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My first off road MTB ride at 59 years old


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The first thing I would like to say is thanks to all who have supported my efforts in getting my blood sugar under control. You all know who you are.


My bike


Giant Anthem X 29er, Giant wheels and cross something tyres, Fox RP23 Rear Shock, All XT components except for the XTR rear der, brakes G2 cleansweep discs with Sram XX World Cup, Ritchey Carbon Riser bar, A Ritchey 110mm stem Ritchey Carbon layback Seatpost, Specialized saddle (Henge 143mm) and a Rock Shox SID XX 29er tapered 15mm through axle and a Specialized helmet. And before I forget my old weight lifting gloves.


So the ride started well.


Out the house HR 75 BPM down the road going like a bat out of hell pulled the 185 XX World cup brake on and thought I was going over the bars. Thankfully I did not. First lesson the brakes are good.


Started the first climb not big but heart rate now up to 135 little out of breath but doing well.

Gear not sounding so good as I tried to push up the hill a friend riding with me told me small front and small back gear selection not good and large front and large back gears crossing over also not a good thing to do. Second lesson dont cross your gears.


Ok been out for about 25 min heart rate at 145 and now starting a long climb up to the top of the village. Stopped 3 time on the way up HR 175 out of breath friend riding with me looks like he is falling asleep told him to check the route ahead, cars going past me people laughing but hey I am having a great time. Lesson three the hill is bigger than I thought.


Ok so we are at the top of the village and Eugene said were does this dirt track go to? (Should have said I don’t know)

I realised then I was in trouble but as us men do I plucked up my remaining testosterone and said my son said it’s a great way back home he used it many a time on the 4 wheeler lets go back home that route. Fourth lesson don’t think with your nuts and don’t listen to your son’s advice.


After getting 90% of the way up kill e man jaro Eugene who has by now been up and down about ten times said he went right at the top and once again my nuts started to think for me and out my mouth came the words you should have gone left (oh why did I speak) Lesson five keep my big mouth shut. Right he says lets go.


That is where the wheels fell off. I was in the lowest gear and I was told to take it easy so I pushed like hell it was up hill remember, there I popped my first wheelie and the next thing I felt was my head hitting the ground and I remember looking at Eugene who was on the floor laughing. I was ok but my pride had a dent. Lesson six listen to advice.


Ok so off we go again finally I reached the top HR 175 and climbing it was about now I remembered the doctors words ringing in my ears do not go above 110 HR and walk as exercise. We are now at the top looking down across a dirt track between the fields and I can see all the these flashing colours in my eyes and my legs are shaking. Lesson seven always take the advice of your doctor.


There is a big discussion about the technical route it went something like which way I said thinking with my nuts the steepest and fastest. Oh boy was that a mistake and it’s starting to go dark.


Off we go Eugene in front and me catching him at a rate that can only be described as suicidal the bumps are causing me to see double and me thinking these monstrous brakes if I pull them they will send me flying so what do I do as Eugene takes a left turn I call him a sadistic AH and go off I go into the freshly dug sugar cane.

I have never been so happy the dirt just brought me to a grinding halt my HR is off the scale plus the sweat is burning my eye so I cannot see. Lesson eight a mixture of lessons four and five.


Still only 1/3 of the way down and I am thinking what now walk or cry well let me tell you this is where I moved into top gear, the thought process was at its peak I was again using my nuts as my brain and because I thought my son loved me and he though his route was great and I thought that I should stick with it and the thought of my dear wife who was sitting at home having a beer my mouth got the better of me and well I said lets race to the bottom and off we went.


It was clear from the start my 60 minutes experience of mountain biking was all coming together the suspension going downhill was set at hard the hand eye coordination with the brakes was in tune and just because I could not see in the dark hell what could go wrong. I have lost all feeling in my bum Eugene is now at warp 9 I am close on his tail and thinking am I insured enough. It was then I though suspension should be set as soft!!!!


Suddenly out the dark I hear Eugene shout watch out its soft!!!! WTF is he going on about I thought then another command ringing out go left WTF !!! is he on about. Out of the darkness I see a wall of thick bush approaching me at speed and Eugene going off to my left so this time no choice I go left. It was about then I though what was he going on about soft!!! This is the same time I saw this sand approaching my head the front wheel slipping gently away. Lucky for me no damage except once again Eugene is on the floor laughing.


Lesson nine brakes are good, don’t cross your gears, hills are bigger than you think, don’t think with your nuts and don’t listen to your sons advice, keep my big mouth shut, listen to advice, always take the advice of your doctor, mixture of lesson four and five.

So I make it home in one piece and my bike is fantastic had the best hour and a bits worth of enjoyment I have had in a long time.


Lesson ten Get yourself a bike :clap:


All in all a great ride and I will be doing many more.



Edited by orsum
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Wow, got me excited remembering my first ride which was also my firs fall..it can only get easier and u better controlling your great bike.



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Enjoyed your story. Cycling is a adventure, every time I go out for a ride its something new. I've been going for 6 years now and have never got bored. If I'm at home stuffed and my friends phone and ask "how about a ride? " i"m there like a shot.

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Its quite strange how life make you change direction.


Bit like the sand I hit at the bottom of the hill. lol


I must say that I am looking towards my next ride.


Cleat I have them but for now just flats will do.


I will save lesson eleven using cleats for another day and another hill.



Edited by orsum
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Lesson #12 (only applicable if you're diabetic which it seems you might be from your well written story)


ALWAYS have some high GI carbs with you should you go hypo.

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Great story.


My Lesson 11: learn to uncleat or pick up your ego off the floor

This was my first lesson. Possibly also my 2nd. :mellow:

1st time out on a bike in over 30 years, I rode up the hill, 500m long(not high), was absolutely clapped & decided to roll down and go back home. Turned into driveway and could not uncleat. 1st lesson done and dusted.

Seem to have done this too many times since. :thumbdown:

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Hahahaha. Great story. Lekker way to start the day. Now I'm going to think of cycling the whole day long instead of working...............Oh wait, I do that anyways.

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Awesome stuff!!! Lekke way to start the day with some good positive news and a good chuckle!!

I wish you all the best and maaaany more happy years of MTB!!


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