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Braff Zacklin

The Surly Mountain Biking Thread

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Since I almost entirely missed BMX, I am toying with the idea of getting a BMX/Cruiser type bike, single speed, simple, to learn bike handling things without fighting the weight and suspension of my bike.

Is that an absurd idea?

If it's not, and as a full-sized dude (6-1, 200+/-), should I look at something bigger than 20" or does that start to defeat the purpose?  There are even 29er "BMX" bikes now.

 

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Hoping a New Year's Day ride is in the bike.  We got about 1.5" of snow yesterday, so conditions would be verily similar to the fattie ride I posted a few weeks ago.

It's supposed to get up into the 40's, but not until after lunch.  I should have a window of pre-melting to ride some snow.  And hopefully by the weekend all the snow will be gone and I'll be back on the hardtail.

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Meh. Forecasts are calling for a few inches of snow between tonight and tomorrow, so even pavement is out of the question here. Guess I'll be on my cross-country skis.

Just as well. Haven't ridden trail since September.

I'm lame.

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11 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Since I almost entirely missed BMX, I am toying with the idea of getting a BMX/Cruiser type bike, single speed, simple, to learn bike handling things without fighting the weight and suspension of my bike.

Is that an absurd idea?

If it's not, and as a full-sized dude (6-1, 200+/-), should I look at something bigger than 20" or does that start to defeat the purpose?  There are even 29er "BMX" bikes now.

 

I dunno, man.  I kinda went through the same thought process, several years ago.   I got some flats, some shin guards and decided I was gonna learn how to bunny hop, wheelie, etc.  proper.  I even did a lot of BMX bike research.  ultimately, I decided I was too old for that shit.  I lacked the time and flexible bones to invest in it.  then one of my riding buddies who grew up in BMX convinved a couple of the guys to try it.  one broke a a collar bone, the other got just generally fucked up on a jump on a race track.  after that I felt pretty good about my decision to just dance with who brung me

still, Mutiny Bikes had some really amazing and inspiring videos, many in Texas.  there out somewhere still...I hope.  

found one

 

 

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oh, I redid the bcgb vid.  my eyelids got heavy watching the first one with Soulhat.  song has not aged well..  also redid the Leatherwood vid.  got far enough away from all the tie die shit to get some clarity.

 

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13 hours ago, wd40 said:

I dunno, man.  I kinda went through the same thought process, several years ago.   I got some flats, some shin guards and decided I was gonna learn how to bunny hop, wheelie, etc.  proper.  I even did a lot of BMX bike research.  ultimately, I decided I was too old for that shit.  I lacked the time and flexible bones to invest in it.  then one of my riding buddies who grew up in BMX convinved a couple of the guys to try it.  one broke a a collar bone, the other got just generally fucked up on a jump on a race track.  after that I felt pretty good about my decision to just dance with who brung me

still, Mutiny Bikes had some really amazing and inspiring videos, many in Texas.  there out somewhere still...I hope.  

found one

 

 

Thanks mucho.  I wouldn't get that radical I'm sure, but you're probably right about the time thing.  I enjoy riding too much (and need the exercise) to spend much time "practicing," so I just progress very gradually and ride my flattish trails.  I, too, should probably stick with the one who brung me.

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13 hours ago, wd40 said:

oh, I redid the bcgb vid.  my eyelids got heavy watching the first one with Soulhat.  song has not aged well..  also redid the Leatherwood vid.  got far enough away from all the tie die shit to get some clarity.

 

Lmao, now I see what Braff was talking about.

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First ride of the new year is in the books.  It was supposed to be cold and rainy/misty today, but the precip never transpired.  Instead it was 52 degrees, cloudy, and the trails were in great condition.  Nice way to kick off the year.

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I should have ridden today, but am overcoming a brief cold.  Might have horked up a lung, or maybe not.  Probably going to rain the next few days.

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2 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I don’t regret it, but our little blanket of snow was primed for the fatty

Cross-posting from a Vic Mackey thread?

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25 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

I should have ridden today, but am overcoming a brief cold.  Might have horked up a lung, or maybe not.  Probably going to rain the next few days.

+rep for "hork." Very underrated word.

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3 hours ago, KuЯdt said:

First ride of the new year is in the books.  It was supposed to be cold and rainy/misty today, but the precip never transpired.  Instead it was 52 degrees, cloudy, and the trails were in great condition.  Nice way to kick off the year.

Surly, I jested.  perfect traction today.

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5 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Lmao, now I see what Braff was talking about.

laugh all you want.  but at least I don't stab myself in the knee with it, anymore.  

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Gettin a new whip with a hitch.

The Kuat Transfer seems to be the best compromise in price and no-contact transport.

Although the various Swagman racks look decentish also.

How big a pain in the ass is removing the rack?  Seems like they'd make some threaded hitch pins with handles to turn instead of bolt heads.

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Bought the Kuat Sherpa 2 based upon recommendations on here and it’s awesome. Easy to pull on and off the hitch. Has a knob to tighten it to the hitch.

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:03 AM, TwiceHorn said:

Since I almost entirely missed BMX, I am toying with the idea of getting a BMX/Cruiser type bike, single speed, simple, to learn bike handling things without fighting the weight and suspension of my bike.

Is that an absurd idea?

If it's not, and as a full-sized dude (6-1, 200+/-), should I look at something bigger than 20" or does that start to defeat the purpose?  There are even 29er "BMX" bikes now.

 

 

I wouldn't do any jumps or tricks or anything, but would be fun for tooling around the neighborhood or city or if you find some really smooth trails.  

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30 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

 

I wouldn't do any jumps or tricks or anything, but would be fun for tooling around the neighborhood or city or if you find some really smooth trails.  

Well, kind of the idea is, I spent my entire cycling life until about 4-5 years ago seated and pedaling except for the occasional standing climb or sprint, and almost always then in a straight line.

So, learning to maneuver a bike connected to me only by pedals and bars is a new and strange thing.  And I think at least partially accounts for my discomfort using a dropper.  I wouldn't attempt trials moves, but as wd40 said, learning to manual/wheelie, hop, etc. And I realize that these tricks wouldn't translate immediately to a 29er FS.  But, at present, I have zero intuition about how these things are supposed to feel on a bike, any bike.  I last rode a wheelie probably 40 years ago on a 20" Sting Ray Jr.  I no longer have any feel for the balance point on my big, slackish bike.

But, as wd notes, my bike time is fairly precious and I should probably spend it on the trails, not dorking around in a parking lot.

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9 hours ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Road at flat Rock ranch a few days back.  Pretty fun, had to walk a few spots but the descents were glorious.  

Some of the best trails in all of Texas.  I need to get back out there, it's been too long.

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Got back out to Brushy Creek trail today to not only get some exercise but also practice a bit more on trails. I get a little shaky on even simple single tracks. Finally took a downhill rock trail that was maybe 20 feet high with not too bad of an angle downhill. Went down slow and easy, and still just about lost control of it.  Reallly suprised me because the hill didn't seem like much at all. Looking forward to getting more practice to get comfortable. I wish I would have found this twenty years ago.

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Just now, Dbeasy said:

Got back out to Brushy Creek trail today to not only get some exercise but also practice a bit more on trails. I get a little shaky on even simple single tracks. Finally took a downhill rock trail that was maybe 20 feet high with not too bad of an angle downhill. Went down slow and easy, and still just about lost control of it.  Reallly suprised me because the hill didn't seem like much at all. Looking forward to getting more practice to get comfortable. I wish I would have found this twenty years ago.

Dont remember if we went over this stuff, but when you head downhill, you want to be standing on the pedals, with them at 3 and 6 (so one isn't real low).  When I say standing, I really mean crouched, but ass off the seat, knees and elbows bent.  Trying to ride down descents seated is a recipe for disaster.

But here's the key thing. Get your weight back, explanation following.

I think most people who aren't bike savants or maybe former BMX riders, when they stand/crouch tend to put their weight on the handlebars.  Your ass goes straight up over your saddle and when you bend your knees maybe even a little forward.  You really want to move your ass rearward, so that your thighs are bumping into your saddle and your ass is at least partially behind it.  The further back, the better.  This may stretch your arms out a little in a way that feels kind of awkward at first, but you should still have plenty of bend to absorb jolts and plenty of freedom to steer (not that you should be steering much in your first attempts at bumpy downhills).

Doing this will make you feel less like you are going to go flying over the bars at any moment.   Drag your back brake if you feel you need to slow or gain control.  With your weight back, you can grab it pretty hard without losing traction, but be careful here.  Stay the fuck off your front brake.

Also, if you drop your heels so that your toes are pointed up, this puts your weight on the pedals and will keep you from bouncing off as easily.

 

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You can google "attack position" as this is what this is usually called.  But unless you have someone watching you, or you are a savant, you probably aren't doing it right.

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Watching youtube, be aware that for some reason, video and even still photos flatten things out markedly.  So you will see some good riders going down stuff that's steeper than it looks.  You will also frequently see them with their ass a couple of inches above the rear tire.  That's extreme, for fairly extreme downhill riding.  But you kind of get the picture.

If you find the seat getting in your way getting your butt back, then maybe a dropper post is in order, that's what they're for.

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yeah, learning the attack position is key.  relaxed but purposful arms and legs to soak up the bumps but hold your line.  look as fsr ahead as you can.  if you're all puckered up and stiff, staring at uour front wheel, thats when you get bucked.  heels-down will naturally shift your weight back (assume you're out of the saddle).  only when it's REALLY steep to you need to worry about getting behind the saddle, esp with today's slack geometry and bigger wheels.  you really have to work hard to endo a modern 29er.

youtube has some good stuff, and 2x's advice above is pretty good.  but the #1 theing to make you get better is to ride with others.  hard to say fuckit when it means holding up the group and humbling yourself.  you'll be surprised what you can do when you have company to passively push you.

as far as Brushy, it's a great place to learn.  easily navigable, and a nice mix of smooth twisty, and rocky chunk you find around here.  rode it yesterday, actually.  a pack of 30-somethings gawking at the Basket drop called me 'sir' as they apologized and scooted out of the way for me to hit it.  Sir.  me.  jfc.

anyway, based on prior Stravulations, over the last couple days, I did about 9 miles at Brushy (350' of climbing), and another 11 miles today at bcgb (>1600' of climbing).  combined with a 2-mile (w/>200') run on friday to give my newly-arthritic thumb/wrist a break, I am freakin toast, right now.   good start to the new year, tho.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I didn't mean to intimate that db should actually be behind his saddle, but it seems counterintuitive for most to get back and they tend not to get far enough back.  But if you get too far back unnecessarily, there's a risk of racking yourself on your saddle.

Before I get on the trail, part of my ritual is to put the pedals level and bounce to insure that the fork and shock are functioning properly and more or less balanced, and to get myself in a "hoppy" frame, and then I stretch out back over the back of the saddle to "recalibrate" myself and I do it several times because it does limber out the lower back pretty well along with some other muscles.

And yeah, totally agree about riding with people.  I don't get to nearly enough because of oddball times I ride.  But especially when you are a super-noob, I think you can get over your head pretty quick if a) the other riders are considerably better than you are and b) perhaps not attuned to your skill level.  Pushing is how you improve, but it's pretty easy to push too far.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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I think I’ve only ridden with others once. I almost always road ride with others though.

For me, it’s kind of a zen sort of thing. It’s how I clear my head, and push myself against, well, myself. Plus I like having my own schedule, and like riding earlier than most on the weekends.

But you guys are probably right in that it’s a good way to get pushed and learn something new

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Posted (edited)

Put it this way.  A few weeks ago, at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, I met a younger dude going the wrong way on the trail, which is very easy to do there.  So we rode together for a few hundred yards while I gave tips on the signage and general layout of the trail.

At one point, I told him how to get back to the trailhead, which can be confusing.  Sure enough, as I was starting on a second lap, I ran into him again and he had not made it to the trailhead.  So I took it upon myself to lead him out.  Part of the route out included the creek crossing ravine with the rooty, tree-y climbout that I had yet to clean after trying different lines, gears, speeds, etc.  I think I have posted pix before.

Well, with this kid watching, I took it, impulsively chose a line, and cleaned it.  That may have been coincidence, or it may have been the fact that I had an audience and couldn't puss out and dab.

But, I too enjoy the solitude.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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no doubt, there are advantages to riding solo, but safety and progression generally among them.   now that I've gone back to mostly soloing, I really like riding when I want, and where I want.  but there's  tech features I delete on solo rides nowadays; some I've done before but won't risk alone.  which is fine, except bailing become habitual.

 

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you mean at Brushy?  for the most part, there isn't one.  depends on where you start (I usually start under 183A for the shade and proximity to Snail), but that doesn't matter if you ride the same trails on your return trip.  only the flattish area in the woods just the other side of Parmer is truly one way, and it is marked as such.

personally, I suck at reading these maps, but see if  this helps.

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corrections to previous post:  "generally are not", and "becomes".

blind and fat-thumbed is no way to go through life, son.

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you mean at Brushy?  for the most part, there isn't one.  depends on where you start (I usually start under 183A for the shade and proximity to Snail), but that doesn't matter if you ride the same trails on your return trip.  only the flattish area in the woods just the other side of Parmer is truly one way, and it is marked as such.
personally, I suck at reading these maps, but see if  this helps.


This is awesome. I use AllTrails and it doesn’t show the direction on the dirt trails at Brushy.

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Question for hitch rack dudes.

I have a Kuat Transfer 1 for my new car.  I suspect that I will want to remove it fairly often.  It looks like unscrewing a hex-head threaded hitch pin is going to be a rather colossal pain in the ass because the car is low slung and the hitch receiver will be low and it also has some "ears" that are going to make anything but a socket wrench a pain.  But I understand that threaded hitch pins are key to minimizing rattling.

rid670158_r1_800.jpg

Are there any easier to remove hitch pin solutions?

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Well the above problem sorted itself.

While the hitch pin has a hex bolt head, it also has a hex receptacle.  Kuat thoughtfully provided all the tools necessary to assemble the rack, including a 19mm end/box wrench and an 8-9mm (bigass) allen wrench.  I had been struggling with the end wrench and a socket wrench because there isn't much room to turn it, as you see above.  I had forgotten the hex socket and allen wrench.

The allen wrench is the solution because the irritating part is you have to turn about an inch of threads out of the hole.  It's just a bit beyond finger tight.  Irritating as hell with even a socket wrench, but not so bad with the long end of the allen wrench.

In the meantime, it's been raining like crazy, so will probably be another week before I put it back on and hit the trails.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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First ride in a little less than a month.  A goat rodeo at Goat Island Preserve.  Nice ride.  As mentioned, the trail is almost completely missing TTF, but it's bumpy, tight and twisty and more remote than any other trail in DFW.

IMG-20200121-120024634-HDR.jpg

The Trinity is pretty wild down there and I always enjoy my rides there.  Haha the reflectors.

Told myself I'd take it easy as far as speed and distance, which is always a little tricky on an out-and-back loop like this.  Kind of surprised myself by going 8.5 miles.  Five or six is what I was aiming for.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Worst winter ever. Not enough snow for XC skiing (only went four times so far, and it was very thin), but not dry enough to ride the trails.

But winter is growing long in the tooth, which means it's bike maintenance time. Gonna tackle the hardtail today and the squishy next weekend. I'll tear down each bike to the frame, cleaning, oiling, and greasing as I go. Got replacement brake pads, cables, and chains for both, plus a new bottom bracket for the hardtail.

Once fully restored, they'll ride like brand new bikes ... at least until the first patch of mud.

On that note, it'll be at least another month before any singletrack is rideable (and that's optimistic). Maybe I can diet and trim a few pounds in the interim.

How's everyone else?

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I rode fatty in the snow today. It was a fucking grind, but better to be looking at it than looking for it.

4899c8a4db0c6507bfdf7fd65bdd2404.jpg

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Well I wanted someone to ride with so I bought the wife a Cannondale too. Just a simple ride for her today and then I did some simple off-road. Great day for biking.

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It's prime time for riding here in CenTX.  We've had some rain here and there, but only enough to prevent riding for a day at a time and keeping the dirt in a hero state.  We did have one week of constant fog which was annoying but that's about it.  

I finally made it out to Spider Mountain a couple of weeks ago.  Why the fuck did it take me a year do that?  It was a blast and such a trip having lift-served trail an hour and change from my house.  There aren't all that many trails yet but definitely enough to make a pretty fun day of it.
I rode mostly the blue trails.  There is one black trail and one double black.  The double humbled me for sure...I walked 3 or 4 sections.  All but one of them I know I can do as long as I don't puss out, but there is a super steep, off camber rock garden-y section that scares me.  I plan to go back and conquer that trail next time.

I did get a little gopro footage and will post that up soon.

 

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right on, man.

I keep thinking I need to get back there and solve the table tops.  can't just be speed.  I get no pop.  more cases than a Samsonite store.

did I post this one?  can't remember.

 

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42 minutes ago, wd40 said:

right on, man.

I keep thinking I need to get back there and solve the table tops.  can't just be speed.  I get no pop.  more cases than a Samsonite store.

did I post this one?  can't remember.

 

badass dude, I saw some Stinger in there...

 

I can't jump for shit.  But I did find that speed just naturally helped on those jump lines for me.  I mean, I didn't do much but by my last runs I was almost not casing them, lol.

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