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Thread: Lumberjack 100!!! Need some mountain bike knowledge.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    My take on my MTBing experiences is similar with the root-y trails. Rosaryville is awesome (although it still has roots and rocks), but I'm not particularly a fan of Wakefield and have never really wanted to try Fountainhead. Lake Fairfax was okay the one or two time(s?) I've done it. My MTB is not expendable though because it's a titanium 29er that rides so much sweeter than any other MTB I ever owned and with CX/gravel tires it doubles as a spare gravel bike. I sort of imagined MTBing to have more open space and just dirt and smaller rocks I guess rather than slippery roots winding through woods.
    The trick to to enjoying this area's rooty single track is...... single speed, zero suspension. Seriously. You will go slower, work harder and choose your lines very carefully, or risk being unhorsed!

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    Last edited by Greenbelt; 03-22-2017 at 07:30 PM.

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  3. #12
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    Something else to do a little research on about that course is "occasional sandy sections". I'm not familiar with that particular course, but I do know from experience some of the fine wind blown sand up in Michigan is a total bitch to ride or even walk through. Find out if normal people are having to walk through those sections on lap two and three. It looks like a fast course from the top finishers in last years results, but there's also a ton of dnf's.

    Mountain biking is great if you can hit trails that you like right from the house. I lived in NE New Mexico for 5 years and the safe road riding was very limited. I had 2 or 3 routes that were mostly ok. However, I could ride all kinds of dirt right out the back door. I put very few miles on my road bikes there, but completely wore out a hardtail. I also developed a love for motorized mountain bikes there. When I lived in Denver I was amazed at how many people there were that only rode on trails. So every ride meant a trip in the car with all their junk.

    As the great Phil Bolger said, "choose a boat for your waters". Unless you want to haul all your junk to the trailhead, the same holds true for bicycling for me. If I am driving to a trailhead I'll probably be hiking in a Wilderness area.

  4. #13
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    I love you single speed aficionados! I tried it one summer in the late 90's, my knees are still sore.

    My solution to rooty tight single track is a sturdy pair of shoes. I'm faster and more comfortable walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbelt View Post
    The trick to to enjoying this area's rooty single track is...... single speed, zero suspension. Seriously. You will go slower, work harder and choose your lines very carefully, or risk being unhorsed!

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  5. #14
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    First of all, mountain biking is wonderful. I feel resigned to the road or "multi-surface" bike for the convenience factor, but the most smiles on two wheels head always been MTB for me.

    I don't know anything about the course, but mountain biking 100 miles is certainly a lot more work than a [road] century. It's hard to quantify it since it is hard in different ways. It is less about roadie fitness and more about the jarring pain and trying to stay focused despite exhaustion. And a full-body workout. Mountain biking for 9 hours hurts, potentially a lot. Depends on the course. I don't ride my MTB enough to keep my hands calloused, so I taped my hands up with pink medical tape before SM100 to keep them from bleeding; that mostly worked. but I still dreaded the jackhammering downhills at the SM100, as I could hardly move my hands by the end. I can't imagine doing that ride rigid! That was not, honestly, the fun I alluded to above. :-). The course is a huge factor, as is the bike. Full suspension made those trails a lot more fun in the past, but I can't really justify a FS bike for the MTB riding I do around here. I went rigid SS for awhile, which was great, but now have a 1x10 hardtail since I can't have more than one MTB and it is the most versatile. Eventually I will probably go back to a rigid fork.

    So get a mountain bike and get comfortable on it. I ride a 58 road bike and an XL MTB. But Large is probably more typical. 29er (or 27.5+?) is the way to go IMO, though I haven't tried a 27.5. if it is a fast course, then hardtail is probably perfect.

    There are lots of local races. It is such a happier scene than road racing.
    Last edited by hozn; 03-23-2017 at 08:07 AM.

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    I think if you are going to dabble in endurance MTB racing, Lumberjack is actually a good course to start on (versus... say SM100).

    That being said, endurance MTB racing (or even riding) is hard and not for the faint of heart (but... you did just ride 40-something laps at Hains Point by choice). But it is so SO much fun and incredibly rewarding.

    We should definitely go for a bike ride.

    And I know a few folks who have done this race and can give you a good run down of how technical the course is. And if you twist my arm enough, you might actually convince me to do it with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbelt View Post
    The trick to to enjoying this area's rooty single track is...... single speed, zero suspension. Seriously. You will go slower, work harder and choose your lines very carefully, or risk being unhorsed!

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    Ha, I go plenty slow enough, and not particularly interested in being unhorsed any more than I already am! As the owner of a rigid 26" bike as well I can't imagine wanting to ever go back to that on rooty trails. I do like SS riding in general but I really do need all my gears on a MTB

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  11. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbelt View Post
    The trick to to enjoying this area's rooty single track is...... single speed, zero suspension. Seriously. You will go slower, work harder and choose your lines very carefully, or risk being unhorsed!

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    I did rigid singlespeed exclusively for 15+ years, but I have gotten old and achey and now ride a 5" travel 27.5+" full suspension bike most of the time now. I can go faster on downhills, farther distance, and with more control for a much longer period of time. I still singlespeed once in a while, and even did the SM100 on it a couple of times, but if I want to be less sore at the end of the ride, I'll use suspension.

    I've also used 26", 29", 29+, 27.5+, 27.5, fat (4" and 4.8") and if I had to pick an overall favorite, it'd be 27.5+ then 29". The former gives a little bit more cush and traction, while the latter is fast without being overbearing.

    As for mountain biking, it is the best thing eva I find it's a better overall body workout. Depending on where you ride, generally you can't just tune out, like you can when road biking. However, like others have mentioned, around here you have to drive to most trails unless you live close to one or don't mind riding on the pavement to get there.

    You'll have plenty of folks on here, including me, that would love to show you around on the trails.
    Last edited by drevil; 03-23-2017 at 11:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    There are lots of local races.
    But less this year in the immediate area! No EX2 mtb races and no Cranky Monkey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    But less this year in the immediate area! No EX2 mtb races and no Cranky Monkey.
    I know! I was really surprised at that, especially after someone went through the hassle of starting a non-profit organization to take over the Cranky Monkey races.

    I will probably do a few of the closer VORS races after Kanza, though.

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