My trek from middling Cat 3 roadie to MTBer

#1
Thought it might be interesting (at least to me) to capture my trek from middling Cat 3 roadie to MTBer on this forum. I’ve seen similar threads posting about members’ various rides/race updates, so thought this might be interesting to see my progression of sorts.

I actually got into cycling through the mountain bike back in 1992 when I was in the Army in central California. I bought a GT Timberline a subscription to Velonews and followed John Tomac, Julie Fortado, Missy Giove and others rip up the Norba circuit. It’s been a long time, though, since I’ve focused any efforts on the MTB aside from my hair-brained idea to build mountain bike trails in High Bridge. At this point, I walk most log crossings and rock gardens, but I’ve been studying up, so we’ see how it goes.

So I’m going to put up a little something about my riding/racing when it seems to be interesting throughout the year. The last few years I did ~20 Road/Crit races a year. Not sure how much racing I’ll do on MTB, but I’ll comment on that here. Heckling is fine, encouragement and advice are too. Hopefully, along the way I’ll meet some new folks and learn some things.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that I largely don’t know who the hell most of the members here are, so I’ll have to change my profile name because just listing my name probably doesn’t fit with the culture here.
 
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#4
Thought it might be interesting (at least to me) to capture my trek from middling Cat 3 roadie to MTBer on this forum. I’ve seen similar threads posting about members’ various rides/race updates, so thought this might be interesting to see my progression of sorts.

I actually got into cycling through the mountain bike back in 1992 when I was in the Army in central California. I bought a GT Timberline a subscription to Velonews and followed John Tomac, Julie Fortado, Missy Giove and others rip up the Norba circuit. It’s been a long time, though, since I’ve focused any efforts on the MTB aside from my hair-brained idea to build mountain bike trails in High Bridge. At this point, I walk most log crossings and rock gardens, but I’ve been studying up, so we’ see how it goes.

So I’m going to put up a little something about my riding/racing when it seems to be interesting throughout the year. The last few years I did ~20 Road/Crit races a year. Not sure how much racing I’ll do on MTB, but I’ll comment on that here. Heckling is fine, encouragement and advice are too. Hopefully, along the way I’ll meet some new folks and learn some things.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that I largely don’t know who the hell most of the members here are, so I’ll have to change my profile name because just listing my name probably doesn’t fit with the culture here.
Can't thank you enough for those trails in High Bridge. Been riding there a few years now and love it
 

Robin

Well-Known Member
#5
My screen name is my name. It used to be skiphreaknj but I changed it too. I’ve been on the forum for a while but now only know a few of the regulars and old timers. Guess I need to get out more.

Thank you so much for the work you’ve done ar Nassau. I’ve been riding them since you hosted the short track....5 or 6 Year’s ago?! I’ve seen these trails progress and grow. My campers love riding here and I’m lucky to have them as my go-to on my drive home from work.

Will see you around...hopefully we are done with all the wet weather because I’m missing riding Nassau.
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
#8
We've got some things in common.

You and I began mountain biking in the same year, and I still have a poster of Tomac hanging in my basement.

I took up road racing as well in the mid-90's and have spent lots and lots of time in that world.

Looking forward to reading about your new focus on riding in the woods.
 
#9
Still figuring out what races to do, but want to do some endurance. Will try to do enough of the H2H to see where I stand. That brings me to my first post, which I didn’t want to get into above, because I didn’t want it to get too long.

Planning to “race” short track #1 on Sunday. Race predictor has me projected for 5th place in the Sport class, I think. Yeah, that probably ain’t going to happen. My objective on Sunday is to dip my toes in the water. Looking to run clean lines and have a mishap free ride. I’m not looking to take any risks. Of course, I will open it up where it feels safe to do so, but I’ve only ridden my MTB 3 times in 4-6 months and two of those were on a new MTB (Speedfox) with a geometry that I really didn’t like. You see, I didn’t know that there was a difference between an XC and a Trail bike and bought the latter. So I will be on my 2004 26” Stumpjumper. It was a mean race bike in its day, so I ain’t scared.

See you Sunday! Feel free to introduce yourself because I don’t know most of you, I’m sure. JO
 

MadisonDan

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#10
Looking forward to reading/seeing how your progression goes.... The Race Predictor is from CX points, so mostly ignore that (has me in 8th, NFW).
see ya sunday!
 
#11
My first "real" beginner ride on a trail with my MTB was Nassau and I LOVE those trails, so echoing the rest here, thanks for whatever you did to make them possible. As a roadie for nearly 10 years, just started really trying MTB when NICA formed last year and I definitely like the challenge/fun/heckling aspects. Plus via this MTBNJ forum I have met some pretty cool folks with a lot of great tips and encouragement.

I will be somewhere on the beginner race Sunday, on my older Rockhopper 26er, (see what I did there, not 29er) letting the NICA kids lap me and trying to stay upright and not get hurt while having some fun. According to my personally calculated race predictor, I will be somewhere between Last and DFL :)
 

Delish

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#14
Good to see this @Jeffreywoliver. Welcome to the dirty side. While I still loves me the idea of racing crits, I don't loves the idea of scraping myself off the pavement anymore. I think we first met at a South Mountian weeknight training crit circa 2010?

Best advice for getting better and faster on a MTB is to ride with/follow people who are better than you and do what they do.

See you Sunday
 

fidodie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#16
good course design has an uphill start to spread riders out before the single track (i can't remember who taught me this, was probably Norm) - the start line is a bit lower than the actual course. shouldn't call it a climb, it is just 30 seconds or so of uphill.
 

Sven Migot

Active Member
#17
good course design has an uphill start to spread riders out before the single track (i can't remember who taught me this, was probably Norm) - the start line is a bit lower than the actual course. shouldn't call it a climb, it is just 30 seconds or so of uphill.
I was kidding :p
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#18
Oh hey hi, nice to meet you. I'm Albert.

See you Sunday unless it's too snowy, like an owl, but without wings.
 
#19
Was sort of bummed that Short Track #1 was canceled - but sort of not really because I wasn’t too high on getting too muddy. It was disappointing not to get started though. Instead, I went and rode Hartshorne for the first time. Aside from a few wet spots it was a fun ride. Turns out, although I got a new cassette and chain on my Stumpjumper, I had a lot of issues with chain suck that would have just pissed me off in the race anyway. I was stuck in the small and big ring, but it was cool riding somewhere I’d never been.

I get the new MTB on Wed or Thursday and am hoping to give it a spin on Sat. Looking forward to riding HoH on Sat and sharpening my endurance game. Hoping for some decent weather!