January 26, 2018 at 7:59 am #233515
I have always been one of those guys who was very competitive. I spent over 20 years active duty in the US Army surrounded by other Type A personalities. Going harder and faster than those around you was not only strived for, it was expected. I am retired from the Army, I am older, grayer, heavier and hopefully wiser. I stay pretty active, running several times a week and biking every chance I get. I was riding the other day at a local single track and got passed going uphill. I have to admit that I was a little salty. Now I do have to say that the gentleman who passed me was very nice and asked if he could pass and did so at a wide area. I complained to my wife that some guy passed me going uphill and explained he was probably younger and on a much lighter bike, at least in my imagination. Well I went riding again about a week and a half later, had to wait for Mother Nature to provide cold enough weather to freeze the ground. This time there was snow on the ground and riding was much more labored. I ran into two separate people walking their dogs on the trail. I stop and talked with both of them about the weather and how perfect the woods were that day. When I got back to my truck to load up I realized I rode much slower than when I got passed and enjoyed the ride so much more. Maybe I don’t have to be the fastest guy on the track in a day, maybe I just enjoy the ride, the scenery and the people (and dogs) I meet.
January 26, 2018 at 8:03 am #233516
Great insight. Competition with myself (and others) has ruined many a hobby for me. That’s why I stay away from MTB racing for the most part. I just want to enjoy the ride, not beat myself up every time I get passed by someone faster.
January 26, 2018 at 11:10 am #233524
There’s a time and a place for both I think. If I start putting around too much I forget that I’m not that old. Regardless I wouldn’t care about being passed on a climb, I make my time up going down!
January 26, 2018 at 8:03 pm #233565
Yes, most of us would probably do better if we had the attitude that we are riding together or sharing the trail together … … having a shared experience … … rather than competing against others on the trail. There is a time for competition, no doubt, but imo, those are best kept to well-defined settings like a race or among a few friends who really are good friends and are supportive of one another — a little competition with a good mix of razing and encouragement. And if we are trying to get our worth by outdoing others on the trail, then that’s likely not going to lead to much true peace or happiness. But then again, all these thoughts come from an old type A person who didn’t start riding until he was 50, and there was no hope of successfully competing against others on the trail. =) So I just go out enjoy the ride and the challenges it inherently bring.
January 29, 2018 at 5:48 am #233604
The guy who passes you is the guy you need to ride with. It may come down to fitness and youth, but he may also know something you don’t about technique, line choice and where to spend his energy. That section of trail that sucks your speed may be something he flies over without touching and that keeps him fresh for whatever he passed you on. Don’t let getting passed compel you to upgrade your bike, most of the time it is not the bike limiting you unless you are at some downhill park so I would scratch that one.
Ask if you can follow him and watch his lines, remain competitive with yourself and use him to gage your progress. I keep track of features on the trails that slow me down and try to improve on the slow points. I also pay attention to how long it takes me my lungs back after I attack.
I guess what I’m saying is being Type A and not being the fastest is possible and enjoyable with the right perspective.
February 1, 2018 at 4:01 pm #234052
Bobzer: I can appreciate the self-reflection. Doesn’t this really come down to “why do you ride?” And while that may mean different things on different days (i.e. one day you may want to vie for a Strava top 10 in your age group, the next day you may be perfectly fine sauntering along for mileage or exploring a completely new trail where you don’t know the lines or the drops and thus you’ll likely be less concerned with speed) it’s all good. As we get older, it’s hard for many of us to accept that we are not as fast or as strong as we used to be. My wife calls it self-realization – or more affectionately “growing up”. I call it BS… lol. You can be just as competitive at an older age IF you choose to be … assuming that is what gives you the greater enjoyment. If you can’t quiet that competitive spirit kwogfive’s advice is spot on. But if enjoying the journey is as gratifying as the ride than you’ve grown up… 😉 Maybe one day I will as well.
February 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm #234053
Map01: Great post, especially the “growing up” versus BS line. =)
February 2, 2018 at 5:48 am #234077
Thx mongwolf. Always appreciate your posts as well. Been demo’ing the 2018 Beargrease and it’s been a significant challenge trying to adjust my expectations for non-snow rides as I just cannot get the speed I am used to on my XC bike. My wife and daughter tell me I’m 52 going on 15. I take that as a compliment… to their chagrin :0
February 3, 2018 at 5:22 pm #234185
Map01, better than being 52 going on 81. =)
February 8, 2018 at 6:49 am #234517
I am 60 and am enjoying the ride. I am not grown up for sure! What I have seen is now I ride a bit smarter than I used to. I ride a Farley 7 and love it. The most fun I have had on 2 wheels. I have seen a small bit of slowing as I get older but am still faster than the guy on the couch! Still pass some 20’s and 30’s but that comes from riding smarter. I have learned to pick my lines better and to not worry to much about passing and being passed. Usually you will catch up with the guy who passed you.
rmap01: Beargrease is a sweetie for sure. If you get a chance try the Farley EX series. They are a sweet bike also. I am actually thinking about an EX8 as my back is starting to show its age! What tires and wheels on the Salsa? I went 27.5 Jackalope wheels with 3.8 hodags for on the dry on my 7 and it has totally changed the bike. Kept the 26×4.7 for snow.
February 8, 2018 at 9:34 am #234557
rmap01: I don’t know why I put ex! Was thinking bucksaw not beargrease. Still would recommend trying the Farley HT also. If I had to sell all but 1 bike I would keep the Farley.
February 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm #234588
What tires and wheels on the Salsa?
Hey triton: The Beargrease comes stock with 27.5 Mulefut wheels and Maxxis Minion FBF/FBR 3.8” tires. A big adjustment from my XC rig but this thing rides over just about anything in its path. I’d love to see how this baby would ride with 29er wheels with 2.8-3.0” tires… but then I may need to add a Bluto (less rubber to soak up the hits) and make this my go to hard tail???
If you get a chance try the Farley
I’d love to demo the Farley as I’ve heard very good things about it. Keep shreddin’!
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