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  1. #1
    Steel, steel, steel
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    Putting the fun back into biking...through mountain biking!!

    I've been road biking "seriously" for the last 4 years, trying to keep the fitness up and log in as many kilometers as work & family (50+ hours per week and 3 young kids!) permit. I've always loved biking since I was a kid, but lately biking has been all about fitness and (admittedly modest) performance.

    Decided to forget my weekend training plan last weekend and went mountain biking with my boys, aged 10 and 6 - my daughter is still too young to tag along at 3 y.o. Had to rent a mountain bike, as I had never tried mountain biking before...had SOOO much fun, tearing up the singletrack with the boys, I felt like I was a kid again. Realized that I miss feeling like that on the bike, and hadn't felt like that for, well, a real long time.

    Only downside was when I got home, my wife took a look at my face, burst out laughing and told me in no uncertain terms that I could NOT buy another bike (I guess I hit the s-1 rule of the Rules).

    Just felt like sharing...

  2. #2
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    I hear ya OP. I got into road biking HEAVY about 4 years ago. Training, racing, never missing a workout. Got burnt out BAD this winter, followed by a knee injury alongwith a bout of food poisening. A bunch of serious crashes and injuries that a bunch of guys I ride & train with pretty much sealed the deal. I used to roadrace motorcycles and guys didn't ge thtat messed up.

    These days, I just do a modest 20 mile ride 3-4x per week. I've also attempted to muster the motivation to begin weight training again as I'm tired of being a 140lb weakling.

    I'd love to get back into mountain biking, but that 20-30min drive to the trail head is just a bit much as I, like you, have limited time. Between a wife, 2year old, a house that always needs work, and 2 businesses, time is , well, limited.

  3. #3
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    Re: Putting the fun back into biking...through mountain biking!!

    I love my road bike, but when I want to have FUN and feel like a kid I pull out the mountain bike. There's just something about riding on the dirt.

    We may not have anything particularly technical close by, but we have plenty of XC trails that are fun.

  4. #4
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    I put in 20 on the MTB today on some moderately technical singletrack. Fun stuff.

  5. #5
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    I will always prefer dirt single track to paved roads, I got into road biking once I started getting into triathlons. I have to admit though, road biking has grown on me a TON since moving from Chicago to the Denver/Boulder area about 6 months ago.

  6. #6
    Steel, steel, steel
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    Putting the fun back into biking...through mountain biking!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan The VW Tech View Post
    I will always prefer dirt single track to paved roads, I got into road biking once I started getting into triathlons. I have to admit though, road biking has grown on me a TON since moving from Chicago to the Denver/Boulder area about 6 months ago.
    I gotta admit, riding in the woods is a whole lot more relaxing than weaving through traffic in the city...it gets really tiresome having to deal with cars, pedestrians, traffic lights etc etc. The urban jungle can be a tad...stressful at times.

  7. #7
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    Easy to forget why you do it on a road bike. MTB is fun. Do both! Although I've gotten hurt a lot more on my mountain bike the last year.
    Tis the season for all of us not hard enough to play to belittle those not hard enough to win. We are a funny lot. - dave @ November Bicycles

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by p_b_bistou View Post
    .... Decided to forget my weekend training plan last weekend and went mountain biking with my boys, aged 10 and 6 ........had SOOO much fun, tearing up the singletrack with the boys, I felt like I was a kid again. Realized that I miss feeling like that on the bike, and hadn't felt like that for, well, a real long time.
    I've often said "I don't exercise.... I just ride my bicycle". That is the way it should be.... fun. And it can't get much better than fun with the kids.
    If I didn't bicycle when the weather is bad... I wouldn't be a cyclist. I'd just be another old fat man... with a bicycle hanging in his garage.

    Urban Cycling.... Overcome your fears (a YouTube Link).
    Learn to cycle in traffic
    Or... just HTFU

  9. #9
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    I have been mtn biking for years. It is fun and there no cars to deal with. By contrast I road bike on the side when I don't have time for good 2-3 trail ride or just want to change things up. Yesterday I did a 3hr road ride as a change up from my 2-3 mtn bike ride. It was fun, but the variety of the trails is just more fun for me.

    This year I have done 23 Road Rides for 527 miles and 26 Mtb Rides for 469 miles. Looks about even, but most of road riles are about 1 hour long and most mtb rides are 2 hrs given the lower average speed of the mtn bike.
    Joe
    Road Bike - Trek 5200 | MTB - 2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail

  10. #10
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    Agreed, do both- why limit your experiences? The more variety the better.

  11. #11
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    Putting the fun back into biking...through mountain biking!!

    People always ask me about bike stuff and then ask, "should I get a road or mountain?" I always respond with BOTH.

  12. #12
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    I started mountain biking when I was a teenager and loved it. I didn't start road riding until I was about 30. I'm 41 now. While road biking is great for fitness and the races can be exciting, mountain biking is a LOT of fun. My boys are 5 and 6 and I can't wait till we can go hit the trails together. In another two years or so, we'll be there.

    Regarding the comment from your wife, If she can tell you that you can't buy another bicycle, then I guess you can tell her that she can't buy any more clothes, shoes or purses. Either that, or just sell one of your current bikes and use the funds for a mountain bike.

  13. #13
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by p_b_bistou View Post
    Only downside was when I got home, my wife took a look at my face, burst out laughing and told me in no uncertain terms that I could NOT buy another bike (I guess I hit the s-1 rule of the Rules).
    s-1 rule
    where s=wife

    I assume the look on your face was pleasure/joy. Why would a wife not want that for her husband?
    Especially since it's something you and your boys got to enjoy together.

  14. #14
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    I only got into cycling in 2006 with a MTB hard-tail. (Am already 40+ now ... should have got into cycling a lot earlier but I am not holding back now) Then in 2008, I got a full-susser. I put road rims and 28mm tyres on the hard-tail to go on the roads when the trails are too muddy. Then last year I decided to build myself a road bike.

    I am doing more on the road nowadays. It was a wet winter. I love pushing myself on climbs and on the flats. Descents are just pure pleasure ... esp when you push that as well ... But when I go back on the trails ... it is very different ... my road riding has made me a much stronger climber on the trails and on my favourite single track nearby, it is pure heaven ... so tranquil and no cars to deal with ... in fact, I am the noisiest one in the forest

    To the OP, just go out and get the MTB and just make up some reason. It belongs to a mate or something and just letting you have it for awhile as he injured somewhere ... Get a XC full-sus. Nothing beats a free flowing singletrack with some slight bumps and some beams thrown-in in between.

  15. #15
    Steel, steel, steel
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    Putting the fun back into biking...through mountain biking!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    s-1 rule
    where s=wife

    I assume the look on your face was pleasure/joy. Why would a wife not want that for her husband?
    Especially since it's something you and your boys got to enjoy together.
    Hah! I had my "OMG I'm gonna do something crazy" face which she knows means I'm going to go into a compulsive buying spree...which I do with from time to time with guitars (8 and counting, 4 amps and a boatload of pedals), bikes (only 3 but there have been times when she's seen the mailman every day of the week with another bike part delivery) and so on...

    She's the best wife in the world and totally supports my activities, but she knows I have expensive spending habits. So her "absolutely no more bikes" is more of her way of preventing me from rushing out to do my typical impulse-and-expensive-like-hell purchase!

  16. #16
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    Change is good. I started in mountain biking. Racing MTB is fun, but can be just as demanding as racing road. I find that if I do either for too long, I need to switch over to get the enjoyment back in my cycling.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jspharmd View Post
    Racing MTB is fun, but can be just as demanding as racing road
    "as" demanding? I think it's harder. ;)
    MTB racing is more on par with time trialing. There's no drafting. There's no peleton riding less than 100% til the pack sorts itself out... On a typical 2-hour XC race, I average 92% of my max HR (168-170 of 183 max).

    I'm surprised this thread's gone this far without mentioning bike handling skills (unless I skimmed past it). There's no doubt the avid mountain bikers have way better bike handling skills - than your average (not pro) roadie. They just seem more relaxed, less twitchy, don't over-react other riders' actions, better at avoiding/recovering from tire overlaps, drops off the road, etc. Oh, and we can bunnyhop. I just couldn't imagine being so ground bound. Must be scary out there... all those potholes, road kills... ;)

  18. #18
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    I ride the road to train for mtb. I guess I'm da freako round these parts.......

    It's nice being able to ride 3 1/2 hrs on the mtb and do 4500 ft of climbing without needing some deer to pull me up the last mtn
    Last edited by ziscwg; 06-25-2013 at 04:09 PM.
    It's a fire road.............
    I'm on a road bike..........

    They have enough in common to blast down it.

  19. #19
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    Welcome to the dark side. ;)

    s-1 so soon? How many bikes do you have?

  20. #20
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    I was thinking this morning on my ride into work that MTB has made me a stronger out of the saddle climber on the road and road biking has made me a stronger sit and spin up the hills on the MTB.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    I was thinking this morning on my ride into work that MTB has made me a stronger out of the saddle climber on the road and road biking has made me a stronger sit and spin up the hills on the MTB.
    I'd agree with ^that^ 100%. Mountain biking has a lot of short intense efforts (climbs), followed by recovery periods (decents). It's like forced intervals... really really fun intervals.

  22. #22
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    I started out on the road, but have been serious into mountain bikes the last two years. The two disciplines compliment each other. As mentioned, it's a great way to really improve your bike handling skills. It's also a different kind of workout, every ride is an intervals ride. Even if you decide to take an easy day, there will be places on the trail where you have to go anaerobic go get up a climb or over an obstacle, otherwise you're walking. OTOH, on a hard day you're still forced to coast sections because your speed is more limited by available traction, skill, and bravery than how hard you can pedal. And because you have to attack terrain as it comes, you're forced to get used to being in the wrong gear and working outside your usual cadence window.

    (It goes both ways, too. MTBers should spend some time on the road because it will build an aerobic base that you can't really get on a MTB.)

    Another side effect I've noticed is that it will make you a better mechanic. MTBing is really hard on equipment, issues come up far more frequently (more practice) and you have to learn to take care of them yourself because the "cell phone and credit card" toolkit isn't going to cut it when you're facing a hike back to civilization.
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

  23. #23
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    If you get a little bored with MTB... try some of the same trails with a Cross bike... brings new challenges to the trails that you become comfortable.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite upgraded with 32T cassette and does not have Stan's (yet)
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  24. #24
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Quote Originally Posted by tednugent View Post
    ... try some of the same trails with a Cross bike ...
    oh no ... need to explain the n+1 rule again to the boss ...

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