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Tag Archives: mountain

  • Top 5 Rules of MTB Trail Etiquette

    When you have a skill in the outdoors like climbing, kayaking, or biking, there seems to be an instant bond with those you meet in the process. You meet people to take you to the "hidden gems" or some of the "virgin territory."

    There once was a time in the not too distant past where mountain bikers would greet each other as they passed by. Riders going downhill would kindly move to the side so that those who struggling uphill could keep climbing, and biking would turn into a social event with total strangers

    As we head into the fall MTB season, we have come up with some simple tips to keep riding fun and safe, all while keeping your self-esteem and dignity in tact. WA beautiful day for a ridehether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, it's always nice to have a friendly reminder:

    1. Pull over: If you are going downhill and you come across someone going uphill, be kind and pull to the side. Yes, it's fun to go fast, but it's frustrating and demeaning to be steadily climbing, only to be brushed off by a screaming hooligan.
    2. Give a head count: When you come across a rider, let them know how many are with you, even if it's just you. This may sound too simple to make a difference, but it gets annoying to keep pulling over for riders every five seconds. All you need to do is say "just me," or "three behind me." That's all you need to do, and it makes a world of difference for overall ride experience.
    3. Continue reading

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  • Cross-country (XC) Riding 101

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Cross-country (XC) riding

    Cross-country (XC) mountain biking describes most styles of mountain biking. In recent years, there has been a push towards diversifying this group into other genres of MTB, which include all-mountain and trail bikes. These genres have been created to help differentiate the bikes' intended purposes and have helped specialize the diverse nature of XC riding.

    Cross-country riding, for the purposes of this article, is any situation where a rider is able to ride the entire trail without having advanced technical skills -- like needing to cross a 6-foot gap to stay on the course -- and is able to start and stop from the same spot (no shuttle or lift is needed). Point-to-point riding is a part of XC riding, but you have the capability of going in the reverse direction without outside assistance. This leaves a broad spectrum of what's considered XC, which is why so many people have embraced this style of riding as it encompasses so many different skill levels.

    Continue reading

  • Bike term of the month: Three-hour tour

    Ever had one of those rides that end up turning into a death march? Well, I've got one of those stories.

    We wanted to check out a new trail from a network we were pretty familiar with, so we thought we would just hit it after lunch one weekend. Trail conditions were perfect and the weather couldn't have been better. We set out for what we thought would have been an epic lap or two in the trees with the puppies and then been home for some brats on the grill. Reality couldn't have been further from perfect, looking back.

    A beautiful day for a ride

    The ride was superb until we went left, then right, then left, dropped into this, climbed that, and then realized we weren't where we thought we were. At this point we found cell-phones don't work too well without service. We should have brought a Garmin.

    Anyway, long story short we were lost. We didn't want to back track since that just wouldn't be fun riding the same stuff, so we plugged on trying to make sense of where we were. After 6 p.m. came around, reality started to kick in and we decided to try backtracking. You would think it an easy thing to go back down the trail you just came in on, but somehow we didn't make it back to where any of us was recognizing anything.

    It was getting dark when Jon pipes in, "Hey, isn't that the road down there?"

    A couple miles off the trail down the ravine was the road we had driven in on. We decided to abandon our trail and see if we could swim through the undergrowth to make it back to the road and just follow that back in.

    Brush was thick so we ended up scrambling down the side of the mountain half riding the bikes, dragging the bikes, sliding with the bikes, or at some points trying to catch up to the bikes. Somewhere along the way down, the sun disappeared on us. After a couple hours of bush-whacking, we traversed the river (the dogs liked this part since they hadn't had water for a while), got to the road, and ended up riding on the shoulder for a couple miles before we arrived at the parking lot at about 1 a.m. --  soaked, scraped, and exhausted but mostly just having our pride banged up a bit.

    We now refer to this ride as the "Three-hour Tour." For those of you who might not know, "three-hour tour" comes from the old TV show, Gilligan's Island, about a ship that went for a three-hour tour but was caught in a storm and shipwrecked on a tropical island.

    The moral of the story? Make sure you know where you are!

    Get out there. Happy riding, and feel free to share some of your own three-hour tours.

    Shane Bakerby Shane BakerGoogle+

    Shane Baker is an avid cyclist and outdoor adventurer. He's worked in the cycling industry for more than a decade.

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