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Cross Country Gradings for a newb

mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
edited August 2010 in MTB beginners
How much offroad experiance do you need to handle a Red graded off road route.

Want to try "Follow the Dog" trail at Cannock Chase, photos dont look to bad but it reccomends that red routes are for exsperianced mtbers.

Should i just go for it or will i kill myself :D

Posts

  • I always work by the rule "if i dont like the look of it, ill walk it".
    I guess its just sections that are Red, and if they look to much, there aint no shame in the chicken run.
  • FunBusFunBus Posts: 404
    you shouldnt find anything that you cant just roll over on a red route - just try it and see. Or, if you really havent got any experience, just build yourself up on the otehr routes first. You quite often find the gradings given for some trails are a little over the top and off-putting.

    Just bare in mind that there will be other experienced riders on that route, so make sure you dont clog up the trails!! ;)
  • Mr WuMr Wu Posts: 1,238
    Try the red route at Sherwood pines, then try follow the dog at cannock.
  • CatfishCatfish Posts: 141
    The only thing i would say about FTD is that it is quite narrow single track for the most of it so pulling over can be hard at times. I did it second ever mtb ride, just go at your pace and if you find i to tough then you should be able to bail out onto one of the fire roads back to BV car park. If you don't try you will never know.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    One of the things you learn quite early is that gradings are all over the shop. I can't speak for FTD though it has a reputation as being pretty simple, but there's no standard at all- the skills needed to safely ride nevis red or bits of kielder deadwater red are greater than the average english black frinstance.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    The only thing that might faze you at Cannock is the Werewolf drop on the Monkey, and the 'log roll' thing on Follow the Dog (you'll avoid this if you do the monkey though).

    There's one drop on the monkey and a set of 2 then 3 jumps on the shared start sections that might be tricky for you, because the wheels will be off the ground, but they're rollable (just slow down and bump down them, rather than lifting off), and you'll see them coming.

    I say go for it, preferably not on your own though, although it's always busy at weekends anyway.

    How much MTB experience have you got?
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Oh, and there are a couple of rocky sections, they look bad, just because they're rocky, and your (my!) mind goes "rock=pain". :lol:

    But they're actually grippier than the dirt that makes up the rest of the trails.

    Edit: After the first section, if you decide it's not you rcup of tea, you can turn right to ride along the fireroad you come out on, and that leads back up to the visitor centre. I'm sure you'll get further than that though :wink:
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • nonnac85nonnac85 Posts: 1,608
    you can roll nearly all of ftd. as said before the only bit where you may want to walk is the weirwolf but you wont be the only one walking it.

    just take it at your own pace and you should be fine - try the family trails and then imagine they were narrower and you'll not be far off!
    My Website - Trail Centre info for the UK: MTB Trail Time
  • I've managed all of ftd apart from the werewolf drop and i'm not a great rider. Choose a quiet time and go with a mate who's the same standard or slightly better.

    This has the added benefit of allowing you the time to re-ride a section where you've fallen off. And then falling off again.

    Don't let yourself get rushed by people behind you.
  • Definitely don't rush because of someone behind you, that will cause you to make too many mistakes.

    The way I see trail ratings is that everything is subjective, especially when you can take the time you need to make it through. If your rushing for a race winning pace, it will seem harder than if your taking your time and enjoying the ride.
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    lol thanks for all the great tips peeps

    looked at some reviews and pics on google and stuff it gonna go for it on thursday

    looks like rain should make it fun

    @bails87

    not much exsperiance mate only got back into it a month ago, did a bit of bmxing when i was a kid and the hardest thing for me is remembering im now 38 :D been hitting the roads and moderate off road routes to build stamina, did 47mile ride on sunday and felt human again after 6-8 hours of blowing out my censored :D

    will take at my own pace (remembering all your bottle out go home points) and will remember to make way for stronger riders, mmm alreading thinking im walking the werewolve

    if i live i will report back thurs
  • Nothing wrong with walking until you get the experience and fitness to do the harder bits. 1st time I went around the top "8" at Gisburn on a Hardtail a month after being back from a 15 year break from cycling, took me 4 hrs to get around the total 18km. :oops:

    Thoroughly enjoyed it though and had a big grin on the way around on the bits I could do, even though I ended up walking probably 25-50% of the top "8". But the bits I could do, I really enjoyed, it also made me want to get fitter and keep me interested and a goal to aim for, to do that bit without getting off.
  • KiblamsKiblams Posts: 2,423
    I would recommend Sherwood pines as a good introduction to Mountainbiking, i consider that route to be blue so if you find it easy enough you can tackle FtD. As has been said Werewolfs Drop is a tricky one and is actually quite difficult to walk down let alone ride :wink: so just take it easy and never be afraid to walk any of it. :D
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    Oh how i wish i had followed all of the advice and gone to Sherwood Pines first

    my good, sounding like a complete newb, how different is trail to country lane and greenway, climbs nearly killed me then the downhills finished me off :P

    soaking wet, freezing cold and grinning like a madman

    really need to work on my fitness and try again, took so long on monkey trail had to miss out on last bit of FTD

    fell off 3.5 times but meh totally enjoyed it

    :D:D:D [/img]
  • KiblamsKiblams Posts: 2,423
    Glad you enjoyed it, as you managed the MT without too many upsets I wouldn't bother with Sherwood unless you are curious :wink:

    Just for my own curiosity how long did you take that the end of FtD was too much?
  • Where abouts are you riding locally?

    Any decent local stuff out Rugby way ?? (i'm in Cov)
    On One Inbred 456
    On One Inbred SS
  • fyldesmurffyldesmurf Posts: 412
    could i also ask how you fell off 3.5 times, the .5 confused me a little bit
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    Kiblams wrote:

    Just for my own curiosity how long did you take that the end of FtD was too much?
    2 hours 45 :oops: underestimated time on m6 and on trail :D
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    Where abouts are you riding locally?

    Any decent local stuff out Rugby way ?? (i'm in Cov)

    not too much mostly quite country routes, some good uns on here http://www.cycle-route.com/routes/Warwi ... s-106.html

    lyas run in the rain is good but bit flat
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    fyldesmurf wrote:
    could i also ask how you fell off 3.5 times, the .5 confused me a little bit

    3 small jumps a lil fast mis judged size of second and hit third not really on a good line heading straight for a tree and managed to turn the bike sideways and hit tree with shoulder, better that than losing a wheel. was my first incident so only classed as .5 :P

    1st real tumble was on the monkey trail after the killer climbs coming down compleatly didnt see a rock drop, unitentially airbourne till pedal hit side of bank and sent me to lie with the heather.

    last two were basically slips in mud too knackered to keep bike upright :oops:
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    I'm sure you enjoyed it though :wink:

    Get out there and try to ride more regularly, that way the fitness becomes less of an issue and you can concentrate on the technical/skills side of things.

    Welcome to the world of MTBing though, there's no escape now though :twisted: :lol:
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • mak3m wrote:
    fyldesmurf wrote:
    could i also ask how you fell off 3.5 times, the .5 confused me a little bit

    3 small jumps a lil fast mis judged size of second and hit third not really on a good line heading straight for a tree and managed to turn the bike sideways and hit tree with shoulder, better that than losing a wheel. was my first incident so only classed as .5 :P

    1st real tumble was on the monkey trail after the killer climbs coming down compleatly didnt see a rock drop, unitentially airbourne till pedal hit side of bank and sent me to lie with the heather.

    last two were basically slips in mud too knackered to keep bike upright :oops:

    About the same as my first time round. Difficult to get the balance between caution and recklessness right. I did loads better second time and then relapsed third time. Still, it would be boring if it were easy.
    Haven't done monkey trail as i'm old and knackered.

    for anyone in Rugby, these guys go out every weekend. between them they know every track in the area. Lots of mud.

    http://www.rugbymountainbikeclub.co.uk/
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    when im sure i wont :oops: myself i will hook up with those guys :D
  • Or godivatrailriders.org in coventry, you wont :oops: yourself with them as they're a pretty relaxed bunch
    On One Inbred 456
    On One Inbred SS
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