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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310

    You have to start somewhere, right?

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    I have had this poor neglected Scott Contessa 30 for about a year and a half. DH didn't have a working mountain bike and it is more his passion than mine so she sat collecting dust. This weekend DH was test riding mountain bikes to replace his old hardtail and wanted me to come along. We went out to a relatively easy single track trail to ride.

    Little did he remember I am a total weenie at mountain. I am scared of tight turns in trees, uphill and rocks. I mean, I am a roadie these things aren't natural to me. Did I mention I have terrible depth perecption?

    I tried some moderately technical stuff (a BMX trail) and went into hyperventilating. Lord that was embarrassing. By the end of day two we were sticking to mostly fire roads but I did try a couple long downhills and climbs. Not super technical but for me it was a victory.

    Today was only my 6th trip mountain biking, I hope to let go of my fears because it looks like the mountain bikers have a lot of a fun. I just have to convince myself I likely will not break my bones and end up a bloody mess. Right?
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719
    That's right.

    baby steps.

    I'm going to tell you something though. with mtb. yes, there is falling. scrapes and bruises. war wounds. its unfortunately part of the sport. Its not on purpose - but a good part of the technical aspect requires balance and coordination.

    this is why when i teach people, i take them on the fire roads first. or plain dirt trails. to get the feel of the bike. the shifting the breaking and the body position. there is a lot of movement on the bike, which does take getting used to.

    I really recommend taking a beginners lesson. we have them here
    http://www.mountainbikeschool.ca/pdf/NEWWOWAgenda.pdf (at the beginning of summer.

    They are a great way to get some basic skills and comfort. and not get into an argument with hubby, when he tells you to "just ride" as he tries to explain stuff
    "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."-Moliere

    "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas A. Edison



    Shorty's Adventure - Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    AA, I'm quite familiar with the way you feel, including my incredibly horrible depth perception. Every year in school, I would get referred for a vision evaluation because I would always see the apple off the table, instead of on the table in that stupid vision test schools gave every year. Road riding has improved this a little, but it's probably the main reason I am a cautious descender. I really love mountain biking and being in the woods, but I'll never be great at it. Some of it is because I don't practice enough and weather often plays a part in whether or not we can go out on the trails. It is a real feeling of accomplishment for me to do 3-5 miles on rocky, rooty trails. I compare that to a 25 mile road ride with climbing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719
    miles on trail is very different than miles on road...

    especially on rooty rocky terrain...

    I like the feel of the trail as well, its hard to explain.
    "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."-Moliere

    "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas A. Edison



    Shorty's Adventure - Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Southeastern PA
    Posts
    80
    Aggie, just some thoughts on crashing/falling/bruising etc, I ride my mt and my road bike fairly equally, and although I crash way more often on my mountain bike, road crashes hurt WAY WAY worse. Omg, road rash is the worst, lol. Seriously, mountain bike bumps and bruises really aren't that bad! The thing I hate most about mt bike crashes 1) frequently they are caused because I couldn't clip out (still working that, lol) and 2) sometimes when I fall clipped in I can't get out, I"m like a turtle on it's back. So embarrassing! But anyways! welcome to the dirty side sounds like you're well on your way! good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    Did I mention I have terrible depth perecption?
    That can certainly account for your anxiety on the mtb. People who don't have depth perception deficits have no idea what it's like for someone who does. It can set someone up for panic attacks in crowded places. Technical trails are even more so to one who can't judge distance. I imagine whizzing in and around trees can be very nerve wracking as well.

    Perhaps you can scout out a dirt packed trail that is open to ATV's and horses. These trails are usually wider and in some cases are not very technical. I like to ride on hiking trails in the state parks. Fireroads may be your best friend too as you have fewer obstacles to navigate.

    You can always use your mtb on the street to exercise the dogs like I do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    151

    clinics help!

    Aggie,

    My first mtb ride I was a frazzled nut case, but I really wanted to learn. After all, if baby sister can do it for 18 years in SoCal, UT and CO, surely I can learn too! I posted on a local online forum as "53 y/o woman who wants to learn from a women". Three ladies, 2 my age, responded and have been incredibly patient and wonderful helping me with my baby steps.

    Look for a mtb clinic put on "for women, by women". I live in Columbus, Ohio and I did a clinic 3 weeks ago in SE Michigan, called BOW. It was awesome, and I can't encourage it enough for beginners (like me) to do and for clubs to offer. BOW was unadvertised and sold out with over 65 participants. Check out www.mmba.org to see the pics from the last couple years events. I'm up to ride #8, we've had a rainy spring/summer and the trails close, but I'm getting better each time I go out.

    Before the clinic, I made the mistake of joining a ladies ride on an intermediate skill trail and beat myself up something fierce. I'm back to my beginner/family friendly to build my skill before attempting the other trail again. I will go back to it, but want to feel good about my skill level first.

    Hang in there, enjoy baby steps, it's funner (that's not really a word) each time.

    PJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Well we went again today. I was pretty fatigued from riding my roadie this morning. It was supposed to be a leisurely ride but anyway, I didn't try as many technical things. I still had a great time. I tried one narrow trail but it was all slightly downhill and twisty. I spent most of it cross training (walking).

    The best thing I did was sent the boys to the BMX trail and road the fire roads myself. Even found a short trail with a few techincal (fairly easy but not for a beginner) and did those on my own. I am pretty excited to go again.

    I also got the green light to take DH's old Mavic Crossmax tires. I am pretty stoked to get new shoes on my bike.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    I tried one narrow trail but it was all slightly downhill and twisty. I spent most of it cross training (walking).
    A female downhill racer gave me some great advice: If you're ever not sure you can ride something, walk it. There will come a day when you will approach it and know you can do it, and that's when you ride it.

    Sounds like you're doing the right thing =)
    monique

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by Tabby View Post
    Before the clinic, I made the mistake of joining a ladies ride on an intermediate skill trail and beat myself up something fierce. I'm back to my beginner/family friendly to build my skill before attempting the other trail again. I will go back to it, but want to feel good about my skill level first.

    Hang in there, enjoy baby steps, it's funner (that's not really a word) each time.

    PJ
    Just thought I'd update ... I did a second clinic, though it was not "skills" per se. But for the ride we did the same intermediate trail I did 4 weeks ago that I got beat up on pretty bad ... this time I still got beat up, but not AS bad AND I did obstacles that I walked over the first time I rode there. I'm heading back to my beginner/family friendly trail to again regain my confidence and I'll seek out that intermediate trail for a third time come mid August. Stay tuned ....

 

 

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