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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 16:39 - 03 May 2014    Post subject: Downhill cycling Reply with quote

Recently started off roading on a moteycycle, and a friend at work saw my kit and has invited me to a downhill cycling thing at the Forest of Dean, assuring me I'll love it. I'm up for it, it's in two weeks, and he's lending me a bike. I didn't catch what it was but it's a good un.

Until recently I hadn't cycled since I was like ten, I picked up a very cheap mountain bike that I've used a few times, but I'm very unfit and can only cycle for a few miles before I'm dead. And I've only used the xr a few times.

So I'll be a complete novice. in the next two weeks what's the best way to prepare? I'm in the West Midlands if anyone knows somewhere suitable for a mtb that will give a mild downhill type experience that would be good, or would I be better off just getting as much practise on the xr for technique and riding the mtb as normal to get a bit more stamina
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 03:00 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

This really interests me too, just getting into cycling again at the moment having also been off a bicycle well over a decade. Planning to cycle for a mile or two commute/shopping locally in town traffic, but i'm very interested in potentially getting another bike for MB'ing and doing some of this downhill stuff.

Anything uphill/high endurance will likely kill me Laughing so definately need something involving the help of gravity. Is it an open/novice friendly event do you know? I'm still in Bristol for the next month, might see about popping along if so.
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 06:38 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything about it other than it has an uplift, so a minibus takes you back to the top. Cost £30 and I think there's only a couple of spaces left. He booked it for me so I don't have any details. Ill ask on Tuesday though.
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 06:48 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Thumbs Up even if theres no spaces left for this event would be interested to hear what its like, particularly from a fellow novice-perspective Laughing May be a bit much for me, used to relying on engines to do the work Whistle
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 06:55 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I'll remember to update this thread with a noobs perspective.
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Nb
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PostPosted: 08:40 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forest of dean looks like a good place to ride, must make the effort to go down there now i have a van. Take a look on their website and on youtube for an idea of what to expect...if you are a complete novice it will be interesting!! Shocked
Dont forget lid (full face?) and some knee pads and elbow pads.

http://www.flyupdownhill.co.uk/
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Last edited by Nb on 19:43 - 04 May 2014; edited 1 time in total
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Aff
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PostPosted: 09:04 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a good place in the forest of Dean I went to last year, can't remember the name though. If you haven't ever tried downhill before I think you'll be in for a bit of a shock entering into an event with a lift. You will probably feel knackered after the first few minutes and it will feel like your arms are falling off.

Just take it at you own pace (make sure you hit the jumps and drop offs at a decent speed though otherwise you'll bin it) and keep an eye out for people behind you and let them pass. Otherwise you will ruin their day and probably crash into each other as they try to get past.
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Fladdem
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PostPosted: 17:53 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stuff in the midlands? Cannock Chase? Never been, but I would love to and lots of mates recommend it to me. When I get another XC bike, one I'm comfortable with taking down mild trails, I'm going to give it a go.

If not, just use your OS map, which I assume you have if you green lane your XR, and find some bridlepaths and foot paths. But don't ride down footpaths.Too fast. Wink

I hate to say it but footpaths are always the most technically challenging, that you will find in the countryside. But some bridlepaths will get you working hard too.

Mostly XC stuff though so may only give a delicate experience of the actual thing you're doing.
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KLR600
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PostPosted: 19:27 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep your weight back, cover the brakes and stay relaxed on the bike. Most of the techniques from off road motorbiking will loosely apply to downhill MTB as well. Look where you want to go, don't go any faster than you're comfortable with and trust the bike to get you through stuff.

I haven't ridden at the Forest of Dean for about 15 years now but I have ridden a lot of trail centres around the UK and a fair amount of uplift serviced trails in Wales. My advice would be not to worry as 95% of trail centre stuff is made so that it is roll-able for novices but people with more confidence and ability can send the jumps and still feel challenged if they want to. That's not to say that you won't get caught out though so it's also worth checking out the trail before you blindly go careening into 30ft doubles and 20ft drop-offs!

I would imagine that most of the technical or bigger trail features will have some kind of warning signs just before them and each trail head should have some kind of sign indicating what grade/level the trail is and what ability levels it is suitable for. I've been riding with some MTB novices who had a lot of off road motorbike experience and I've found that sometimes they take to it really well and can cross over their skills quickly whilst others really struggle and don't really get into their stride until after a few rides. I made some good progress with my first try of MX thanks in part to my experience on DH bikes and I think if I rode MX a lot it'd improve my MTB skills in terms of speed riding and fear factor! It really depends on what you're comfortable with so just take it easy and take your time. The uplift is an ideal time to discuss the trails and sneaky lines with other riders that may make the trails easier to ride or more fun or whatever and it's also a great chance to re-count all the falls you had on the last run!

It's loads of fun, you will have a blast but as Aff says don't assume that just because you're riding downhill all day won't mean that you won't get knackered quickly!
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 20:05 - 04 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot guys. I may try cannocks chase if I mot the car by next weekend. If not then just lots of xr practise. Really appreciate the advice. Will karma when I'm on a PC not my phone
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Kyde
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PostPosted: 11:17 - 05 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to try out downhill head to stile cop at cannock chase (just south of Rugeley)

The better known follow the dog and monkey trails are great for a ride out but are more your typical mountain bike trails rather than downhill (good fun still).

I'm at stile cop almost every week and can't recommend it enough. It's completely free (although no uplifts just a 10 minute walk to the top) and the volunteers do an excellent job at improving and maintaining the runs. Most of the runs have some sort of avoidance if you don't fancy hitting the drops or jumps but be prepared to do a few.

There are also 'non competitive' race events once a month if you fancy checking it out. Weirdly hardly anyone has even heard of it, even local riders.
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 21:11 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soooo ten minutes in
http://i58.tinypic.com/nl24r8.jpg
http://i59.tinypic.com/2ahv53m.jpg

That says it all for my noob report
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-Matt-
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PostPosted: 21:25 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man... Laughing thats not good, how bad is it Neutral

There was me hoping for a positive day out report to encourage me to have a go Shocked
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Scythe
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PostPosted: 22:25 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not so simple downhill is it Laughing

Did you do jump or just fell funny?
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Fladdem
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PostPosted: 22:47 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hate breaking wrists.

I did it on my fixie. I went to overtake a car, stupid really, then the car turned right into me, I went flying, bike came with me, strapped in then bounced and flicked me again, broke my wrist and the driver drove off and I rode home.

Never broke a bone on a mountain bike. Have on my TTR though. Crash both as regular as each other, but going slower on MTB Laughing
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Irn-Bru
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PostPosted: 22:54 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not gone well.
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Nb
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PostPosted: 23:04 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shit, how did that happen??
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 23:28 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wrist? Shit son, that's my humerus.

Fucking hell. Absolutely mental. I got taken down a yellow? Trail to start with. Fell off on a jumpy thing immediately. Then down a couple of slopes. Fucking terrifying. I've never been as scared on a motorbike and I've had dozens of near misses at fatal speeds. The slopes I did manage where ~15m long with a nice open visible bottom. So lean right back. Look at the open bit and wait for it to be over.

Anyway then got told to follow down a big hill. I couldn't see where it would end, and the bike got way faster than I had been before. Absolute information overload. Kind of target fixation but just general trees, rocks and roots everywhere. I came off sideways and landed awkwardly. To me it felt like my arm went deep underground, actually my shoulder pointed at the ground, my lower arm went backwards. I remember hearing a loud pop and my arm briefly had a burning sensation.

Then had a 45 minute walk back to the car park followed by 3 hospital visits. Good day all in all. Getting a pin put in on Wednesday. Currently my arm flops about in an amusing fashion.
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Ste
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PostPosted: 23:50 - 17 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doh @ crashing but until it's been pinned you can use your flappy arm to scare/confuse people. Razz

I broke my funny bone crashing my bike when 13 or 14. Mr. Green
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KLR600
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PostPosted: 13:40 - 19 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sick Sick

I hope your last thought wasn't "KLR said this would be easy, just lean back and trust the bike..."

I've never heard of a yellow trail but I'd guess it would be between a blue and a red? Either that or they're making up their own trail grading system. I'm surprised to hear how you felt on the bike though, especially coming from a motorbike. It does sound like you took on a bit too much too soon but it sucks that you broke your arm in the process. Hopefully this hasn't put you off for life!
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 17:17 - 19 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea if yellow is correct. All I know is it wasn't the easiest route there.

Issue was not being able to see where I was aiming. On the shorter previous slopes there was a big open flat bit, so I could just focus on body position. On this big one I didn't have quick enough reactions to be able to plan where I was aiming at the speed I was going.

I would have another go, but I would want to do some cross country first to build up some fundementals.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 17:17 - 19 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

KLR600 wrote:

I've never heard of a yellow trail but I'd guess it would be between a blue and a red?


I've seen an orange at Mabie forest which is an "Extreme" described as "Feindishly difficult". Almost 100% on elevated wooden slats and logs.

I did not go on it, there are enough ways to horribly injure myself on a normal trail without being an additiona 2 to 10 feet off the ground.
http://farm1.staticflickr.com/57/180036999_1b38ac6866_o.jpg
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sidewinder
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PostPosted: 17:46 - 21 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate that skinny north shore stuff Very Happy
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sidewinder
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PostPosted: 17:47 - 21 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate that skinny north shore stuff Very Happy
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Wafer_Thin_Ham
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PostPosted: 17:50 - 21 May 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:


I've seen an orange at Mabie forest which is an "Extreme" described as "Feindishly difficult". Almost 100% on elevated wooden slats and logs.

I did not go on it, there are enough ways to horribly injure myself on a normal trail without being an additiona 2 to 10 feet off the ground.
http://farm1.staticflickr.com/57/180036999_1b38ac6866_o.jpg


That's the grading of surface to air on Aston Hill. It was hilarious on a hardtail. Laughing
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