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Thread: Local trail suggestions for beginners?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teamsloan View Post
    To my knowledge, if RLAG was any more beginner friendly they would be literally teaching people to ride bikes in the parking lot...with training wheels.
    Word! My beginner wife was in a group where they taught basic skills on a grassy field. Demonstrated skill first, let student try, critique, repeat.
    I can't say enough about what a great group this is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Yup. I would enjoy a stroll around Town Lake with my favorite lady, but mountain biking would make her hate me.
    I LOVE riding with my wife. I will ride what ever trail she wants to ride at the speed she is comfortable. I have no problem walking or sessioning anything, anywhere. The hardest part is keeping my mouth shut so she does not feel like I am telling her "what she should have done". I just wait until she asks for help. Until she asks, I have to assume she is doing what she wants and is happy with it. Compliments help. Just not too many complements or they feel like belittling.

    The biggest problem is who rides in front. She generally wants me to lead. If I'm not careful I can ride off and leave her. Or ride just a bit faster than she wants to ride so she tries to keep up and bonks. If she leads I can match her pace more easily. But then she feels like if she misses something or walks something, she is holding me back. I actually think this is very good practice for me. I have to make things with little to no momentum. That is a good skill to develop.
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    MoJo Priest professoratx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    I actually think this is very good practice for me. I have to make things with little to no momentum. That is a good skill to develop.
    I'm finding it helpful for myself to ease back into riding. I'm not a great rider to start with, and as I shake off some rust, having a beginner keeps me from hitting things too fast.

  4. #24
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    I introduced my wife to mountain biking and now she waits on me.

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    Local trail suggestions for beginners?

    I'd second Mary Moore Searight. She'll have to walk across the creek crossing and up the bank but then it's open fields and a mix of crushed granite paths, grass, and asphalt. As she feels better about riding you can transition to trails with roots and rocks that are on the outer edges of the park. It's also a small park so she won't feel like it's a huge undertaking. The outer trail is around 3 miles and the inner field and trail area is half that. Hills are short and gradual.


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    Mary Moore does have some good beginner stuff. Very scenic too. And none of the hard stuff available there appears suddenly.

    But just a reminder, there is some "real" mountain biking to be had there. Some crazy stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tip View Post
    Word! My beginner wife was in a group where they taught basic skills on a grassy field. Demonstrated skill first, let student try, critique, repeat.
    I can't say enough about what a great group this is.
    That's actually really cool. My girlfriend is terrified to even hit the trails at all, and she doesn't like when I try to teach her. That's probably my fault, but I haven't figured out just how yet. I'll have to mention how beginner friendly RLAG is. I assumed it was on the level of the beginner ARR rides at Walnut, which my girlfriend is certainly not ready for.
    Ride it like you stole it.

  8. #28
    prodigal son of Austin Teamsloan's Avatar
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    Well, somebody needs to post this...

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    I just got back from riding Slaughter Creek Trail with my wife. She told me I was nucking futs for thinking that was a beginner friendly trail. She said she thought I was trying to kill her the first time I took her there. And that was before it eroded and the ledges get bigger.
    For realz? Isn't SC a flat 5 mile loop or has something changed?

  10. #30
    MoJo Mother Superior Tree magnet's Avatar
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    I think that SC might have had some serious erosion that has created what could be considered technical features. "Flat" is a relative term just as much as "technical feature". The most important thing is to find a trail that you're comfortable on and keep progressing. What was crazy tough one day will soon become a warm up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAF View Post
    For realz? Isn't SC a flat 5 mile loop or has something changed?
    There is not much "climbing" there. But what climbing there is usually comes in the form of ledges or very short kind of steep hills. Probably the worst part id the most challenging features are in the first 1/2 mile. So beginners don't get the chance to practice and gain confidence. Then it gets pretty easy for a long way. Then there are a couple of rock gardens. Then two decent sized ledges. Not much for an intermediate but too much for a new rider.

    Some riders have created their own "kids loop" to avoid the toughest obstacles. Although I think his kids have outgrown it already.
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  12. #32
    MoJo Mother Superior AntonioGG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    I LOVE riding with my wife. I will ride what ever trail she wants to ride at the speed she is comfortable. I have no problem walking or sessioning anything, anywhere. The hardest part is keeping my mouth shut so she does not feel like I am telling her "what she should have done". I just wait until she asks for help. Until she asks, I have to assume she is doing what she wants and is happy with it. Compliments help. Just not too many complements or they feel like belittling.

    The biggest problem is who rides in front. She generally wants me to lead. If I'm not careful I can ride off and leave her. Or ride just a bit faster than she wants to ride so she tries to keep up and bonks. If she leads I can match her pace more easily. But then she feels like if she misses something or walks something, she is holding me back. I actually think this is very good practice for me. I have to make things with little to no momentum. That is a good skill to develop.
    My wife also likes riding with me leading. We have a system with hand signals, raised upper hand means a feature is coming up, and it's up to her if she wants to ride it or not. Raised fist means she should dismount. She trusts my judgment enough that she's very comfortable with this. I did start by working on the road with her, especially on braking and weight balance (she went many years without riding to a bike with hydraulic disk brakes) before we went offroad. Since then she's also done RLAG and loved it.

    Ditto on the win-win as to the low-momentum skills. This is something we have to regularly use in some group rides. Feels good to track-stand waiting for clearance, then still make the feature.

    For the OP, there are some easy trails on the base of St. Eds park, and also along Bull Creek.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teamsloan View Post
    To my knowledge, if RLAG was any more beginner friendly they would be literally teaching people to ride bikes in the parking lot.
    RLAG does teach skills on the parking lot or a flat dirt/grass area. That is such an amazing program for helping new riders get started mountain biking.

    And RLAG are no drop rides. Unless somebody gets in Cindy's group by accident. ;-)

  14. #34
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    A note on clipless pedals. It seems in the past, that flats were for learners and newbies and it was important to "graduate" to clipless as soon as possible, or even to try to use them at the same time someone was learning to ride. I don't think that anymore. My personal opinion now? Starting out, go flats until someone is really, really comfortable on the bike and really developing skills. Then, if clipless are of interest, try them.

    Clipless can be hugely anxiety producing for some new riders, interfering with the learning curve and making an already challenging situation miserable.
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    I have more anxiety on flats than I do in clips. I also find that clips make me lazy and sloppy, though more efficient on climbs for certain. If I had to do it again, I might not even own a set of clips.
    Ride it like you stole it.

  16. #36
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Now that I am used to being attached to my pedals, it's hard to imagine riding flats. But when i first started mountain biking, i rode clipped in way too soon and it was terrifying. I went back to flats for a while and eased my way into a SPD system.

    That said, current market choices for sticky flat-soled sneakers and grabby flat pedals is much better than it was twn years ago. Beginners should probably go that route.

  17. #37
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    I say get with Seth_Pool; I hear he got some good easy trails he could suggest, which he's taken his lady on. I am sure he can give you some pointers
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78745 View Post
    I say get with Seth_Pool; I hear he got some good easy trails he could suggest, which he's taken his lady on. I am sure he can give you some pointers
    At some point in the past year, I was walking at Walnut and saw a couple at the top of Endo Valley. I'm pretty sure the guy was Seth, and he was reassuring his companion that it was steep, but not that bad....
    and I think it worked out OK. Not sure if this was the North Face jacket lady or someone else....
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  19. #39
    MoJo Mother Superior bsdctx's Avatar
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    Clipless pedals are a lie perpetuated by The Man to bind our soles and our souls to the pedals of life.

  20. #40
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    I wanted to post this sooner but I'm perplexed how ARR can recommend Balcones Park. Is there even a single trail there besides the paved poop creek one?
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