Friday, March 28, 2014

Mountain Biking 101.2

As a continuation of Mountain Biking 101, we discuss trail etiquette, baby wipes, dehydration and other matters.

11.  Right of way

On tight single track (a trail where only a single bike will fit side to side), the etiquette is for the down hill going bike to pull off to the side of the trail and allow the up hill going bike to proceed unimpeded. The logic is that it is harder to go up, so the uphiller should be given the right of way. I disagree with this. I think that mountain biking should be primarily based on fun. Since going down is so much more fun than going up, we should be more concerned about not interrupting the fun of the downhiller. I am not sure what group of people set up this rule of etiquette, but I'm sure it included roadies (more on that in an upcoming post). I still yield anyway; I just do it with a scowl. 

12.  You can ride on deep snow. You just have to wait until some snow shoers and cross country skiers have been over the trail a few times. You don't even need big tires.

13.  Check your brake pads frequently. If you don't, this could happen to you. 

14.  Your knees, hips and ankles are your best shock absorbers (or suspension in MTB language).

15.  It hurts. Get used to it. Even if you never crash, there is quad pain, glute pain, calf pain, back pain, arm pain. It takes about three weeks to get your sit bones used to a saddle. For a while, it will be painful to sit at all. But most of it is good pain. 

16.  Learn to 'roid buff.' Roid buffing is an MTB term that describes where you put your rear end when you are descending something ridiculously steep. You throw all of your weight back so that your rear end is practically touching the rear tire. Roid buffing can save you from an endo. 

17.  Carry both TP and baby wipes. You will thank me.

18.  If you have dangerous allergies, along with your epi pen, carry Benadryl in tablets, not in capsules and Pepcid. The Pepcid enhances the effect of the Benadryl.

19.  Carry more water than you think you might need. Running out is at least uncomfortable and can be dangerous. 

20.  Don't do anything to harm the environment. Pick up every wrapper. Stay on designated trails. Do not take any petrified wood home. Do not harass any wildlife. Be an ambassador for the sport. 

More next week.

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