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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041

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    Wow, great advice.
    +1 to breathe
    And +1 to go as fast as you are comfortable. You'll get more comfortable with time and experience.
    And +1 to everything else. (I'm really not contributing anything here. )
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    I was terrified of descents as a beginner (except for very short and familiar ones). I was forced to learn in a cycling trip in Scottland - the first day, I melted the brake pads and they had to be replaced that day. By day 6, I was following my friend's line, hands in the drops. I also have small hands and, on the hoods in steep descents, my hands cramped. The drops worked a lot better.

    Heck, when I started riding, even trying to ride faster on a flat road (say 18 mph) felt like I was totally out of control. You get comfortably gradually, your skills improve with riding time, experimenting within reason and pushing your boundaries little by little. Ride within your comfort level, but also experiment when possible to see how things feel. The GCN videos are pretty good and they give you tips you can mix in your rides.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    the 20 mile downhills that were broken up with cattle guards.
    I can't imagine..cattle guards tend to freak me out. I hate them.

    Wierdly they are used here and there our city, in URBAN neighbourhoods where there are no cattle but just an old-fashioned/dumb/unsafe way of excluding cars.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    We must be thinking of two different things, because the cattle grates I'm familiar with wouldn't exclude cars ... in fact, the whole point of them is to allow farm vehicles to pass without having to open and close a gate.

    But I couldn't imagine even trying to ride over one on two wheels. At any speed. Even if you were uninjured, they'd taco your wheels.

    ETA: but I guess it can be done. http://jpschroeder.blogspot.com/2010...d-city-sd.html [scroll down to the last picture]
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 11-04-2013 at 01:34 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Lakewood, Co
    Posts
    1,061
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    We must be thinking of two different things, because the cattle grates I'm familiar with wouldn't exclude cars ... in fact, the whole point of them is to allow farm vehicles to pass without having to open and close a gate.

    But I couldn't imagine even trying to ride over one on two wheels. At any speed. Even if you were uninjured, they'd taco your wheels.

    ETA: but I guess it can be done. http://jpschroeder.blogspot.com/2010...d-city-sd.html [scroll down to the last picture]
    We have those here and I still haven't convinced myself that they're ride able but they aren't easy to walk across either.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Lakewood, Co
    Posts
    1,061
    Living and riding in SW Ohio I loved the hilly terrain with the rollers. I didn't give down hills much thought until I moved here. My first ride down a hill near our house (with 2 intersections) freaked me out. Then I tried riding down a mountain pass in the LaSalle mountains in Utah. I was so freaked out I nearly killed myself. I ended up walking 2 miles to the bottom then sagged to flatter terrain. I got a very well fitting bike and practiced riding in my drops with my feet in the 9-3 position on the pedals. Even though I had ridden for years it was so scary to take my hands off the handlebars and put them in the drops so I practiced on small hills. I found I have more strength braking from the drops. I read every hill now and determine if I need to be in my drops or handlebars. Now I fly down the hill next to my house because I know I can stop when I need to.

    Every fall we do the Mickelson Trail Trek in S. Dakota. It's an unpaved trail with some long down hills. There's the usual crazies flying down the hills but there are just as many insecure riders. They have their pedals in the 6-12 o'clock position and hang to one side. Some have their bottoms off the saddle which puts them in even more of an unbalanced position. With my feet in the 9-3 position I can stand on the pedals if the trail gets rough and comfortably ride down the hills.

    A wise friend once said to me, "trust your bike, it wants to stay upright". That's what got me through that scary downhill in Utah.
    Last edited by Kathi; 11-04-2013 at 04:05 PM.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi View Post
    We have those here and I still haven't convinced myself that they're ride able but they aren't easy to walk across either.
    Strange as it might sound, the faster you go over, the smoother it is. We had some days on Cycle Oregon where there were 9 or more on one hill. Of course, there were cattle too. Sometimes in the road. Cattle guards are a normal part of riding in open range.
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Are your cattle guards square (cross-section)? We have cattle guards where each bar is a pole, ie. round cross-section, and they're a breeze to ride across, especially at speed. The one exception would be if they're dented or spaced especially far apart, then you can get a nasty surprise.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    I'm not going to be thrilled to even try it. Even for a cross section.

    As I said, pretty stupid to have them in a regular street intersection, any urban residential neighbourhood at all...when there's young children living in the area. Even if it was leftover from prairie rangeland days before our city expanded, the cattle grate should have been removed and just put a permanent iron fence or concrete barrier to block cars.

    Cars are forbidden to enter since there's a Wrong Way/Do not Enter road sign to indicate to drivers.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Shootingstar, can you describe what you're talking about, or post a picture? Because the cattle grates we're talking about do not exclude cars.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    I should clarify, yes I agree cattle grates allow cars.

    The situation I'm describing is that the municipality has the cattle grate at a residential road intersection plus a no entry/wrong way road sign to warn cars not to cross over into the neighbourhood on the road.

    The cattle grate is not in a suburban area. It is...mid-town. As I said, a relic road infrastructure that should have been removed by the municipality. this is a city....of 1+ million people.

    If it doesn't snow more, one day a photo. Not going to happen for awhile since I don't have a car.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    You might be able to find it on Google satellite view or street view and post a link to it.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

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