Off road history.

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
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Off road history.

Postby peetee » 3 Dec 2018, 10:20pm

How long have you been riding off-road and what have you been doing it on?

I started in '86 on a Ridgeback 501 MTB. In 1990 I progressed to a custom bike which I still have and wouldn't part with for the world. This year it has been joined by a modified 753 touring bike for light jaunts in the New Forest but it has yet to be used in anger. Somewhere in the loft is a Kirk magnesium MTB which is simply awful to ride and will probably stay there till eternity.

Over to you.....
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Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

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Re: Off road history.

Postby gaz » 4 Dec 2018, 12:55pm

Most of my off road riding has been incidental to my journey, short stretches of byway, bridleway and canal path that link minor roads and/or avoid major ones. That's largely been on 531/CrMo touring/653 audax style cycles.

From time to time I have deliberately sought out the mud. Raleigh Maverick 1986 - 90 (wheelbase like a tandem, weighed just like one too :wink: ), 1990-93 Harry Quinn 531ATB, 1997-8 Zinn 753ATB, 2010 Claud Butler alu frame front sus.

Since 2016 there's been a Kuwahara Savage in Tange CrMo in the shed, but I could measure it's off road mileage over the last two years in yards rather than miles.

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Re: Off road history.

Postby tatanab » 4 Dec 2018, 2:22pm

As above, off road is just a part of the journey for me not the reason. hence I've been riding off road since I started club riding in 1968 when we called it "rough stuff". I've never had a specific off road machine, it would not be sensible for 0.1% of my riding, so all this has been on general purpose touring bikes. Every one of my tours, home and abroad seem to include a few miles of easy off road, usually carrying camping kit. Before I started club riding in 1968 we kids had "trackers" for hacking around the paths in local woods and so on.
Most of my off road riding has been incidental to my journey, short stretches of byway, bridleway and canal path that link minor roads and/or avoid major ones.
This was the very reason that the CTC pressed for bridleway access in the late 60s. There was no idea at the time that a future generation would use these routes for anything other than joining places up.

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Re: Off road history.

Postby al_yrpal » 4 Dec 2018, 3:03pm

When I restarted cycling after a 40 year gap in 2004 I immediately started offroading on an old Raleigh MTB. Around here we have hundreds of bridleways through dense forests, field tracks and unmade lanes. There is plenty of challenging mud, chalk and flint hills and bogs, I love it. My normal rides are between 10 and 15 miles and I manage to average about 8mph over very rough terrain.
My treat was to buy a Cannondale Rush 2000 full susser with a carbon lefty fork. It was Cannondale's UK test bike and I purchased it at 50% discount. Its a great bike and the full suss enables you to get over broken branches easily without halting. Particularly useful on uphill stretches.
Presently I am not doing much due to my wifes medical condition. I cannot risk injury because I am her carer and have to do everything.

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

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Re: Off road history.

Postby Paulatic » 4 Dec 2018, 3:09pm

It was off roading which saw me return to cycling after putting my bike away on purchase of first motorbike aged 16.
First bike was a Giant ATB which saw me compete in the off road tours organised in the nineties. The Yorkshire Dales Tours organised by a Dave Smith.ITIW. The Tour North Pennines originally organised by Alan Childs ITIW who was a champion in rights of ways. and latterly a copy event cropped up in the Peak District. Any other veterans of those events browse these pages?
The Giant frame,had a 5 yr guarantee, broke 3 months before the guarantee expired. :D I sold the replacement frame and was by now building a house and riding mostly on the road.
House completed in 1998 and and with the VAT returned bought a rigid Orange P7 which I still ride today. With which I’ve explored every sheep trod and hill top surrounding the Annandale valley and beyond. Living close to the 7 Stanes I just don’t enjoy tree roots and fire roads. Maybe suspension might make those rides better but nothing gives me more pleasure, than a full bouncey bike passing me with a grinning rider, when at the bottom of a descent they turn to look behind to see this old codger on rigid sitting behind them. :D :D
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Re: Off road history.

Postby Zulu Eleven » 4 Dec 2018, 3:25pm

tatanab wrote:This was the very reason that the CTC pressed for bridleway access in the late 60s. There was no idea at the time that a future generation would use these routes for anything other than joining places up.

Actually, that’s not true.

The achievements secured by the CTC in the 1968 parliamentary debates on the Countryside Act were in fact twofold:

i) A clause permitting cycling on bridleways (there was much debate on this as the original recommendation of the Gosling committee was to permit cycling on all footpaths, but the opposition to this led to a halfway step/classic parliamentary fudge. One of the interesting points being that it was accepted that many footpaths did also carry long-standing rights to cycle on them, one of the reasons that it’s wasnt actually ‘prohibited’ on footpaths as part of the Act)

ii) an extension of the definition of ‘long distance trails’ under section 51 of the 1949 National Parks & Access to the
Countryside act to add bicycles (addition in brackets below)

“that the public should be enabled to make extensive journeys on foot or on horseback (or on a bicycle not being a motor vehicle) along a particular route, being a route which for the whole or the greater part of its length does not pass along roads mainly used by vehicles”

We can see from this that it was VERY MUCH foreseen at the time that people might wish to make long distance journeys on predominantly unpaved country tracks by bicycle rather than simply joining together stretches of road.

It’s worth commenting that at the time, parliamentary discussion suggested that Long-Distance Route (the legal title of what are currently branded as National Trails) status was superior to right of way - so as such bicycles would be able to ride on all sections of National Trail even if they were recorded as Footpath on the definitive map. Of course at this point the only completed LDR was the Pennine Way, and this intention appears to have slipped down the cracks of interpretation and delay somewhere along the way. As such only two of our fifteen (E&W) National trails are fully promoted as cycle and horse friendly routes. Something C-UK have recently been working hard to change.

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Re: Off road history.

Postby Spinners » 4 Dec 2018, 4:46pm

1991 for me with a DX equipped Al Carter Black Panther before progressing to an Orange Prestige with XT including XT Thumbies - both rigid of course but I did get myself a Girvin Flexstem. I raced in my own sweet way in the excellent 'Mountain Bike Club of Wales' events for a few years and also rode a couple of Downhill Dual Eliminators.

Happy days.
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Re: Off road history.

Postby Si » 4 Dec 2018, 6:10pm

1970something on a Raleigh Grifter :-)

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Re: Off road history.

Postby nick12 » 4 Dec 2018, 6:38pm

We had trackers when I was a kid too 1979 I built mine from a frame I got from the village tip. 24" wheels. 26 tooth kids crank on the front a single 26 tooth sprocket on the rear weinmann brakes and renthal bars packed in the stem with a bit of a bean can lid. Great fun up on the moors.
I think that's why I prefer a small framed mtb my favorite is a 14" diamond back Topanga from 95. Still love the nimble adjile feel of it.
Got my first mtb in 1990 off my dad don't remember what it was. Many a happy weekend spent on trails around the dales.

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Re: Off road history.

Postby rualexander » 4 Dec 2018, 7:22pm

Roughstuff Fellowship have some great old photos on their instagram account

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Re: Off road history.

Postby whoof » 5 Dec 2018, 2:42pm

My first mountain bike was an Emmelle in 1988. It was awful and soon replaced by a Specialized Hardrock that was better but the brakes were terrible as you had to grip so hard to get any kind of decrease in speed. I remember waking up in the morning and my hands had clenched into fists and required prising open.
A Marin Pine Mountain was a great improvement followed by a Marin Team Issue both of which I did cross-country racing on.

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Re: Off road history.

Postby Brucey » 5 Dec 2018, 8:23pm

I rode bikes mainly offroad from when I could ride at all, from when I was a young child. I had various offroad only bikes including some that were built from bits and pieces and these would be used for more rough and tumble antics. More than one machine I cobbled together in the 1970s looked quite a lot like a MTB but from before MTBs were a thing of course. Had I been able to weld at the time I would probably have built frames to my own designs.

Got a 'proper' MTB in the late '80s and have had at least one or two on the go ever since. Have done plenty of rough-stuff on whatever bike I happen to be on at the time, too.


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Re: Off road history.

Postby amediasatex » 6 Dec 2018, 11:37am

How long have you been riding off-road

My entry to riding off road is slightly different to most...

If you ignore the riding around fields as a young boy (as that's what was out the back of our housing estate) then my offroading actually began with horses, I learnt to ride when I was about 10-11 and as part of our lessons we would regularly go for hacks around the local bridleways and farm tracks and it was always my favourite part, some of my friends were more into dressage and show but for me it was the hacks out in the countryside that brought me most happiness.

Sadly after a few years the lady who owned the stables and riding school sold almost all of her land to a local housing developer and the school shut, and it was a that point I started going on out on the same hacks on my bike (a crappy 5 speed path/MTB type bike), which promptly died and early death at the hands of the local terrain.

I ended up getting my first actual MTB (A Raleigh) in about 1994 and used that for a couple of years for messing about, local XC rides, and commuting to school until that too finally died and I managed to persuade my parents to combine presents and my savings into a brand new shiny Trek 6000 of 1997 vintage, which in my eyes was the best bike ever and surely would never need upgrading in any way whatsoever as it was absolutely 100% perfect!

At this point I got involved with a local shop and started MTBing properly with other people, ended up with a Saturday job at the shop (and in later years running the workshop there) and also started entering local XC races. My 'perfect' Trek had a hard life and went through many upgrades, and ultimately got replaced when I joined the shop team and was (practically) given a new '99 Scott Comp Racing in late 98 as part of the sponsorship deal.

I was also getting into trials at this point so my riding was split between trials and XC and had a string of converted MTB's for trial followed by dedicated trials bikes as well as the XC bike. The Scott was eventually passed on to my girlfriends brother when I went to Uni in 2000 by which point I'd also acquired a couple of other bikes.

While I was at Uni my XC racing waned a bit as I focused on trials and a bit of DH and riding for fun, went through quite a few bikes in the fews years as a result of breakages and changing technology. Entered my first 24 hr race in 2001 and have been racing 12 and 24hr events ever since. I did was still occasionally racing XCO, and even did one of the Single Speed UK championships, but only started to race XC again regularly in about 2007.

In latter years have raced a few Enduros but XCO and 12/24 are still what I find most fun, have done 12 and 24 events Solo a few times as well as in teams, but but spent a lot of time on big days out on Dartmoor, Exmoor, Quantocks, and in Wales. Have taken a year out of XC racing this year (apart from Pivot 24/12) due to arrival of a little one, but hoping to go back next year.

Oh and I often end up ‘off-road’ on my tourer and commuter, but that’s just paths and tracks and occasional bit of Dartmoor bridleways rather than properly off-road.

and what have you been doing it on?

The full list is rather long!

Raleigh Max - retired
Trek 6000 - sold
Scott Comp Racing - sold
Cannondale Beast of the East - sold
Coyote XC2 - sold
Kona Cinder Cone (1) - sold
Specialized Stumpjumper M2 - snapped
Orange ZerO - cracked
Orange AirO - swapped
Sunn Duall - snapped, repaired, cracked
Ellsworth Truth - sold
Psycle Werks Wild Hare - sold
DMR Trailstar - sold
Kona Fire Mountain - sold
On-One Inbred - sold
Rocket FAB (1) - cracked
Rocket FAB (2) - snapped
Pashley 26Mhz (1) - snapped
Pashley 26Mhz (2) - sold
Kona Kilauea - cracked
Bontrager Privateer - still own
Cannondale F700 - still own
Cannondale F900 - stolen
Cannondale Super V Mk3 - stolen
Gary Fisher Ferrous - stolen
Kona A mk1 - stolen
Ellsworth Dare (1) - cracked
Ellsworth Dare (2) - sold
Intense Tracer - sold
Intense Uzzi SLX - cracked
Intense Uzzi DH - sold
Cannondale Super V Mk2 - still own
Schwinn 4 Banger (1) - cracked
Schwinn 4 Banger (2) - gave away
Schwinn Straight 6 (1) - cracked
Schwinn Straight 6 (2) - retired
Schwinn Straight 6 (3) - rebuilt as BTR (see below)
Ellsworth Joker - sold
Specialized SX - sold
Kona A Mk2 - snapped
Klein Pulse - still own
Cannondale Jekyll - sold
Specialized Epic - sold
Kona Hahanna - sold
Kona Cinder Cone (2) - sold
Airborne Black Widow (1) - sold
Cannondale Prophet - sold
Cannondale Scalpel Mk1 - still own
Charge Duster (1) - gave away
Charge Duster (2) - sold
Charge Duster (3) - snapped
Cotic Simple Mk1 - still own
Cotic Simple Mk2 - still own
Cotic Soul prototype Mk3.5 - still own
Cotic Hemlock - still own
Cotic Flare - still own
BTR Fabrications Maschup - still own
Airborne Black Widow (2) - still own
Focus Raven - gave away
On-One C456 Evo - still own

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Re: Off road history.

Postby colin54 » 6 Dec 2018, 12:28pm

rualexander wrote:Roughstuff Fellowship have some great old photos on their instagram account

What a fantastic selection of photo's, well done the archivist(s).

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Re: Off road history.

Postby amediasatex » 7 Dec 2018, 11:19am

colin54 wrote:
rualexander wrote:Roughstuff Fellowship have some great old photos on their instagram account

What a fantastic selection of photo's, well done the archivist(s).

Agreed, excellent and I'm thankful they've taken the time to digitise and present them, there are thousands and thousands of pictures sitting in desk drawers and boxes in the loft that will liekly never see the light of day yet give us an amazing glimpse into the past, I can only hope more will surface as time goes on.