Mountain bike trails

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Purple Haze
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Purple Haze » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:29 pm

If you are riding Fredrick Watershed it is best to have some sort of trail app. Gambrill State Park is marked fairly well but the Northern Watershed isn't marked at all. They installed kiosks at most trail heads but I don't think they have maps in them yet. Central to both is the Hamburg parking area. Bring a plug kit or spare tube as pinch flats are a common occurrence up here.
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Marylander
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Marylander » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:04 pm

Yeah, I've heard that the watershed isn't marked too well. I figured I'd just do an out and back this first time (and I've got GPS so should be able to do that, guffaw). I see that there's something downloadable on trailforks but I haven't registered yet... However, my daughter is wanting to ride so looks like I'll just be taking the road bike on the C&O with her tomorrow. When I do get out to the watershed I'll almost certainly be starting from the south side as that's closest to home. I'll probably get out there next sunday as everyone else is going to the ballet (sadly, no ticket for me :killingme: ).

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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Purple Haze » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:02 pm

The southern portion ( Gambrill State Park) has the Yellow loop. It is about a 7.5 loop with around 1100 ft of climbing. My wife and I lead a casual night ride every Wed night on this loop. I have that on a gpx file along with some Northern shed files. I can forward them to you if you would like. There are some nice gravel routes around Sugar Loaf as well.
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Marylander » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:49 pm

It would be great to have the gpx files. I'll PM you my email address. Thanks!

I may see about getting out there for the casual trail ride. That sounds about my speed although possibly on the fast side for me. ;)

And, it turns out my daughter has lunch plans she'd forgotten about so she'll be hanging out with a friend instead of daddy tomorrow so I will be going out with the mtb. :shrug:

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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Marylander » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:35 pm

Just got back from going to gambrill. It's a lot more work than I expected, both from a technique perspective and from a fitness perspective. I bet doing this regularly would have some carry-over to riding the dirt bike, particularly in terms of looking for smooth lines. I was definitely wanting smoother lines than I was taking this first time out. :killingme:

My bike came with 2" tires and I had them pumped up to about 30psi to avoid pinch flats so I was bouncing around a bunch. I don't want to try to buy my way into doing better but I am thinking I'll get some fatter tires and go ahead and switch to tubeless (the wheels are tubeless ready) so I can run lower pressures. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who regularly rides mtbs around on this idea. Measuring the frame looks like I can only go up to about 2.25".

I was banging the pedals on rocks and roots pretty frequently. I did get better at coordinating pedaling with avoiding rocks but that's an obvious technique to work on. Also, I should've bought flat pedals instead of clipless pedals. That was pretty obvious as soon as I got on the trail. If I screwed up in a rockier section I pretty much had to walk to the next smoothish section to get going again (I used to be really good at clipping in when I was young and almost always beat cars through intersections from a dead stop when I commuted by bicycle). I also walked the bike up one uphill that is comprised of some pretty big rocks, it seemed pointless to even try riding up it as much as I was sucking. :chicken kiss: At least I managed to get over most of the logs while still on the bike and I only fell down a couple times (mental note, maybe some kind of protection would be good).

My average heart rate was 155, pretty dang high for me, and I maxed out at 168. I had some medical issues towards the end of last year so my fitness is not the greatest right now but I still didn't anticipate working so hard. Me in good shape, running on foot, at the heart rates I was doing while riding today, could've gone a little bit faster than I rode the bicycle today (I have done just a bit slower running on the AT, which has huge climbs). :lol2:

I'm definitely planning to get out regularly, maybe even once/week after the time change. It's less than half an hour for me to drive there. I definitely want to be more comfortable before going out with a group, even for a casual ride. :knary:

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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Bucho » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:57 pm

I hike there regularly w/ my dogs. Its pretty rocky w/ lots of elevation.

More than once I've come across a mtn biker who is in way over their head. They ask me for the nearest/easiest way out.

If you are making it at all, I think you are doing pretty good.
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Marylander » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:32 am

While driving there I was thinking of how convenient it is to you (and OFG).

I bet it would be a shocker if you were completely new to all the rocks in the woods around here. It is nice that you're right by the road all the time at gambrill.

I'll do better next time out. I'll also be sure to actually check over the bike better than taking an easy ride on the c&o. I couldn't get into the lowest gear and the headset was really loose. ;) I already ordered some cheap regular pedals so that should take care of my biggest issue.

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Laoch
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Laoch » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:58 am

I'm no expert, but a couple of thoughts...

- does your bike have suspension? If so was it unlocked?
- sitting or standing ? Drop your seat and stand over the rough bits, just like a dirt bike.
- tire size? tires on my newer bike are 29x2.20" for comparison (front is hair wider than back. I run maybe 25-30 psi.
- pedals- you can get clips with a platform or just loosen clips up to make it easier to unclip. On rough down hills, I unclip "just in case".
- I push that sucker up hills quite a bit.
- it always sucks when you start riding again. :lol2: I've been on my roadie a couple times this year, and I hope to get out on the mtn bike this week. I usually start at the bottom of a fairly steep hill, (gravel road in Michaux) and bang straight up it. A good 30 minute ride :knary:
Then I hit the trails at the top and on the way down. More flow and less rocks makes it fun
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Marylander
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Marylander » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:00 pm

Oh, yeah,, I was definitely standing up a lot. At some point I do think I'll swap to the fattest tires the frame can handle but it's just on 2" tires at the moment. I'm going to go ahead and run them tubeless until I wear them out. It gets expensive quick when you start a new hobby. ;) I already ordered he platform pedals.

I try to stay in shape all the time. I've only missed 5 days of aerobic exercise since July 2013. Freaking kidney stones and surgery to get them out screwed up my daily streak. This has almost all been running (avg 5 miles per day for last 2.5 years) but I'm branching out into cycling now (which does make me feel out of shape).

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Laoch
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Re: Mountain bike trails

Post by Laoch » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:22 pm

Marylander wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:00 pm
Oh, yeah,, I was definitely standing up a lot. At some point I do think I'll swap to the fattest tires the frame can handle but it's just on 2" tires at the moment. I'm going to go ahead and run them tubeless until I wear them out. It gets expensive quick when you start a new hobby. ;) I already ordered he platform pedals.

I try to stay in shape all the time. I've only missed 5 days of aerobic exercise since July 2013. Freaking kidney stones and surgery to get them out screwed up my daily streak. This has almost all been running (avg 5 miles per day for last 2.5 years) but I'm branching out into cycling now (which does make me feel out of shape).
My knees started going bad many years ago ( too many hard miles thanks to Uncle Sam) and I started biking. I got “serious” a few years ago. I try to ride several times a week. It’s tough in the winter, hence the mountain bike. No windchill to contend with.
Bruce
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