Author Topic: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike  (Read 5174 times)

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FTU

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First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« on: February 06, 2012, 01:01:10 PM »
Yesterday had to be the most fun I've had on a bike in years! I took my brand-new Trek Wahoo Disc 29 up to Auburn for some climbing and descending bliss. These are some of my favorite trails from the good old days back in the early 90s.

The bike is a rather low-end hardtail and is quite heavy, so I'm convinced that all the grueling road climbs I've been doing enabled me to haul this bike and my fat ass up the steep stuff without having to get off and walk. It was a beyotch, but I made it.

All of these trails have technical sections to keep things interesting.

The first trail is Clementine. It starts at the bottom of the canyon by the American River and climbs up to the next trailhead (Fuel Break). Clementine starts out as doubletrack, narrows to singletrack for a while, then widens to doubletrack again as it climbs.

Fuel Break climbs for about 1/2 mile, descends for 1/4 mile, climbs again, then descends to the next trail, Culvert. Culvert drops down to Old Foresthill Road.

Confluence is the really fun downhill that starts at the OHV parking area. After I finished that one, the real suffering began. I started up the short steep part at the beginning of Stagecoach Trail, but instead of making the left turn at the first switchback, I accidentally overshot it and continued on to the next switchback. When the grade got steeper instead of leveling off somewhat like it's supposed to, I started to wonder if the trail got re-routed in the last 15 years.

I spun out a few times and had to restart. Great fun! Other times my front wheel lifted off the ground, forcing me to stop. I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to walk this one, but I eventually made it all the way up by pedal power.

Where I ended up was the top of the Ridgeview trailhead. I went back down and explored some trails off of the steep climb. Found another short steep climb, and after several tries I made it up that one. Picking the right line was absolutely essential with this one. It was technical and covered with pine needles.

I went back to my truck to get more water (gonna have to get a Camelbak, I guess), and started up Stagecoach again. This time I didn't miss the turn-off. After the steep part, the trail leveled off and there was very little suffering for the remainder of the climb. Near the top I saw a group of hikers heading down. One of the women said "Good job!" (you can hear it in the video), and I thanked her.

After that climb I continued climbing on the pavement on Russell Road, then turned around and enjoyed the descent back down Stagecoach.

I'm going to have to remove the spacers and slam the stem to cut down on the front wheel coming off the ground on steep climbs.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/147539848

Here's the video. It's 100% natural sound with no music, so keep that in mind when the video gets to a climbing section if you have anyone within earshot who may think you're watching something other than a cycling video.



One of the technical turns on Culvert

technical turn on Culvert Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Confluence trailhead

Confluence trailhead by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Middle fork of American River as seen from Confluence Trail

Middle Fork of American River seen from Confluence Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Middle Fork of American River and Confluence Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

American River and Clementine Trail

American River and Clementine Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Start of Stagecoach Trail steep climb

Start of Stagecoach Trail climb by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Ridgeview trailhead

Ridgeview trailhead by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Steep sufferfest climb I wound up on by accident

Steep climb above Stagecoach Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Short steep climb it took several tries to clean

Short steep climb above Stagecoach Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

More pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76286317@N05/

« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 05:27:06 AM by FTU »

Offline MidgetMaestro

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 01:13:52 PM »
Yesterday had to be the most fun I've had on a bike in years! I took my brand-new Trek Wahoo Disc 29 up to Auburn for some climbing and descending bliss. These are some of my favorite trails from the good old days back in the early 90s.

The bike is a rather low-end hardtail and is quite heavy, so I'm convinced that all the grueling road climbs I've been doing enabled me to haul this bike and my fat ass up the steep stuff without having to get off and walk. It was a beyotch, but I made it.

All of these trails have technical sections to keep things interesting.

Short steep climb it took several tries to clean.


More pics here: http://s149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/hardmf1/

Oof. That looks fun painful. Great ride  :thumbsup:

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 01:39:23 PM »
Thanks! :) That particular hill didn't hurt, riding it or failing.  :D Just lots of effort, which makes me surprised that I only reached a max heart rate of 197. I've gone over 200 bpm before on hard road climbs.

If I was still using SPDs I probably would have toppled over and rolled back down the hill like a snowball.  :D I use toe clips and straps. Some riders on another forum told me that's a bad idea, but I had much worse luck with SPDs years ago.

Offline wens

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 05:23:36 PM »
Oof. That looks fun painful. Great ride  :thumbsup:


Looks like a runup to me :P
Do you think we're gonna make it? / I don't know unless we try / you could sit here scared to move / or we could take them by surprise

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 09:11:36 PM »
Here's a longer section of that steep sufferfest climb I ended up on by accident. I feel that this video captures the essence of the suffering perfectly, thanks to the chest mount and original audio (caution heavy breathing!).



I also recorded video with the ContourHD mounted on my helmet, but the footage was just as bouncy, plus it had way more wind noise and a knocking sound coming from the mount, even though I made sure it was good and tight before I started the ride.

Even worse, the camera being higher up made it look like I was crawling up all the climbs and descending like I'd never been on a mountain bike before. I'm really glad I had the GoPro mounted lower, as that footage turned out much better.

I did get some nice screen captures from the Contour though. Here they are.

Clementine Trail (facing south)

Clementine Trail singletrack (facing south) by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Clementine Trail (facing north)

Clementine Trail singletrack (facing north) by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Confluence Trail and some cliff climbers

Confluence Trail and people climbing the cliff by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Culvert Trail

Culvert Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Steep climb at start of Stagecoach Trail

Short steep climb at bottom of Stagecoach Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Further up the steep part of Stagecoach

Stagecoach Trail steep climb by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

A little further up the steep part of Stagecoach. Kind of rough here.

Stagecoach Trail steep climb 2 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Switchback I overshot the first time I climbed Stagecoach

Stagecoach Trail first switchback by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

The steep climb I ended up on instead (grimace!)

Steep climb above Stagecoach Trail, just past switchback by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Stagecoach Trail first switchback, the second time up when I actually went the right direction

Stagecoach Trail first switchback 2 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Rougher section of Stagecoach, but not as steep

Stagecoach Trail rough section by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Smooth section of Stagecoach

Stagecoach Trail smooth section by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 05:36:59 AM by FTU »

Offline WCroadie

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 02:20:37 PM »
Awesomeness!  Glad you had fun, as one who is relatively new to mtb'ing, I find myself smiling almost the whole time when I ride my ss 29er on the trails.
WC is the Debil.

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 03:05:14 PM »
Thanks! :) I'm sure I had a sht-eatin' grin once I got into the groove and it all came back to me on that Confluence descent. That's the most fun mtb descent so far.

Since we're having unseasonably dry and warm weather, I have another old favorite in mind for this weekend's ride.

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 11:05:05 AM »
Warning: Graphic pics ahead!

Yesterday I rode another one of my old favorites, the Salmon Falls Trail in El Dorado County, CA.

This trail seemed more difficult than the ones I did in Auburn, due to how technical it is. I intended to climb the 2 mile long Flagstaff Hill, but I overshot the trail leading to it.

On the way out I saw people walking and resting on a climb, so I knew this would be a good climb on the way back. Sure enough, it was a good one! :D I made it all the way up without walking or resting. I did pick a wrong line and stall out once, but I restarted and continued on.

I saw another cyclist with a GoPro on his helmet. He was riding with a friend. They noticed my chest-mounted GoPro and that sparked a good conversation. One of the guys was riding a hybrid with 700x35c tires!

On the way back I saw a lot of dog walkers and petted a few dogs. Then the hamfist of the day occurred when I attempted to descend the most ridiculously technical section of trail I've ever encountered. It was a slow-speed crash too. Yes, it was caught on video! :D

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/149250811

Video is 100% natural sound, so my standard heavy breathing on climbs audio warning applies!



Sign I should have heeded, at least on the descent. I had no problem cleaning this climb, but the descent was another story!

caution sign on Salmon Falls Trail technical section by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

The section I crashed on

extremely technical section of Salmon Falls Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

The aftermath. It wasn't as bad as it looks, just a few scrapes.

mountain bike crash aftermath 2-12-12 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

After cleaning up

mountain bike crash aftermath 2-12-12 (cleaned up) by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

View of American River from near the above technical section

view of American River from Salmon Falls Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr


Offline WCroadie

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 02:50:08 PM »
Those trails look awesome, no need to walk, that section is rideable. Tho id probably crash too,  :) Cool pics and vid, keep riding.
WC is the Debil.

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 03:41:34 PM »
Thanks. :) I agree. The guy near the end of my video who cleaned that section shows how it's done. Thumbs-up to him for a job well done!

I'll have to study his technique. It looks like the high side is the best line to take, not the lower one like I did. I also went too slow. Braking may have caused the crash.

Offline WCroadie

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 04:31:52 PM »
Thanks. :) I agree. The guy near the end of my video who cleaned that section shows how it's done. Thumbs-up to him for a job well done!

I'll have to study his technique. It looks like the high side is the best line to take, not the lower one like I did. I also went too slow. Braking may have caused the crash.
Being new to mtb riding, I suffer from slow crashes as well, getting better tho.  I know that at speed you are much more stable, but I am a little "uneasy" going fast over some sections.
WC is the Debil.

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 06:36:35 PM »
I know that at speed you are much more stable, but I am a little "uneasy" going fast over some sections.
Me too. That's probably why I went too slow, and why I stalled out on some technical sections earlier in the ride, uphill of course.

Here's some screen captures from the helmet-mounted ContourHD raw video files.

Climb just above the rocky section that I crashed on. This is on the way out.

climb just above Salmon Falls 'super gnarly' section by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Descent after the above climb

descent just past Salmon Falls 'super gnarly' section by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Fallen tree over the trail (the 'low bridge' section of the video)

fallen tree over Salmon Falls Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Short steep technical section that caused some good grunting in the video when I cleaned it

short steep technical section on Salmon Falls Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Very technical section that caused me to stall out and restart

Salmon Falls Trail technical section by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Bottom of steep sufferfest climb you see in the video. This is the one I saw people walking and resting on while I was descending it earlier in the ride.

bottom of Salmon Falls Trail steep climb, near Flagstaff Hill by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Middle of climb

middle of Salmon Falls Trail steep climb near Flagstaff Hill by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Tree roots on the above climb. Picked the wrong line here, stalled, and restarted.

Salmon Falls Trail tree root section on steep climb near Flagstaff Hill by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Steepest part of the above climb.

steepest part of Salmon Falls Trail climb near Flagstaff Hill by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Short steep technical section right after the "CAUTION WALK YOUR BIKE NEXT 100 YARDS" sign

short steep technical section on Salmon Falls Trail after warning sign by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

"Super gnarly" section right before I crashed

riding down Salmon Falls 'super gnarly' section right before crashing by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr


FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 03:52:09 AM »
Here's yesterday's ride. No crashes this time, but plenty of climbing!

This is the South Fork American River Trail (SFART). The trailhead is right across the road from the Salmon Falls trailhead. It starts off with quite a bit of climbing on technical singletrack with tight switchbacks. Good stuff! :D

There's not nearly as much technical stuff as on Salmon Falls though. There's lots of smooth singletrack and doubletrack.

It ended up being almost a 24 mile round trip ride with 3,442' of climbing.

South Fork American River Trail by freighttraininguphill at Garmin Connect - Details

Here's the video. As always, this is 100% natural sound. This means plenty of female cyclist heavy breathing on the climbs, so be forewarned!



Nice switchback where I waited for some climbing cyclists before descending.

switchback on SFART by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Abandoned structures at the Cronan Ranch trailhead

abandoned buildings on SFART by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

abandoned buildings on SFART 2 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

abandoned house on SFART by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

I'm used to seeing "connector", like the trail near Auburn. There were several of these signs along the trail.

'connecter trail' sign on SFART by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

View of the American River on the way back towards Salmon Falls Road

view of American River from SFART by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

A trail that definitely lived up to its name, and made me live up to my username! :D

'down and up trail' sign on SFART by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 11:56:44 AM »
Here's where I think the 29er comes up short. These are all the tight singletrack switchbacks on the descent down to the river near the end of the ride. I felt like I had to crawl around these corners. Maybe it's just me though. After all, this was only my third mtb ride after 15 years of road cycling. I may be a little rusty.  :D


FTU

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Re: First mtb ride in 15 years with new bike
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2012, 01:09:42 PM »
Yesterday I checked out another popular trail for the first time, the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail (FDLT).  I thought it was supposed to be a 23 mile ride, but it ended up being less than 12 miles. It's only 23 miles if you include some of the other trails in the area. Near the end of the ride I ended up riding some parts of the trail twice when I entered it from the trailhead I parked at. That brought the amount of climbing from 1,500' to almost 2,000'. Still not as much as I'd like, but it'll do. I'll make up for it on the next climbing ride. :D

When I arrived at the trailhead, the parking area was full and there were three other vehicles waiting to park, so I drove down the road a bit and parked at another trailhead. So far, I have had to ride on the road to get to every mtb ride I've ever done due to parking shortages, which is kind of cool as it adds to the climbing.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/155124321

Here's the ride video. Still no bobcat sightings (damn!). As with all my videos, this one is 100% natural sound. This means plenty of female cyclist suffer sounds on climbs, so be forewarned!



The first good view from the trail.

view from Foresthill Divide Loop Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

After crossing Foresthill Road. This is the trailhead across from Drivers Flat Road.

FDLT Drivers Flat trailhead by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Trail signs with mountain lion warning sign.

FDLT trail signs with mountain lion warning sign by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Trail signs put up by the Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition (FATRAC)

FDLT trail signs by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Return trip view

view from Foresthill Divide Loop Trail 2 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Trailhead I parked at

Brushy Mnt-Fuel Break trailhead by freighttraininguphill, on Flick