MTB ride: I was poorly equipped for this :D

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Well, today was the day I brought a knife to a gunfight.

There's a trendy local brewery that has become a popular starting/ending point for people who run or ride. A couple of weeks ago, one of the guys who rides with us talked them into hosting a Thursday night "pleasure cruise." It was a nice leisurely ride through some local neighborhoods that ended up back at the brewery for pizza and beer. A bunch of us brought old tank bikes, there were a couple of banana seats and a couple of mountain bikes and a couple of Wal-Mart bikes and a good time was had by all. Well, they put up another Facebook post saying it was so much fun that they wanted to do it again. "... A casual mountain bike ride around the trails of Wilson College and the Fulton Farm." Sure, why not?

Ha.

I showed up with my 30-year-old Mongoose Rockadile. I thought it might be a conversation starter, an interesting period piece.
20210825_070839.jpg


Two of the guys I normally ride with brought a GT single-speed dirt jumper and an entry-level Trek suspension bike. There were also two women on Wal-Mart beach cruisers.

And then there were like 15 guys and gals with REAL mountain bikes. The one buddy who keeps up with things like this said that most of them probably ran anywhere from $3k to $8k, maybe more.

I had planned to hang back with the beach cruisers, so I left my helmet in the van. This proved to be poor judgement on my part, as the beach cruisers seemed to drop off after the first (long) ascent, which was a paved but pockmarked road that led up to the singletrack part of the ride. So we got to the end of that road, and next thing I knew I was diving into the woods without a helmet on the only rigid bike there. Did I mention that I'm hopelessly out of shape and 30 pounds overweight and that I am pretty impressed with myself when I do an hour-long ride on paved flat ground? Yes, this was going to be a disaster.

Only it wasn't.

I almost bailed out after the first leg, when we came out of the woods on that same road halfway down that big hill. I was gasping and wheezing and my legs hurt and I was telling my two buddies to go on without me, I'd meet them back at the brewery. They waited a couple minutes with me and offered words of encouragement that started with "aw, don't be a..." and I found myself following them back up the hill, thinking that the reason I don't run anymore is that it's no fun to do something that makes you hate yourself while you're doing it and I was kind of hating myself at that moment.

So we plunged into the woods on the other side of the road this time, and I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point I realized I was having fun. The only pics I have are these two, taken shortly after that realization.
imagejpeg_1(7).jpg

imagejpeg_0(6).jpg


I somehow managed to stay upright and out of the bushes the whole time. There was a pretty intimidating log crossing that I one-footed over the first time, but when we ended up there for a second lap I picked up some momentum, lifted the front wheel and successfully sent it. There was a tricky nasty descent with roots and rocks that had my one friend worried for me and waiting up ahead, but I leaned way back over the rear tire and hung on the brake levers and just rode it on down.

Eventually we were back on a road heading to civilization and pizza and beer with a stop at the local pump track. This is the friend with the dirt jumper doing his thing.


Back at the brewery (it was chicken cheesesteak day, mmmm) I poked fun at myself. I laughed about how ridiculous I must have looked on this janky old bike having sweated through all my clothes and wheezing and limping and bringing up the rear. My buddies pointed out that I managed to finish a fairly technical ride with a bunch of guys on very expensive machinery while I was riding a rigid bike I bought new 30 years ago for $350, wearing semi-street tires that I had just put on it, and that in itself was nothing to sneeze at. So I'm gonna consider it an accomplishment, even if I did look a little silly.

I'm also thinking about outfitting this old Giant with some real tires, and maybe better grips or some gloves or both, and giving it another shot with a helmet and some (slightly) more appropriate machinery...
20210711_155959.jpg
 
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Sounds like it was a hoot!

From the way you started, I thought there was going to be some real, ambulance ride level, carnage. You did good...bravo!
I thought the same thing more than once during the ride. :bigsmile:
 

Captain Awesome

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"A poor carpenter blames his tools" :rofl: J/K, sounds like you did better than admirably

Agreed on the Mechanix gloves, and for the record I've stabbed many lycra wearing "serious bikers" (figuratively of course) on a rigid single speed
 

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The seriousos are hilarious, many lacking basic handling skills with equipment that allows them to function marginally on the trail. Money can't buy handling skills and that Rockadile is plenty of bike for a-technical singletrack. The Giant you posted up most likely weighs more than your Goose and has a bevy of low-end/weighty parts on it, making it less reliable than the classic you own. Throw some reliable knobbies on the Goose, glove up, don a skidlid and go have fun.
 
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Now let's talk about "attack position"
imagejpeg_0(6).jpg

I would stand for that, pedals at 9 and 3, weight shifted rearwards over the back tire. The old bikes had a tendency to put you over the bars, especially on the steep stuff. Nothing fun about flying head first into the bush.
In my opinion, technique trumps technology, and being "undergunned" is more fun than having too much bike.
 
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Well, today was the day I brought a knife to a gunfight.

There's a trendy local brewery that has become a popular starting/ending point for people who run or ride. A couple of weeks ago, one of the guys who rides with us talked them into hosting a Thursday night "pleasure cruise." It was a nice leisurely ride through some local neighborhoods that ended up back at the brewery for pizza and beer. A bunch of us brought old tank bikes, there were a couple of banana seats and a couple of mountain bikes and a couple of Wal-Mart bikes and a good time was had by all. Well, they put up another Facebook post saying it was so much fun that they wanted to do it again. "... A casual mountain bike ride around the trails of Wilson College and the Fulton Farm." Sure, why not?

Ha.

I showed up with my 30-year-old Mongoose Rockadile. I thought it might be a conversation starter, an interesting period piece.
View attachment 169769

Two of the guys I normally ride with brought a GT single-speed dirt jumper and an entry-level Trek suspension bike. There were also two women on Wal-Mart beach cruisers.

And then there were like 15 guys and gals with REAL mountain bikes. The one buddy who keeps up with things like this said that most of them probably ran anywhere from $3k to $8k, maybe more.

I had planned to hang back with the beach cruisers, so I left my helmet in the van. This proved to be poor judgement on my part, as the beach cruisers seemed to drop off after the first (long) ascent, which was a road that led up to the singletrack part of the ride. So now I was diving into the woods without a helmet on the only rigid bike there. Did I mention that I'm hopelessly out of shape and 30 pounds overweight and that I am pretty impressed with myself when I do an hour-long ride on paved flat ground? Yes, this was going to be a disaster.

Only it wasn't.

I almost bailed out after the first leg, when we came out of the woods on the road halfway down that big hill. I was gasping and wheezing and my legs hurt and I was telling my two buddies to go on without me, I'd meet them back at the brewery. They waited a couple minutes with me and offered words of encouragement that started with "aw, don't be a..." and I found myself following them back up the hill, thinking that the reason I don't run anymore is that it's no fun to do something that makes you hate yourself while you're doing it and I was kind of hating myself at that moment.

So we plunged into the woods on the other side of the road this time, and I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point I realized I was having fun. The only pics I have are these two, taken shortly after that realization.
View attachment 169772
View attachment 169771

I somehow managed to stay upright and out of the bushes the whole time. There was a pretty intimidating log crossing that I one-footed over the first time, but when we ended up there for a second lap I picked up some momentum, lifted the front wheel and successfully sent it. There was a tricky nasty descent with roots and rocks that had my one friend worried for me and waiting up ahead, but I leaned way back over the rear tire and hung on the brake levers and just rode it on down.

Eventually we were back on a road heading to civilization and pizza and beer with a stop at the local pump track. This is the friend with the dirt jumper doing his thing.
View attachment 169773

Back at the brewery (it was chicken cheesesteak day, mmmm) I poked fun at myself. I laughed about how ridiculous I must have looked on this janky old bike having sweated through all my clothes and wheezing and limping and bringing up the rear. My buddies pointed out that I managed to finish a fairly technical ride with a bunch of guys on very expensive machinery while I was riding a rigid bike I bought new 30 years ago for $350, wearing semi-street tires that I had just put on it, and that in itself was nothing to sneeze at. So I'm gonna consider it an accomplishment, even if I did look a little silly.

I'm also thinking about outfitting this old Giant with some real tires, and maybe better grips or some gloves or both, and giving it another shot with a helmet and some (slightly) more appropriate machinery...
View attachment 169774
Been there.

I've been on a local trail a few times and it's really hard with the bike that I have.

20210805_144036.jpg



Is the sprung fork is not as good as an oil filled or air filled one and it acts like a pogo stick.

I went with a friend on this trail as well. He got a flat tire on a rock. Both bikes didn't have extreme enough gearing.
Resized_20210814_102310.jpeg




My other friend has a really hardcore mountain bike.
20210806_114509.jpg
 

Karate Chicken Industries

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^Flipping a bike with hydraulic disc brakes = Bad Form

It causes air bubbles in brake lines.

This practice, as well as hanging bikes vertically for storage cause air bubbles in hydraulic brake systems as well as fork issues with modern suspension forks.
 
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Now let's talk about "attack position"
View attachment 169934
I would stand for that, pedals at 9 and 3, weight shifted rearwards over the back tire. The old bikes had a tendency to put you over the bars, especially on the steep stuff. Nothing fun about flying head first into the bush.
In my opinion, technique trumps technology, and being "undergunned" is more fun than having too much bike.
Well, today was the day I brought a knife to a gunfight.

There's a trendy local brewery that has become a popular starting/ending point for people who run or ride. A couple of weeks ago, one of the guys who rides with us talked them into hosting a Thursday night "pleasure cruise." It was a nice leisurely ride through some local neighborhoods that ended up back at the brewery for pizza and beer. A bunch of us brought old tank bikes, there were a couple of banana seats and a couple of mountain bikes and a couple of Wal-Mart bikes and a good time was had by all. Well, they put up another Facebook post saying it was so much fun that they wanted to do it again. "... A casual mountain bike ride around the trails of Wilson College and the Fulton Farm." Sure, why not?

Ha.

I showed up with my 30-year-old Mongoose Rockadile. I thought it might be a conversation starter, an interesting period piece.
View attachment 169769

Two of the guys I normally ride with brought a GT single-speed dirt jumper and an entry-level Trek suspension bike. There were also two women on Wal-Mart beach cruisers.

And then there were like 15 guys and gals with REAL mountain bikes. The one buddy who keeps up with things like this said that most of them probably ran anywhere from $3k to $8k, maybe more.

I had planned to hang back with the beach cruisers, so I left my helmet in the van. This proved to be poor judgement on my part, as the beach cruisers seemed to drop off after the first (long) ascent, which was a paved but pockmarked road that led up to the singletrack part of the ride. So we got to the end of that road, and next thing I knew I was diving into the woods without a helmet on the only rigid bike there. Did I mention that I'm hopelessly out of shape and 30 pounds overweight and that I am pretty impressed with myself when I do an hour-long ride on paved flat ground? Yes, this was going to be a disaster.

Only it wasn't.

I almost bailed out after the first leg, when we came out of the woods on that same road halfway down that big hill. I was gasping and wheezing and my legs hurt and I was telling my two buddies to go on without me, I'd meet them back at the brewery. They waited a couple minutes with me and offered words of encouragement that started with "aw, don't be a..." and I found myself following them back up the hill, thinking that the reason I don't run anymore is that it's no fun to do something that makes you hate yourself while you're doing it and I was kind of hating myself at that moment.

So we plunged into the woods on the other side of the road this time, and I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point I realized I was having fun. The only pics I have are these two, taken shortly after that realization.
View attachment 169772
View attachment 169771

I somehow managed to stay upright and out of the bushes the whole time. There was a pretty intimidating log crossing that I one-footed over the first time, but when we ended up there for a second lap I picked up some momentum, lifted the front wheel and successfully sent it. There was a tricky nasty descent with roots and rocks that had my one friend worried for me and waiting up ahead, but I leaned way back over the rear tire and hung on the brake levers and just rode it on down.

Eventually we were back on a road heading to civilization and pizza and beer with a stop at the local pump track. This is the friend with the dirt jumper doing his thing.
View attachment 169773

Back at the brewery (it was chicken cheesesteak day, mmmm) I poked fun at myself. I laughed about how ridiculous I must have looked on this janky old bike having sweated through all my clothes and wheezing and limping and bringing up the rear. My buddies pointed out that I managed to finish a fairly technical ride with a bunch of guys on very expensive machinery while I was riding a rigid bike I bought new 30 years ago for $350, wearing semi-street tires that I had just put on it, and that in itself was nothing to sneeze at. So I'm gonna consider it an accomplishment, even if I did look a little silly.

I'm also thinking about outfitting this old Giant with some real tires, and maybe better grips or some gloves or both, and giving it another shot with a helmet and some (slightly) more appropriate machinery...
View attachment 169774
Great stuff!
You had the “oh crap!” face all the way through from the top
 
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The Giant you posted up most likely weighs more than your Goose and has a bevy of low-end/weighty parts on it, making it less reliable than the classic you own. Throw some reliable knobbies on the Goose, glove up, don a skidlid and go have fun.
What he said. Those starter mtbs are just failures waiting to happen on mtb terrain and those XCT forks are complete pogo sticks and even worst if you are a bigger chap.
 
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