Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
Decreased urine output — fewer than six wet diapers a day for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
Few or no tears when crying
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
Lack of sweating
Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head
Low blood pressure
In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
As you can see, there are serious side affects to not properly hydrating before, during and after your ride. This is why I see hydrating as the most important thing to keep in mind while on the trail. Most times, when you feel like you are dehydrated, your body is telling you that you are already behind the eight ball. It is time to start drinking more water…and quickly.
The Eight and Eight Rule
Although there is no scientific basis for this rule, many people have adopted it as truth. They say that you are supposed to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water per day. If you are planning on exercising during that day, you need to increase that amount. Now, there are many factors that contribute to how much water a person should consume throughout the day and while exercising, but this is a great jumping off point.
What do I do while on a mountain bike ride?
I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day. I make a conscious effort on riding days to drink more than I normally would before the ride. During the ride, I make sure that I am always drinking. I am one of those riders that sweats a lot, so I get a constant reminder to replenish.
We are in the time of the year where keeping properly hydrated is especially important. When you are riding in 90+ degree heat, your body generates the symptoms of dehydration much faster than in the cooler months. During these summer months, I always carry 100 oz of water (sometimes half water/half Gatoraide) on every ride. It is always better to have more water than you need rather than not enough.
A group of 45 riders made their way up to Chattanooga, TN from Atlanta, GA over the weekend to enjoy some of the best single track in that area…Raccoon Mountain. This ride was held by the Roswell/Alpharetta chapter of SORBA, RAMBO, so we knew there was going to be some great riding with incredible food afterward.
The day started off perfect! Jenn and I loaded up the bikes and started the 2 hour trip to the trail. She slept most of the way up so that she would be good and rested for the day’s ride. When we got to the TVA pump station/Raccoon Mountain, the weather was beautiful. It was a little hot, which was to be expected, but the sky was a bright blue with a couple of scattered, white clouds. I took this time to snap a couple of pictures of the area that you can see below. Raccoon Mountain provides some of the best riding scenery in the southeast. The trail circles the large elevated TVA power lake and you get to ride on rock walls while you enjoy the beautiful Tennessee landscape.
The RTR was supposed to be 10:30am, but like most large group rides, we didn’t actually get started until about 11am. The ride started off great. Raccoon is fast, flowy and begs you to stay on the pedals. The trail has a great mix of large rocks, roots and groomed sections to really keep you on your toes. Raja was leading the “a group” so I knew we had a lot of pedal cadence ahead of us.
About 1/2 way through the ride, we started hearing loud noises out of the sky. That’s right…a nice summer thunderstorm was on the way. Luckily the timing worked out perfectly and we were able to wait the rain out in the protection of the TVA visitors center. Once the rain calmed down enough to ride, we starting the 5 miles left to the parking lot. Overall, the entire loop (with the several add-ons) comes out to just over 17 miles. There are several sections that are my favorite: the overlook, the double before the overlook, Six Flags, the rock DH (that several people walked) and the gap jump (RIP). Raccoon Mountain is a great trail that I don’t get to hit as often as I wish.
The girls ended up having a great time. Jenn was proud of her 8.5 miles of technical trail and Kristen ended up taking a nasty spill into a tree. She even rode another 3.5 miles after the fall! The “better half’s” are getting better by the day, and by the end of next week I hope to have Jenn on a set of clipless.
After the ride, all of us got together for a great cookout hosted by RAMBO. The food was great and so was the company.
Can’t wait until the next one! Until then…here are some pictures…
I received an email from Devin Riley at Clix yesterday showing off their new QR skewer.
According to Clix.com
CLIX Systems, Inc. has introduced a revolutionary new wheel release system, called CLIX™. For the first time ever, riders are able to install and lock their front wheel with no cam adjustment, and with only one hand.
The traditional quick release was invented in 1927 and is a safe and effective system when operated correctly. However, correct operation is not inherently obvious to all riders. The problem can occur when the rider spins the quick release lever like a ‘wing nut’ until it is tightened, rather than operating it properly like a quick release cam. This gives the impression that the wheel is safely fastened when it is not. With the new CLIX system, the rider does not need to tighten the system by turning it. The rider simply closes the lever in one motion.
What immediately caught my attention was the one handed operation. One of the main reasons I really dislike the current QR systems is the way in which they operate. Each time I go to take the front wheel of or put it back on, it is a huge chore to get it right. Have I ever had one fall off? No, but the simplicity that the Clix provides is a huge selling point in my book.
Clix also claims that the front wheel will never come disconnected from the bike while riding. While this has never happened to me, I have heard numerous stories of this happening to other riders. This safety benefit also makes the Clix priceless.
To illustrate how easy this QR is to use, Clix put together a simple operation video. They also did a humorous video showing how conventional QR’s can come off while riding that you can find here.
Another interesting note for all of you weight weenies is that the Clix QR is not heavy.
Weighing in at 67.3grams, CLIX carries 14g less weight than an entry level Shimano QR and only 2g more than an XT QR.
I really like the idea. I would also like to get one in to try it out and see if it is actually as easy to use as it looks. The overall idea is a huge step forward for an area of the bike that has not changed in a long time.
Quotes on the Clix…
“…Clix is simpler…fast and easy to use.”
- Bicycling Magazine
“… the greatest advance in wheel removal and retention that the bicycle industry
has seen since the invention of the traditional quick release system.”
- Pacific Cycle CEO
“… literally fool-proof.”
- Bike Europe Magazine
I am really interested to see what you guys think about the Clix.
It is truly amazing to watch some of these guys ride. They have the best bike handling skills in the industry. Not too long ago, I did a post on how important practicing your balance is on a bike. These guys have made it an art form.
I know…it sounds funny, but who better to tell you how to wreck a mountain bike other than 198? If you have clicked the “About MTB by198” link above, you already know that I am very qualified to explain how to wreck, but more importantly, how NOT TO WRECK.
Just for fun, download this video, put it on loop and laugh it up with your riding friends. I can’t tell you how many hysterical phone calls I received from my friends watching this video. If there is one thing that is absolutely true in life, it is this…don’t give out if you can’t take it. I laughed just as hard at myself as everyone else was at me. It was great to have this kind of evidence.
A wreck in mountain biking is not an “if” it’s a when. We are involved in a sport that we know the risks going into the action. How far we decide to push ourselves past their limits is up to us, but even under the most conservative circumstances, wrecks still happen. There are certain tips that can keep the injuries at a minimum when you start to go down.
Do not put your hands straight out in front of you to brace the fall. This is a sure way to break both wrists.
Kick the mountain bike away from you whenever possible. The last thing you want tangled up with you while you are going down is a huge hunk of metal. The quicker you get the bike away from you…the better.
Roll with the fall as much as possible away from your mountain bike. The more you roll, the less blunt force you have against your body. Less hard hits = less injury.
Wear protective gear while mountain biking in extreme conditions. I go a little overboard in this area because of previous incidents. I have numerous scars and torn ligaments, and I have seen more open wounds than I can count. Wearing knee pads on a cross country ride has become my normal mode of operation. It just isn’t worth using a weeks vacation from work anymore to nurse an injury. Also, make sure that all of your protective gear fits correctly.
Do not start riding again until you are sure that you are not seriously injured. A lot of times your body gets such a rush over the fall that you can become numb to the pain. Give yourself a second before you get back on the bike to make sure that you don’t cause further injury.
Carry basic first aid supplies in your hydration pack. Carry any lightweight supplies that you can get away with. Band-aids, gauze, Neosporin, etc. These can help you when you go down, but more importantly, they can help fellow riders on the trail.
Like I said before, wrecking is part of mountain biking. In most cases, I actually end up learning more from my wrecks than my accomplishments. Success is nothing but a bunch of failures strung together, so next time you wreck…take a really close look at why and how to do it differently next time. After each bad wreck, I always return to the scene of the crime. Get rid of those demons as fast as possible and enjoy the feeling of clearing the section that gave you such as issue.
Yesterday, Jenn and I went on the 19th annual, July 4th Cartecay ride with what looked like over 50 of my closet biking friends at the Tanasi trail system. It was a great day full of riding and socializing.
Jenn and Kristen did a 9 mile adventure around some of the lower trails to really get a feel for mountain type riding. They got to experience first hand some technical features and steep climbing. It was great to come back to the parking lot and see their smiling faces, proud of what they had just accomplished. We all know that great feeling of getting past those first obstacles. Kristen seems to really be getting the hang of her knew clipless pedals. Pretty soon, it will be time to get Jenn on some as well.
Our ride started off great! We took the side trails and a little bit of road to the Brush Creek Loop for some flowy warm-up. When I say warm-up, I mean following some 24 hr hammers at an average of over 12 mph. I kept the cadence for most of the loop, but eventually, the weight of the bike caught up with me and I had to fall back some. Brush Creek is some nice flow that just seems to roll and roll for several miles. Leaving Brush Creek, you hit a great downhill back to the road (you have to climb it to get there). My DH was ruined back a stiff link that had to be removed at the bottom, but overall it was a great ride.
Once we got done with the Brush Creek side, we went back to the cars for some refueling before hitting the classic side of Tanasi. On the menu for the rest of the ride was Bear Paw, Chestnut and TR Express. Unfortunately, I blew up…and bad. It totally ruined Chestnut, so I tried to conserve energy for the best downhill at the trail system. Thunder Rock Express is known for being very fast and treacherous. There even used to be nets on the side of the trail to catch riders from flying off into the forest. At the top of TRE, I sat for awhile to regain my composure (legs). When I started, I thought it was going to be another bust, but luckily I got a really clean, fast ride down. It made all of that pushing worth it. Heading back to the parking lot, my legs were toast, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. This was the first time, in a long time, that I have seen this many riders having cramping issues. We must have been hitting it pretty hard from the beginning.
Overall mileage ended up around the 27 mile range, and we were doing it at a fast clip thanks to our lead pack. As we all know, even a tough day at the trail is a great one.
After the ride, we went to get some lunch with friends and then cooked out later to enjoy the 4th. Rain prevented us from going to see the fireworks, but not many of us cared due to the company we were keeping. Great ride…great day…can’t wait to do it again.
Many people think of one thing when it comes to cycling, those tight spandex shorts, wondering “do I have to wear those shorts if I want to get serious about cycling?” Well people you are in luck. Bike clothing manufacturers are making baggy bike shorts for those of us that want to be comfortable on the trails and not self conscious.
Many people just forgo the whole spandex thing by not buying cycling shorts at all not knowing that if they plan to spend any length of time on the bike that the shorts perform a very needed function. Cycling shorts have a padded “chamois” that help protect your sit bones. Many people that do buy the cycling shorts make one or several mistakes. They wear other shorts over top of the spandex cycling shorts to be more modest. This method works, you still have the protective chamois, but you also have the other shorts bunching up and that can be down right uncomfortable, not to mention making you look like a newbie. The next mistake that people make is they wear underwear under their cycling shorts. This is an announcement… “you go commando under your cycling shorts!”… baggy kind or spandex kind. Hey, before you make that “ewwww” face, you really need to try it and see how much more comfortable it is.
So you as you may be asking, “well, you mentioned the baggy cycling shorts, tell me more.” Their are several companies that make these types of shorts, and they are the rage with mountain bikers. One such company that makes really comfortable mountain bike clothing is Hoss Technical Gear. Their shorts are great, and they look like normal shorts, so only you will know they are bike shorts. This is wonderful if you have to stop by the store after a ride because there are no worries about changing clothes or covering up. These shorts are about the best out there, and they are reasonably priced. Another company that has a good baggy type of short for men and women is Fox. The “Fox Diva” for women is a personal favorite of mine because it is comfortable and well made. The Diva isn’t as well priced as the Hoss shorts, but hey ladies, don’t we always have to pay more for our clothes?
So check out your local bike shop or your favorite online cycling gear retailer and get a cool pair of baggies. You don’t have anymore excuses on why you don’t want to ride your bike!
Today, I am going to talk about focusing on the trail ahead of you.
Unless you are in a very technical section, the best strategy is to focus on the trail farther ahead of you instead of what is right in front of your tire. When you only focus on the section of trail that you are about to hit, you end up making unnecessary corrections that throw the bike off line. The result is slower, harsher riding.
When you are riding down the trail, try to focus farther ahead. This will smooth out your line and let you prepare for corrections on the bigger obstacles. Often, you will find that most of the objects you corrected for in the past aren’t even felt under the bike. Even the ones you do feel, were better handled by keeping the bike straight.
In the picture above by Bill Freeman, you can see that Troy Lee looks far ahead of him even in extended downhill runs. I have found far off trail focus is essential during really fast runs where you have to plan ahead more than you would for climbing, flats and slower downhills. If you get caught with your eyes following the front tire, fast turns, rocks and roots can catch you by surprise and cause serious mistakes.
Next time you are riding really focus on which section of the trail you are watching. Try to adjust this vision closer and farther away depending on the trail conditions. As you get tired when you ride, the tendancy is going to be to keep your head and eyes down. During this time it is even more important to keep your head and eyes up to plan ahead.
Mountain Biking by 198 made it past the 3 month mark! I have to think that most blogs throw in the towel by this point, but I am dedicated to keeping this going for years to come.
MOUNTAIN BIKING BY 198 STATS
90 Day Stats:
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Visits – 20,451
Average Page Views – 2.79
Average Time on Site – 3:01
Number of Countries – 102
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Number of Posts – 131
Last 30 Day Stats:
Pageviews – 34,065
Unique Visitors – 8,478
Visits – 10,847
Average Page Views – 3.14
Average Time on Site – 3:03
MTBR PRO REVIEWS
I am really excited about the opportunity with MTBR.com. Be on the lookout for more Pro Reviews by 198 on MTBR.com.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN THE FUTURE
Interviews with Manufacturers
Guest Posts (More getting added shortly)
More Tires from Maxxis!
I am incredibly excited about how well the blog is doing. In a very short time, it has been able to achieve heights that surpassed my goals, and that is all thanks to you guys. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, subscribe to the feed and comment on posts. This blog would be nothing without it’s readers.
A special thanks goes out to Turner Bikes, Ellsworth Bikes, T2Bikes.com, Angela Brown (wncmtb.com) and all of the other contributors to this blog.
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