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Anyone for a little ceremonial MTB riding? Newbies welcome!

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:37 pm
by Kalgrm
We're going to throw some dirt on the headset of Aushiker's new baby (his XtC2). Since Andrew is a newbie on the dirt, we thought it might be a good opportunity to invite other newbies along for the ride, showing you where to good stuff is, but taking it really easy.

When and where is the ceremony? It's at the Little Ovens Circuit (AKA The Dell) between Kalamunda and Mundaring (I will post a screen shot and coordinates for Google Earth for reference later). We are gathering at the Dell car park at 6.45am for a 7.00am departure this coming Saturday, 16/02/08. We should be finished by 9.00am.

Why so early? To both beat the heat (37C expected) and to be finished in time to make full use of the day afterwards.

So if you're new to MTB riding or are just keen to chew the fat while spitting dust, please come along. It should be a good time.

Ceremonial robes are optional .....


Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:46 pm
by Mulger bill
Don't think I'd make it back for my 0600 shift Sunday...

Be hard on the lad Graeme, disillusion him enough and there might be a nice hardtail in the marketplace soon :wink: :lol:


Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:54 pm
by Kalgrm
Hey, I was persuasive enough with my disillusionment to make him buy the bike in the first place - it shouldn't be too hard! :twisted:

Actually, we'll be avoiding the really big hill on this loop because it is just too disheartening for beginners to face ....


Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:36 pm
by Aushiker
Kalgrm wrote:Actually, we'll be avoiding the really big hill on this loop because it is just too disheartening for beginners to face ....

We talking Little Oven? Is this the same as the walk trail? If so, I have walked it ... :)


Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:39 pm
by Aushiker
The Dell as in just of the Mundaring Road. Is that right?


Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:39 pm
by Kalgrm
We talking Little Oven? Is this the same as the walk trail? If so, I have walked it ...

And if we visit it on the bikes, you'll probably walk it again! :D

The little Ovens Circuit does embrace a small portion of the walking track, but for the most part, it's a different track(s)

Yep, the Dell car park is where we are meeting.

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:54 am
by senator52
Hmmm its my first saturday off in over a year, ill see if i can find someone's bike to steal :twisted: im looking at getting an XtC2 come tax return and this might just help me figure out if im going to have to hurry the purchase along!

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:02 pm
by Kalgrm
What size are you Senator? I've got a spare small Avanti Barracuda in the shed.

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:06 pm
by senator52
Dont think that'll fit, im 180cm.

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 pm
by Caelum
Can you give a description of the track itself?

Complexity, surface, etc etc...

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:40 pm
by Kalgrm
The tracks (mostly single track) are mainly covered with a thin layer of gravel over a hard sandy loam. The "good line" has the gravel swept off it by previous riders, so in general, it's not very technical (which is why I've selected this area for a beginners' ride).

Having said that, there will be sections of the ride which have deep pea-gravel. This stuff can be treacherous if you hit it without warning and are unfamiliar with how to handle it. This is made more apparent if the wrong tyre pressures and tyres are used on the bike. Pressures which are too high will cause the tyre to sink in and steering will be difficult. In these areas, the more experienced riders will go first and warn the others.

There is nothing on this ride which absolutely requires suspension (front or rear). No difficult down-hill sections, no sketchy rock gardens, etc., etc. Like I said, this is for beginners and our speed will reflect that too.


(Of course, you're welcome to scoot off ahead and have fun before regrouping if you find the pace just too slow!)

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:42 pm
by Caelum
I was more wondering if a flat bar roadie fitted with 32mm tyres would be able to handle it ;)

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:23 pm
by Kalgrm
I've never seen anybody out there on anything except a mountain bike. Personally, I wouldn't do it on a road bike of any sort, but I've already stated in another thread that I'm a bike snob .... ;)

32mm tyres would be way too thin for me on pea gravel. Mine are 2.1" (~50mm knobbies) and I'm considering going wider for the summer months when the gravel is softest.

Oh, and I do use my 22/32 granny gear on some of the hills.


Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:36 pm
by Aushiker
Kalgrm wrote:Yep, the Dell car park is where we are meeting.

Okay, see you there at 6:45 AM.


Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:00 pm
by gdl_gdl

Do you think a Trek 4300 could handle the trail? (It's around $600 value bike so less than your recommended $1,000 purchase level). If so I might be tempted to give it a go.



Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:01 pm
by Kalgrm
Here's the link to the Dell Car park location.


Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:04 pm
by Kalgrm

I'm sure it could handle the ride. We won't be going hard or hitting too many jumps, so you'll be fine.

A word of warning though: MTB riding is addictive and can hurt your hip pocket .... ;)


Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:39 pm
by Double-Gee
So, sooooo tempting, but.....
it is my 1-in3 weekend on call, which I might be able to get coverage for a few hours??
I'm definitely a newbie as the Boulder has only had a couple of laps around the Carinyah Trail for 'real' MTB'ing. I'll have to see what I can organise at work tomorrow.

Do you have an idea of how many kms the ride is?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:51 pm
by Kalgrm

I don't know how many kms we'll do, but I intend to finish by 10.00am, if that's any help. I need to go in and open my gallery as early as I can, but it looks like it'll be closed until midday on Saturday. :( :) :( :)


Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:30 pm
by senator52
We are gathering at the Dell car park at 6.45am for a 7.00am departure this coming Saturday, 16/02/08. We should be finished by 9.00am.

I don't know how many kms we'll do, but I intend to finish by 10.00am, if that's any help.

It's going to be a 24hr enduro by the time saturday comes around :twisted:

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:46 pm
by Aushiker
Kalgrm wrote:Gx2,

I don't know how many kms we'll do, but I intend to finish by 10.00am, if that's any help.

And I have a weekend backpack to lead ....


Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:26 pm
by Caelum
Ok, definitely no-go for me, i have 28mm tyres, not 32... definitely too thin :P

Have fun!

So you want to be a mountain biker?

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:47 pm
by Kalgrm

You might find this of use, stolen from the Fat Cyclist blog ....

Elden Nelson, the Fat Cyclist wrote:As a road cyclist, you have no doubt asked yourself, from time to time, the following question:

"What would happen if I rode my bike offroad?"

Well, the answer is quite simple. If you took your bike offroad, your brainpan would be shaken loose and your tires would explode, right before your rims crumpled in a heap.

But that may not have been the question you meant to ask. Maybe you meant to ask, "What would it be like to ride a mountain bike on these trails I sometimes see intersecting the tarmac? Would it really be that much different?"

Yes, it would be different. Here are some of the key tips and tricks to help you prepare for your grand offroad cycling transformation.

1. You must get a tattoo. Before you even begin thinking about shopping for a mountain bike, let alone taking your first mountain bike ride, you must get a rad tattoo. It's the law. There are actual mountain bike police out monitoring the trails, and they are liable to ask you if you have a tattoo. If you don't, they are authorized to give you one -- of their choosing -- on the spot.

Now, I'm certain that you are thinking, right this moment, "I'm pretty sure I saw a mountain biker without a tattoo, once." I assure you: that mountain biker had a tattoo. It was just more discretely placed than most, probably because that biker still lives at home and is afraid his mom will find out.

So the question is, what should your tattoo be? Well, the mountain biking bylaws stipulate that a chainring must be one of the graphical elements, a mystical Asian glyph must be included, and there must be a whimsical third symbol: wings, a skull-and-crossbones, or a cloud are all good examples. I recommend a yin-yang symbol inside a chainring, peeking out from behind a cloud, as if it were the sun.

Feel free to make up your own story as to what this means.

2. None of your existing equipment transfers. You might think that since you already have an outrageous quantity of cycling gear that you would have significant equipment overlap, making it easier for you to get your foot in the door.

That is, naturally, ridiculous.

You will need to buy all new clothes: baggy shorts, jerseys promoting different products, a helmet with a visor. You will need different shoes, and a high volume / low pressure floor pump. You will need different lube and different tools.

And none of the spare bike parts you have a accumulated over the years will be of any use. The wily bike part manufacturers have made certain of that.

3. Your bike will be be too complex for you to understand. Here's an interesting exercise: sketch out your road bike from memory. Be thorough: draw where the cables go and the where the brakes are.

That was easy, wasn't it?

Now, ask a mountain biker to sketch out his full-suspension bike from memory. He won't be able to. The frame is just too complex -- The fork moves up and down, the whole back section of the bike flexes around, and disc brakes are black magic that require either a degree in physics or theology (preferably both) to properly repair.

4. You must choose a tribe. When you ride your road bike, the bike type describes precisely what you're doing: you're riding on the road. Sure, there are a few outlier bike types (TT bikes, fixies), but even those are minor degrees of difference.

When you decide to go mountain biking, on the other hand, you haven't yet decided anything. You must still narrow down by these oh-so-important factors:

* Wheel size: 26" or 29"? Or one of each? If you go with 26" wheels, you're a luddite who can't accept the winds of change. If you go with 29" wheels, you're a sap who believes everything he reads. If you go with one of each, you're just confused.
* Your riding style: Cross country, Downhill, or Freeride? "Cross country" means you aren't very good at riding downhill, and sotell people you like to be able to climb. "Downhill" means that you wish you could afford a motorcycle, and are making do for now. "Freeride" means that you bought into the marketing hype that said if a downhill bike were a pound lighter you could also climb with it.
* Suspension: Front, Full, or None? Modern mountain bikes have sophisticated shock absorbers that can very nearly negate the bumps on the trail you claim to have come out to enjoy on the first place. Here's a thought: if you want a smooth, non-bumpy ride, why don't you try a remarkable new invention called "tarmac?" On the other hand, if you ride a mountain bike with no suspension, you'll be called a retro-grouch and you'll be rattled into a state of amnesia.
* Gears or singlespeed? When you're on your road bike, of course you want gears. Gears make you go faster. On mountain bikes, on the other hand, it's becoming increasingly popular to have no gears, because it's simpler or something. The prevailing wisdom on this theory is that the only people who subscribe to it are those whose brains have been excessively rattled, due to lack of proper suspension on their bikes..

5. You must learn new tactics. When you first start mountain biking, you'll be tempted to draft, riding as efficiently as you always have. You will quickly discover, however, that this tactic doesn't have much benefit at 3.5kph.

And don't point out obstacles. Unlike roadies, who want to help each other stay upright, one of the primary reasons mountain bikers hit the trail is because there's always a good chance someone's going to have a good wipeout, and they don't want to miss it.

Finally, and most importantly, start drinking more beer.

6. Be ready to work harder for your miles. If you go on a three-hour road ride, you've probably covered 50 miles or so. If, on the other hand, you've gone on a three-hour mountain bike ride, you may not get out of sight of the trailhead.

7. Be prepared to be injured in new and interesting ways. As a road cyclist, you no doubt live in constant terror of road rash. The good news is, as a mountain biker you'll never have to worry about road rash again.

The bad news is, there are numerous new ways you can be injured while mountain biking:

* Branches at eye level: On your road bike, glasses are a good idea. On your mountain bike, they're a really really really really good idea. Really.
* Branches at other levels: Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to have a branch catch in the crook of your arm as you blow by at 22 mph? Or to have a branch insert itself between your spokes and fork? You'll find out soon!
* Dirt is softer than tarmac, but not much: You've probably already figured out that turfing it on the dirt is going to hurt less than hitting the tarmac. However, when you consider how much more often you're going to fall, that may be small comfort.
* You're going to get stupid. By and large, people don't do intentionally stupid things on road bikes. You just ride. This is not the case on mountain bikes. At all. People will look at a nine-foot dropoff and say, "I think I can make it." I'm pretty sure this has to do with all the brainpan rattling.
* Nasty creatures: Got room in your jersey pocket for a snakebite kit? Maybe you should make room.

You'll be glad to know, however, that your big, burly mountain bike is built to take the kind of beating you're sure to give it, and it will only rarely have mechanical difficulties.

No, I'm just kidding. Your mountain bike will break as (or more) often as your road bike.

So please, allow me to conclude by welcoming you -- my roadie friends -- into the sport of mountain biking.

I'm sure you're anxious to dive right in.

Elden "Fatty" Nelson blogs as The Fat Cyclist. He loves mountain biking and road biking equally, which is the same thing as saying he sucks at them in equal parts.

See you tomorrow morning .... if you're still game! ;) :D

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:24 pm
by gdl_gdl
Hi Graeme,

I'll have to duck out of tomorrow I'm afraid due to work commitments. Please feel free to cycle past Bunnings in Pilbara Rd, Welshpool and take the p*ss! :wink: (At least I'm getting paid!)



Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:27 pm
by Kalgrm
No problems Gary. Next time ...