Lesson learnt

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
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hondated
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Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 14 Sep 2018, 4:03pm

Hi everyone just got back from an attempt at mountain biking, something I haven't done for years. Living in Eastbourne now for seven years I thought it was time to service my Specialised Hard Rock mountain bike and get out on the Downs. To be honest my first mistake was to not change the road tyres I had fitted to it so that didnt make life very easy but neither did my real lack of fitness. Dont know whether everyone would agree but there is MBK fitness and there is road bike fitness. Seems to me that the former is tougher to acquire.
As you would expect grip on road tyres wasn't great so I didnt get the real pleasure of riding down hill after pushing the bike up most hills. So theres one lesson learnt. Another one was in using an OS map without a compass. Is there an App I could down load for off road cycling !.

Now to the real point of this posting and it is to ask all regular mountain bikers is it common to come across styes or gates which you struggle to get through and instead have to haul your bike over them. I ask because I had to do this a few times and they were on designated bike routes. Surely if that is the case then the authorities must have an obligation to provide easier access than these styes or gateways.

strava1497677579.jpg


Thought I would give you a laugh and show you how bad I was. :lol:

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 14 Sep 2018, 4:06pm

Sounds like you had fun!

I don't struggled to manhandled bikes over obstacles, but I'm well above average height and build. Mrs Dopestrong, all 5'4" of her, would struggle to see over most gates or styles, much less hoist a full squidger over them,
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Paulatic
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby Paulatic » 14 Sep 2018, 4:23pm

We don’t really have bridle ways here in Scotland but ride on anything which will allow a tyre to roll on. Find a lot of gates, especially on boundaries, difficult to open and much quicker to lift over. Got to admit, I’ve reached an age I find some of the multi stepped stiles over high obstacles a bit hairy when teetering on the top with bike over the shoulder and the feet smeared in mud.
One of the reasons I hang on to my rigid P7. Have you felt the weight of full suspension :D
Regarding fitness, when I used to do Audax I rarely rode on the road between events as I didn’t have the spare time. I find an hour off road is worth at least two on the road.
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iandriver
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby iandriver » 14 Sep 2018, 4:54pm

Unfortunately it is common place for cycle trails to be littered with obstacles. It's really not so different on tarmac cycle paths. If you cycle campaign, trying to keep paths open for access for all (things like trikes and child tag alongs) is a constant battle.

Commonly the barriers are there to prevent motorcycle access or something similar. Very often they are totally pointless be are installed anyway.
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cycleruk
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby cycleruk » 14 Sep 2018, 5:08pm

If the cycleway is a "bridleway" then that is also for horses and therefore gates have to be O.K. for them.
Are you sure that your route is not just a "footpath" ?
Regarding fitness then yes MTB requires some upper-body strength as well as legs. Not only that but riding technique has an effect and the skill has to be re-learnt.
Leave getting old to others.

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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 14 Sep 2018, 9:19pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:Sounds like you had fun!

I don't struggled to manhandled bikes over obstacles, but I'm well above average height and build. Mrs Dopestrong, all 5'4" of her, would struggle to see over most gates or styles, much less hoist a full squidger over them,

Thanks LD at 5' 10" I too was struggling.

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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 14 Sep 2018, 9:22pm

Paulatic wrote:We don’t really have bridle ways here in Scotland but ride on anything which will allow a tyre to roll on. Find a lot of gates, especially on boundaries, difficult to open and much quicker to lift over. Got to admit, I’ve reached an age I find some of the multi stepped stiles over high obstacles a bit hairy when teetering on the top with bike over the shoulder and the feet smeared in mud.
One of the reasons I hang on to my rigid P7. Have you felt the weight of full suspension :D
Regarding fitness, when I used to do Audax I rarely rode on the road between events as I didn’t have the spare time. I find an hour off road is worth at least two on the road.

Tanks Paulatic Yes I had thought about how heavy a FS bike would be but even that will feel light compared to an electric MBK. Got to admit I could be tempted if they weren't so expensive.

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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 14 Sep 2018, 9:25pm

iandriver wrote:Unfortunately it is common place for cycle trails to be littered with obstacles. It's really not so different on tarmac cycle paths. If you cycle campaign, trying to keep paths open for access for all (things like trikes and child tag alongs) is a constant battle.

Commonly the barriers are there to prevent motorcycle access or something similar. Very often they are totally pointless be are installed anyway.

Thanks ID I am thinking next time, because of this , going to a bike park but I dare say the problem there will be others flying about.

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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 14 Sep 2018, 9:34pm

cycleruk wrote:If the cycleway is a "bridleway" then that is also for horses and therefore gates have to be O.K. for them.
Are you sure that your route is not just a "footpath" ?
Regarding fitness then yes MTB requires some upper-body strength as well as legs. Not only that but riding technique has an effect and the skill has to be re-learnt.

Thanks cycleruk to be honest on reflection I think your spot on there. Really got to get the books out and reacquainted with reading an OS map.
Again your right about the fitness and skills needed. The wrong tyres didnt help but to be honest I did seem to lack the " bottle " when it came to going down hill. I think I suddenly realised that at 67 I am not as courageous as I was at 17. I should of known that given how carefully I ride my motorbike these days.
What I also learnt today was why a lot of riders these days are using " dropper posts ".
With regard to fitness I was looking at some MBK racing on YouTube and I was amazed at just how strong some of those petite young girls are who race. Theres nothing of them but they are able to climb hill after hill at tremendous speeds. Got to be technique rather than leg muscles surely.

Grarea
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby Grarea » 15 Sep 2018, 1:25pm

Yes, those girls are amazing eh?
But I do think also that they are lightweight.
Obviously not putting down their strength, I bet they could easily outdo me in a gym.

Their power to weight must be amazing.

I went out the other day doing something similar (Am a mere whipper snapper at 48 yo mind) used my sort of hybrid type bike with road tyres.
Marathon supremes. We were just going to stay on a trail but couldn't resist going up and down some fun stuff.
I was amazed how good they were actually over slippery rocks, roots and loose stuff, even up muddy slopes. But, yes, downhill was definitely a bit sketchy in lots of ways. No grip, too narrow.
Mind you, might have helped if had reduced the pressure a bit.

Will be putting the knobblies on next week.

On the plus side, the sit pain was way better.
I reckon because i was hardly sitting on the saddle :)

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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 15 Sep 2018, 9:22pm

Grarea wrote:Yes, those girls are amazing eh?
But I do think also that they are lightweight.
Obviously not putting down their strength, I bet they could easily outdo me in a gym.

Their power to weight must be amazing.

I went out the other day doing something similar (Am a mere whipper snapper at 48 yo mind) used my sort of hybrid type bike with road tyres.
Marathon supremes. We were just going to stay on a trail but couldn't resist going up and down some fun stuff.
I was amazed how good they were actually over slippery rocks, roots and loose stuff, even up muddy slopes. But, yes, downhill was definitely a bit sketchy in lots of ways. No grip, too narrow.
Mind you, might have helped if had reduced the pressure a bit.

Will be putting the knobblies on next week.

On the plus side, the sit pain was way better.
I reckon because i was hardly sitting on the saddle :)

Grarea great to read of your experience as well.To be honest even getting up on the Downs was hard work and next time having studied the map more I will ensure I ride a flat route.

Already fitted some knobblies I had in the garage so its not put me off as I am keen to give it another try. Also going to lower the saddle when it comes to down hill and take off the SPDs and replace with flat pedals.

I really did get myself into a dire situation where I went down several hills thinking it was a way off the hill and finding it wasnt and then having to haul the bike back up the hill.The funny thing is that I got a far better work out than I had intended and by having to stop and rest getting back up the hills I also found the solitude I was seeking. So all in all it wasnt too bad really. I do have to say that it was just great getting away from any traffic so its definitely something I want to get into.

Hope your next mountain bike adventure goes better than your recent one.Oh and thanks for reminding me that I should perhaps lower the tyre pressures also when it looks sketchy going down a hill.

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LinusR
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby LinusR » 14 Oct 2018, 8:13pm

hondated wrote:Another one was in using an OS map without a compass. Is there an App I could down load for off road cycling !.

Now to the real point of this posting and it is to ask all regular mountain bikers is it common to come across styes or gates which you struggle to get through and instead have to haul your bike over them. I ask because I had to do this a few times and they were on designated bike routes. Surely if that is the case then the authorities must have an obligation to provide easier access than these styes or gateways.


The Strava route you posted shows you were cycling along footpaths, not the bridleways. So if you encountered obstacles it is deliberate. That area of the South Downs west of Eastbourne has plenty of good bridleways to bike and you only have to go through the "horse gates". You just need to follow the bridleway signs.
eastbourne.png



The 1:25,000 OS map marks the bridleways at thick green lines while the footpaths are more like dotted lines. You can also cycle along the byways. See "public rights of way" here https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/docs/legends/25k-raster-legend.pdf
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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 14 Oct 2018, 10:54pm

Thanks LinusR great advice and since then I have been brushing up on my map reading skills. Certainly need to as the route I took nearly killed me :?

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LinusR
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby LinusR » 15 Oct 2018, 8:54am

hondated wrote:the route I took nearly killed me :?


It is pretty tough going getting up onto the top of the South Downs. I had to get off and push for many of the ascents -- it's good full body workout pushing a MTB up a rocky track :D . Once I was on the top it was well worth the effort and it's a good rolling terrain and there are some fairly easy to moderate surfaces to ride along. Having good brakes and grippy tyres helped a lot with the descents. I'm glad I got a couple of days riding done last week. All the rain we've had over the weekend will have made the bridleways pretty slippery and mucky.

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hondated
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Re: Lesson learnt

Postby hondated » 16 Oct 2018, 4:06pm

LinusR wrote:
hondated wrote:the route I took nearly killed me :?


It is pretty tough going getting up onto the top of the South Downs. I had to get off and push for many of the ascents -- it's good full body workout pushing a MTB up a rocky track :D . Once I was on the top it was well worth the effort and it's a good rolling terrain and there are some fairly easy to moderate surfaces to ride along. Having good brakes and grippy tyres helped a lot with the descents. I'm glad I got a couple of days riding done last week. All the rain we've had over the weekend will have made the bridleways pretty slippery and mucky.

Been looking at the map LinusR and all being well I will try and cycle the SDW from Willingdon over to Butts Brow some time next week. Dare I say it but I think an E mountain bike would be ideal for those uphill struggles. If only they were cheaper.