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MTB Fun! First MTB ride in 15 years on new bike (pics & video)

luv2climb2012-04-19 02:17:16 +0000 #1
Yesterday had to be the most fun I've had on a bike in years! I took my brand-new Trek Wahoo Disc 29 up to Auburn for some climbing and descending bliss. These are some of my favorite trails from the good old days in the early 90s.

For those who aren't familiar with me or my posts, I have been riding on the road all this time, and I've been seeking out the steepest, most grueling road climbs I can find in my area (videos of all those climbs are here: ). I'm convinced that all that climbing training helped me haul my fat butt and this very heavy 29er up the steep stuff without having to get off and walk. It was hard as hell, but I made it.

All of these trails have technical sections to keep things interesting.

The first trail is Clementine: . It starts at the bottom of the canyon by the American River and climbs up to the next trailhead (Fuel Break). Clementine starts out as doubletrack, narrows to singletrack for a while, then widens to doubletrack again as it climbs.

Fuel Break climbs for about 1/2 mile, descends for 1/4 mile, climbs again, then descends to the next trail, Culvert: . Culvert drops down to Old Foresthill Road.

Confluence: is the really fun downhill that starts at the OHV parking area. After I finished that one, the real suffering began. I started up the short steep part at the beginning of Stagecoach Trail: , but instead of making the left turn at the first switchback, I accidentally overshot it and continued on to the next switchback. When the grade got steeper instead of leveling off somewhat like it's supposed to, I started to wonder if the trail got re-routed in the last 15 years.

I spun out a few times and had to restart. Great fun! Other times my front wheel lifted off the ground, forcing me to stop. I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to walk this one, but I eventually made it all the way up by pedal power.

Where I ended up was the top of the Ridgeview trailhead. I went back down and explored some trails off of the steep climb. Found another short steep climb, and after several tries I made it up that one. Picking the right line was absolutely essential with this one. It was technical and covered with pine needles.

I went back to my truck to get more water (gonna have to get a Camelbak, I guess), and started up Stagecoach again. This time I didn't miss the turn-off. After the steep part, the trail leveled off and there was very little suffering for the remainder of the climb. Near the top I saw a group of hikers heading down. One of the women said "Good job!" (you can hear it in the video), and I thanked her.

After that climb I continued climbing on the pavement on Russell Road, then turned around and enjoyed the descent back down Stagecoach.

I'm going to have to remove the spacers and slam the stem to cut down on the front wheel coming off the ground on steep climbs.

Here's the video. It's 100% natural sound. That means heavy breathing on the climbs, so be forewarned!

Video From YouTube:(link)

One of the technical turns on Culvert.

Confluence trailhead

Middle fork of American River as seen from Confluence Trail.

American River and Clementine Trail.

Start of Stagecoach Trail steep climb.

Ridgeview trailhead.

Steep sufferfest climb I wound up on by accident.

Short steep climb it took several tries to clean.

More pics here:

missjean2012-04-19 02:28:15 +0000 #2
Very nice! Those steep drop offs to the river would make me uneasy.

I was going to say enjoy the new bike, but you already are!
luv2climb2012-04-19 02:43:13 +0000 #3

For some reason those drop offs don't scare me. I don't know if it's because I used to ride that trail often or what, but once I got in the groove on that descent it all came back to me and my confidence increased.
Reesha2012-04-19 03:29:21 +0000 #4

Originally Posted by missjean

Very nice! Those steep drop offs to the river would make me uneasy.

I was going to say enjoy the new bike, but you already are!

I am the same!

Luv, you must have buns of STEEL! I am always impressed by the climbing you do!
Artista2012-04-19 02:55:53 +0000 #5
Loved the video. Scenes like this are as close as I've come to technical riding since I broke my ankle last fall. The ankle has been strong enough for technical riding for about 6 weeks now but our trails have been too muddy and icy to ride. In the mean time, I've been living vicariously through mtb'ing videos like yours. Thanks for posting.

The last picture in your post is reminiscent of the hill that I broke my ankle on. I tried to ride it unclipped. My shoe slid off of the pedal on a really heavy down-stroke and my foot hit the ground at an ugly angle, breaking my ankle. I thought unclipping would be safer if I lost too much momentum. I won't try THAT tactic again!

The pic of the bike parked under the "No Parking" sign gave me a chuckle
luv2climb2012-04-19 03:10:31 +0000 #6
Thank you.

Artista, I cringed after reading your post!

I'm glad you're healed up now.

Scenarios like that are why I have toe clips and straps on every bike I own. Pedals get very slippery when wet on road rides. On a technical mtb trail, I could just picture the disasters that would happen if I slipped off a pedal.

Some posters on another forum have suggested that I go clipless because toe clips and straps can cause injury, but I've never experienced that. When I had SPDs I had several slow speed crashes due to not being able to unclip in time. No injuries though.



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