The finer points of trails

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The finer points of trails

Postby familyguy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:35 am

Mornin' all...

Just been thinking of a Manly Dam run next week on the new toy, and a couple of issues have come up.

Bar ends:
Good or bad for trails? I like them on my flat bar, and I find them good for climbing or throwing a bike around. However, you dont see too many on the trail riders bikes. Is the 'getting caught in shrubbery' danger an issue, or are they just not that important for trails? I'm leaning towards not putting them on, and relying on the wider bars for leverage.

First aid:
Anyone carry anything? Of course, the inherent danger in riding is always there, but does MTB riding necessarily increase the chances of damage to bodies and bikes to a point where first aid on scene is an issue? I've heard that Manly Dam can get pretty snakey during the right seasons, and the two red-bellied blacks I've seen at Warriewood Wetlands lead me to believe Manly might contain more than a few. Pressure bandages seem to be the thing for snake bite these days, so a couple rolled up in the hydro-backpack arent an issue.

Trail ettiquette:
Is it OK to watch a dozen riders tackle a section you're new to, before launching in yourself? This will hopefully avoid the requirement of someone elses first aid kit. Is 'keep left' on narrow trails the go to let faster riders pass when they can? I'd guess its poor form to muscle your way past on an unsuitable narrow path.

Jim
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by BNA » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:03 am

BNA
 

Postby alchemist » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:03 am

Manly Dam - I'll probably be leading a club social ride there next Saturday morning if you're after pointers on how to ride sections (details will be on mwmtb.com over the weekend)

Bar ends - personal choice but is certainly not the fashion, but short ends are still popular among racer boys with narrow bars.

First-Aid - always carry something - a couple of Band-Aid strips, a space blanket, rubber gloves, triangular bandag and a compression bandage fit very easily into a jersey pocket. Snakes have been reported around the dam recently but normally there is so many people all wildlife stays well away.

Track Ettiquette - be nice. Most people wont mind if you watch. If a faster rider comes up behind you you don't need to move out of their way but only do if it is safe for you and let them know which side they can pass on. It's very poor form to muscle past anyone. Don't forget there will also be walkers & dogs on the track who have right of way.
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Postby Chanboy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:06 am

Hey Jim,

I did Manly Dam a couple of weekends ago. Here are some thoughts.

Bar Ends,

Yep definitely a chance to catch them on bushes / tree's/ vines hanging down. Possibly could cause significant injury to yourself or another rider if you got your body caught up on them also. I would recommend go without them.

First Aid,

Certainly doesn't hurt to carry stuff. I would highly doubt snakes would be an issue - granted it's pretty bushy, but with the amount of people/bikes going through there, I would be very surprised if a snake wanted to hang around the trails...

There is definitely an opportunity to get hurt on this trail. Preventative might be better then cure though, some knee / elbow / skin protection wouldn't be a bad idea if you are going hard at the trail.

(I should note, if you take it carefully and cautiously - its quite safe - danger happens when your confidence level climbs above your ability level and you start going gung ho)

Skin grazes from a fall on the rocks / gravel / tree branches / tree roots is quite likely if you come off.


Trail Etiquette:

I think it's fine to watch how other riders tackle different sections. Certainly when I did it, the fellow MTBers were very friendly and talkative.

There were some "pro" riders on the day I was out too - they concentrate pretty hard and are pushing, best to try and give room for passing when you can.

Though to note, if you come to a steep drop off, or hard section, and decide to walk it - move out of the trail as quickly as possible. Other riders will want to take it quickly, and some spots it's almost impossible to stop once you've started that section.

some of the single trail is definitely single trail, ie both your handles are scraping along bushes on both sides of you. Passing in some of these sections would be pretty tough. (just don't stop in these sections - they are also winding, so you generally can't see far ahead of you. You don't want a rider to come round a corner and collect you).

I found the keep left rule pretty appropriate in most of the trail though...




When finished, it's nice to take a swim in the dam... so pack swimmers in your back pack also...
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Postby familyguy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:47 pm

Thanks for the replies and tips.

alchemist: I'll be there on a thursday, owing to my newly revised working week of three days :shock: (still, I'd rather come out the other end of this thing with a job than not have one). Thanks for the heads up about social rides, I'll keep an eye on your calendar.

As far as walkers and dogs go, I'm aware there are non-bike trails around the dam. Are any of them bike only, or should I expect walkers on any trail?

I'll pack some supplies, load up the deuter bladder and try my luck. I'll soon find out if my bars are too wide.

I might do Red Hill on sunday as well. Is that a more/less technical track than Manly Dam? The advantage is I can ride to the Red Hill track entry point with relative ease.

Jim
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Postby alchemist » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:14 pm

There are no bike only tracks around the Dam.

Red Hill is much more technical, expect to do some walking.
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Postby leximack » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:30 pm

personally i ride always with bar ends, i have the short style ones. They offer many more hand positions for climbing, accelerating, etc. I dont understand when people say they get caught on stuff, they dont stick out anymore than what the handlebars would, and they are so small that if the top of them were to hit something then your probably going to crash anyway, i think they have actually saved my little finger from being smashed a few times, mine a carbon ones so dont weigh much also.
But most people dont seem to like them.
See mine below
Image

On the trails just be friendly, move over when its safe for you and dont barge anyone out of the way, make calls as to which way you will move or which side you want them to pass, be clear.

Most importantly Just have fun out there

Don
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Postby toolonglegs » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:13 pm

Manly Dam is a pretty easy route...great training route for cross country...ie:very fast 30 min loops,good climbing,very fast fun descents..only ride clockwise otherwise you miss all the fun stuff...you shouldn't have any trouble with bar ends...but if you are pretty new at dirt stuff then risers may be the go..they do give more control being wider and a touch higher...so an increase in confidence for sure...just dont put bar ends on risers :lol:
First Aid...blood and mtb'ing go together don't they...maybe take something if you are not in the middle of the city.
No one will have any trouble with you watching them ride a tough section...maybe don't try launching the big rock just yet...wait till your 2nd ride :wink:

Bar end appreciation photo :D

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Postby trailgumby » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:04 pm

I have bar ends, but then you only have to look at my handle to see why. :lol:

I have only caught them in bushes twice, once at speed. I reckon they have saved my hands many times more often though and I was well-and-truly headed off the trail in that high-speed one anyway. :lol: The additional hand positions are well worth it on long rides and for long firetrail climbs.

I bought some elbow-forearm pads after a particularly painful endo at 19th Hole last year, but for some odd reason have only had one really minor tumble since on some wet roots. Probably somethign to do with reducing the fear factor and allowing me to be more relaxed on the bike. Now I only pull them out if I'm on a trail that's new to me or the Dam is likely to be greasy (as it is after rain). Worth having while you're learning IMO. OTBs can bloody hurt.

Ignore TLL. He climbs the Pyrenees in midwinter on a singlespeed fixie with snowchains and a broken seatpost. :lol: And when he was growing up his whole family lived in a shoebox in the middle of the road.

Manly Dam would probably be rated as "intermediate". Some easy bits, some technical bits. Walk the techy bits if you can't see your line through the section. It;s more than OK to watch other riders do sections, so long as where you're positioned to watch doesn't baulk or surprise them and blow their concentration. I've learned a lot from doing ths myself. Often,seeing that it *can* be done is a big help in itself.

The invite to PM me and tee up a ride still stands. :D
Last edited by trailgumby on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby toolonglegs » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:10 pm

:lol: ...nah the shoebox was safe in the gutter....thats why I love riding on the rivet in the gutter!
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Postby familyguy » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:34 pm

trailgumby wrote:Ignore TLL. He climbs the Pyrenees in midwinter on a singlespeed fixie with snowchains and a broken seatpost. :lol: And when he was growing up his whole family lived in a shoebox in the middle of the road.


He seems to break everything BUT himself though, so he's doing something right!

trailgumby wrote:The invite to PM me and tee up a ride still stands. :D


PM'd.

Jim
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