How hard is (too) hard - Muir- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How hard is (too) hard - Muir

    In the year since starting mountain biking, I've progressed quite a bit. From being stopped in my tracks by the teeniest root at Hoyt, and thinking only a crazy person would take that path that dropped down under the bridge next to the river to pretty much cleaning Hoyt and finally getting my nerve to drop under the bridge...then thinking, wow, that was pretty basic. I love Oak Hill, can't wait to get back to New Fane.

    Longest and hardest single ride was down in Brown County State Park in Indiana. I rode the 7-8 miles of Pine Loop, North Tower Connector, North Tower loop, Pine Loop out. Lots of climbing, lots of fast descents, turn around/switchbacks at base of ravines, drop offs next to trails, plenty of rocks and roots. Tons of fun. This was with a clinic group, so there was some peer pressure to forge on and ride hard.

    Which leads me to Muir....

    I have progressed past Brown/White. Can do both mostly successfully. The bigger rocks at the very end/crest of the white climb can stop me. Yet I'm afraid to move on to another trail. So how much harder are the orange, the green, the blue? I want to push myself a bit in both length of ride and difficulty. Would doing green be the logical next trail? I have no problem walking the bike over short difficult sections if need be. I just don't want to end up 5 miles away from anywhere in way over my head and doing a really long hike a bike.

    What do you Kettle pros (and not so pros) think?
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    Only one way to find out.

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    Ride green then blue. Just got back from a trip in Oregon. The guides would say "if you're not hiking, you're not mtn biking".

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.scott View Post
    Only one way to find out.
    So true. Unsure why I've been hesitant to move on.

    Quote Originally Posted by 993rs View Post
    Ride green then blue. Just got back from a trip in Oregon. The guides would say "if you're not hiking, you're not mtn biking".
    Exactly. Next weekend I'll try the green. Just needed a little nudge.

    Today I added Apha/Crystal to my trail list. Hadn't done those before. Probably a good thing I waited until I had a bit more experience to do them. Loved it today. Did a bit better on the gravel climb(s) around the ski slope than i would have expected....not perfect but further than I figured I'd go. Next time will do two laps there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 993rs View Post
    The guides would say "if you're not hiking, you're not mtn biking".
    I've also heard, "If you ain't bleeding, you ain't riding."

    I don't believe either of them.

    IMO, the most technical aspect of John Muir are some loose & rocky climbs with some roots; if you have the strength to climb a small hill like the ones at the Kettles, try shifting your weight so that your butt is hovering over the nose of your saddle. Your gear combination has to be right, of course. If you don't have the strength yet...or stamina, you can sit and spin. It won't be fast, but it'll get you to the top.

    Good luck & keep trying.

    D

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    You can ride everything at Muir...maybe not as fast as some but you can; BELIEVE AND DO!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sugX View Post
    You can ride everything at Muir...maybe not as fast as some but you can; BELIEVE AND DO!
    First off, thanks SugX for pointing me towards the Hoyt and Oak Hill trails a year ago. Knowing about these has given us an option for quick rides when we only had a couple of hours to spare in our day, or after work or whenever. Amazing how many people have no idea these trails exist in 'Tosa.

    That great bit of advice then gives me some confidence when you say I can ride most of Muir. Believe me, I'm not looking to be faster than anyone. Hell, I get passed frequently on my bike commute...speedy Gonzales I am not.
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    If you can't ride it, you can walk your bike past/up anything on the green (and blue) that gives you trouble. Don't be afraid of that trail, it's all doable with ease for a beginner. There's just more distance and more climbing that what you've seen thus far. Take your time and ...Have fun Let us know how it goes!

    Cheers,
    Sero

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    -There are no style points in trail riding. Other than ones you award to yourself.

    -It's possible to over think riding.

    -Most progress in riding skill comes from escaping boredom instead of dedicated training. Do the easy stuff until it's second nature.

    -If you try, and fail, to impress your riding buddies with your skills you can entertain them with your spectacular crashes.

    -Impressed with the videos you see on You Tube? They don't show the 9 failed tries it took the rider to do the stunt.

    Just ride the trails at Kettle Moraine, all of them. Walk the sections that are too scary. If this bothers anyone, they are way too involved in your riding.

    Walt

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    I am in a simular situation as the op. I am a regular (read: 4-6x per week) at Crystal Ridge - just look for the teal blue Ford Escort in the lot by the chalet. I plan my first trip out to Muir in 10 years.. I am a tad bit nervous about those trails..but I think back on how much fun it was to make a day of it with my riding buddies and what a HAMMER I used to be.. Pushing 50 years old now..this season of riding has me feeling strong. I am older and slower, but I still love this sport!

    PM me if you want to meet up for a ride sometime.
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    Walt and Sero - Thanks for chiming in. Now I can't wait for the weekend to give it a go!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    Walk the sections that are too scary. If this bothers anyone, they are way too involved in your riding.

    Walt
    I love that comment! And everyone we've met out on the trails have been great. We do our best to get out of the way and let others pass. Chit chat here and there where others stop and talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    -If you try, and fail, to impress your riding buddies with your skills you can entertain them with your spectacular crashes.
    Walt
    This made me laugh. Yesterday feeling all cocky from surprising myself on how well I handled my 1st time through Alpha/Crystal Ridge, kiddo and I headed over to Hoyt. Which should fall under your do the easy stuff until you're bored scenario. We were just messing around, riding several loops through the back faster sections. On the way back to the car, I had a pretty spectacular wipe out on the drop that goes under the bridge. Unsure what happened, assume I didn't have my weight to the back and rocketed over the handlebars when my rear tire hit sand. Went head first into the dirt bank of the hill. Think I may even retire that helmet based on the nicks and dirt wedged in the helmet vents.

    Oh well, shake it off and ride on.
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    Look ahead instead of down.

    Hesitation buys you nothing.

    Play around - I'm serious on that one. I've never had good balance in 50+ years of trying to do sports but just riding on and over stuff, trying track stands helps.

    Group rides with better and other beginner riders.

    Skills park or site - Kettles, Rays, Middleton. There are pocket-sized places that help spoon feed you any skill.

    Join a group. Our club has several bike posses within and the hanging out motivates in many ways.

    Be shameless and yourself.

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    I'll just add that part of the "difficulty" on the outer loops (blue and green) partially comes from logovers. Every single logover has a path around it so you're not forced to do any. Okay, I guess theres like 2 4" tall logs you have to do, but theyre relatively easy heh. I honestly thought the orange loop had more rocks and was more technical than most of blue/green. Doing a few laps on the skill loop before heading out on the trails is a great warmup.

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    If it makes you feel any better, I am 30 pounds over weight (okay 40), I ride a 13 year old single speed fisher with a blown out rock shox judy, and I haven't ridden since 2000, until last weekend. I will be riding (some walking, no doubt) the 12 mile loop (Blue?) this weekend, and I'm not afraid. I'll be the guy wearing a carhart t shirt and blue jean shorts doubled over on top of the hills trying to catch my breath.

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    It is nothing more than what you have already done. So, don't over think it, just ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fattybikejones View Post
    I am in a simular situation as the op. I am a regular (read: 4-6x per week) at Crystal Ridge - just look for the teal blue Ford Escort in the lot by the chalet. I plan my first trip out to Muir in 10 years.. I am a tad bit nervous about those trails..but I think back on how much fun it was to make a day of it with my riding buddies and what a HAMMER I used to be.. Pushing 50 years old now..this season of riding has me feeling strong. I am older and slower, but I still love this sport!
    Fatty,
    I've been riding Muir probably 1 to 5 times per year for the past almost 20 years and just turned 50. The difference between now and 10 years ago (and being 50 versus 40), is the trails have gotten longer and are a bit slower with more tight twisty singletrack (like the stuff in the woods at Crystal Ridge), and most of the steep hills are gone. My typical ride there has historically been the big loop with the Muir Blue, the connector, and Carlin Green, but I've recently had to rethink that due to it just completely wiping me out. The combination of the extra miles of slower tight singletrack combined with my aging body are just getting to be a bit too much. I can do it, but at some point in the ride it starts to feel more like work than recreation. So now I'm down to Muir + connector OR Carlin + connector.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    You are over thinking it. I took my 11 year old out on the Blue last year. It took over 1 1/2 hrs, but this year its much faster. To be honest, Muir is not as hard as it ised to be 5-10 years ago, just go do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litemike View Post
    You are over thinking it. I took my 11 year old out on the Blue last year. It took over 1 1/2 hrs, but this year its much faster. To be honest, Muir is not as hard as it ised to be 5-10 years ago, just go do it.
    Agreed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    Fatty,
    I've been riding Muir probably 1 to 5 times per year for the past almost 20 years and just turned 50. The difference between now and 10 years ago (and being 50 versus 40), is the trails have gotten longer and are a bit slower with more tight twisty singletrack (like the stuff in the woods at Crystal Ridge), and most of the steep hills are gone. My typical ride there has historically been the big loop with the Muir Blue, the connector, and Carlin Green, but I've recently had to rethink that due to it just completely wiping me out. The combination of the extra miles of slower tight singletrack combined with my aging body are just getting to be a bit too much. I can do it, but at some point in the ride it starts to feel more like work than recreation. So now I'm down to Muir + connector OR Carlin + connector.
    Well.. I have been at it pretty religiously all season. I feel strong..I have dropped close to 20#. My ol riding buds and I are heading out to Muir this Saturday. I ride a full rigid 26er..
    Let's just say it'll be fun and interesting.
    TREK X CALIBER 6, MOTOBECANE USA MIRAGE SLX

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    Quote Originally Posted by fattybikejones View Post
    Well.. I have been at it pretty religiously all season. I feel strong..I have dropped close to 20#. My ol riding buds and I are heading out to Muir this Saturday. I ride a full rigid 26er..
    Let's just say it'll be fun and interesting.
    Have you been riding a rigid exclusively, or are you just going old-school for this ride? I ask because I have a rigid SS 26er I occasionally ride on my local trails (and have an absolute blast on it), but those are shorter rides (<10miles) and I've yet to try it at the kettles simply because I don't know how well I will hold up to rigid on a long ride. So let me know how your ride goes.
    Also, since you regularly rider CR, how's a rigid plowing down that bubububumpy trail that traverses the ski hill? That's another place I keep wanting to try the rigid SS, but I always end up bringing something with suspension. I'm also curious to see if I can make that climb on the SS. I haven't actually been out there yet this year, but am hoping I will in Sept or Oct.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    Make sure you call before making the decsision to ride Saturday, it's been raining on and off this morning and might tonight, trails could be closed. (checks phone) Hotline - 262-594-6202

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakJones View Post
    Make sure you call before making the decsision to ride Saturday, it's been raining on and off this morning and might tonight, trails could be closed. (checks phone) Hotline - 262-594-6202
    Thanks for posting this number....esp. for this weekend when we finally got some much needed rain (even if a bit ill-timed for weekend riding!). Looks like we'll be hitting Muir on Monday. We're a family of 29ers: man (Trek GF Paragon), woman (Trek GF X-Cal) and 12yo boy(Spec Hardrock) taking a first stab at the green. Say hi if you see us...or more likely pass us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimikaw View Post
    Thanks for posting this number....esp. for this weekend when we finally got some much needed rain (even if a bit ill-timed for weekend riding!). Looks like we'll be hitting Muir on Monday. We're a family of 29ers: man (Trek GF Paragon), woman (Trek GF X-Cal) and 12yo boy(Spec Hardrock) taking a first stab at the green. Say hi if you see us...or more likely pass us.
    I family together on 29ers...that's about as good as it gets, what a beautiful thing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sugX View Post
    family together on 29ers...that's about as good as it gets, what a beautiful thing!
    Yep...tho' it ended up being just Kiddo and I on Monday, hubby stayed home to play with his other new toy, a big green egg.

    What abeautiful day for riding. Weather could not have been better. We ended up doing Brown-Green-Brown-Brown. Plus some of the skills area. Well, kiddo did the skills area. I have a mental block with ladders. Plan on working on that over winter at Rays. Kiddo on the other hand was determined to make it across every obstacle. He's still challenged by the skinniest bits, but can ride most everything else. Over and Over.


    Anyway back to the ride. Loved the green loop. Kiddo was a bit concerned at first about the length and the general unknown. He struggled with some of the climbs, pushing up a few. We got passed quite a bit, which was fine. He loved the Roller Coaster section. In fact, if he could have figured out a way to climb back up, he would have done that section a multiple times. As it was, he made several passes at the rocks towards the bottom, working on getting some air.



    The light hitting the pine trees in the sandy beach (or was it beach) area was stunning. Kicking myself for not getting some pictures there (guess excuse to ride again, right). Recovery Zone was nicely name after chugging up that pine hill.

    For the most part, I made all the climbs. There were a couple of very short areas, I lost momentum due to a rock or root to have to push a few feet. All the climbs except for that steep, rocky, rooty hill shortly before re-joining brown. I see the line needed to ride it from the tracks, but even without rocks and roots a bit too steep for me currently. I was mentally calling it NFW hill as we pushed up, when a group of 4 guys came up behind us and I heard a loud :There is no f#*king way we are making it up that" Made me smile, they read my mind.

    Thanks again to all of you for giving me the mental nudge to try one of the longer trails!
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    Good to hear. To be fair... most of us can't make the super skinny stuff in the skills loop, heh. Roller Coaster was the first section where the trailbuilders were allowed to make berms I believe, so naturally that's everyones favorite. Only this year have I cleared all the hills at the Kettles - the last 2 for me were the big climbs on Green and (orange?) at the Emma section. Aside from those I think orange has the longest climb, Hells Kitchen is no longer the impossible feat it used to seem like to me.

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    Correct on the berms and orange being the longest climb out there.

    I LOVE the suggestion about finding a way to circle back to do roller coaster -> bermuda multiple times. That part of the trail is amazingly fun to hit. If there's an opportunity for me to bring it up to the trailbuilding group I will certainly do so. Hopefully we have some good meetings this winter, but I'll digress on that one!

    It's very nice to see you had a good bit of fun out there, come back soon!

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    I love muir!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakJones View Post
    Make sure you call before making the decsision to ride Saturday, it's been raining on and off this morning and might tonight, trails could be closed. (checks phone) Hotline - 262-594-6202
    Yepper.. Like a bunch of NooBs.. my buds and I made the trip from Milwaukee out to LaGrange only to be caught in a deluge. Ehh it wasn't a total loss though.. We spent the day chillin' under the Fall Color Festival pavilion. Nice to be away from the concrete jungle.

    Thanks for posting the trail condition hotline number. I just put that one on speed dial in my cell contact list.
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    I did the blue Monday and the green today. I am not used to the log overs and jumps. I don't remember those from 10 years ago. I hit the one after the crossroads heading back to the parking lot and smacked my head on the branch above. I am 6'4", so it probably isn't an issue for most riders though. Thank God for helmets. Overall the trails are awesome and the climbs almost seem easier than I remember, not that I cleared them all. I'm definitely hooked again.

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    I have ridden Muir at least 20 or more this summer. I felt pretty good out there yesterday and was humming a long at a good clip. Right around the end of straight away of the Recovery zone I went right over the handle bars and even had one of my shoes knocked clean off. I got up and dusted myself off and looked to see what the heck I hit. All I saw was a small pine stump that I do not think I hit unless it might have been a pedal strike. It must have looked like I was taken out by sniper I laughed to myself.
    Point of my story is mtbing will knock you down, but like life you have to get back up and keep going. A lesson I used to teach my kids when I take them out to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by White & Nerdy View Post
    I did the blue Monday and the green today. I am not used to the log overs and jumps. I don't remember those from 10 years ago. I hit the one after the crossroads heading back to the parking lot and smacked my head on the branch above. I am 6'4", so it probably isn't an issue for most riders though. Thank God for helmets. Overall the trails are awesome and the climbs almost seem easier than I remember, not that I cleared them all. I'm definitely hooked again.
    Ah, yes, the logovers and jumps. BeakJones had mentioned these earlier. After the Roller Coaster section (and maybe the skills area) these are a favorite part of the ride for my Kiddo. Flew right over every one. Including the fallen tree limb, nature contributed logover in the early section. Went back and did several over again. I'm a bit more chicken a went over a couple, took the bail out line on most. While yelling "Bail" - I can't be *too* cool of a mtb-ing Mom, gotta work in a bit of embarassment for kiddo

    As we drove home, I asked Kiddo about the logovers, if he was lifting front wheel or bunny hoppin, both skills he's gotten and I stuggle with. He said, "No, just rolled right over" following that up with "Really, Mom, you could have ridden over every one of the logs. You've done tougher stuff than that."

    Which kinda sums up our mtb experience...two newbies teaching & pushing each other (with some professional clinic type help sprinkled in here and there).
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    haha yea its true that most of the logovers there the best thing to do in my experience is unweight the wheel going over the log and be smooth, I never hop them because im not going that fast. There is one after blue and green split off from the other trails that's stacked 3 logs high that still scares me to look at, though I've never fallen on it. The rock jumps in Roller Coaster become a lot easier when you carry all your speed into them - it's about commitment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakJones View Post
    haha yea its true that most of the logovers there the best thing to do in my experience is unweight the wheel going over the log and be smooth, I never hop them because im not going that fast. There is one after blue and green split off from the other trails that's stacked 3 logs high that still scares me to look at, though I've never fallen on it. The rock jumps in Roller Coaster become a lot easier when you carry all your speed into them - it's about commitment.
    Yikes, 3 logs. Hopefully in a triangle stack (2 bottom, one on top), versus stacked high like a fence. I am more apt to try the ones that have that triangle stacked shape - looks like a ramp up to me. SIngle bigger logs look like a wheel stopping endo in my mind.

    About to load up the bikes and head down there. This time I will push not taking the bail line and roll over whatever there is. Thanks for reminder about un-weighting front tire - even if I don't actually lift the wheel.

    Our plan today is Brown-Green-White-Brown (and maybe another Brown or White in there). We'll see. Figure gotta get kiddo to do over 12 miles before I drag him around Blue.

    Speaking of Blue- how bad is that descent just before the Blue re-joins the Green at the top of Roller Coaster (prior to the bench). Kiddo and I watched a couple of guys come down, from our perspective looked pretty hard due to huge roots.
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    haha yea it's a triangle stack, and yes it can be jumped. Sounds like the kid is really close to being able to do blue, if he can't already. You can always cut out the "Gnome loop" out of blue towards the end and bring it back down to 10some miles. (at the top of Hells Kitchen, follow the 'parking lot' sign)

    There's definitely some big roots there on blue, it gets easier with speed, but that isn't exactly easy to commit to the first many times through. That's kind of the way about the blue loop after it splits off from the others, gets more technical, plenty of rocks, off camber turns and such. Also there's a grinder of a climb before the descent you talk about, think it's 60-80 feet, but I'd have to check my data.

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    I was riding the connector from Emma yesterday morning and must have hit 3 of those dam pine stumps hidden in the sand. I fell a few times but the sand was so soft it wasnt so bad. It was frustrating a little bit because you really couldnt see them until you hit em but other than that it was my best ride at kettle to date. I did the green emma loop connector and back. Im really liking emma these days.

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    The connector is sort of a mess from the loggers. They seem to be long gone...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litemike View Post
    The connector is sort of a mess from the loggers. They seem to be long gone...
    If you come to the workdays that we hold in the spring you can help fix that up real nice.

    SouthernKettles.Org

    They start mid March and run through the first weekend in June, every Saturday morning at 8:30 till Noon. Sometimes were serve cookies and beer.

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    yea, but at least it smells awesome in the logging area...

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    I would love to help with the trail crew however with school starting I dont know if my saturdays will be free. working full times leaves little freetime once classes start in a week or so. I really enjoy emma and I think that all the work there has been great.

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    We would love it if every rider would find one Saturday to help us put tools to dirt and help improve OUR trails. We totally understand that EVERY one of us has busy lives....full of responsibilities. We all seem to find the time to ride and there seems to be plenty of interest and time spent tapping on our keyboards commenting on the trails that we all love to ride. I have (unfortunately) never seen an inch of trail built by tapping on a computer keyboard.

    The mountain bike community in Wisconsin is in the middle of a trail renaissance thanks to the folks that show up and heft sharp steel tools. As a community we need to teach every person that wants to be a 'mountain biker' that the best well rounded members of our cycling community volunteer at their local trail building events. These volunteers should earn the same admiration as the folks in our community that race and win. One of the fastest cats I know, finds a way to adjust his training schedule to come and help build trail at Kettle.

    There are trail building groups at every trail system in the state. Find your trail's group and find a way to make it out there and you will not regret it.....I promise you that every time you ride a section of trail that you help build, you will feel really good!

    Stepping down from the IMBA soapbox,

    Oh.......and to the OP - Keep Riding - Keep Smiling

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~gomez~ View Post
    If you come to the workdays that we hold in the spring you can help fix that up real nice.

    SouthernKettles.Org

    They start mid March and run through the first weekend in June, every Saturday morning at 8:30 till Noon. Sometimes were serve cookies and beer.
    I'm talking about the logs they left behind on the side. I dont think trail day could do too much to dent the few hundred of those left laying around.

  42. #42
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    I thought you were talking about where the loggers messed up the trails between Young and Tamarac Roads. Are you talking about the piles of timber that they stacked that will become paper someday? Or debris from the commercial logging. The timber will get removed and sold to a mill. The debris will get raked off the trail and decompose. All of the trees removed will be replenished with new plantings and the process repeats itself about every 20 years. Not defending commercial logging here, but this logging contract treated the trails a little more gently than the ones that worked over by Richards Revenge or the Rainey Dew. We had to completely rebuild the two way section of the connector after it was logged a few years back.....not really a section of trail that I like.....any way....sorry for the rant or preaching....but with 50 miles of trail and growing.....there's always something that needs work.

  43. #43
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    I would say try the blue loop. if after you do the old woods southern section, you can always turn off. I would also try the switchback climb on the orange once you get your stamina up. there are no death defying scary sections, you can always walk it and session certain spots though. If you've done roller coaster, you've already seen some of the gnarlier kettle sections.
    enjoy! I am out with a broken collarbone and wish i could be riding during the best time of the year. hope to get a ride or two in in November!

  44. #44
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    Out there today (1st time on a bike in a month - ugh!! no wonder I've been feeling stressed out). Gotta say wet leaves, roots and rocks bring a whole new level of challenge. Back end felt squirrelly at times over rocks at faster speeds, and struggled a bit with traction going up some of the rockier, rootier sections. Oh well, learning experience, right?

    Kiddo hadn't ridden in close to 6 weeks. He was struggling with the climbs - obviously no riding and shorter football practice meaning little to no conditioning has taken a toll. He was getting increasingly frustrated with himself as we rode - pushing several places he hasn't in past. Cut it short after just brown-green due to that and the rain.

    On the bright-side we are both to the point of riding Richard's Revenge as it should be, off the brakes nearly all the way. Wow, fun. Plus little to no pedaling in that section. I think that piece and roller coaster are my fav parts. Kiddo loves Bermuda. And I actually like the climb up to the bench at the top of roller coaster, and through the pine trees on the Beach. Kiddo not so much. He keeps saying he'd a downhill kinda guy. Mom is gonna have to push the fitness a bit harder. My goal for next season is making it up that last technical climb just before the brown loop.

    Used the ride home to plan a trip to Ray's (kiddo's 1st ever, my 2nd) later in the week.
    My blog - this, that, travel, garden, bikes, fitness, family, whatever

    Instagram, Twitter you'll find me as beerbikegirl

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by White & Nerdy View Post
    If it makes you feel any better, I am 30 pounds over weight (okay 40), I ride a 13 year old single speed fisher with a blown out rock shox judy, and I haven't ridden since 2000, until last weekend. I will be riding (some walking, no doubt) the 12 mile loop (Blue?) this weekend, and I'm not afraid. I'll be the guy wearing a carhart t shirt and blue jean shorts doubled over on top of the hills trying to catch my breath.
    What a difference a couple of months makes! I have been riding 2 or 3 times a week at Mir and I am faster and stronger than I ever was. Most of that I credit to riding a single speed though. It just works better with my standing and mashing style. On most days I can clear all of the hills including that rooty, rocky hill on the way back to the parking lot from the crossroads. On weekdays I ride the green loop and on weekends a blue and maybe another shorter loop if I can. Still have some work to do on endurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimikaw View Post
    Out there today (1st time on a bike in a month - ugh!! no wonder I've been feeling stressed out). Gotta say wet leaves, roots and rocks bring a whole new level of challenge. Back end felt squirrelly at times over rocks at faster speeds, and struggled a bit with traction going up some of the rockier, rootier sections. Oh well, learning experience, right?

    Kiddo hadn't ridden in close to 6 weeks. He was struggling with the climbs - obviously no riding and shorter football practice meaning little to no conditioning has taken a toll. He was getting increasingly frustrated with himself as we rode - pushing several places he hasn't in past. Cut it short after just brown-green due to that and the rain.

    On the bright-side we are both to the point of riding Richard's Revenge as it should be, off the brakes nearly all the way. Wow, fun. Plus little to no pedaling in that section. I think that piece and roller coaster are my fav parts. Kiddo loves Bermuda. And I actually like the climb up to the bench at the top of roller coaster, and through the pine trees on the Beach. Kiddo not so much. He keeps saying he'd a downhill kinda guy. Mom is gonna have to push the fitness a bit harder. My goal for next season is making it up that last technical climb just before the brown loop.

    Used the ride home to plan a trip to Ray's (kiddo's 1st ever, my 2nd) later in the week.
    Don't push him too hard, it'll just make him not want to do it. Get him out on the bike as often as possible for "fun" and the fitness will come.

  46. #46
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    for building fitness get out on some doubletrack/gravel road/grassy ski trail so you can spin for a couple of hours. the ride will be more boring than singletrack so if you can find some scenic trails and roads it will help a ton. you fitness will really improve, it's tough to get a good aerobic workout on the single track as a beginner. most mtb racers train on the road a bunch for that reason. i personally don't road bike because I don't look very good in spandex.

    give the more technical trails a try, you'll probably do just fine. worst case you end up riding the flats and walking the technical uphills and downhills. remember, if you're not falling you're not getting better. (within reason, please don't kill yourself based on my advice.)

    it's tough right now with all the leaves on the trail. i hate the leaves so much. it's especially awful when they get wet.

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