Mountain bike advice

Recent events inspired me to give fellow bikers the following advice:

– Do Not Ride With Worn Out Tires

Last week, I did the Kennedy trail ride in Los Gatos with the mtbsh crew. I started with a rather worn out front tire; had replaced the rear tire – which was equally worn out – earlier on, but for reasons not entirely clear I decided to procrastinate replacing the front one. During the climb I got a flat on the front (which is pretty suspicious, as one usually never gets a flat on the way up); changed the tube, but while inflating it, the replacement tube literally exploded – and left a spectacular crater in the dirt; turns out it had been pinched by a puncture in the tire (which also caused the initial flat). So I fixed it by patching the tube and using leaves and additional patches to cover the puncture on the inside of the tire. Finished the ride but not without suffering serious anxiety during the downhill section – as the latter consisted of Dog Meat and Overgrown, not exactly the most tire-friendly places to dwell upon.

– Attempting Jumps Without Protective Gear May Carry Health Risks

Yesterday I went on a quick afternoon ride in Arastradero Park, which is a nice little park, closeby Palo Alto, with some entertaining but rather mellow singletrack and fire roads. There is one spot however, a small ‘bowl’, containing a number of man-made bumps and jumps (made by bmx or ‘freeride’ kids?). It’s a good place to practice one’s skills in the air – the bumps are ranging from tiny to big-ass. An often overlooked part of doing jumps however is getting the landing right, and yours truly failed miserably on this aspect while tackling a medium-sized bump. Considerable road rash on my right thigh and elbow has been the consequence. I did wear long pants and a long-sleeved jersey, so that saved me from worse; however, my elbow pads were sitting idle in the trunk of my car – and I probably would have just smiled about the incident if only I had worn them. Now, I had to take this as an opportunity to test out some high tech anti road rash medical gear.

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