Mountain Biking 2017!

Discussion in 'Cycling: Mountain, Road, Uni' started by coskigirl, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    Haven't ridden since I busted my ribs a month or so ago. Mostly healed up but don't have any time to ride. Headed to Cabo for a week on Saturday and then duck/pheasant season through the rest of the fall so I won't be riding again till June. I love the pics of peoples fall rides though! Maybe I'll have a new bike by June:huh:
     
  2. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    IMG_4070.JPG
    This was last Friday, rode an out and back along Folsom Lake; from Brown's Ravine to Dike 8 and back. Then went for an open water swim in the lake (perfect)!

    Doing an out and back was good for me. Even though the trail is rated green (I think), I am having some mental blocks with mountain biking. There are lots of rollers on this trail, and on some climbs I jumped off because I either didn't trust my tires to grip, or I didn't trust my ability to keep moving uphill over obstacles. On some of the downhills, I just psyched myself out and walked. I did MUCH better on the way back, even though the climbs were now downhills and vice versa. It helped so much to be somewhat familiar with the trail. I think part of it is also that I have not yet crashed on this bike. Not that I want to fall, but I'm pretty used to falling, and it might be better for me, mentally, to just get it over with. I just don't want to get seriously injured.

    As far as my pedals, I have been regularly cleaning them (and the rest of the bike). I realized that they were not set on the loosest setting, so I adjusted them to the lightest setting possible. My problem with the pedals had not been trouble releasing, but trouble engaging the cleat. To me, not engaging is just as bad as not releasing, since my mtn bike pedals are just knobs. Now on the lightest setting, they engage easily, but they also disengage easily, which is not always desirable. I've seen some clipless pedals that have a platform surrounding the part that engages the cleat, and wonder if anyone here has experience with those? I'm just thinking that set-up would allow me to have a light release-setting, but also the security of a platform if I release when I don't want to.
     
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  3. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    ^^^ that picture of Folsom Lake brings back so many memories! I went to school at Sac State, and spent a lot of time running or hiking around that lake.

    As to your question about pedals, when I was riding clipless, I did find that having somewhat of a platform beneath my shoes was beneficial.
     
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  4. Brian Likes Pow

    Brian Likes Pow Getting off the lift Skier

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    20170913_133203.jpg some nice new to me trails on the south side of Reno. Nice gradual climb to get to this nice little break spot. 10 bucks says it pours on me this afternoon as it has all week.
     
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  5. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Try some Dupont Snowblower Lube. Sprays on wet, then flashes off to bone dry. Makes pedal entry easier, but does not attract grit and grime due to its dry nature.
     
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  6. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    I got my nursing degree at Sac State! I've done lots of riding (both mtn and road) around Folsom Lake, Folsom and Granite Bay. It's a little bit further than my closest hilly area (Vacaville/WInters), but I have some friends who ride up there, and so far, I haven't found any good mountain bike trails any closer.
     
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  7. epic

    epic Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I used to have a pair of "trail" pedals. I warrantied them, and was mistakenly sent "race" pedals without the platform. Since it had taken months to get the warranty I opted to just keep them. Pretty much no difference.
     
  8. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    So the ones without the platform are "race" pedals, and with the platform are "trail?" I'm guessing you don't have yours on the lightest release settings? I was just thinking that with a platform, I could have a light release setting and still have the security of a platform for when I release when I don't want to. But maybe I should just try the lube that @Tom K. recommended and tighten up the pedals again. That would be less expensive than buying new pedals.
     
  9. Crank

    Crank Getting off the lift Skier

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    I have those. They were called downhill pedals when I bought them back in 2001. Mine are made by Shimano. I ride clipped in all the time, but I bought that style pedals so I could ride my bike with sneakers or Tevas or even flip flops on. I would never get those tiny things with just the cleat. (or cleat holder or whatever it's called) I am assuming the cleat is on the shoe.

    Most times when I am having trouble clipping in it is a piece of wood or something stuck under the cleat on my shoe and not the receiver on the pedal.
     
  10. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    For me, it's dust building up on the pedal (and probably the cleat, too). There's nothing stuck on or under the cleat. It was fixed by washing the pedals after riding. I also eventually loosened the retention settings, because I've been hopping off the bike mid-ride often, and can't really wash the pedals mid-ride. Now they are at the loosest setting, but that's too loose. I don't mind the knobby pedals, except for when I can't engage and would then like a platform as a place to balance on.

    Why not? I just happened to have them (the knobby pedals) already because when I started road riding, a misguided soul told me I would be more comfortable road riding in mountain bike shoes with mountain bike pedals. I quickly realized that was very uncomfortable and got proper road shoes and pedals. When I got my mountain bike I already had the pedals and shoes.
     
  11. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    I actually just gave away my pair of DX 647s - http://bike.shimano.com/content/sac-bike/en/home/mtb1/pedals/pedals/pd-m647.html

    I hadn't used them since I transitioned to flats, which was at least 5 years ago. I think they had a fairly loose release, although that could have been because I had the "beginner" cleats that are rounded on one side. I liked them because if I didn't line up perfectly when I started from a stop, I still had enough traction to pedal until I got in. And of course I could ride unclipped. Although often enough, they were so easy to get into that I'd clip into them accidentally.

    As SPD pedals that have some forgiveness when you don't perfectly located your foot on the first stroke, they're fantastic. As flats, they're excellent compared to regular SPD pedals, but extremely mediocre compared to traction pins and flat-specific rubber soles.
     
  12. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    YOU GUYS I'M SO STOKED!!!

    First, a digression. There are crews in our condo complex tearing down and rebuilding decks. They bring their dogs to the work site (aka our cul de sac), where the dogs just roam around. Mostly, this is fine. This morning, I left my gloves out on our second story deck - the stairs only lead to our condo, nowhere else - and took my dogs for a walk. When I came back ... one glove was gone. WTF? I searched high and low with no luck. I worried that perhaps they'd just dumped a ten foot pile of dirt on top of my glove. I finally asked one of the crew. "Oh, yeah, I saw Caesar with it. Caesar steals gloves." So then a bunch of the crew were calling Caesar, with no luck. Eventually, one of the guys found my glove, which was slobbery but otherwise unscathed.

    So, yeah, that was an interesting start to the ride.

    Anyway, I rode Blair Witch again. Last time I rode it, there were two log sections that I walked. Logs are my nemesis (along with rocks, roots, gravel, sand, animals, people, lack of people, and shadows - but really, logs are the worst). They just look like momentum killers, and seem designed to tip you over without chance of recovery if you get stuck. Now, I'm not even talking about a full sized log of any size where you have to lift your front wheel - that's not happening for me right now. In this case, I mean the stacked logs that form sort of a triangle to ride over.

    There were two such sections that I walked last time. One was just a section of maybe one inch diameter logs - okay, fine, sticks - on the ground. Irrationally, that sort of thing freaks me out. But I rode right over it this time, and all was well.

    So then I approached the next section. These were larger logs, stacked to form a ramp. Clearly meant to be ridden without much fuss. I stopped at the obstacle. I assessed the front side. I assessed the back side. I chose my line. I walked my bike over the obstacle to see how well it would roll and whether I absolutely had to lift the front wheel. I decided I wouldn't have to lift the wheel - as long as I was moving at a decent clip. I decided I would push the bike out in front of me for a "drop" rather than rolling it. I had a plan. A lady hiking with her child and dog in the distance gave me a few curious looks. I thought about asking her to spot me in case I hurt myself, but then decided that was a little too weird. I needed to *know* I could ride this, or I shouldn't ride it.

    I walked my bike back far enough to get some speed. Then I dropped the bike, walked up to the obstacle again, and eyeballed it. I walked back to the bike. I reviewed my plan. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. Not totally effective. So then I got on my bike and pedaled, hard! And found myself braking as I approached the obstacle. That would not do. I forced myself to let go of the brakes, and while I didn't pedal any more, I was going fast enough to ride right up the logs where I'd planned. I think I half tried to do the push for a drop, but I wasn't going very fast and haven't tried that technique when the back of the bike is lower than the front. So I just rolled right down the back side. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Also, OMG I DID IT!

    I rode that adrenaline high all the way down. The last little bit of trail in the loop back to Breck has some nice switchbacks, rocks, roots, the whole deal. I felt like a rock star the rest of the ride. Total confidence. Smoove and in control.

    Okay, guys, this obstacle may not look like much - anything - to you. But to me, it was a big flipping deal!

    Front side (the side toward which I rode):
    20170913_103032.jpg

    Back side (the side down which I rode):
    20170913_103043.jpg
     
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  13. epic

    epic Out on the slopes Instructor

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    For a couple of years now, we have been hearing about a place up in Quebec called the Vallee Bras du Nord. It is a little region about 45 minutes Northwest of Quebec City. Last year their Executive Director and Operations Manager came down and rode with my bike club. Last weekend we got to return the favor. From Stowe, VT it is about a four and half hour drive, or at least it is supposed to be. In answer to another thread, yes Phil, I do have paper maps in my car. Quebec is really big, and after we (Mike Thomas, my daughter and I) crossed the border we were navigating a section of map about the size of a silver dollar, and unfortunately, Saint Raymond the town we were going to is right on the seam of the spiral bound map.Since we didn't have cellular data on our phone plans, this is what we were stuck. Also, every town in QC is Saint Something.As we were trucking down Highway 40 in the dark, and not sure what exit to take, an Audi loaded with bikes blew past. We decided to just assume they were also going to St Raymond and we followed them. They were going about 90, but we didn't let them get away and followed them off the exit and yes, they did eventually lead us all the way to the hotel we had booked. This was good because the town had some roads closed for the lumberjack festival. How Canadian is that?!?

    The Hotel Roquemont was a decent place, pretty cheap and with their own brew pub. They are the gateway to the Vallee Bras du Nord and as we pulled in the parking lot seemed to be completely full. There was room out back, but the place was packed! They had a bike storage room downstairs, but we were also told by the receptionist that "You can't keep bikes in your room, unless no one is looking". No one was looking, so...
    DSC_0144.jpg
    The next morning we met Matthieu our guide and headed out for the twenty minute drive to Secteur Shannahan. We went from flat farmland to unspoiled valley in that time. It looked like a mini Yosemite full of maple trees. The mountains were really cool, domes that had been shaved off by the glaciers. They reminded me of Cannon Mountain, or pictures of Half Dome. I'd guess they rose good 2000 feet above the valley. The first trail we rode was a mellow three miler that took us out to a beautiful waterfall. These trails were unspectacular, but that's how they were meant to be, they are really a way for people to get out to the waterfall and they have a lot of newer riders there. We saw huge herds of little kids. Undoubtedly, Matthieu wanted to make sure we could all survive our next destination, The Neilson trail, and some of our group did decide not to go.

    We were offered change to shuttle in, and after a discussion with our resident masochist, we did decide to take it. I was expecting the trail to be "advanced", but as people talked more about it, I decided to go ahead and whip out the kneepads. Just in case. We shuttles out and entered the ZEC (not really sure what that stands for, but we had to check in and it seemed like it was permit only beyond the guard). We drove past the trailhead for Neilson East which I badly wanted to ride, this is said to be the hardest trail there, and starts with an allegedly heartbreaking 1700 vertical foot climb. Mattheiu said that only about 10% of people actually make this climb. It was opening day of deer archery season though, so for us, the Est was off limits. I guess we will have to go back.

    We reached the trailhead for the Nord and unloaded. It started as an easy sandy, gravely double track populated with crusty looking lichens and plush mosses. The forest here was more aspen type trees and balsams. It turned into a single track, the opened up into an incredible view of the valley, the photo I already posted. The trail started to descend toward the river, and was quite muddy as we had gotten two inches of rain the night before. The traction was good because of the soils grittiness and as we neared the river there was less and less soil anyway. Before long we were riding long granite spines and ridges connected by what had to be miles of rough hewn wooden bridges. Literally miles of them. The riding was challenging, but I can't say it was really hard. The hardest part was to keep moving when you were in such a pretty place. Every time you cam around a corner everyone was standing there gawking at the river or the trail or both.

    I'm having trouble getting photos to upload, so I'm going to just upload this video for now. This is 4 minutes out of a spectacular 6.5 hr ride.

     
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  14. Crank

    Crank Getting off the lift Skier

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    Why not is the reason stated above so that I can ride my bike in shoes that do not have cleats. Similar set up on my road bike but only clips on on 1 side ane the other side is a flat. I like the pedals on my mountain bike better though. Also if for some reason I can't clip in I can still ride. Only reason I can see not to have a platform of some sort is to save weight. Not that much of a performance orientated rider to worry about a few ounces of metal on my pedal.
     
  15. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    Those are interesting. Some of the ones I've seen actually have traction pins and a binding system. I'm not sure what kind of shoe you wear with those, but I'll be going to a bike shop soon, so will find out. The ones I have are not difficult to engage, unless they're dirty. They're getting really dusty with the dry conditions here, and because I'm stepping out of them so often.
     
  16. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    I understand, I just bought what the bike shop recommended at the time. I have a few bikes, so I use my bike with the platform pedals for around town, to the pool, etc.. My sister has the pedals that clip on one side, platform on the other on her road bike. I tried those, but was always on the wrong side of the pedal, so I didn't get them.
     
  17. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    Yeah, those are awful.
     
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  18. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    Thanks for the trip report @epic ! It looks awesome there, so green and lush (unlike our dry, dusty conditions).
     
  19. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    Wow! I don't remember the last time I stuck around for 4 minutes of riding video, but that was amazing. Also, not sure what constitutes "hard" to you, but I would not have attempted 95% of what's in the video. Those bridges freak me out.

    I particularly enjoyed the lack of soundtrack. The panting sounds bring me right into the moment, and I enjoyed the "Keep riding! Keep riding!" moments.
     
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  20. luliski

    luliski Getting on the lift Skier

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    I was thinking the same thing about the bridges. My goal the next time I mountain bike is to not let my mind get in the way.
     

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