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  1. #1
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    tips for a full rigid 29r ss rider

    Looking for a few tips to help me ride better (not easier). I like to ride technical structures (over rocks, logs, log rides, rock gardens). Up rocky hills in which you need to pick the front end up over rocks and then pull the back tire over. Following other riders with gears and suspension isn't helpful all the time since it does seem to take a different skill set and technique at times. Some of my issues are as follows. I get alot of pinch flats and bent rims. I have resorted to pumping my tires to between 42 and 45 lbs. I still get them but not as much. A set of tubeless someday but money is too tight right now. Most of these flats are skill related or should I say lack of skill. Any tips will be greatly appreciated on reducing the flats and getting better so I can reduce tire pressure. The increased tire pressure makes riding through rock gardens a little challenging since your front tire has a tendancy to bounce from one rock to the next and riding uphill I seem to get alot more back tire spins on rocks and roots as I try to go over them, especially if conditions are a little slick such as rock sweating on high humidity days. Log rides - is there a particular skill to riding these - weight back, front, standing, sitting or just keep riding until you don't fall off. Roll offs - large round rocks that you might not drop off but roll down with the down part being rather steep. lastly drops - this is where most of the bent rims are happening. How do I keep from dropping like a rock onto the front tire. Is it seat height, handle bar style. Watching people with suspension isn't helping me. My ride is rather basic. Redline monocog flight 29er SS (19") Gearing is 32/20.

    I haven't run across too many riders that run a full rigid SS over very technical hilly terrain. So trying to learn from watching someone else isn't readily available. I Ride with a few that have front suspension and those that are full rigid usually ride the rolling type trails. As I said before I am looking for advice to make me better not make it easier. I am not a great rider so any advice will be helpful.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'm new to riding an SS and it's been since '97 since I've spent much time on a rigid so I'm going through some learning/re-learning.

    As far as riding a rigid goes, my new mantra is "front end up!" If I'm coming up to a rock/root/whatever, I always try to lift the front end of the bike enough so that my front wheel hits the top of it--with suspension I would usually just roll into it. In a perfect world, you would also bunny hop it with the rear, but I suck at that so I try to "unweight" as much as I can when my rear tire hits.

    Another (more universal) tip is to keep your weight back on the downhills. I find that no one is never really as far back as they think you are. Focus on exaggerating your movement off the back of the bike. Also, lower your seat on the downhills a lot to facilitate getting off the back of the bike.

    If you're spinning your rear tire on climbs, you are putting too much torque down for the amount of weight. I'm not sure if you've got massive quads, or if your weight isn't over your rear tire enough. Try "spinning" more (I know, it's hard for me too--I'm a masher and spinning is hard on an SS), and try to balance your weight backwards a little more by standing and keeping your weight back. A lot of things can be improved by experimenting with different body positions on the bike, and since you're probably standing already on an SS, you're not as dependent on the seat in doing this.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Loosen up, go fast, and look ahead to pick out your line in advance!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkraft
    Looking for a few tips to help me ride better (not easier). I like to ride technical structures (over rocks, logs, log rides, rock gardens). Up rocky hills in which you need to pick the front end up over rocks and then pull the back tire over. Following other riders with gears and suspension isn't helpful all the time since it does seem to take a different skill set and technique at times. Some of my issues are as follows. I get alot of pinch flats and bent rims. I have resorted to pumping my tires to between 42 and 45 lbs. I still get them but not as much. A set of tubeless someday but money is too tight right now. Most of these flats are skill related or should I say lack of skill. Any tips will be greatly appreciated on reducing the flats and getting better so I can reduce tire pressure. The increased tire pressure makes riding through rock gardens a little challenging since your front tire has a tendancy to bounce from one rock to the next and riding uphill I seem to get alot more back tire spins on rocks and roots as I try to go over them, especially if conditions are a little slick such as rock sweating on high humidity days. Log rides - is there a particular skill to riding these - weight back, front, standing, sitting or just keep riding until you don't fall off. Roll offs - large round rocks that you might not drop off but roll down with the down part being rather steep. lastly drops - this is where most of the bent rims are happening. How do I keep from dropping like a rock onto the front tire. Is it seat height, handle bar style. Watching people with suspension isn't helping me. My ride is rather basic. Redline monocog flight 29er SS (19") Gearing is 32/20.

    I haven't run across too many riders that run a full rigid SS over very technical hilly terrain. So trying to learn from watching someone else isn't readily available. I Ride with a few that have front suspension and those that are full rigid usually ride the rolling type trails. As I said before I am looking for advice to make me better not make it easier. I am not a great rider so any advice will be helpful.

    Thanks.
    how much do you weigh?
    45 PSI on a 29 tire is as much pressure as I used on my full suspension 26 riding rocky terrain at speed.
    I run 21 and 25 on my rigid 29er, over rocky tech terrain in NoCo.

    Obviously, you cannot have your AS* on the seat while descending.
    I assume you know that,but just to clarify.
    You need to use your body as the SHOCK on a rigid bike.
    That means up/down side/side, and fore/aft.

    I don't really do drops (more than a couple of feet), but I would say watch the guys doing DJ.
    Watch the body english on FS BMX riders too.
    Those should give you an idea what needs to happen to accomodate the effects of gravity.

    Logs and 'rolloffs' are simply a confidence thing.
    Confidence comes with practice/saddle time.

    The best riders I know, are simply out enjoying the ride as much as they can, and then in turn they get REALLY GOOD.
    Be patient, this is a skillset, and requires time to be developed.
    Also, understand that you will NOT go as fast riding rigid, as with suspension (of any type).
    Keep in mind the challenge, and you can stay focused on other 'skill aspects' in lieu of the 'speed' portion.
    Good luck.
    EricN
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  5. #5
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    Increasing tyre pressure is not always the best solution for pinch flats, especially on a rigid bike. Tends to make the bike too bouncy. Assessing what happened when you pinch flatted is the key to finding best solution. Then re-apply this knowledge on the next time around.

    Obviously, you're hitting stuff too hard. It takes some practice to avoid this and keep the pace as well, but that's half the enjoyment of riding a rigid ss.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkraft
    riding uphill I seem to get alot more back tire spins on rocks and roots as I try to go over them, especially if conditions are a little slick such as rock sweating on high humidity days.
    lots of good stuff covered here already. One little tip on traction while standing... the harder you pull up on your bars the more rear wheel traction you get as it leverages the frame against your feet and pushes the rear wheel harder into the ground. I have been practicing climbing some short but steep climbs that have somewhat loose surfaces and pulling up hard on the bars is the make-or-break factor for these climbs. Without that I have no traction and slip out, with that technique I can nail them almost every time.

  7. #7
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    thank you

    This is all helpful information. About pinch flats. I really don't understand them. I will hit a rock and think for sure I've got a flat and I don't and then It seems I bearly go hard into a rock and pssssssss. I guess it's just a matter of several things happening all at the same time and not having your weight at the correct place is all it takes. It also looks as if 75% of my problems are in one place.... my head. I'll keep working on it, thanks. Any tricks on log rides?

    About tire pressure. One thing that may be causing my flats is "tightness" My skill has improved on certain things and I am trying more difficult and technical stunts. As a result of these stunts being new I am probably not relaxed and am adding a rigid body to an already rigid bike frame. Thus causing a high rate of pinch flats. The ratio of cuts and bruises on my legs seems to equal the number of flat tires. The advice of relax and let it happen instead of forcing it to happen will most likely serve me the best.

    I appreciate all the time all of you spent on responding to my request.

  8. #8
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    You could search "ghetto tubeless" for some cheap conversion help if you want to get rid of those pesky tubes without spending much $$. I've been riding around on my SS monstercross a lot lately, and lower tire pressures are a godsend with the roots in my area.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkraft
    The ratio of cuts and bruises on my legs seems to equal the number of flat tires. The advice of relax and let it happen instead of forcing it to happen will most likely serve me the best.
    It's probably blasphamy on this board, but I wear my armor and XC full face helmet most of the time, even on the singlespeed. It's nice to have that extra piece of mind--especially on a bike that is "more difficult" to ride than my freeride bike.

  10. #10
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    Smile

    Ohh, I love technical riding discussions.

    First off, are you riding clipless or flat pedals? While clipless pedals are great for power delivery, I find they are less than adequate when it comes to confidence building. I suggest that if you're trying to boost your confidence/skills try riding with flat pedals. You'll suffer a little bit on the uphill sections, but you'll find it's so much easier when the going gets technical.

    Also, for a lot of technical riding I find that having your seat a little lower than its optimal power delivery height comes in handy. Sure, you won't be able to put down as much power, but the ability to get behind your seat and keep your weight low is invaluable.


    Practice your trackstands. Balance is key here, especially for log rides. This is where flat pedals come into play. Many a time while riding slowly along a log (while standing) I've had to stop and do a track stand, maybe put out a leg on one side to regain my balance. Oh, and standing allows you to move your weight around a lot easier. So stand on any technical bits (not just logrides) but keep your weight low and to the rear (generally speaking). Also, look up what a 'North Shore Dismount' is. That little trick has come in very handy.

    I'll leave the drop-off advice to others. I've never really been that good at them anyway. Hope this helps


    Practice your lunges. Lunging (if you don't know, I'll assume you don't) is when you move the bike forward relative to your body. This is very useful when trying to roll onto an object. If you combine it with a little rear tire lift (kinda like half a bunny hop) and a power stroke right before, you'll surprise yourself with the obstacles your can climb.

    I can lunge myself onto a 32" high ledge (which is the limit before I get bashguard interference). Better riders than myself can J-hop on to that, but I can't.

    What I do is I ride at a slow speed (about jogging pace). I shift my weight back and lift my front wheel onto the ledge. Just before it touches down, I shift my weight all the way forward then I give a power stroke, and at the same time, lift and lunge my back tire up and forward. As I'm lunging my bike up and forward, I'm moving it forward relative to my body. When my back tire touches down on the ledge, my ass is far back and so low that it's almost rubbing my back tire, and my arms are stretched all the way out. If you can do this on concrete you can do it on rocks out on the trail.

    The trick to rock gardens is momentum, momentum, and then just when you think you have enough momentum, add some more. Oh ya, and picking a line is important, too, I guess. Also, stay loose. Let the bike move around underneath you.

    Ahh, roll-offs, how I do love thee. The secret to these (like anyother trick) is weight distribution. As your front tire is descending the rock (and getting steeper) carefully control your speed (keeping it very low). Make sure your ass is ALL THE BACK. As soon as your front tire is going to hit the flat ground, RELEASE YOUR BRAKES and pull up on your handlebars a little. the bike will do the rest for you.

  11. #11
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    answer questions

    Some of you have asked me a few questions and I wanted to get back to you. My weight and height. 6 ft. around 200 lbs. My pedals are clipless. I have trouble keeping my skin on my shins when I ride with flats. I haven't rode flats in about a year. Maybe I should try em out again. I have a tendancy to lift my feet off the pedals... forget and then around comes the pedaI and then my vocabulary of 4 letter words escapes. I have a little bit of armour. shin/knee guards as a result of the previous sentence and when I've really tore up my legs. It also looks as if I'm in a transition state. When I first started riding I rode like the majority because I rode with the majority which was ride smooth and ride fast. As I started to get a bit better I found myself migrating towards big rocks and big logs. Not really interested in how many miles I rode and how fast just how much stuff could I play on, get over and get through. I will keep going back over the same rock, log, garden ect. until I get it or it hurts too much. Most group rides are a bit impatient with that (and they should be) So as I understand I also need to start to adjust things like seat height, body positioning, speed, pedal adjustments and mindset. Group rides where I am at seem to be dominated by either the racers or the beginners. Which I have no problem with/but no interest in. The point of racing is to get from point a to point b as fast as you can and going over a big rock isn't faster than going around it or risking breaking your bike or yourself. So group rides tend to be the same thing. No playing around in the rocks. I am anxious to start and apply some/most of these suggestions. I may hold off on the pedals until I can get a good set of pedals and shoes that stick. Do they make velcro pedals? Just kidding.

  12. #12
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    1st: Lines, lines, lines - forget following a FS bike, rigidness is all about picking good lines. What this means is riding between roots instead over them and picking new paths that may be smoother. It takes a good eye and riding the same trail again and again to find the right line. If not improvise the best you can.

    2nd: Tire pressure is your suspension and right now you have none. I would not run anything higher than 30psi, I myself ride 25-rear, 20-front. In rocks you might not get away with 20, but I would find the sweet spot between 25-30 on both. Front should be a tad lower than the rear IMO.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkraft
    Do they make velcro pedals?
    No, but they make velcro shoes--get some 5:10s and you'll swear that they are almost TOO sticky. I've used them for years on several different sets of pedals. I'm currently running Kona Wah Wahs on my freeride bike (best pedal I've ever used) and Kona Jackshits that came on my SS and the shoes work almost as well on the el cheapo jackshits as on the Wah Wahs.

  14. #14
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    Hard to give advice on the internet.....but, good for you for wanting to pursue the rewards of riding rigid on the techy fun stuff.

    Stoke the imagination and push your limits.

    Saddle time is your friend.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tips for a full rigid 29r ss rider-hairpinrocks.jpg  

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  15. #15
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    OMFG!!!!
    great skills, I've already seen you in some vids.
    Keep riding.

  16. #16
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    this could help with the drops.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExnEEKMDFNk
    Ride & Smile

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    pics - read my mind

    Nice pics. that is what I have in mind. Of course I attempt things about half as difficult as you are showing but yes, that is the kind of riding I enjoy. Thanks for the pictorial. The drop vid on utube (i bookmarked it and will no doubt go back to it several times). Keep in mind though I ride a full rigid and dropping on a suspension bike I suspect is a bit different. That has been my problem. Most of what I watch either on video or in person is done with suspension. My concern with drops on a full rigid is severly damaging my bike (frame, rims and so on) forget me, it's the bike I'm worried about.

    reading what everyone has written has lit up a few light bulbs in my head and is helping. The log ride topic - I can ride logs pretty good if I can get past the first 2 feet so I really have trouble with the transition from the ground to getting both wheels on the log. Some logs have branches piled up at the start, others have one big flat rock leaning up against the log, some have an angle cut while others have nothing. I wonder am I approaching the log to slow, too fast, a bad angle, weight to far front. Note: when lifting a flat rock at the approach of a log you may want to pay attention to the possible snake that has taken up residency there. Been suprised a couple of times.

  18. #18
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    As far as the pedals go, there are plenty of flat pedals that grip well. I use plastic BMX pedals and don't slip. Consider the shoe sole. It should be flat, with out an arch cut out or heel like a hiking boot.

    You need to have a light touch riding a fully rigid bike. Focus on shifting your body weight constantly. A friend from work races a FS bike but I just got him on a rigid SS. He can't believe how fun it is and how much it is improving his understanding of riding.

  19. #19
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    When I ride flats I ride my V60 pedals. Combined with a good pair of skate shoes they allow my feet to remain secure. Sure, I get a lot of shin scars, but that's the cost of MTBing. Having the security of jumping off my bike whenever I want is worth a thousand leg scars. I suppose wearing my shin pads would help.

    I've always been a big proponent of 'learning' on flat pedals. Learn how to lift your back tire. How to bunnyhop with flats, etc. Once you can do this, the world is your oyster.

    For example: After 15 years of riding on flats I finally starting riding clipless. As a result, my confidence suffered on techinal roll-offs and techy sections of trail.

    Granted, my technical climbing abilities improved, but at the detriment of being able to remove my feet from my pedals anytime.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that re-learning how to ride flat pedals (at least for a while) may be the best thing you do for your riding career.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by great_big_abyss
    When I ride flats I ride my V60 pedals. Combined with a good pair of skate shoes they allow my feet to remain secure. Sure, I get a lot of shin scars, but that's the cost of MTBing. Having the security of jumping off my bike whenever I want is worth a thousand leg scars. I suppose wearing my shin pads would help.

    I've always been a big proponent of 'learning' on flat pedals. Learn how to lift your back tire. How to bunnyhop with flats, etc. Once you can do this, the world is your oyster.

    For example: After 15 years of riding on flats I finally starting riding clipless. As a result, my confidence suffered on techinal roll-offs and techy sections of trail.

    Granted, my technical climbing abilities improved, but at the detriment of being able to remove my feet from my pedals anytime.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that re-learning how to ride flat pedals (at least for a while) may be the best thing you do for your riding career.
    I can dab in an instant with my clipless pedals, although I try not to have to . It can take time and effort to practice and make it muscle memory and some people do better with certain pedal brands and setups than others, but clipless pedals shouldn't be stopping you from getting off the pedal quickly

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    I can dab in an instant with my clipless pedals, although I try not to have to . It can take time and effort to practice and make it muscle memory and some people do better with certain pedal brands and setups than others, but clipless pedals shouldn't be stopping you from getting off the pedal quickly
    +2. I don't think I can ever go with flats.

    Time ATAC XS is what I use, they have a tension adjust - I run in the middle setting for tension.
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  22. #22
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    +1 on practicing track stands then you have all the time in the world to make your move. Also doing other trialsy moves help me. Practice "rocking" which is doing a mini-endo to mini-wheelie back and forth. Also "pivoting" doing mini movements when doing a small endo and moving your rear wheel to one side or another. If you need to get your rear wheel up a dash higher "donkey kick" which is when your rear wheel is in the air and spinning, hitting the brake will cause it the pop up a little higher.
    These have helped me do slow tech on my rigid SS.

  23. #23
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    I am subscribed to this thread. I too feel less confident in my tech skills with my Crank Brothers pedals. I never biffed so much in the first year I made the jump. Im in my third year, and I love my pedals they certainly improve climbing. I have 2 young babies and a stay at home mom so I will probably forgo the super tech trails for a couple more years. I am going to go into an open field and "practice" stuff though.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    I can dab in an instant with my clipless pedals, although I try not to have to . It can take time and effort to practice and make it muscle memory and some people do better with certain pedal brands and setups than others, but clipless pedals shouldn't be stopping you from getting off the pedal quickly
    Noted.

    I guess I'm speaking from the point of view of somebody who is new to clipless. I've been riding flats for my entire career and only this year switched over to a set of looks.

    From a technical riding point of view it has actually been a regression. I lost a lot of confidence to do more of the technical spots on my favorite trails. Sections that I could clean with my brain shut off, suddenly were so unnerving that I chickened out at first.

    True, my confidence is returning as I become more comfortable on clipless, but I will always consider myself more technically capable on flats.

    I also find that when riding flats I'll change my footing on my pedals substantially depending on what section of trail I'm on. From the front of the balls of my feet to the rear of the balls. Feet twisted a little, or not. I'm not actually sure if it affects my riding, it's just what I've noticed. With clipless, I can't do that.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by great_big_abyss
    Noted.

    I guess I'm speaking from the point of view of somebody who is new to clipless. I've been riding flats for my entire career and only this year switched over to a set of looks.

    From a technical riding point of view it has actually been a regression. I lost a lot of confidence to do more of the technical spots on my favorite trails. Sections that I could clean with my brain shut off, suddenly were so unnerving that I chickened out at first.

    True, my confidence is returning as I become more comfortable on clipless, but I will always consider myself more technically capable on flats.

    I also find that when riding flats I'll change my footing on my pedals substantially depending on what section of trail I'm on. From the front of the balls of my feet to the rear of the balls. Feet twisted a little, or not. I'm not actually sure if it affects my riding, it's just what I've noticed. With clipless, I can't do that.
    yep, confidence is everything. So many times I go too slow through a section and have to dab just because I'm hesitating so long, then I convince myself to man up and really try it and I make it through clean

    (please ignore the suspension fork for now )

    good point about foot position, although I do have my cleats in a "compromise" position a bit behind the ball of my feet for good down hill stability and easing pressure on the front of my feet but giving up a little bit on power. Constantly moving my feet was a distraction for me, so personally its been better to have one position

  27. #27
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    Here's a couple of vids:

    <object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12569032&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12569032&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/12569032">

    This one is called "Can't see Top". It's actually a waterfall that only dry a few months of the year.


    <object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12567363&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12567363&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/12567363">

    Playing on some chunk.

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    This wall ride was fighting me that day.

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    Last edited by Aquaholic; 06-15-2010 at 11:53 AM.
    What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???

  28. #28
    mtbr member
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    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    50
    baycat. what is it? a piece of styrofoam to practice bunny hops? Aquahollic, I've enjoyed the videos, thank you. I've been able to ride a couple of times since this thread was started (been doing more trialwork the past couple of weeks than riding if you wanna play go gotta work too) My riding has improved some, mostly because of confidence and understanding, I think (the old saying it's all in your head), and the trackstands and stuff I've been doing as a result of all your suggestions. I've also been absent from this forum due to a virus that I keep picking up from this forum that disables my browser.

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