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Old 06-30-2015, 06:19 PM   #1
skillzman1
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First Season of ADK Mountain Biking

I started mountain biking this year (at the age of 43?!?).
I picked up a good deal on a full suspension (because I'm 43) Giant 29er.

SMBA:
I have the adavantage of living about 2 miles from the SMBA trails on Daniels Rd. in Saratoga/Greenfield.
I've tried these trails a few times, pretty technical single track, a good workout that's close to home.

Moreau State park:
I have tried these trails 2x so far. The first was from the upper boat launch on Spier Falls rd., riding the West Ridge trail and Lake Ann trail. This trail is Very technical IMO, a LOT of 'hike a bike' for me. Came out at the lower boat launch and rode Spier Falls rd back to the truck.
Last weekend I tried from the parking area at the top of the mountain overpass to Moreau. Initially I thought this would be an easier route, WRONG!
I rode to the Moreau Lake overlook and beyond doing a loop across the top of the mountain and back to the paring area.
I believe I will hone my skills a bit more before returning to these trails. It's a bit demoralizing to have your but kicked for most of the trail.

River Rd in Luzerne:
This is an enjoyable, relatively challenging ride.
One route will take you through to Warrensburg to Hickory Ski Rd. about 11.5 miles one way. Great scenery along the river Ferguson Brook and its small water falls in the middle of the trip.

Another route is to stay on the main jeep trail and ride up the mountain to Gay Pond and back. It's a couple of miles of up hill climb which will test your fitness. But the downhill at 20+ mph on the return is great fun!

Anybody else getting in some needed riding?
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:35 PM   #2
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I just started this year too at 41! (after starting road biking last year at age 40).

I suppose I should have gotten a full-suspension bike too.

I've just 'graduated' from wider trails to easy single-track. I was terrified of singletrack at first

Have you been to Luther Forest in Malta yet? Lots of good single beginner singletrack there.

This past Friday I went on a beginner group ride with the group R-cubed at Luther Forest. Their plan is to have these beginner rides every Friday (doesn't look like this week maybe due to holiday). I learned ALOT. I went from just timidly venturing into singletrack to riding over logs! In one evening! One of the members very patiently taught me some new skills. Another part of the group went off and did some harder stuff. It was very laid-back with even kids riding with the group. They post their events on their Facebook page... https://www.facebook.com/RCubedRunRideRace . I highly recommend going to one.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:04 PM   #3
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I started at about the same age. Unfortunately, that was almost 20 years ago... I have an old hardtail bike. I got an initiation by fire, doing practice rides the first summer with guys from a racing team out of Flip Flop bike shop in Lake George. I ran out of time for it after a few years, but I may pick it back up later this summer; maybe even break for a modern bike!

The standard practice ride was up and down Big Hollow Road on Prospect Mountain. There were guys who could clean it up and down. For me, the first couple times were mostly hiking the bike (like 90% hiking up, 60% down). But by the end of the summer, I got to the point where I could ride 80% of the up and all the down.

My point is don't be discouraged; push hard on technical stuff; go with people who are more skilled. The learning comes really fast that way!

In those days we rode with clipless pedals, just like on the road bike. Are you guys riding with clipless pedals or regular cage pedals? Clipless transfers more power, and makes it easier to get started on uphills. But you have to get comfortable that you can get out of them; and of course you need the right shoes, not just your hiking shoes.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:26 PM   #4
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I'm using clipless (SPD) but I have pedals that are flat on one end so I can use them both ways. I don't always get clipped in right away after starting.

One thing I learned on the group ride was that its not the end of the world if I fall. I fell a couple of times on one turn and kept trying until I got it. My legs got a little torn up but my leg modeling career was ruined years ago.

Last evening I practiced starting while standing and getting up to speed without sitting in my driveway. It didn't take long before I could do it. I'm going to be picking skills to work on and practicing at home. I have a 1/2 acre of forest on my property to play in.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:21 PM   #5
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I will have to check out the Friday night Luther Forest rides. Thanks for the link!

I bought clipless (spd) pedals and some shoes. Put them on the bike and practiced around the local streets with them. Then I crashed the bike and laid my leg open on the sprockets and went back to the flat pedals.
I think on the less technical stuff I'm going to try them. But with the SMBA and Moreau trails it would be pretty ugly for me right now.
My cardio is coming around as well as my leg strength.
My goal is to start hitting the SMBA trails 2-3 nights a week and that should get the technical skills closer to where they would need to be for clipless.

I definitely agree with the riding with better skill level people. That was how I learned to improve my MX skills many years ago. 'Always ride with someone faster!' was what I used to tell people.

Some of those old skills come in pretty handy with this style of riding. You learn to pick a line, balance and body positioning when riding fast, and understand the suspension settings better. I tried MX last summer and found that, while I'm physically stronger than I ever used to be, the mental acuity is not what it was a few years ago for the speed of that style of riding. Learned that the hard way by breaking my ribs!!
Mountain biking is FAR more exercise at a much more controllable speed for me.

My only issue now is that I know people my age, who have no conditioning (or desire to develop it) to ride the trails I explore. Or I know young people (1/2 my age) who don't care to hang out with an old man, or would likely kill me on the trails! lol
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:33 AM   #6
SeanE
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43 as well and after 15 years out of the mt bike realm I picked up a FS Trek late fall 2015. Can't wait to get on some trails. Anyone recommend an online guide to locations in the ADK's?

I own a little piece of property on Little Wolf Pond Tupper Lake and am hoping to find some good rides around there or Cranberry Lake.
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:31 PM   #7
fvrwld
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43 as well and after 15 years out of the mt bike realm I picked up a FS Trek late fall 2015. Can't wait to get on some trails. Anyone recommend an online guide to locations in the ADK's?

I own a little piece of property on Little Wolf Pond Tupper Lake and am hoping to find some good rides around there or Cranberry Lake.
http://thomannengineering.com/softwa...nbikeguide.pdf
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:39 AM   #8
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Anywhere to buy that as a bound book?
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:22 AM   #9
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Anywhere to buy that as a bound book?
As far as I know it is just available in a digital version.

You can try messaging the writer. He just joined here as user name: gthomann.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:04 PM   #10
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Much thanks!!!!
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:32 AM   #11
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Luthers forest is in great shape. just a few muddy spots at the moment.
I head over 2-3 times a week.

It's a great set of trails for all skill levels.
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