it, so can most other people as long as they are willing to learn and fix some pinch flats. It's all about coordination.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/50070013" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>


    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    ..I'm curious of why in some cycling communities, climbing is THE ONLY thing that is important, which makes it not inclusive, but rather exclusive. To me, climbing isn't everything, but it is what gets recognized among many.
    Maybe climbing is something anybody with a MTB can do from the day one, and that someone motivated enough can easily overcome his/her lack of natural talent with training? My guess is many people feel judging riders' abilities based climbing ability is inclusive rather than exclusive precisely because of reasons above.

    Going by this standard, I'm a very lousy rider. I'm slower than many noobs going uphill. But that's OK by me. Getting approval from others would be nice, but I mostly ride to amuse myself.

  80. #80
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    2 foot ledges on a climb are very common in my experience - Moore Fun, Poison Spider, Amasa Back, Gooseberry Mesa, pretty much any high intermediate to expert tech trail in Colorado or Utah will have at least one or two crux moves on the uphill. Bunny hopping the ledge on a climb is pretty much impossible, but I see folks clean them all the time with a little momentum and body english. Me, it's more like a 25% proposition, but I like to try. Tech climbing is way more fun than the roadie style fire road grind, but it's still work - the pay off is definitely the downhill, but the climbing is also rewarding when it gets technical.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why is Descending &lt; Climbing?-ledge-4.jpg  

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  81. #81
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    That's like asking why downhillers think that only the downhills are important. Most people doing XC are into it to get fit, develop strength and endurance and you do that by climbing ( ok not just by climbing but it sure is fundamental ), so of course they'll focus on the climbs.

    Some disciplines are just more focused in so aspects than in others.

    Oh and to the people who say that you need much more skill to go downhill than uphill ... you probably just never actually tried to negotiate a really technical uphill.
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  82. #82
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    I don't think one is better than the other....

    when I first started riding i focused on going downhill fast (i was never really "fast")...

    I made friends who ride and they liked to climb...I didn't like getting hammered every ride so I started to climb (a lot).

    Then I started racing endurance and XC - that's when the 'regular' rides turned into epic footie festivals of pain...for some reason I enjoyed it...

    Ultimately I started a family and currently can no longer climb well, or descend fast - i just ride for riding sake.

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    I think its a lot easier to improve your climbing by riding more often than it is with descending. For me descending is mostly about technical skills, and those don't change as quickly as aerobic fitness. For technical skills, after the first 5 years of riding, its often pretty difficult to get much of an improvement. After 20 years of riding it can be really hard to improve your descending, especially since now you're older and likely more averse to the risks that come with descending.

    Which brings up another reason. Any two riders can compare their climbing abilities, as there are few risks with climbing faster. BUT two riders might have very different descending speed not because of skill but due to each individual's taste for risk. If you try to always be the first to the bottom, you're going to take some time off due to injury (most likely). This isn't such a problem with trying to climb fast, though overtraining injuries are a possibility.

    I try not to do too much comparing, as I don't want competition to be an important part of my riding (and I'm a competitive person so this can be hard). But I typically end up o the front of group rides to prevent having to ride my brakes all the way down the hill. I don't mind too much having to slow or get off my bike b/c I can't get around a slower or stopped climber. I hate having to descend too slow b/c I can't get around a slow descender!

  84. #84
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    Descending is only less than climbing in time; in a ratio of about 1 to 3.

    The locals that I ride with mostly put stress on having fun, but they all know that more fitness = longer rides = more fun.

    So no one brags about doing climbs although some do hill repeats (which I think is retarded - my apologies to the developmentally disabled out there - please refer to your urban dictionary).
    By the same token, to say you did umpteen miles at XX mph means little without total elevation gain.

    If you are talking "real" MTBing, though, I have little respect for someone who is all horsepower and no skilz, but keeps pushing to the front. Sure they flog me on a fire road climb, but then they're in my way on the technical climbs - and esp. on the descents. No respect. They likely have better fitness because they don't have any other responsibilities.

    When it comes to descending, though, most everyone I know invites the faster guys to pass before we head down. And if we know we're not stopping at the top of a climb to collect the group, the fast climbers will slow down before or at the top to let the descenders pass before we kick it in. This demands (informally) that the descenders stay close on the climb so the whole thing doesn't crawl to a stop. These people are really fun to ride with! You don't wonder if they can clear that log or that rock garden - you wonder how fast they can clear that log or that rock garden. If you're not out front you find yourself concentrating very hard on what is slowing you down and you start trying things and watching closely the fast guys to see if you can come up with any advantage - provided you can keep them in view.

    So there is HUGE respect for the downhill arts here. And climbing ability is much more about technical climbing ability than just horsepower.

    I know it is sometimes annoying when you have someone who is a fast descender but their fitness is not high. They can't stay in front on the climbs but they are dogging people on the descents - even if they maintain a good, courteous, non-threatening, non-intimidating distance, everyone in front knows they are back there just dying to let it rip - but they can't.
    They do eventually get their turn, though. We'll ALL wait at the top of the biggest, baddest hill and turn them loose at least once just to watch the magic.

    -F
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    The only reason I climb is so I can hit the downhill.

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    Sorry, but the original claims were that people could ride up a 2' ledge during a climb. Even if it was stated slightly differently, that was the implication. The above video and photos do not show the rider on a climb. The are flat groud or slighty uphill approaches and the ledges are rounded. They are also isolated obstacles, not integral trail features. Additionally, they are not being ridden with a true XC bike. Many of us have 2' rocks that we can "roll" witha little run-up and some hops, but truly encountering a 2' ledge on a climb (i.e. you are grinding it out and your head and knees feel like they are going to pop) and cleaning it with an XC bike is not common or easy.

    As for the original topic, find people that value the same things in a ride that you value and hang with them. All the rest is white noise and should be tuned out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    XC climbing == running
    descending == snowboarding

    Everyone can run, few can snowboard.
    there, i fixed it for you...

    I take pride in my climbing, but I absolutely detest doing it. I climb to descend.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat View Post
    2 foot ledges on a climb are very common in my experience - Moore Fun, Poison Spider, Amasa Back, Gooseberry Mesa,
    I've ridden, all those and none of them have a legit 2' tall ledge to get up

    Those rides do have some small ledges that have a steep upper face, but they don't require 2 feet of giddy up to get up them. Your second picture is a good example of this, that looks like it could be ridden up without even picking up the rear tire with the right body english.

    In your first picture the surface your front tire will land on is a bit above your rear hub which puts that ledge at about 16", and the edge is nice and round making it quite a bit more friendly.

    I still maintain that 2' is a lot taller than most people realize.

    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat View Post
    Tech climbing is way more fun than the roadie style fire road grind, but it's still work - the pay off is definitely the downhill, but the climbing is also rewarding when it gets technical.
    yep

    Quote Originally Posted by Katz View Post
    Here's a clip of me screwing around on my DJ bike. Maybe not quite 24", but close. It gets very difficult around 30", as the rear tire almost contacts the vertical part of the ledge as you pop the front wheel on top.
    That is quite good and is right close to 2', but a DJ bike is a lot closer to a trials bike than an XC bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    Sorry, but the original claims were that people could ride up a 2' ledge during a climb. Even if it was stated slightly differently, that was the implication. The above video and photos do not show the rider on a climb. The are flat groud or slighty uphill approaches and the ledges are rounded. They are also isolated obstacles, not integral trail features. Additionally, they are not being ridden with a true XC bike. Many of us have 2' rocks that we can "roll" witha little run-up and some hops, but truly encountering a 2' ledge on a climb (i.e. you are grinding it out and your head and knees feel like they are going to pop) and cleaning it with an XC bike is not common or easy.

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    Wow, this thread turned into a "who can go up a 2 foot ledge" thread

    good job guys

    There was a period in time where I was climbing to only descend, but it made the climb a blur in my memory. It progressively became a sort of mentality that debased any enjoyable aspect of the climb. With climbing in mind, rides became less ideal. I try to make a sport out of both, but being overly aggressive and dignified about either is what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    good job guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    post up a vid of yourself hopping your everyday XC bike up the highest thing you can find, it has to be clean, no bashing your rear tire on the front of the obstacle, and the take off has to be dead flat,
    Maybe I misread that. Point is, there are plenty of 2' obstacles out there, and yes you will find them in the middle of climbs. I'm not sure how you missed them on Moore Fun, but I can think of 2 or 3 ledges that size just on the east side. They are by no means easy, and I never said they were, in fact they typically kick my ass. That's the way the trail was intentionally designed. I do agree you want to leave the XC bike at home there. Not really sure what the dispute is here - western Colorado and Utah have a lot of ledgy tech terrain if you want it, and 2 footers are common going up or going down. I can't see how that's a point of contention
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    XC climbing == running
    descending == alpine skiing

    Everyone can run, few can ski.
    Quote Originally Posted by salk10022 View Post
    there, i fixed it for you...

    I take pride in my climbing, but I absolutely detest doing it. I climb to descend.
    and I put it back

    but agree that the descend is much more fun

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    [QUOTE=ehigh;9718446]Wow, this thread turned into a "who can go up a 2 foot ledge" thread

    good job guys

    Like any good conversation, things will digress. That's okay with me. I can't imagine a conversation over a few beers that stayed on topic all night. I like flights of thought, different paths, etc.

  95. #95
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    I saw this thread and initially was going to input my views but then I figured why talk about it when I could go out and do it. So I did. Climbing was great, descending was great, and being out in the woods was great. I suggest everyone head out for the rest of the day and give it a try.
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    There's this trend among my riding community that is all about feet of elevation, like, "I'm going to go out and get 6,000 feet today..." with no regard to, what I would say is "the complete package" of MTB'ing. I avoid these rides, because they just don't seem fun.

    When I post a ride on Strava where I've done a lot of climbing, I get comments like, "Getting some footies!" - but that, in my opinion, wasn't why I rode that day - getting elevation is never the sole reason why I ride. I ride for more than just getting elevation gains. But for some, it seems that's the ultimate goal.

    But, like some said, it seems it is more of a "fitness" thing (although I believe descending, technical, and flat out sprinting requires a great deal of fitness). Like running intervals or seeing how many pushups you can do, so I understand the intrigue and how it can be important to some.

    I also think that some folks are afraid of descending fast. I was climbing a fire road in Santa Cruz one time and an old guy passed us, chugging along (we were chillin'). When he was coming back down the "dirty road" he just climbed, it was all white knuckles and heavy, heavy braking. It was almost as if he climbed faster than descended. That's when I coined the term "cardio geezer".

    Along with descending, I also think that drag racing (sustained, flat speed) is something that a lot of riders don't emphasize. At Sea Otter, there was an area that was flat and fast, and pushing the big ring to maintain speed took a lot of fitness. But this is more of a racing thing,

    This wasn't meant to be a discussion of one being better than the other, rather, my curiosity of why among some communities, climbing is the ONLY thing important to them. Guess I kinda answered my own question. My personal feeling is that climbing is not MTB'ing, but rather a complete package of competent, technical descending (and other things).
    I like to keep the climbing and descending balanced as well. I've done some climbing rides only to find that the descent is basically just straight back down the hill where all you do is ride the brakes to the bottom of the hill. I prefer having a descent where you can enjoy the ride and have a bit of fun. Not that I am any good at climbing or descending.

    I do recall when I used to do some cross country ski racing in my earlier years. I was never a really strong climber and in races I would get smoked uphill by all the runners-turned-skiers but then I would pass them all back on the downhill stretches where the runners would be snow plowing down the hills while I carved (telemarked) all the turns. You even see that in the world cup cross country skiers, there are some that have fantastic conditioning and kill on the uphills, but then you see the "real" skiers that can handle the downhills and as long as they hang close on the climbs, they can gain back the lost time on the downhills.
    Last edited by 4Crawler; 09-24-2012 at 12:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FujNoob View Post
    I saw this thread and initially was going to input my views but then I figured why talk about it when I could go out and do it. So I did. Climbing was great, descending was great, and being out in the woods was great. I suggest everyone head out for the rest of the day and give it a try.
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius. You should have not posted here and gone for another lap!!!

    I could not help myself...thanks for the input FujNoob!!!
    Last edited by DHinFool; 09-24-2012 at 02:36 PM.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    So... what's your feelings on descending vs. climbing?
    Descending is fun. Climbing is good exercise. The two mixed together are ideal recreation. It sounds like you may be wrapped up in the competitive crowd. If you want to just ride for fun, either find a different crowd or just don't let the current crowd spoil your time.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    Both you and Stezus have talked to me like I'm a nOOb that has never seen anything other than road biker MTB trails, why are you doing this? I have clearly posted about my travels and my ability to get my bike off the ground. Yet you still post as if I'm a nOOb that only rides nOOB trails, quit it.

    I think what is really going on here is that neither of you are familiar with a tape measure, I'm a carpenter/skatepark builder and am very familiar with a tape. And I am all too familiar with people throwing out big numbers for ledge heights and rail heights in design meetings only to find out that 2' is a lot bigger than they thought, I'm %99 sure that is going on with you and steez, you are not familiar with a tape measure.

    How's about a friendly wager? You and Steez post up a vid of yourself hopping your everyday XC bike up the highest thing you can find, it has to be clean, no bashing your rear tire on the front of the obstacle, and the take off has to be dead flat, use a tape measure in the video so there is no guessing at height. We each put $20 in the pot, highest hop takes all. I haven't even been on my bike in 3 weeks and I'm fat from a summer of not enough riding so this should be a cake walk for you guys.
    My post was not intended the way you interpreted it. Everyone has a different skill level and at the end of the day everyone just needs to have fun. What I was attempting, although I failed, was to say that most mountain bike trails today are almost featureless. You have to get out in B.F.E. to find real mountain biking and I just happen to live there. It's rare to find 2 feet step ups or drops because nobody can or wants to ride them. I was just saying they do exist and I named two places. It wasn't anything personal.

    You have to work on not letting people get under your skin man. I didn't want this thread to evolve into a pissing contest about what can and cannot be ridden. I was just stating that I believe I can ride those. I have never busted out a tape on a ride, but I've ridden up some high stuff on Black Mountain in North Carolina and at my current location. I'll work on getting you a video today. There is one place that I have in mind that is close and if that one isn't quiet 2 feet I'll have to drive/ride to the other side of the lake this weekend if I get time.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I'm mostly an all-mountain/XC style rider and, although climbing is pretty important for many riders, I feel like competent, flowing, riding loose and highly skill descending doesn't get the props it ought to.

    In my neck of the woods, there's such an emphasis on "getting footies" and PR's on climbs, and climbing this and that, and more climbing, and getting those legs and lungs to burn, and let's go do zero technical fire roads and take your climbing medicine, and more climbing... blah. Rarely do people brag about their descending (except the downhillers, of course) and all the praise goes to the fastest climbers....

    When it comes to XC racing most time is to be made on the climbs. Most XC racers need only to not lose much time on descents and "rest" there to save up for the next climb where you can really make up time. Plus Strava does good job of logging climbs and those who do log rides tend to focus on climbing more.

    As for downhill stuff... Well I ride a hardtail and never really push that hard on the downs. I ride at pace I can control myself and also not kill myself. If I had 8" downhill bike I am certain I could do some descents faster. However I would be slower on the climbs if I did it at all.

    Around here Strava has all kinds of segments. Pure climbs. pure descents, mixed loops and gradual up/downhill grades. Certain riders perfer certain tyes of trails and terrain and that is not bad. Just different. There are riders looking for really gnarly chunk and will offen re-ride short sections just to perfect it. That is bad for Strava times, but they don't care because it is not their goal.

    What I will say is how big of motor you have IS determiend by climbs. Descents don't need much motor, but can require other skills.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    You didn't get my point. I'm curious of why in some cycling communities, climbing is THE ONLY thing that is important, which makes it not inclusive, but rather exclusive. To me, climbing isn't everything, but it is what gets recognized among many.
    Seems to me you need to find a different group to ride with. Personally I like climbs and like it when completed ride a big elevation gain, but I don't really like climbing up dirt roads either. That is too boring to be fun and it had better have fun descent on the other side to make it worth it. Climbing a dirt road just to descent the same dirt road is dull.

    Seems to me that roadies getting into MTB may look at it as all climbs. The descents on road bike are not like on a MTB. I did short ride with my newbie brother in law. We ended up at the top of short climb and had to get back home. We chose to take the paved road down to the cars. Not my idea, but my BIL did not want to crest the climb to take the single track down. I don't blame him as he was very cautious on the descents since it was his first ever proper mountan bike ride. Anway we bombed down the paved road and I hit 37 mph coasting. Boring... Ok it is interesting to go fast, but still boring after the first 5 seconds. So if I were a roadie I would look more at climbs.

    However I ride mountain and enjoy both. There is nothing like working your butt off on good hard climb and then getting nice fun descent too. Setting PR BOTH ways.
    Joe
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  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I ride at pace I can control myself
    "If you feel you're under complete control you're not going fast enough."

    -Mario Andretti


    Both tires scrubbing sideways is the spice of life. Does anything else really keep you awake till 2 am* like a blazing fast dh that you weren't particularly in control of yet you stayed on the trail the whole time?











    *Hookers and blow excepted of course.

  104. #104
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    Climbing up the hill and making it strong and fast...it is the reward to rip down the hill.
    Live to ride

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
    "If you feel you're under complete control you're not going fast enough."

    -Mario Andretti


    Both tires scrubbing sideways is the spice of life. Does anything else really keep you awake till 2 am* like a blazing fast dh that you weren't particularly in control of yet you stayed.
    I have been racing cars wheel to wheel for 10 years. So I have lived the idea of not being in complete control. I don't mountain bike for the "thrill" of it. I bike for challenge and the exercise. On the climbs I like the exercise aspect. On the descents I like feeling of being in control of the bike picking my way around the terrain trying to maintain speed, but not go overly fast. I have no desire to wreck. This does not mean I don't push or just ride easy trails, but it means I manage my risks. If I can run faster on a downhill and stay in my comfort zone I am quite happy with my performance.

    Personally I hate shuttling. I rather work hard to make the climb and then do the ride down. I have not desire to ride a DH bike. That said I know people do that and that is fine with me.

    MTB is not the same thing for everyone.
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  106. #106
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    I used to hate climbing. Then I got somewhat good at it and decided I really liked climbing. Now my fitness has gone downhill () and I have to remind myself that I once liked going uphill. I always feel much more accomplished when I make great time up or clear a tough technical climb than I do making down a hill in one piece.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    On the descents I like feeling of being in control of the bike picking my way around the terrain trying to maintain speed, but not go overly fast. I have no desire to wreck.
    I know what you mean. When riding by myself I certainly dial it back a bit, but there are a couple friends in particular that when we're out riding...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Personally I hate shuttling.
    Yep, descending without a warm up feels wrong to me, and shuttleable trails are almost always beat to ****, terrible brake bumps and moon dust, no thanks.

  108. #108
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    It looks like we are not going to resolve which is better. Perhaps we could discuss which color of bike is best for climbing and which color do you need for descending. My research suggests black is best since it mutes the illusion of speed. Am I off base here?
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  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    It looks like we are not going to resolve which is better. Perhaps we could discuss which color of bike is best for climbing and which color do you need for descending. My research suggests black is best since it mutes the illusion of speed. Am I off base here?
    I'm going to second that since I own a black bike and it's sweet!

  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    It looks like we are not going to resolve which is better. Perhaps we could discuss which color of bike is best for climbing and which color do you need for descending. My research suggests black is best since it mutes the illusion of speed. Am I off base here?
    For the third time.

    My question wasn't "Which one is better?". My question was - Why don't more riders give descending the recognition it deserves? In many circles, climbing is the #1 goal, especially in my neck of the woods. Climbing, climbing, climbing - that's it. Some people ride just to climb.

    Like I said, I love seeing riders who have crazy descending skills, and I think that those skills are just as important as strong climbing. As I become a stronger climber over time, I equally want to be sure that my descending capabilities is matched to my climbing.

    And, like I said before, if climbing is what somebody wants to do, that's fine, too. Like somebody said, it becomes more of a test of fitness at that point. My feeling is that working on descending, to me, is a vital aspect of MTB'ing that is often times overlooked among the cardio folks.

    But, as somebody said, that could also be a matter of risk tolerance for some. The crash implications of descending are more than tipping over while climbing.

    People are also saying that races are won by the best climbers. I disagree. Races are won by the best racers. This includes climbing, sprinting, race tactics (energy preservation, emotional control, killer instinct, drafting, blocking, over-taking other riders, etc.) and of course, descending. You can be a great climber, but if you tip-toe down hills with white knuckles or your have no race tactics in your arsenal, you simply just won't win.

    A successful racer needs to be the complete package to be great - and this can be said for any sport. Just because somebody can climb well doesn't mean they will win races.

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    For the third time.

    My question wasn't "Which one is better?". My question was - Why don't more riders give descending the recognition it deserves? In many circles, climbing is the #1 goal, especially in my neck of the woods. Climbing, climbing, climbing - that's it. Some people ride just to climb.

    Find a different group to ride with!

    Really.... Some guys just want to climb. Other really want shuttle and ride down. Other climb very slowly only to ride down the nastiest bit fof trail that they can find.

    In my area there are all kinds of riders. Ride with one who like to ride the trails and style you do. It can be hard to find other riders who are at similar pace up and down the hills as you are. That does not make the rest of the wrong just like you are not wrong. It is only wrong to keep riding with these "climbers" and then complain about how they ride.
    Joe
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    No one is overlooking it, just ignoring it. With a modicom of skill and enough dope to smoke,any slug can down hill. It takes real fitness to be able to climb well. (flame suit on).

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    No one is overlooking it, just ignoring it. With a modicom of skill and enough dope to smoke,any slug can down hill. It takes real fitness to be able to climb well. (flame suit on).
    Come on over to Chico and ride some Guardian trail. It's just a downhill so you should be able to clear it your first time, easy.

    I'm assuming you have a modicum of skill, but perhaps that is a poor assumption. Smoke a bowl first if you think it'll help.
    "Got everything you need?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    No one is overlooking it, just ignoring it. With a modicom of skill and enough dope to smoke,any slug can down hill. It takes real fitness to be able to climb well. (flame suit on).
    i dunno.....I spent a couple days in Whistler's bike park recently...worked me over pretty good...

    also, downiville works me pretty good too (14 mile downhills)..

    it's not like you're sitting down on a couch while it maneuvers itself across the terrain....it takes gobs of concentration and strength....

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  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Come on over to Chico and ride some Guardian trail. It's just a downhill so you should be able to clear it your first time, easy.

    I'm assuming you have a modicum of skill, but perhaps that is a poor assumption. Smoke a bowl first if you think it'll help.




    I'd sooner set fire to my teeth than go west of the Colorado River.

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    I'd sooner set fire to my teeth than go west of the Colorado River.
    Well, now that we've established that you're a reasonable person who writes reasonable things, we can give your posts the consideration they deserve.

  117. #117
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    No good

    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    No one is overlooking it, just ignoring it. With a modicom of skill and enough dope to smoke,any slug can down hill. It takes real fitness to be able to climb well. (flame suit on).



    Trolling a troll thread?

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    I'd sooner set fire to my teeth than go west of the Colorado River.
    How are you going to find any hills to ride down?

    If I drag you to the Colorado river and push, will you set fire to your teeth? 'Cause I'd like to see that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    I'd sooner set fire to my teeth than go west of the Colorado River.
    That's rather offensive...

    Give me your address, I will send a pint of gasoline and a Bic lighter. You can gargle the fuel then drop the lit lighter into your open mouth.

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    My question was - Why don't more riders give descending the recognition it deserves? In many circles, climbing is the #1 goal, especially in my neck of the woods. Climbing, climbing, climbing - that's it. Some people ride just to climb.
    Can you quantify how much is the "more" that you are aiming for? Can you hazard a guess at what % of the riders that you currently know or come into contact with buy into the concept that climbing is the most important aspect of their riding? Do you think the number of riders who only care about climbing is more or less than the number of riders whose majority of riding is shuttle or lift access? In total, do you think those two groups combined make up a larger % of the total population of mountain bikers than those who believe both the up and down each have their place and purpose within the activity?

  121. #121
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    Yawn

  122. #122
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    well crap - i forgot the obvious....Location.

    The south bay lends itself to massive climbing days....

    There are a lot of fire road climbs (hard ones) and not much in the way of Single track unless you drive a fair amount.

    I lived there for a long time....but now I live in the Santa Cruz area all my time is spent on single track....because that's all there is here....

    so, in summary - you ride what is closest to ya.
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  123. #123
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    I like both, but it comes from the riding I do. All the trails I ride are mostly linear with climbs and downhills of almost equal length. I rarely go up a hill just for the sake of it. Then again, by the nature of riding, you kinda have to go up and down the same amount unless you ride a trail only one way. I usually ride a section of land both ways, so I go up and down the same amount when I'm done.

    I can say I almost prefer the technical climbs because it's a challenge. I find it more difficult and sometimes we don't make it up without dabbing or dismounting and walking. I'm older now, but it's not as easy to measure skill on a downhill. I rarely went down a hill that isn't always doable. You either wimp out and tri-pod or bail on steeper technical stuff. I do love going down a descent and picking lines and using tricks to get over obstacles easier than I would otherwise. Sometimes I actually don't go as fast as possible down the descent. About the only thing I don't like about descending is wearing away brake pads...lol.

    The reason I mostly like both climbing and descending though, comes from the trails I ride. I ride almost exclusively singltrack in southern Ontario, Canada, and I always go up and down the whole time. Almost every climb is rewarded with a downhill run at some point.

    The one thing I have learned to appreciate, is the measured feeling of my work in climbing up, being giving back to me as a reward on the "free" ride down. All the speed, all the momentum I feel going down the hill, is the potential energy I put in on the way up...save for efficiency losses etc. When we started mountain biking, we called the downhill run after the climb..."Payback".
    :)

  124. #124
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    I'm all about the single track. Whether it is up or down I will plan my route to stay off the fire roads as much as possible. If I wanted to accomplish non-technical climbs I'd get a roadie. Both climbing and descending on single track often have sections where "if you can make it" comes into play. I enjoy the thrill of the occasional downhill drop just as much as the challenge of a tricky climb. That, for me, is the essence of mountain biking. It's not climbing or descending or how fast you do it. It's making it from point a to point be without putting a foot down.

  125. #125
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    A mountain biker who can't climb well is only half a mountain biker

    A mountain biker who can't descend well is only half a mountain biker.

    You can really tell the difference between those who came to mountain biking through "action sports" and those who are cyclists.

  126. #126
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    A good technical rider is more impressive than a good climber or descender IMHO. Watching someone clear something that would throw 90% of riders to the ground is just cool.

  127. #127
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    Right now I am wrapped up in the collegiate MTB race world. I feel like everybody gets so wrapped up on just straight fitness.

    The best riders are cross discipline. They may not be winning the XC races, but they sure are up there. Then they go and jump on their DH bikes and rage at that. Its super impressive, a whole new level of endurance.

    Being versatile is the key to life

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Find a different group to ride with!

    Really.... Some guys just want to climb. Other really want shuttle and ride down. Other climb very slowly only to ride down the nastiest bit fof trail that they can find.

    In my area there are all kinds of riders. Ride with one who like to ride the trails and style you do. It can be hard to find other riders who are at similar pace up and down the hills as you are. That does not make the rest of the wrong just like you are not wrong. It is only wrong to keep riding with these "climbers" and then complain about how they ride.
    This is spot on. Different groups and different people have different riding mentalities. If you find a group that is a bunch of racers they are always going to ride fast and climb even if the downhills are not there.

    A different group would ride slowly up the hill, stop take breaks, talk, and then ride the downhills. They would just be there for enjoyment while the racing group is out there to better their fitness. Climbing pays off dramatically if someone is wanting to improve their fitness so I'm assuming that is their goal. You need to find a new group to ride with or just go with it. As your fitness increases you too will grow to love the climbs and still love the downhills. I know from experience. I was once in your shoes.

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    I'd sooner set fire to my teeth than go west of the Colorado River.
    The Colorado River runs more or less east - west you know...

  130. #130
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    How can anyone not give respect to DH?

    I just don't get it.

    Maybe it's because they're jealous or scared shitless that being a top DH racer you gotta really think fast, react fast, have skills to take on wet, muddy and dry terrain, and have balls of steel and they don't.

    Seriously, I love all MTB riding styles from Enduro, XC, to DH. I love it all because it's you the bike and nature all coming together.

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    The Colorado River runs more or less east - west you know...



    Thats why it flows through Utah, Nevada and California and dosen't form the western border of Arizona huh?

  132. #132
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    You've got to get it up to get down...

  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by cackalacky View Post
    You've got to get it up to get down...
    that sounds like

    getting it up is way more fun than getting down...


  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    The Colorado River runs more or less east - west you know...
    I vote for "less".

  135. #135
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    It would appear that Roadie Scum dislikes California. If that happens to be the case, California dislikes him right back...

  136. #136
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    lol... entertainment value of this thread just went through the roof...

    setting a fire to teeth?? i'd pay to see that... roadie - do you know how to upload a movie to YouTube?

    just a suggestion...

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    The Colorado River runs more or less east - west you know...
    Colorado River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Colorado River is the principal river of the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. The 1,450-mile (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Rising in the central Rocky Mountains in the U.S., the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada line, where it turns south towards the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado forms a large delta, emptying into the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.

  138. #138
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    ....
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  139. #139
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    I think you guys are all wrong. I pulled out my map and compass and the river runs towards the Southeast and then almost entirely East. See what I mean-

  140. #140
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    heyyall, The map you've provided is upside down, reversed, and CROOKED. Can somebody please make the proper corrections so that we can all read the text? Thanks!

    Edit: I fixed it...
    Last edited by Hawgzilla; 09-27-2012 at 02:15 PM.

  141. #141
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    you actually took a look

    at HIS map?

    it's cooked all right...



    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    heyyal, The map you've provided is upside down, reversed, and cooked. Can somebody please make the proper corrections so that we can all read the text? Thanks!

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    Colorado River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Colorado River is the principal river of the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. The 1,450-mile (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Rising in the central Rocky Mountains in the U.S., the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada line, where it turns south towards the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado forms a large delta, emptying into the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.
    THAT'S RIGHT...what?

    "Got everything you need?"

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