Trails in UT/SLC county for the less adventurous?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trails in UT/SLC county for the less adventurous?

    So I had my first mountain bike ride and worst crash ever on a bike yesterday on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail on the section just south of Rock Canyon..

    Now I'm not so sure I should pursue mountain biking.

    I was applying the brakes as much as I could without making them lock-out. Is there a way to go down steep grades at low speeds?

    I was going 15-20 when I went over the bars, because my pedal clipped a rock-wheel went all the way to the left and I did a superman.

    Injuries not too bad, but could have been worse:
    -Damaged pride
    -Bloody bruise on front quad
    -Small cut on chin
    -Ripped skin off right palm
    -Skin off on left elbow
    -Wind knocked out of me


    Is there such a thing as mellow trails in Utah and where can I find them?
    I'm thinking trails with little to no downhill and little to no rocks .

  2. #2
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    Mill Creek Pipeline trail.

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  3. #3
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    Antelope Island should be pretty mellow and there are other trails that may suit your skill level. 15 - 20 mph is not going very slow at all - that is a pretty good clip (I separated a shoulder when I crashed at 16 mph) that would be an average speed right there.

    From what I have seen on the Shoreline trail in Ogden, I would suggest other trails for a first time mtbr - it isn't excruciating difficult but you should be comfortable with bike handling skills before riding it in my opinion because there are rocky sections on that trail.

    Were you riding with the pedals at the 9 - 3 o clock position (horizontal) or at the 12 - 6 o clock position? (vertical). Beginners and even alot of us seasoned folks find ourselves riding with our pedals up and down which begs for a rock or obstacle to catch them. It can happen at any position but with the pedals up and down you are putting one pedal that much closer to the ground thus increasing the chances that it will strike something.

    Also, to help prevent pedal strikes you should look ahead and try to see them before they become an issue - that is why I stress bike handling skills should be attained before doing any downhill trail or trail with rocky sections. You can't always see the problem sections and your body will develop a natural response if you have experience riding rocky terrain. I have ridden rocky sections downhill and I have had pedal strikes and even wheel strikes and my body naturally corrected before my brain even realized what happened.

    That was developed riding technical terrain on flat and even ground and working up.

    Just a few suggestions.

    Utah Mountain Biking - Trails, Information, Repairs is a good website to look for trails in the state of Utah.
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  4. #4
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    Some of the trails at Corner Canyon are pretty rock free and wide open. We have used Ann's Trail from the Potato Hill trailhead to the kiosk and back for our scout troop a couple times with good results for brand new riders. Wide, no rocks, easy grades.
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  5. #5
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    I second Ann's Trail and also Pipeline.

    With Pipeline I would suggest starting at Burch Hollow, rather than Elbow Fork which I think is the last trailhead to Pipeline. That section from Elbow to Burch has almost all the elevation change and also a section of rocks that can take you by surprise. The rest of it is very mellow, but does have some pretty harmless sections of small loose rocks.

    Ann's from Potato Hill is good. You can also go through the tunnel right where Potato Hill meets Ann's and do Ann's trail and Little Valley Loop which is super mellow. They are working on a beginner's flow trail there as well.. not sure of the progress, but you'll see it from Little Valley Loop
    Last edited by mkb5150; 07-28-2014 at 09:05 PM. Reason: embarrassing apostrophe

  6. #6
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    I'm pretty new to the area, so not sure if this is an option. In Washington state, where I moved from, there were several coaches who taught beginner through advanced riding classes. It makes a huge difference over the "learn by crashing" method I used 20+ years ago. I would look for a local instructor who could go over the basics with you.

    I was a certified instructor so if you can't find anyone I can show you the basics. We just had a baby so time is tight, but let me know if you don't find other options.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for the support and advice!
    @ Rich-I can't believe you'd be willing to teach me! That's awesome!

    I think I'll direct my passion for cycling more towards commuting and bike touring / camping - not sure that I want to lose time from work or become permanently disabled.. I can't ride a bike at the moment, because of a large red/yellow/purple bruise on my quad which is causing me to limp - going to the doctor tomorrow to make sure it doesn't turn into bone lol.


    Well, after some thought, here's what I learned:

    ---Mechanical:
    -Don't go mountain biking on a bike whose fork doesn't work
    -Don't go mountain biking with tires that aren't lower PSI
    -Don't go mountain biking on a 26er (in my case-heard that much less likely to OTB on 29er)

    ---Behavioral:
    -Don't go on trails above my skill level (I'll stick to trails that are for kids for now)
    -Don't put my pedal at 6 o'clock position
    -Put weight on pedals, not handlebars when going downhill
    -Start slowing down before I being the descent

  8. #8
    JGL
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    Don't give up! I crashed a lot when I was just starting out. It's a process. Ride within your limits, you'll improve with practice.

    26er is perfectly fine. You are no more likely to endo on a 26er.

    Weight balance is important. If you take all the weight off the front tire you won't be able to steer. This video is helpful: HOW TO MOUNTAIN BIKE: World's Best Downhill Mountain Bike Lesson - YouTube

    I agree with the suggestion of the trails in Draper (Corner Canyon).

  9. #9
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    "-Don't go mountain biking on a 26er (in my case-heard that much less likely to OTB on 29er)"

    I think you can eliminate this rule!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad85 View Post
    Thank you all for the support and advice!
    @ Rich-I can't believe you'd be willing to teach me! That's awesome!

    I think I'll direct my passion for cycling more towards commuting and bike touring / camping - not sure that I want to lose time from work or become permanently disabled.. I can't ride a bike at the moment, because of a large red/yellow/purple bruise on my quad which is causing me to limp - going to the doctor tomorrow to make sure it doesn't turn into bone lol.


    Well, after some thought, here's what I learned:

    ---Mechanical:
    -Don't go mountain biking on a bike whose fork doesn't work
    -Don't go mountain biking with tires that aren't lower PSI
    -Don't go mountain biking on a 26er (in my case-heard that much less likely to OTB on 29er)

    ---Behavioral:
    -Don't go on trails above my skill level (I'll stick to trails that are for kids for now)
    -Don't put my pedal at 6 o'clock position
    -Put weight on pedals, not handlebars when going downhill
    -Start slowing down before I being the descent
    Mountain biking is a bit like skiing, doesn't matter what you've done in the past you still have to learn how to do it before you can start gaining skill. If you take a never-ever skiing by dropping them off at the top of the hill and leaving that person is almost always going to have a pretty negative experience. You need to step back and take it slow. Find the right trails, find someone to ride with, maybe find a clinic or instructor. There are cycling instructors at a few of the ski resorts, Canyons and DV I think, and some of the shops offer guiding services which include beginners (White Pine Touring had one in the past, they might still).

    Your behavioral steps are probably pretty accurate; you shouldn't ride too far outside your skill level, when you're coasting ride with the pedals level, light hands soft knees, and keeping your speed under control. These are all things that everyone gets to know eventually and, at some point in the future, will probably mess up again. More time on a bike will help with these.

    Your mechanical issues though, you're going to have to explain yourself a little.
    -Fork: what's wrong with your fork?
    -Tires: tire pressure should be between 25-35 psi for trails depending on weight and tendency to smash things (my tendency to smash things is quite high).
    -Wheel size: 26" wheels have nothing to do with your OTB excursion. You can OTB a 29er just as well and when you do, you're higher off the ground so you get to hit harder. Your body position and your tentative reaction to that trail feature doomed you. When you approach an obstacle which might trip you up you want to move your weight back over the rear of the bike and get ready to absorb any impact which might occur.

    Good website: MTB Techniques - The Mountain Bike Skills and Technique Resource

    Anyway, take some time away from the trails, ride your commuter. When you're ready, head to a trail like Matt's Flat in Round Valley or the lower trails at the Olympic Park up in Park City. Another trail finding resource is The Skid Map you'll want to focus in on finding the green trails which indicate the easiest stuff. When you find a good trail name, look it up over at Utah Mountain Biking for a good description of what it is and how to get there. Sometimes an easy trail can only be accessed by using more difficult trails.
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