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View Full Version : Tuesday Night Casual Mountain Bike Rides at Wakefield Park sponsored by Bikenetic



Dirt
01-21-2013, 05:04 PM
Greetings humans.

I've started back leading mountain bike rides with Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts. I'm leading the Casually-paced rides at Wakefield on Tuesdays.

Tuesdays. Meet at 6:30pm at the Recycling Bins in the Audrey Moore Rec Center parking lot at Wakefield Park. Wakefield is located just OUTSIDE the beltway at the Braddock Road exit in Annandale, Virginia.

The Casually Pace rides mean that we'll ride at the pace of the slowest rider. We'll stop and regroup as needed to keep the group together. Ultimately the goal is to ride at a steady pace that makes it so that we don't have to stop and regroup very often. Some nights that will happen. Some nights it won't. I'm cool with that. I don't really do much of a riding clinic on these rides, but usually new riders will learn SOMETHING during the ride.

The terrain at Wakefield is quite mellow. There are some logs and rocks, but most are easily bypassed or walked over. It isn't the most interesting riding in the world, but it is one of the few opportunities that we have to ride single track close into DC at night.

You will need a powerful lighting system. We'll be on the trails for 60-90 minutes and having a light that can put out 300+ lumen for that amount of time will do you well. Most inexpensive commuter lights are NOT enough to ride in the woods. If you've got questions about that, let me know. I can help you figure out if what you're running will be enough to ride off-road.

This is the best opportunity you'll have to learn how much fun riding a mountain bike at night is! It is COMPLETELY different than riding in the day. It is lots of fun and generally we have a good group of people.

Info on the MORE Forum: http://www.more-mtb.org/forum/showthread.php?t=22384 -- This is a good source for info on if the ride is a go/no-go because of weather or trail conditions.

Bikenetic (http://www.bikenetic.com/) is the ride sponsor. If you LIKE them on Facebook, they also post up the status of the ride on their page: https://www.facebook.com/bikenetic?ref=ts&fref=ts

Got questions? Post up here or drop me an IM.

Hugs and kisses,

Pete

acc
01-21-2013, 05:15 PM
Dirt, I've gotten lost back there in broad daylight. I'm just sayin'

Dirt
01-21-2013, 06:09 PM
Dirt, I've gotten lost back there in broad daylight. I'm just sayin'
That is why it is good to go on a group ride. One of the first things you will learn is HOW to ride in a group. If we're doing it right, then no-one gets lost. :D I've only lost one rider on a ride.... and he showed up safe and sound the next day. ;)

acc
01-21-2013, 06:39 PM
I feel so reassured. In the dark bumping over logs and boardwalks, what could go wrong?

eminva
01-21-2013, 07:02 PM
I feel so reassured. In the dark bumping over logs and boardwalks, what could go wrong?

Whatever it is, you will have (300 lumen) x (# of participants) trained right on you as you stumble to your feet trying to figure out what went wrong.

Liz

Okay, so that's not acc's theoretical nightmare, it's mine . . . I spent over eight miles wiping out on CCT singletrack today . . .

Dirt
01-21-2013, 07:12 PM
If you're not confident about your mountain biking skills by day, then perhaps this might not be the best ride for you.

eminva
01-21-2013, 07:21 PM
I'm sorry Dirt, I joke. I think this will be a great asset to our local MTB community and I am happy you are offering it. You are right, it is not for me. I hope that others who are better prepared take advantage and find out what you mean when you say night riding is fun. If you are reading this and have any interest, you will be in good hands with Dirt.

Liz

Dirt
01-21-2013, 07:25 PM
Later in the year these rides happen during daylight hours. I'll still be doing them at that time of the year.

Y'all bring up good points and it is important for people to be realistic about their mountain bike skills. I should have stated that in the first post.

dcv
01-21-2013, 07:41 PM
. . . I spent over eight miles wiping out on CCT singletrack today . . .

You are hilarious. Was that the section between the WOD and Oak Marr?

DaveK
01-21-2013, 07:48 PM
Pete is like a fluffy pink Yoda. Whatever your riding level, when riding with Pete, learn something you will.

eminva
01-21-2013, 08:01 PM
You are hilarious. Was that the section between the WOD and Oak Marr?

Yes -- I was not so much wiping out, as getting sidetracked from the trail (once), stopping to check the map to make sure I didn't go off the trail again (extremely often) and my usual tactic of walking sections where I didn't want to ride. I had never been through there before, and to do it justice I would probably have to go back and practice a mile at a time, learning the trail better and how to approach each challenge (just need a month of Sundays for that). But today I just wanted to get through to see what was there.

The part where I was kind of lost with dogs chasing me? Didn't like that at all.

Overall, it was fun and a challenge. That is always good.

Liz

Dirt
01-21-2013, 08:58 PM
I'll add some clarification on these rides.... or any ride I lead.
1) This is not intended to be a clinic to teach you how to ride a mountain bike. That said, I pretty much guarantee that you will learn something while you're out riding though. Most people do.... including myself.

2) Every ride has a designated leader and sweeper. No-one rides in front of the leader and no-one rides behind the sweeper. The ride is paced so that no-one gets left behind. It is the responsibility of the ride leader, sweeper and every member of the group riding to make that goal happen. One of the first things you'll learn is HOW TO RIDE IN A GROUP.

3) The one thing you don't have to know is getting lost. You have a ride leader who has been planning and leading bicycle rides of all varieties and skill levels for over 30 years who is guiding the group. The ride leader has been leading rides at Wakefield park for the better part of 15 years. The ride leader has been leading night rides at Wakefield for almost 15 years. Wakefield is the home stomping grounds for this particular ride leader. He had lead many hundreds of rides there by day and by night. I'm quite confident that this ride leader will NOT get lost.

4) Riding a mountain bike at night is different than riding during the day. You move slower and probably attempt fewer technical challenges than you would by daylight. As with any bicycle ride, YOU need to make reasonable decisions about your skills and the terrain you're riding. If you don't want to ride a section, stop, walk through it, get back on at the other side and start riding again. I've been riding bicycles avidly for over 42 years. I get off and walk some sections of virtually every mountain bike ride. I rode at Wakefield with friends today and I got off, walked around to survey an obstacle I haven't attempted before. Found that it was to my liking and then rode over it. Had I walked up and looked at it and decided that I wasn't comfortable with how the obstacle looked, I would have lifted my bike over it and continued riding on the other side. I might attempt it on another day, under different conditions. I might not ever attempt that obstacle. I'm okay with that. Make your own wise decisions and feel good about them.

That said, riding at night is one of the most beautiful and surreal experiences you'll ever have on a bike. Moving through the woods at night under your own power is a pretty dang cool experience. Doing so with other riders is kind of neat. You'll meet some new people to ride with. Some of them, I can say, are pretty amazing people.

If what I've said here sounds like something you might enjoy, I look forward to sharing this experience with you. If this isn't your cup of tea, then I encourage you to not attend.

Thanks for reading.

Pete

Dirt
04-08-2013, 08:26 PM
I know the initial reaction to these rides was pretty negative. Just thought I'd let y'all know that the weather is now lovely and they're happening most weeks. The MORE forum will have the go/no-go information every week.

http://www.more-mtb.org/forum/showthread.php?t=22384

There's a casual (no-drop) group and a little faster group too. I'll be leading the mellow group. We'll ride for an hour or so in Lake Accotink, then head into Wakefield. You'll still need lights for the last 30 minutes of the ride....

If you've got questions, please let me know! This is a cool opportunity for a guided tour of some nice, suburban mountain biking trails.

Love,

Dirt

JoeB
04-10-2013, 09:45 AM
1995! And in one word, it was *fantastic*. Everything Pete said above turned out to be absolutely true - I learned a TON on the ride (probably not surprising as a newbie) but a couple points stood out:


This is not intended to be a clinic to teach you how to ride a mountain bike. That said, I pretty much guarantee that you will learn something while you're out riding though.

I actually preferred this ride in many ways exactly because it wasn't a clinic. I'm sure I could learn a lot too from more specific training or skills work, but at this point more than anything I was just looking for a chance to get my tires back on dirt with a cool and fun group of people. And that's exactly what this ride was.

I can add: I did have one small mechanical problem with cable stretch, which Pete and another rider got straightened out in about three minutes in between Accokink & Wakefield. Point being: this is not a supported ride in the sense of a maintenance tent or water stations en route, but I couldn't have asked for better support for a newbie rider in the sense of: "Shoot, my bike stopped working." Three minutes later: "Cool, that's much better. Many thanks!"


That said, riding at night is one of the most beautiful and surreal experiences you'll ever have on a bike. Moving through the woods at night under your own power is a pretty dang cool experience. Doing so with other riders is kind of neat. You'll meet some new people to ride with. Some of them, I can say, are pretty amazing people.

Riding with this group was a lot of fun in and of itself - watching Pete mash that fixie over some pretty tricky obstacles was worth the price of admission alone - but riding trails at night was 100 times cooler than I ever expected it to be. You absolutely do need at least one really solid light (the 400 lumen setting on mine came in handy for the first time since buying it), but riding behind even just one or two other riders with lights really puts a surprising amount of light out in front of you.

I can imagine how really fast riders would need multiple lights to cover both the ground right in front of your tire and the ground 20/30 feet ahead, but at a casual pace with six or seven riders in the group there was plenty of light to see where we were going - but not so much that it was just like riding in daytime. Hard to describe (and wouldn't have made sense to me until I tried it) but it really was a blast and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon.

So Pete: (a) many thanks again for your help with the bike and overall, and (b) IIRC, you mentioned a possible Wednesday night ride for next week, where would that one happen?

Dirt
04-10-2013, 10:35 AM
1995! So Pete: (a) many thanks again for your help with the bike and overall, and (b) IIRC, you mentioned a possible Wednesday night ride for next week, where would that one happen?
Hi Joe! It was a blast riding with you last night. Thanks for posting up.

Wednesday rides are in the works... I want to lead them at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston. It may be a few weeks before those are put into play. I need to make sure that the ride sponsors are okay with that.

Catch up with you soon.

Pete

JoeB
04-10-2013, 11:07 AM
All sounds good Pete, I'll stay tuned. Thanks!

Dirt
04-15-2013, 06:37 PM
Looks like we're going to do a trial run of the casual rides at Lake Fairax on Wednesday. 6:30pm wheels rolling.

http://www.more-mtb.org/forum/showthread.php?t=25600

I don't know yet if I can lead these every week, but Jabberwocky and I will try and get them going regularly.