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Two skinny J's
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I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go mountain biking this past weekend. I was invited to ride a Trek Fuel ex8. Got fitted and had the suspension setup for my weight and put a set up old pedals I had that were of the MTB style and thought I was ready. I rode with 2 other guys that totally trashed me on my first ride!

My first impression of the MTB bike was....it felt like it had the wingspan of a B52 ( felt very open after a road bike), heavy as Abrams tank, and rolled very slow! The gearing felt very closed (or close) to me. Didn't take long to appreciate that close gearing :)

We rode a place here called Freedom Park near Williamsburg VA and was totally awesome, it's maintained by Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association and they do a very good job of maintaining this place, I was very impressed.

It all started good. We hit a few trials that were relatively flat and open and I could keep up with the other two. I noticed real quick, as some here stated ( Poolie) it was truly like a nonstop interval! It took a lot of concentration to figure out the shifting and the disc brakes. Glad I had those! Most of the fist 2 or three miles was just spent trying to figure all that kind of stuff out, kinda like that first very fast group ride you do on a road bike :D

Well anyway I rode just short of 8 miles and I can tell I have NEVER pushed a fully functioning bike before in my adult life....pushed a few broke one the last couple of years but never a fully functioning bike but I did this past weekend!! My legs were so pumped on the last trail it was incredible!

At one point we stopped and Fran said not bad for your first ride and it's not that far out from here bout a mile or so. At that point a mile sounded pretty dam^** far to me and the cruel joke was that 80% of that last mile was uphill!. I was honestly totally hammered after a measly 8 mile ride! Incredible is all I can say! It felt like a had ridden a century on a road bike and I was SO SLOW! The other 2 left me in the dust on the last few trails we did... embarrassing :eek:

Wish I had the money to get a nice 29er...don't see it in the near future tho. I would love to supplement my winter riding doing this, what a workout!!

Mountain Biking Activity 7.97 mi | RunKeeper
 

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Sounds like quite a ride! I currently have my "used way too little" mountain bike in the shop getting some TLC. I'm hoping to get back out there on it soon. We'll see how long that lasts.
 

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YAY BAIKS!
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The first thing I did when I got home from my first real ride on the trails was to cut 3" off my bars. LOL!
 

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I put my circa 2000 REI mountain bike on the stand night before last to see how trail worthy it still is. The verdict... hmmm, so so. I hate to throw money at a 12 year old bike that, in it's prime was only middle of the road to begin with. I hope with a major derailleur adjustment I can squeak out a little more life out of it.

Weather permitting, the local MTB group is planning a ride this Saturday and I've been invited to tag along (with similar results that Rola had I'm sure). I'm sure after checking out what they're riding I'll be dying for something new.
 

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Rola its a lot like hiking. There is 8 miles and there is 8 miles. I have seen that many times back in the woods. An 8 mile hike the the forest when its flat is not a big feat, but the same thing in the hills or mountains is brutal. A flat 8 miles is a couple of hours. In some terrain, 8 miles is more than a day. Adding the up and down and the steeper it is the more you cuss, but with patience you do get there.
 

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Welcome to the 'fat side' -- fat TIRES, that is!

I rode skinny tires in my 20's, but after a looong layoff, I came back to riding, and it was on fat tires. My developing (work-related) back issues made the suspension available on MTB more and more a necessity.

Sure, it's slower -- but in most cases, that just means you're on the bike longer, FAR from a bad thing! And the versatility of the MTB is incomparable -- I don't see too many skinny-tire bikes flying off (or down) stairs or ledges in urban settings! It's just a whole other dimension to the pedaling experience that I find irresistible. (Personally, I don't catch 'big air' -- big air to me is about a foot off the ground, lol! -- but even that little bit of fun makes it all worthwhile.)

I wouldn't be that much faster on skinnies, anyway, so I'll 'roll fat'.....
 

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YAY BAIKS!
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I also love the solitude of MTB riding. Yes it can be thrilling but it's also out in nature. No traffic to worry about (except the deer) and you can just let your mind go between obstacles.
 

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Recently I bought a Surly 1x1 for getting out on the trails, it's not ideal but it requires that I ride very aggressively on hills, before this I had always ridden fairly average mountain bikes and in all reality the Surly isn't much of a step up. It's exciting and challenging to hit the hills on it, in a whole new way compared to my road bike (also single speed) I love it to bits and the best part is on short rides through the city I can, and do thrash it every chance I get, it makes taking short cuts a whole lot easier.
 
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