Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks.

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks.

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    • #79516

      I wondered if a topic describing those lessons you learned about the sport the painful way might be of use…

      A couple of mine.

      If you wonder ‘Should I lower my seat for this downhill?’ you almost definitely should.

      If you’re trying to avoid some obstacle, DON’T LOOK AT IT. Sure enough, that front tire hits whatever it is you’re looking at, so look at the good line, not the obstacle. (I’m still working on this one)

      ‘It’s just a short ride, I don’t need the toolkit.’ WRONG! Mr. Murphy just loves to throw broken chains, flat tires, whatever at just those rides.

      Please chime in with your favorite lessons learned.

    • #79517

      I would add that you should always bring more food/snacks then you think you will need. And bug spray. Chiggers are the devil…. 😈

    • #79518

      Ahh, hate the chiggers.

      Anyways, if I’m riding on a trail for the first time in that season, I will now take it slow(er) than before. Been caught off guard by some trail "maintenance" by some local rippers no doubt. And go figure, any of the "jumps" were not made correctly, so all you get after a couple people plowing through them is a pile of loose dirt. So in hindsight, don’t trust [i:27050nf7]everything[/i:27050nf7] that you see if it’s unfamiliar to you.

    • #79519

      Yes, always bring extra everything! If you don’t bring it, you will break it or need it. I’ve learned the hardway to bring:

      Pump
      Bike tool
      Multi tool
      Knife
      Tire Levers
      Power links (at least 2 or 3)
      Spare tubes (at least 2)
      Derailleur Hanger
      Duct Tape
      Compass
      Map
      Rain Jacket
      Extra Layers
      Head Lamp
      Water Treatment Chemicals
      Food
      Water (lots of it)
      Energy Gel Packets

      and this list will probably keep growing!

    • #79520

      Lessons learned the extra hard way:
      1. Never wait until tommorrow to fix the part that is broken today. (murphy’s law in here somewhere)
      2. Brakes never work as well when they are wet; ESPECIALLY V-BRAKES. (this leads me to #3 below)
      3. Rocks hurt even more when you can’t slow down before you hit them.
      4. Just because a strange dog is wagging it’s tail at you on the trail, it doesn’t mean it wants to be your friend.
      5. The faster you pedal, the faster the dog in #4 above will chase.
      6. Only eat a heavy breakfast moments before your 20 mile ride in 95 degree heat if you want to see what partially digested food looks like.

    • #79521

      If you think about why you are NOT going to make a section, then you probably won’t. Think positive! Pick your line, and keep pedaling.

    • #79522

      LOL G.G. I love it….

      But you forgot a few things….

      Wildlife…Is exactly that wild…Don’t try and make friends with them. Bears, snakes, skunks, Oposium, Racoon, Deer, Moose, ohh and anything else that may bite / carry something you don’t want.

      Oak trees really hurt…Don’t aim for them when you loose control. No they will not break your fall…But you may break a few things…

      If you see a rope blocking off a trail ….YES that means you too don’t go in it.

    • #79523

      Rules when riding in Florida:

      1) Always look ahead so not to run over 14′ gator known as Big Mamma at the bottom of a hill. 😮
      2) Rule #1 applies to Rattlesnakes and Cottonmouths as well.
      3) Look both ways before crossing double track or clay road. There is no shortage of toothless retards flying down these roads sideways hootin and hollerin pretending they’re the Dukes of Hazard.

    • #79524

      Coming across wildlife has ALWAYS been a fear of mine!!! Especially snakes or bears, living here in WV!!! And on that note, mainly just snakes!!! All of them!!!! I understand that snakes are supposedly just as scared of us as we are of them (or I am). And i want that snake to totally know i’m just passin through trying to have some fun mountain biking, and want no part of him or her whatsoever!!!!

      This also goes for the bear and any wildlife I come across!!! LOLOL

      However, I can’t help but think sometimes that leaving them alone isn’t enough…they’re comin after me!!!

    • #79525

      I think if I lived in WV I’d be more afraid if I heard the dueling banjos. 😆

    • #79526
      "jrymasz" wrote

      Coming across wildlife has ALWAYS been a fear of mine!!! Especially snakes or bears, living here in WV!!!

      We were on the State Champ Long Trail up near Davis, WV last week and passed a H U G E pile of feces on the trail. I assumed it was from a bear, and if I am correct I suppose it is proof positive that a bear does $&*! in the woods.

      Unfortunately, it also means they do it right on the mountain biking trail, which also means they were on the same trail as me at some point. Not very comforting, but when you enter their domain, it’s what you have to expect. The most threatening thing we saw though was a fawn running up the hill at one point.

    • #79527

      Tips when riding in bear country:

      1) Try not to startle a bear. Some people put jingle bells on their shoes.
      2) Carry pepper spray
      3) Be aware of the types of bear in the area by examining contents of poop.
      4) Black bear poop is usually filled with berries
      5) Grizzly bear poop tends to be full of jingle bells and smells like pepper spray.

    • #79528
      "cujo" wrote

      Tips when riding in bear country:

      1) Try not to startle a bear. Some people put jingle bells on their shoes.
      2) Carry pepper spray
      3) Be aware of the types of bear in the area by examining contents of poop.
      4) Black bear poop is usually filled with berries
      5) Grizzly bear poop tends to be full of jingle bells and smells like pepper spray.

      😆 😆

    • #79529
      "fleetwood" wrote

      [quote="jrymasz":3eyontgm]Coming across wildlife has ALWAYS been a fear of mine!!! Especially snakes or bears, living here in WV!!!

      We were on the State Champ Long Trail up near Davis, WV last week and passed a H U G E pile of feces on the trail. I assumed it was from a bear, and if I am correct I suppose it is proof positive that a bear does $&*! in the woods.

      Unfortunately, it also means they do it right on the mountain biking trail, which also means they were on the same trail as me at some point. Not very comforting, but when you enter their domain, it’s what you have to expect. The most threatening thing we saw though was a fawn running up the hill at one point.[/quote:3eyontgm]

      haha, nice man!

    • #79530

      Walk across the makeshift 8" wide bridge carefully, I atleast check it but i ran across and about biffed it into 3-4 feet of water, always grab the cellphone

    • #79531
      "Goo" wrote

      Yes, always bring extra everything! If you don’t bring it, you will break it or need it. I’ve learned the hardway to bring:

      Pump
      Bike tool
      Multi tool
      Knife
      Tire Levers
      Power links (at least 2 or 3)
      Spare tubes (at least 2)
      Derailleur Hanger
      Duct Tape
      Compass
      Map
      Rain Jacket
      Extra Layers
      Head Lamp
      Water Treatment Chemicals
      Food
      Water (lots of it)
      Energy Gel Packets

      and this list will probably keep growing!

      You’re gonna need a trailer if that list gets any longer 😆

    • #79532
      "garbanzo" wrote

      [quote="Goo":oxew0p2m]Yes, always bring extra everything! If you don’t bring it, you will break it or need it. I’ve learned the hardway to bring:

      Pump
      Bike tool
      Multi tool
      Knife
      Tire Levers
      Power links (at least 2 or 3)
      Spare tubes (at least 2)
      Derailleur Hanger
      Duct Tape
      Compass
      Map
      Rain Jacket
      Extra Layers
      Head Lamp
      Water Treatment Chemicals
      Food
      Water (lots of it)
      Energy Gel Packets

      and this list will probably keep growing!

      You’re gonna need a trailer if that list gets any longer 😆[/quote:oxew0p2m]

      actually, just bought a new pack that could pretty much double as a day pack, haha! but you know, depending on where in the country i’m riding, and whether or not i’ve ridden said trail before, i may or may not carry all of those things with me.
      oh, and sometimes time of the year adds or subtracts gear…

    • #79533
      actually, just bought a new pack that could pretty much double as a day pack, haha! but you know, depending on where in the country i’m riding, and whether or not i’ve ridden said trail before, i may or may not carry all of those things with me.
      oh, and sometimes time of the year adds or subtracts gear…

      I totally saw where you are comin from dude,just an overall general list to cover everything a rider might need at one point or another during an entire riding career.
      Although,if I were the one to have thought of the;

      You’re gonna need a trailer if that list gets any longer

      quote,then there would have been no way I would have passed up gettin those brownie points for the funny line that it was.Hahahahahaha.
      By the way Goo,what pack did pack did you buy,I’m lookin at the H.O.S.S camelbak to be able to carry extra water for trails like monarch pass trail in Salida,Colorado where the altitude can be a bear for big clydesdales like me,not to mention water tastes sooo natural while out mtn biking and out on a mountain. 😉

    • #79534

      I like the idea of splitting the load with the people I ride with. I rarely ride by myself and although every one could have equipment failure at the same time and such the odds are aginst it.

      Of course I’m the type that will bring the kitchen sink along if I don’t make limits. 😮

    • #79535
      "steve32300" wrote
      actually, just bought a new pack that could pretty much double as a day pack, haha! but you know, depending on where in the country i’m riding, and whether or not i’ve ridden said trail before, i may or may not carry all of those things with me.
      oh, and sometimes time of the year adds or subtracts gear…

      I totally saw where you are comin from dude,just an overall general list to cover everything a rider might need at one point or another during an entire riding career.
      Although,if I were the one to have thought of the;

      [quote:2rrv96bi]You’re gonna need a trailer if that list gets any longer

      quote,then there would have been no way I would have passed up gettin those brownie points for the funny line that it was.Hahahahahaha.
      By the way Goo,what pack did pack did you buy,I’m lookin at the H.O.S.S camelbak to be able to carry extra water for trails like monarch pass trail in Salida,Colorado where the altitude can be a bear for big clydesdales like me,not to mention water tastes sooo natural while out mtn biking and out on a mountain. 😉[/quote:2rrv96bi]

      i bought the alpine explorer:

      Capacity
      100 oz (3 L)

      Cargo
      2015 CU IN (33 L)

      Outdoor enthusiasts looking for technical features, a good fit, and plenty of hydration turn to the Alpine Explorer™. CamelBak’s largest daypack, the Alpine Explorer™ offers the tech features, cargo organization, and ventilation hikers need for a one-day peak ascent, plus 3+ hours of hydration.

      http://www.camelbak.com/sports-recreati … lorer.aspx

    • #79536
      Cargo
      2015 CU IN (33 L)

      Wow,that makes it 600 cu in. more than the hoss I’m lookin at.Maby I’ll just get a pack for every type of ride there is,then I’ll be covered.hahahahahaah.No seriously,thanks for responding back and letting me know which pack you were talking about.

    • #79537
      "steve32300" wrote
      Cargo
      2015 CU IN (33 L)

      Wow,that makes it 600 cu in. more than the hoss I’m lookin at.Maby I’ll just get a pack for every type of ride there is,then I’ll be covered.hahahahahaah.No seriously,thanks for responding back and letting me know which pack you were talking about.

      i’m super pumped about it! i think wednesday will be its maiden voyage aboard my back.

      the hoss looks very well designed, with a lot more bike-specific features. i’m pretty sure my pack will operate well enough though 😀

    • #79538

      Bike transport lessons learned the hard way:
      1) Do not place a receiver (hitch) mounted rack on the back of an RV or trailer if you expect rough roads. The extra length of the overhang behind the rear axle causes too much vertical motion. The strain makes the racks hitch tube bend just behind the hitch, causing the bikes to drag.

      2) Rack manufacturer will not cover the damage. (it’s somewhere in the fine print apparently; we got a floor demo so no manual)

      3) Vehicle insurance (State Farm) will not cover the damage. Apparently homeowners policy or renters insurance would have. Too bad we had just sold our house.

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