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What I have learnt today

roswellroswell Posts: 17
edited November 2009 in MTB beginners
Hi guys,

As a newbie just wanted to share a couple of tips/ comments from my ride today at Swinley which was my first “winter” ride and was fantastic. It was my first ride on my own and whilst I missed the usual banter and pointers I had a great time splashing through puddles, ploughing through the mud and attacking the fantastic trails :D . The things I have learnt today are:

Tree roots are always bad but expecially so when wet and taken slowly! I have the bruises to prove it. I had barely made it out of the carpark - could have been very embarrassing if there were more people about! :roll:
Mud is fun, though wet, cold socks are not.
Don’t eat too big a breakfast before going out as it can make you feel sick!
Invest in a pair of glasses to prevent mud, flies, cold air etc going into your eyes – even a cheap pair of safety glasses from a diy store for a couple of quid.
Long fingered gloves should be used for cold days so you can actually feel your hands.
I can now see the point of knee warmers – before today I thought they were for big girls!

What have you learnt today?

Cheers

R
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Posts

  • I have learnt today to check your brake pads for wear BEFORE going out and take allen keys with you so you can make adjustments if needed

    I did the last 2 miles of follow the dog at Cannock today with absolutely no brakes and crashed on probably the easiest section and am now in much pain!!!!
    On One Inbred 456
    On One Inbred SS
  • Tree roots are always bad but expecially so when wet and taken slowly!

    LOL - This was the first thing I learned on my first trail. I managed to take a dive twice in a few minutes because I didn't attack with speed, it's usually the speed which carries you through, but of course I didn't know that until I'd injured my arm and my pride!!

    I also once learned never to get disturbed when doing a job on the bike, because it was only when I pulled hard on my bar to mount a high kerb that I realised I had forgotten to fasten a QR front wheel (ouch!!!).
    Ridley Orion
  • Hercule QHercule Q Posts: 2,781
    i've learnt i'm quite sensative to caffine

    pinkbike
    Blurring the line between bravery and stupidity since 1986!
  • only a noob myself...

    ive learnt a wet wooden bridge offers no grip, do not brake on it! (didnt fall tho) :lol:
    it was a good idea to take my waterproofs with me afterall :wink:

    oh and i learnt that taking a spare inertube pays off
    on my first ever ride i was pushing, today i whipped the wheel off and changed the tube in minutes :D


    overall a decent day
    Carerra Fury 08
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I have learnt today to check your brake pads for wear BEFORE going out and take allen keys with you so you can make adjustments if needed

    I did the last 2 miles of follow the dog at Cannock today with absolutely no brakes and crashed on probably the easiest section and am now in much pain!!!!

    My mate forgot to check his brakes at Cannock once, we were stood at the bottom of the Chainslapper waiting for him to come down, could hear this screeching, then caught sight of him moving really slowly.

    When he eventually reached us, his front brake was nearly solidly locked on. His brake pads had worn out on the previous section, so when he tried to lose some speed on the downhill he was scraping metal on metal, the brakes either overheated, or the pistons came out too far and didn't retract.

    Took some time to free his disc from the caliper so we could sort it out!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • bails87 wrote:
    I have learnt today to check your brake pads for wear BEFORE going out and take allen keys with you so you can make adjustments if needed

    I did the last 2 miles of follow the dog at Cannock today with absolutely no brakes and crashed on probably the easiest section and am now in much pain!!!!

    My mate forgot to check his brakes at Cannock once, we were stood at the bottom of the Chainslapper waiting for him to come down, could hear this screeching, then caught sight of him moving really slowly.

    When he eventually reached us, his front brake was nearly solidly locked on. His brake pads had worn out on the previous section, so when he tried to lose some speed on the downhill he was scraping metal on metal, the brakes either overheated, or the pistons came out too far and didn't retract.

    Took some time to free his disc from the caliper so we could sort it out!

    Well its defo taught me a lesson!!, the ironic thing is that it was the first ever time i have carried a first aid kit on a trip, i reckon i must have subconsiously known i was gonna crash!!
    On One Inbred 456
    On One Inbred SS
  • ads4ads4 Posts: 698
    I learned not to watch helmet cam videos of the Mega-Avalanche on you-tube while hung over! God it made me feel sick.....
    Adam.

    Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

    Current ride - Yeti ASR 5a X0
  • I've learnt that it doesn't matter which direction I ride in, the wind will always make it difficult! :shock:
  • It's great to meet up with fellow Bikeradar forum members and there are some awesome trails on your doorstep (well 20 minutes away.... Cheers JAFKJ) and that I really do need to get out there and explore a bit.

    Also my fitness for uphills is rubbish but biking with others pushes you and continental speed kings can get scary when going downhill in wet mud.

    And finally cleaning a white 09 Fury with half a field/forest/track takes a while :D

    RockingDad
    2010 Carrera Fury
    1992 Raleigh Equipe
  • bambabamba Posts: 856
    being undecided about which way to tackle an obsticle in your path usually results in falling off, often with some pain,
    eg shall i do the skinny board walk or not, yes , no,yes,go on then, doh !
    make a desission an stick to it
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    When you see one of the other guys you're riding with sat at the side of the trail, rather than assuming they're taking photos and striking a heroic pose before charging past, consider the possibility that they've just fallen off, and that if you strike a heroic pose before charging past rather than slowing down, you might fall off on exactly the same thing they just fell off on, land on top of them.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • kvskvs Posts: 2
    Another noob here!

    Today I learned there are some nice bike rides around my area which I'm going to tackle at the weekend. ;)
  • jafkjjafkj Posts: 9
    RockingDad wrote:
    It's great to meet up with fellow Bikeradar forum members and there are some awesome trails on your doorstep (well 20 minutes away.... Cheers JAFKJ) and that I really do need to get out there and explore a bit.

    Also my fitness for uphills is rubbish but biking with others pushes you and continental speed kings can get scary when going downhill in wet mud.

    And finally cleaning a white 09 Fury with half a field/forest/track takes a while :D

    RockingDad
    did you get it clean
  • yeah pretty much. by the time I got back and was half way through cleaning it ws dark so i'll prob take the wheels out and ensure there isn't any censored in the push axle etc.

    must fit the crud catchers, the half that wasn't on the bike was up my back I think

    Cheers for showing me the trail, great ride, must do that again soon.

    RockingDad
    2010 Carrera Fury
    1992 Raleigh Equipe
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    I relearnt how to ride my bike yesterday. Did a skills course. Main thing I learnt was to stand up, stand tall and stay centre on the bike. Like most people I've been edging off the back for most tricky stuff. Trouble is if you do this you don't get the weight onto the front wheel and then you can't steer properly, the bike decides where you're going, not you. Feels very weird but I must admit I did feel a lot more controlled on the berms and corners.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I learnt today that a (Peugeot) 307 is nowhere near as suited to several hours of B-road thrashing, as it's old 306 cousin. :(
  • i have learned that powering through mud is more fun than and more efficent than being a wuss I have also learned that mud is the mortal enemy of white converse allstar!
  • AlexAlex Posts: 2,086
    roswell wrote:
    Hi guys,

    Tree roots are always bad but expecially so when wet and taken slowly! I have the bruises to prove it. I had barely made it out of the carpark - could have been very embarrassing if there were more people about! :roll:
    Tree roots are best taken at a reasonable pace, off the brakes and square on. You will not slide unless you apply a loading to the tyres other than straight.
    Mud is fun, though wet, cold socks are not.
    Sealskinz are your friends. Invest!
    Don’t eat too big a breakfast before going out as it can make you feel sick!
    Eat a big breakfast, but make sure you give it at least an hour to settle, and when you do start riding, warm up properly, don't go hell for leather right at the start of your ride!
    Invest in a pair of glasses to prevent mud, flies, cold air etc going into your eyes – even a cheap pair of safety glasses from a diy store for a couple of quid.
    Wise.
    Long fingered gloves should be used for cold days so you can actually feel your hands.
    As a mountainbiker, you really ought to be wearing full finger gloves all year round. They give much more protection to your hands in the effect of a full or a scuff with a tree.

    If you REALLY want to keep your hands warm don't go and buy the thickest pair of gloves you can find, they will make your hands colder once you start having to hold on to the bars extra tight through the thickness of the material.
    Instead, get a cheap pair of normal full finger gloves one size too large and a pair of Sealskinz glove liners. This layering allows gives your hands room, keeps them warm and toasty and if you start losing sensation, you can remove the liners and just run the gloves. Layers are always better than one thick garment.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Alex wrote:
    Tree roots are best taken at a reasonable pace, off the brakes and square on. You will not slide unless you apply a loading to the tyres other than straight.

    That's not right, on a decent sized root you can still find the tyre finds it easier to slide out to either side than to go over it, regardless of how straight you hit it.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • AlexAlex Posts: 2,086
    Newton's laws of motion, nine years of XC, six years of senior downhill, a 4X podium and five years of MTB course design suggest strongly in the counter.

    You will always pass safely over a root hit square on unless you make a significant braking or steering input.

    The danger in roots is posed roots perpendicular the direction of travel on corners, and roots diagonal to the direction of travel in braking zones. These are the ones that need respect, care and skill.

    Even wet offcamber webs of roots can be safely traversed with sufficient skill and confidence.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    Over-analysing the terrain is my biggest downfall and there still times when I am amazed what my bike will go through if I just relax. Evil Roots I and II on FtD always used to trouble me until I learned to look beyond them and not at them. Riding up and over a wet greasy Evil Root II was an epiphany.
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I learnt yesterday that STX RC rapidfire shifters do not last for ever, they did however last over ten years.
    Another thing I have learnt is to take the thumbshifter that broke off out of your pocket before it goes in the washing machine...
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Alex wrote:
    Newton's laws of motion

    Go on then, let's hear what Newton had to say about it...

    If the force needed to deflect the wheel is less than the force needed to go over the root, it'll deflect. Simple as that. Your wheel will take the route of least resistance, which isn't always directly over. This is most obvious if you haven't managed to unweight or pop the wheel for whatever reason (lapse of skill or judgement, or you're riding multiple roots so can't treat each one as a seperate feature)

    2 things can happen here- one is that the contact knocks your wheel squint and so introduces an involuntary steering input, the other is just that the wheel breaks traction and slides out from under you.

    I have a feeling that what you're doing here is assuming that just because you, with your substantial experience, never have a problem with this, that nobody else ever does.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • AlexAlex Posts: 2,086
    You're right about experience making the difference, but it's not because I'm 'more experienced'.

    If you approach a root fearing it, you WILL slide. You will be tense, your body position and language will be poor and you'll be dragging the brakes slightly

    If you approach a root, any root, square on, faster the better frankly, knowing that you are going straight over the top of it, you'll be loose on the bike with a good body position with the right body language to ride straight over it.

    Roots are grippy objects, if you just give the tyres a chance.

    A short visual lesson in how to, and how not to:
    http://www.pinkbike.com/video/57338/
  • bambabamba Posts: 856
    .blitz wrote:
    Evil Roots I and II on FtD always used to trouble me.
    which roots are these ?are they the ones at the top of the tricky steps , one in s7 and a double in about s11 or 12 .
    i always struggle on them, normally results in a mate behind me nearly crashing in to me
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    bamba wrote:
    which roots are these ?are they the ones at the top of the tricky steps , one in s7 and a double in about s11 or 12 .
    Yes :)
  • AlexAlex Posts: 2,086
    Section 7 and 12, both of which can be solved with speed :D
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Alex wrote:
    If you approach a root, any root, square on, faster the better frankly, knowing that you are going straight over the top of it, you'll be loose on the bike with a good body position with the right body language to ride straight over it.

    A short visual lesson in how to, and how not to:
    http://www.pinkbike.com/video/57338/

    Did you link the wrong video there? It's good but it doesn't show any "how to" go over square roots that I can see, though it shows a couple of "how not to" over angled ones :lol: Just curious.

    Are you talking mainly about smaller roots here? I totally agree with what you're saying on the smaller stuff in your video but high roots, particularily once it gets to more than your fork travel can deal with, I don't think the same applies.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • AlexAlex Posts: 2,086
    I'm talking about roots in trails, not fallen trees :lol:
    The 1-3" tall sort. Any bigger than that and they tend to hold the bark and grip very well indeed.

    In that video, everyone who hit the root at the top at an angle slid. Everyone who squared it up stuck.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Ah, fair play then, we're just talking about different things I think. Yep, totally agree when it comes to little ones. I gues it depends where you ride, big roots are a common trail feature here.
    Uncompromising extremist
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