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  • 3 weeks later...

Well the Centex snow fucked up a bunch of trees on my local. I spent yesterday evening with a couple other neighborhood guys riding and clearing downed cedars with loppers and pack saws. We also walked an area that doesn't currently have a trail and saw some potential lines. It's not long, but it's got some potential hucks and jump lines, and it's remote so the park supers hopefully won't find it and shut it down. 

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I'm too lazy to go back and try to dig up the glove conversation we had a while back, but I bought a pair of these yesterday at Home Depot. Plenty of "armor" for the back of the hand, and just as comfortable as my Fox Defend gloves at about half the price. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/FIRM-GRIP-PRO-Fit-Flex-Impact-Gloves-Large-55322-06/308906592

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1 minute ago, Pescado_Rojo said:

I'm too lazy to go back and try to dig up the glove conversation we had a while back, but I bought a pair of these yesterday at Home Depot. Plenty of "armor" for the back of the hand, and just as comfortable as my Fox Defend gloves at about half the price. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/FIRM-GRIP-PRO-Fit-Flex-Impact-Gloves-Large-55322-06/308906592

We never reached any conclusion. WD uses some nonspecific mechanics gloves.  Those look quite "on point" as they say, but I think that's about what I have paid for a couple of pairs of Fox and one Dakine.

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I finally made it back out to Spider Mountain on Monday.  Spent most of my time hitting the jump lines trying to improve my jumping (still suck at it), but did hit the double black trail to try and get some redemption.  I managed to take the wrong line on both of the difficult sections.  On the first one, I missed the main line and ended up on the left side which I guess would be the B line.  But it kind of puts you at a bad angle coming out, and I had a slow awkward washout crash at the bottom.
Then on the steep rock garden-y part there is a new B line on the right that I did not know was there and accidentally took.  It's much easier than the original line down the ledges.  So I still have to go back out there and hit that trail properly.

In some ways I think the single black is tougher, just because it has some steep off camber sections that can be difficult to maneuver.

 

 

 

 

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Got tickets to Spider Mtn.  Will meet up with a few friends.  WIll do lots of green and a few blues.  Those blacks look like full body cast to me.  Looking forward to it.

If you see a green Vitus out there on Feb 7 give me a shout

Edited by midtown
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Everything's been closed here in DFW since the weekend, so when Horseshoe reopened about 3pm yesterday I was elated - and managed to get 9mi in at dusk. It's such a great little trail, and the sand/rock mix makes for good traction when it's still tacky. 
 

DBA137C0-FAE8-4137-A4ED-BDB91940DFCE.jpeg

Edited by sasquatch69
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47 minutes ago, midtown said:

Got tickets to Spider Mtn.  Will meet up with a few friends.  WIll do lots of green and a few blues.  Those blacks look like full body cast to me.  Looking forward to it.

If you see a green Vitus out there on Feb 7 give me a shout

I need to get out there. It's only a couple miles as the crow flies from my in-laws ranch. 

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13 hours ago, midtown said:

Got tickets to Spider Mtn.  Will meet up with a few friends.  WIll do lots of green and a few blues.  Those blacks look like full body cast to me.  Looking forward to it.

If you see a green Vitus out there on Feb 7 give me a shout

have fun, dude.

fyi, shitload of pedaling on the greens.  gets old real quick, esp after paying fiddy bucks to AVOID a bunch of pedaling.

cool thing is you can mix/match trails, halfway down.  start on a non-jump line (or a green), then when you hit the jeep road in the middle of the mountain, you can switch to the lower jump line, or whatever.  however, I will say the lower half of the single-black is significantly sketchier than the upper part.  upper part is really a blue, now.

@Ku–Įdt's¬†¬†Rotor Smoke clip¬†reminds me that videos are almost pointless for anyone who hasn't been on the subject trail. ¬†waay steeper than it looks.

ex.

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yeah, I think you'll find yourself riding the blue trails more than the green.  everything on the blues is rollable.  This last time my wife went with me who is very much a beginner and rides a hardtail.  After she rode the greens a few times I took her down Antidote, which is a short blue jump line.  She was like oh this is awesome fuck that green trail.  So you can ride those as slow or as fast as you want.

My favorite combo is probably Antidote-Recluse-Venom.  Have fun.

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so that pic above is from Cat Scratch Fever, taken on Wednesday.  I'd only done that particular trail once before, and I couldn't remember where it went, so I took trail up to find it and learn it.   after that, I did the main cat downhill line with the L drop and all that.  they removed the red ramp, I guess because the L drop is so sketchy, it's difficult to get your shit together after landing it and make an IMMEDIATE hard right turn to hit that ramp with any speed to any better than just survive it.  tbh, I always skipped that jump for that reason.  the next two jumps are super fun, and I'm glad they left those in place.

anyway, I took the gopro back there today for more of the same.  the high ladder drop at the bottom haunts me.   I know I can do it.  figured with the camera I'd not chicken out again.

however, somewhere near the top of the climb today, I noticed something was loose in my rear suspension.  turns out a screw had fallen out, someplace.  so much for any air shenanigans.  did CSF and some fall-line trail I've never done before...

tl;dr:  total shitshow today.  beat up rider, beat up bike.  but the weather around here is perfect and the dirt is heroic, right now.  get out and ride!

 

Edited by wd40
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22 hours ago, Ku–Įdt said:

yeah, I think you'll find yourself riding the blue trails more than the green.  everything on the blues is rollable. 

I watched a few videos on youtube and I shouldn't have much problems with the blues.  

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27 minutes ago, midtown said:

I watched a few videos on youtube and I shouldn't have much problems with the blues.  

Do remember that videos and even photos of trails/trail riding can be extremely deceptive.  The ability to "flatten" things out is remarkable.

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I've only been to Spider once, with WD40 and I planned on starting out on the greens too.  He was right, they get boring immediately.  Blues were perfect for me.  For some reason I pictured the place being built for hardcore pro DH riders and that I'd be a little out of my league.  It was not the case at all.  The blues have some good rollers and little gaps you can either jump or roll, some chunky spots, some drops with options for big or small, and a super fun jump line with some moderate table tops and kickers at the bottom.  I need to go back.

I sold my Pivot 5.5 and checking out other rides now.  I'm back on my older Salsa Horsethief for now as a daily driver.  Demoed a Pivot Switchblade the other day and it was incredible.  I spent all day at Reveille Peak on it, a few times down Flowdillo and then all over the granite trails up and down the hill.  Had a little extra time before I had to turn it back in so I hit a couple spots at Brushy when I got back to town.   I forgot the gopro that day of course.  Going to try to ride a Ripmo this week and maybe one other before I make up my mind on what to buy.  

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lol.  always a travesty with you and your gopro, Mom.

so, another reason to hate Covid:  can't get bike parts.  I tried harvesting a lever blade off an old set of XT brakes I kept around, but it's an RCH too thick.  spent an hour scouring the internet, and ended up ordering one off Ebay.  hope it fits.  I guess in the meantime, I'll have to put an old brake back on.  PITA.

@Ku–Įdt, have you ever cleared the last jump on Recluse, the one they call a gap? ¬†seemed like it took me a long time to get comfortable with that trail, but I dig it, now---except that last jump. ¬†bucks my rear wheel¬†every time; plus you're practically landing on the lower jeep road, head-on with¬†traffic coming off Vipers and Tarantula.

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5 hours ago, wd40 said:

@Ku–Įdt, have you ever cleared the last jump on Recluse, the one they call a gap? ¬†seemed like it took me a long time to get comfortable with that trail, but I dig it, now---except that last jump. ¬†bucks my rear wheel¬†every time; plus you're practically landing on the lower jeep road, head-on with¬†traffic coming off Vipers and Tarantula.

I can't say I've fully cleared that but have come real close, I usually do what I do with most jumps - case it.  Before my last run a couple weeks ago, I decided to stop by the truck and chug an IPA first.  Just about cleared it that time, but like you said, I came right out onto that jeep road and had to hit the brakes in order to avoid 3 dudes hanging out there in front of Viper's Den (one of whom was wearing a giant banana suit...wtf).  Maybe I need a bit more liquid courage.

 

Speaking of clearing jumps, I went out to Reimers today.  We did the main trail and then a couple runs down the flow trail.  I still couldn't work up the nerve to hit the 2 big gap jumps, but my buddy did for the first time.  He made it look pretty easy, so it gives me a little more confidence.

 

Tz.thumb.png.dc2fbbc1f4b30f1869ec7803ad975188.png

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6 hours ago, wd40 said:

lol.  always a travesty with you and your gopro, Mom.

For sure.  I almost forgot!... I was able to improve the quality of one of the ones I shot a month or two ago with some editing.  Haven't taken anything new yet with the better camera settings.  Here's Brushy back in Nov on the bike I just sold.  Looking for something similar in 29 now.  The fun stuff at Snail Trail is the last minute or so.  I need to try some new routes through that but the one I did first is so much fun I never deviate from it.

 

 

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3 hours ago, wd40 said:

good work on Deception, esp that sharp g-out on the way to Dave's Ditch.  I haven't made that one, in a while.

 

Is that the one I racked myself on and needed about 5 minutes to start breathing again? 

 

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seems like that might have happened there.  certainly a ripe opportunity to snag your balls on your saddle.  the transition is...abrupt.

but for some reason, I recall something like that happening on that little side drop on Picnic (the trail twixt the big creek and the paved path).

good times.

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I gave up clipless pedals maybe 8 years ago. Ride flats paired with Five Ten shoes. I do not slip off at all. The big plus is that most of my crashes were due to not being able to unclip. I’ve fallen less in 8 years than I did in a month clipped in.

I use these...

https://www.bikemania.biz/azonic-420-flat-pedal.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA6t6ABhDMARIsAONIYyyG1VuuwJcPqXy68nICiXGViemoBVddFOuHVHQXYdornRqc5Eda2ScaAjRuEALw_wcB
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Perfect, thank you.

I've never ridden clipless on a mountain bike, mainly because of a fear of not being able to unclip when shit goes pear-shaped.  But the stock pedals that my bike came with are clownshoes.  I was slipping all over the place on Saturday when it was drizzling.

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I've never ridden clipped in for MTB.  The place I ride a lot has a lot of sharp turns and really steep climbs/descents.  I'm terrified of not being able to bail quickly when necessary.  I've dumped a lot of times where I have no doubt I wouldn't have gotten off the bike safely if I were clipped.

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1 hour ago, The Royal We said:

I ride some of both.  For many years I only rode clipless (worst misnomer in the industry).  A few years ago I was going through a bunch of injuries and went a couple years without riding mountain bikes much at all.  When I came back I was really tentative on technical stuff.  I'd find myself unclipping at the slightest sign of trouble because I was more worried about falling over clipped in than I was about getting over the obstacle.  Switching to flats helped that a lot.  I was no longer worried about staying clipped in too long, I knew I could dab a foot down at a moments notice and it gave me a lot more confidence to commit to the move in trouble spots.  Sometimes that one extra pedal stroke or the extra half second of effort to huck yourself up a rock is all you needed.  Riding flats helped me stay engaged that much longer. 

As my riding has improved I've gone more and more back to clipless pedals.  Maybe because I used to ride road bikes a lot, but I notice a big advantage in power and efficiency riding clipless.  If you're a masher you might not notice it but I often find myself pulling through the bottom of the stroke and it helps me significantly.  After a season or so of riding, clipping in and out just happens fairly effortlessly.  It's been years since I've had any trouble at all unclipping.  The action becomes as intuitive as anything else you do on a bike and happens without thought eventually.

 

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I'm not going to say "clipless" because I try to speak English.  I always ride road bike clipped in.  You gain so much in power and efficiency.  Maybe some day I'll make that switch on MTB, but I don't trust my balance enough, especially on the singletrack hugging a steep hillside that I so frequently ride.  But I'm sure that would help my climbing a ton.  I can't imagine trying to a 50+ mile road ride with some climbs without being connected to the pedal.

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7 minutes ago, Your Mom said:

Maybe because I used to ride road bikes a lot, but I notice a big advantage in power and efficiency riding clipless.  If you're a masher you might not notice it but I often find myself pulling through the bottom of the stroke and it helps me significantly. 

Clipless vs. flats ultimately boils down to a matter of preference, but I will say that much of the power and efficiency gains credited to clipless have been greatly exaggerated. Long story short, the more power you're putting through pedal, the greater the advantage of riding clipless. But not because of using your hammies on the upstroke. That adds virtually nothing--the quad on your opposite leg will end up doing practically all the work since it is stronger and applying efficient leverage through a downstroke.

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buyers-guides/flat-or-clipless-pedals-which-is-right-for-you/

The advantage of clipless is power transfer: your feet are less likely to come off the pedals. Big surge in torque? High cadence? Uneven terrain? No problem, you're still connected to the bike. There's no energy loss associated with your foot slipping, sliding, or coming off the pedal. 

But that connection is why I prefer flats. I'm not a professional. I'm not racing anyone. I'm just out there for fun, exercise, scenery, and some challenge. With that in mind, I absolutely do NOT want to be connected to the bike 24-7.

And yes, the "clip out" action eventually becomes instinctive, but I've definitely had some wrecks that happened so fast and awkwardly that clipping out wouldn't have happened and a bad spill very likely could've been worse. That represents an extreme minority of my saddle time, however.

Again, it ultimately boils down to preference. You really can't go wrong with either as long as your setup is dialed and you put in the time to learn. With clipless, that means those mildly embarrassing moments when you come to an unexpected stop and slowly timberrrrrrrrrr over to one side. With flats, that means your shins will be scabbed and scarred for a few months.

 

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On the power and efficiency thing...  when I went to flats I didn't feel like I was missing much but when I came back to clipless I realized I had been.  Echoing Cooter's advice, 5.10 Freeriders are grippy as hell with a sole stiff enough to help you pedal better and just flexy enough to walk in.  The difference between riding in normal sneakers and riding in 5.10s or similarly built MTB shoe is probably almost as big as the difference from those to clipless pedal shoes.   

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I'm not smart enough with body mechanics to explain the why, but my road riding immediately went to another level when I clipped in.  Somewhere in the process there was a big boost in power and efficiency.

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Timely discussion for me, and it's always a lively one.  I actually just ordered a set of flats and five tens which are arriving today.  I've ridden clipless since the 90s.  The reason I decided to try flats again was to work on my technique some.  I think riding clipless can allow one to become a bit lazy and cheat a bit when it comes to bunny hopping and popping up ledges and whatnot.

People do rave about five tens, so I hope this is a good experience.  Riding flats in the 90s was really BMX-style bear claw pedals with tennis shoes or vans, and that resulted in mangled shins and stiches in my calves.

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8 minutes ago, Ku–Įdt said:

Timely discussion for me, and it's always a lively one.  I actually just ordered a set of flats and five tens which are arriving today.  I've ridden clipless since the 90s.  The reason I decided to try flats again was to work on my technique some.  I think riding clipless can allow one to become a bit lazy and cheat a bit when it comes to bunny hopping and popping up ledges and whatnot.

People do rave about five tens, so I hope this is a good experience.  Riding flats in the 90s was really BMX-style bear claw pedals with tennis shoes or vans, and that resulted in mangled shins and stiches in my calves.

What flats did you buy?

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31 minutes ago, Ku–Įdt said:

I got these Fookers, which are chinese knockoffs of the RaceFace Chesters.  I figured I'm not out too much money if I hate them, plus the name is just fookin' awesome.

Thanks.  Let us know what you think after you get them mounted up.

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6 hours ago, Ku–Įdt said:

The reason I decided to try flats again was to work on my technique some.  I think riding clipless can allow one to become a bit lazy and cheat a bit when it comes to bunny hopping and popping up ledges and whatnot.

I tried this route, several years ago.  even bought some shinguards to fully dork-out while attempting to do wheelies and bunny-hops in my yard.   what I learned is that I lack the patience for the reps it will take for a mental midget like me to unlearn years of clipless habits.  I wish I was badass enough to ride flats.

I also learned the opposite lesson of Mom, which is that even though clicking out is pretty effortless and even intuitive for me most of the time, there is that fraction of a second disadvantage that changes my mental approach when making a technical move, and that is:  I better fucking make it (whatever it is).  so, for me, it enforces commitment.  it's lack of commitment that's responsible for the vast majority of my crashes.

so nowadays, I try to stay in tune with what my feet are doing when doing jumps and chunk (keeping my heels down, scooping the pedals with down and backward pressure, NOT lifting the bike with the tops of my shoes, etc.).  I may one day learn how to properly preload and rotate the bike over in the air to keep from casing everything.  but I'll probably never switch to flats.

spent almost half of yesterday doing bike maintenance, most of it on the singlespeed.  bled the brakes, changed the back tire and trued the rim (spent a full hour just peeling and goo-goning the old ghetto rim tape off).  fun shakedown ride at St Ed's.  it weighs half what my squishy does.  probably less than that.  makes you feel like a kid again.

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Was dicking around looking for videos of some of the rides I want to do in Arkansas, and came across a YouTube channel devoted to Iowa mountain biking.  This video is the most expansive/highest quality footage I've seen of the my local area.  The last half in particular are some of my favorite trails that I incorporate into almost every ride.  I could tell these guys were not used to the grades and climbs in Decorah, which I have yet to see be exceeded in the areas I've ridden (which is an admittedly small sample).

 

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On 2/1/2021 at 11:07 AM, The Royal We said:

Perfect, thank you.

I've never ridden clipless on a mountain bike, mainly because of a fear of not being able to unclip when shit goes pear-shaped.  But the stock pedals that my bike came with are clownshoes.  I was slipping all over the place on Saturday when it was drizzling.

Raceface Chesters are kind of the gold standard for starting with flats with pegs/spikes.  They're effective but not so aggro that they'll rip up your shins (too badly anyway).

I was somewhat skeptical, but shoes for flat pedals make a lot of difference.  They're stiffer, they stick like glue to the little pegs/spikes, and they have toe strike protection.

 

I'm scared of clipless.  Flat out.  It's an overblown, in-my-head thing and would probably really help me with doing maneuvers that my oldness and no-bmx-ness inhibit me from.

But, about a year ago on a group ride at very mild Harry Moss Park, a newb was clipped in on a portion of the trail notched into a not very steep hillside.  Something happened and he slowed, failed to unclip and fell over and spiral fractured his femur.

So, yeah, nah.

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I have a buddy who runs the shop at one of the Bicycle Sports Shops (now Trek evidently) in Austin, and he told me the same thing.  Well, he told me I needed a better bike and to be less of a shit rider if I wanted to get the Nukeproofs I asked him about, and then told me the Chesters would be a good place to start.  They should be here today and depending on what time they get here I might mount them up and ride.  Shoes will be next.

We've got 7.5 acres of woods across the street from our house and I've been building some trails through them since last fall.  I've only managed to carve out ~.75 of a mile so far, but there is  enough elevation change for me to get a decent workout if I make the little loop a few times.  I'll try to post some pics at some point, but the lot sits next to the highest point around and drains quite a bit of water through it when we get substantial rains.  So it's got a few deep ravines that run all the way through it that I plan on making "runs" out of that will cut off the main loop trail that I'm building now.  I'm trying to take out as few trees as possible so most of the work has been done with loppers and a chainsaw so far, but I really enjoy doing that kind of stuff.   

@TwiceHorn

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1 minute ago, The Royal We said:

I have a buddy who runs the shop at one of the Bicycle Sports Shops (now Trek evidently) in Austin, and he told me the same thing.  Well, he told me I needed a better bike and to be less of a shit rider if I wanted to get the Nukeproofs I asked him about, and then told me the Chesters would be a good place to start.  They should be here today and depending on what time they get here I might mount them up and ride.  Shoes will be next.

We've got 7.5 acres of woods across the street from our house and I've been building some trails through them since last fall.  I've only managed to carve out ~.75 of a mile so far, but there is  enough elevation change for me to get a decent workout if I make the little loop a few times.  I'll try to post some pics at some point, but the lot sits next to the highest point around and drains quite a bit of water through it when we get substantial rains.  So it's got a few deep ravines that run all the way through it that I plan on making "runs" out of that will cut off the main loop trail that I'm building now.  I'm trying to take out as few trees as possible so most of the work has been done with loppers and a chainsaw so far, but I really enjoy doing that kind of stuff.   

@TwiceHorn

I'd like to start putting some trails in on some county land just outside the town I live in.  The County Conservation director is cool with it, but he wants to see some kind of a plan.  There are already trails cut through the woods and prairie for cross country skiing (which I do 4-5 days a week this time of year), and they aren't maintained much for summer use.  I think if we started riding those, and then add some new single track lines I've scouted in the woods (need to do most of the brush clearing in March, before it gets overgrown) we'd have 5-6 miles of decent riding total.  I estimate that it would take about 3/4 of a mile of singletrack to link all the existing trails and avoid riding on the paved trail that cuts through the park, or the access roads.

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That sounds cool ISU!

There are a couple of short steep spots on my trail that are impossible for me to climb right now because they are covered in deep pine straw and have loose dirt below that.  I plan on taking a backpack blower and a tamp over there so I don't have to walk up those sections.  I made the main loop wide enough to ride my Honda SxS through so most of the rest of the trail is pretty packed down except for the steep bits.  I also need to go back and pull up the yaupon stumps that are in the middle of the trail in places - some of those gremlins are mostly hidden by pine straw and could make for a nasty spill.

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