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

    Yes! Finally enjoyed a ride!

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    I have been struggling with a love/hate realtionship with the mountain bike since DH got his new FS Bike. I try and try but I am so scared. My depth perception is terrible so tight singletrack can induce a full on panic attack. Downhills aren't much better since I have to try to go up the other side. Then there is the pedals, I am use to loose tension road pedals and not accustom to having to use any effort to get out like I have to on my mountain pedals.

    YEsterday we went out for another go at the dirt. I didn't even want to go but I did. Something magical happened on the trail, I started to get it! First we did a narrow trail but unlike the ones we had tried before this one was mostly flat and I felt more in control because I was determining the speed by pedaling instead of rolling downhill. In no time I was going between trees, I did almost every one and only walked one and then a downhill.

    Later I went down I creek drop I have walked everytime (although I had to walk up the technical uphill) and down a hill I had walked earlier. That hill was rocky, had a root drop and was fast. I was squeeling with delight. I really feel comfortable on this one park's trail and can't wait to go again. DH was of course beaming at the fun I had.
    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
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    Yay!! Glad you are having fun.

    Suggestion, really loosen up those SPDs ( if that's what you are using) It should not require a lot of effort or thought to get out of them. Also, make sure they are well lubed. I'm a very experienced rider and I keep mine so loose that I will pop out in very rough situations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Yay! I'm glad you had a good time! Once you get a few rides under your belt, your confidence will grow. Especially when you tackle sections of the trail that you struggled with the first few times around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    Yay!! Glad you are having fun.

    Suggestion, really loosen up those SPDs ( if that's what you are using) It should not require a lot of effort or thought to get out of them. Also, make sure they are well lubed. I'm a very experienced rider and I keep mine so loose that I will pop out in very rough situations.
    I am riding Crank Brothers Candys but I am thinking of swapping them with the Crank Brothers Smarty pedals on my commuter. The Smarty seems easier to disengage. I have to see if the Candys can be adjusted because I really like my yellow pedals on the 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I am so glad I am not alone in that feeling. I was torn between wanting to attack the trail on Saturday (the "beginner's" trail - ???! Beginning what - of torture???) and of being afraid and frustrated. I am glad the clipless we put on the night before didn't work out (wrong cleats) and that DH had brought a pair of platforms just in case, because I don't know how I could have done that clipped in. I walked a lot of the rooty, rocky upgrades. I fell twice. It was fun and exhilerating but I wonder how compelled I am to do it again. I guess I just got to get out there and keep doing it until I get it.
    I can do five more miles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I am still doing some "cross training" (my term for walking) on the trail but I am trying more things. There is no shame in walking and I get back on as soon as possible. This was the first one I enjoyed from start to finish, so it will happen for you I think.

    I am still not confident but it helps that I had fun. I do some riding with only one foot clipped in, it is more efficient than no clip but I feel I can bail out easier. It works for me for now.

    This was probably my 10th attempt at mountain biking, I had only one ride where I didn't cry out of frustration/panic/fear before this one.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    876
    Awesome!!! Mtbing isn't easy. I took a group of beginners out last week (men and women) and I had forgotten what a learning curve it was as they fell over and even went over the bars. You just really have to stick with it and know that your confidence and skills will come in time. Some knee pads or elbow pads always helped my confidence and first, and now it really helps me to go back and try something again after it psyched me out the first time. Good luck! Have fun!
    Girl meets bike. Bike leads girl to a life of grime: http://mudandmanoloscycling.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    I am still doing some "cross training" (my term for walking) on the trail
    I love that! I think I may have to borrow that term from you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    the Minuteman Bikeway
    Posts
    111
    Hey, great!
    You know, after lots of not-total-confidence in being clipped in, I switched to platform pedals on Sunday. So, so great! I have so much more confidence now, and I love it!
    Just wanted to put in that thought, because I just never felt comfortable being fully clipped in, even with loose SPDs.

    Plus, my platforms are bright blue - it makes me happy just looking at them!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310

    Woo-hooo

    Yesterday DH and I went out to the same old trail. I was feeling pretty good about my improved bike handling in the tight spots so I did it, I told him I would return to the BMX loop. This loop really freaked me out the only other time I did it, I had a full blown panic attack. Bawling, shaking, paralyzed with fear. It was not pretty. But we have done more tight riding and cornering and I felt better. I was able to do all but two climbs of the loop. I almost made it to the first rooty climb summit and I was too horrified to look at "The Wall" at the end. It sure wasn't any easier to walk up though!

    I also made it halfway up the climb I crashed on. Just a ways past my crash point. I think not bailing before the climb was a huge victory. Next time I will show it who is boss.

    One frustrating thing yesterday was I just couldn't cross this thing called the rock bridge. It is just a tiny drop and then up with big ol' rocks in the middle. I have done it everytime but yesterday I tried three times and couldn't. I just kept missing the easier line. It was frustrating but I just took my victories and went home happy.

    I am still fighting these stupid pedals. I am just going to have to give up and let my husband put his old Times on my bike to try. If I like those I have to get new shoes for commuting, oh darn!
    Last edited by Aggie_Ama; 09-15-2008 at 05:24 AM.
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    I am still fighting these stupid pedals. I am just going to have to give up and let my husband put his old Times on my bike to try. If I like those I have to get new shoes for commuting, oh darn!
    Aggie, congrats on your progress. It sounds like you are really getting the hang of it.

    About the pedals.....if you are still unsure about using SPD's on the trail, consider a BMX platform pedal until you get the hang of the techniques than maybe switch back. Just a thought.

    You know, for Christmas you may need a helmet cam so we can watch your ride on You Tube.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    You know, for Christmas you may need a helmet cam so we can watch your ride on You Tube.
    Yes, then at least someone could see my unspectacular crashes when I just fall over. DH was too far ahead so he just got to visit me lying on the cedar wondering what happened. LOL. At least maybe it wouldn't have sound so you wouldn't hear my potty mouth. I think I embarrass the squirrels! You would probably fall asleep with my break neck speed I maintain!

    I forgot one thing about yesterday's ride that really stunk. There was this little terrier mix "Radar" out on the trail, I know that is his name since his owners were screaming it as he ran off out of control. This trail has a no-leash policy IF your dog is under voice control. Well this dog wasn't, DH almost ran over him as him attempted to dart BETWEEN his wheels. The guy in the group kept telling his 4 female hiking buddies the dog didn't need his leash. And of course we crossed paths with them 3 times. 99% of the time the dogs just sit down on the side of the trail and watch you like you are a nut. It only gets hairy at the creek crossing when they see water and go bonkers. But little Radar needed his leash.
    Last edited by Aggie_Ama; 09-15-2008 at 06:43 AM.
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    47
    You are doing great!

    You know, MTB has been a kind of two-steps-forward, one-step-back sort of deal for me, too. I will have some sucesses and then all of a sudden freak out on stuff that I had been able to do before. Maybe it is just the nature of learning the sport, I guess. Hang in there! I have ridden with you and seriously, you are rockin' it! Focas on the obstacles that you ARE doing and just try to enjoy the trail a bit.

    I had an AWESOME ride with my DH yesterday that I thought we should do. We started at the Hill of Life, some great downhill practice (which is what scares me, so it is good for me). But then we rode the upper green belt, which is pretty, nearly smooth, quiet and a lovely easy ride. Of course, you have to end with going UP the Hill of Life. But in some ways, it is so hard it is just comical. A nice walk. We should try it!

    Are you going to the Nut tonight for RLAG?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Quote Originally Posted by alleyoop View Post
    I had an AWESOME ride with my DH yesterday that I thought we should do. We started at the Hill of Life, some great downhill practice (which is what scares me, so it is good for me). But then we rode the upper green belt, which is pretty, nearly smooth, quiet and a lovely easy ride. Of course, you have to end with going UP the Hill of Life. But in some ways, it is so hard it is just comical. A nice walk. We should try it!

    Are you going to the Nut tonight for RLAG?
    I would love to do that ride sometime, for all the sore muscles after the greenbelt I really enjoyed it. Of course I told my husband that was just a mean trail for a hard tail. He agreed. D

    H scared the bejeezus out of me describing the HOL but I will have to face it sooner or later if I want to be a mountain biker here! Downhill does scare me but less than going uphill, which is odd.

    BTW- I sent you C's email in case your husband ever wants to torture him with Thumper. LOL.

    I am so slammed at work I didn't even bring my bike with me today because I didn't think I would have any energy to go to RLAG. Last night I was feeling unready for a group ride, just so run down from working a lot last week. I should have brought it since it is a long way out to my house to get it.

    Have you ever gone to the Sunday rides with ARR at the Nut? I just don't know if I am ready for a group ride mentally (yet!).
    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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    47
    I have not tried the RR rides... though one time I did intend to and chickened out when I got there, rode alone instead. I had heard that they have a more guy-ish ride (go as fast as possible, stop as little as possible) feel to them.

    The RLAG rides are different, very supportive of new riders. You will have NO PROBLEMS at a Walnut RLAG ride. Really. Seriously. Trust me. There are plenty of girls that are new, have fears. The ride leaders stop and talk you through all the technical sections. It is easy-peasy compared to what you have been working on with your hubby.

    The HoL wasn't as hard as people made it out to be. Or maybe it is, but I just allowed myself to walk and didn't beat myself up about it. The riding in the middle is kick-*** though, so it is definately worth it to go down and back up.

    I will hand off the email to DH... hopefully the weather will hold and they can do Thumper soon.

    Hang in! -Heather

 

 

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