Fall Mountain Biking

Fall mountain biking could hands down be the most gorgeous season to ride bikes. The cooler weather and scenery fall brings to our mountains can make a pleasant ride for all riders. However, it’s not all peaches and cream riding bikes in the fall. If you’re riding somewhere new, leaves covered trail can be your worst enemy. Especially if you cannot follow the trail line or unknown to you there are big rocks, nasty roots, etc., underneath the leaves that could make you endo. (Paying your flesh tax by going over the handlebars) If you’re riding in a new place where park rangers or local bike club has blown the leaves off the trail, be sure to thank them. A lot of experience riders can follow or read the trails very well. My biggest difficulty when riding in the fall at a place I’m familiar with is maintaining control of my bike. Riding on leaves is almost the same as riding on ice! Countless of times I nearly lost control so bad that I could have broken my shoulder, cracked a rib, another concussion, broken arm, or worse, damage my bike! I have pedals where my feet are “clipped” into the pedals to prevent me from losing cadence from bouncing off roots, rocks, etc. Most people that see my pedals says it a “death trap” but really it’s fairly easy to “unclip” otherwise I would have suffered all of the injuries above. I actually came down a hill at a moderate speed and made a sharp turn and barely tapped my brakes on a leave covered trail, then the bike just slid out from under me and I unclipped in a nanosecond. As I put my foot down, I nearly twisted my ankle in the process. Fall mountain biking definitely keeps you on your toes. Not only you have difficulty maintaining control of the bike on sharp turns, but climbing can be a chore. I’ve lost traction countless of times on steep climbs due to the leaves providing virtually no traction. Either that or I just don’t weight enough to keep the bike glue to the trails, or both!




3 thoughts on “Fall Mountain Biking

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following! I just bought a mountain bike and have yet to take her out on a trail, but I’m so anxious to do so! I was weary about using my clipless (clip in, whatever) pedals because I thought that it would be more dangerous, but this post sure made me think twice about that! How does being clipped in help? Not that I don’t believe you–I’m just wondering why that is? Does it help you stabilize somehow? Or, is it because when you put your feet down, you get in trouble, so being clipped in just prevents it? All of the above? Or something else?

    It also made me laugh that you listed a bunch of potential injuries that sound absolutely awful, but then followed with “or worse, damage my bike!” I so relate to that! =)

    • Thanks for following back! Being clipped in helps in a way you do not lose your pace. If you pedal with platform pedals, and you start hitting roots and rocks, or you’re going down a hill in low gear will cause your feet to come off the pedal. I used platform on my beginner mountain bike as I was first getting into it. I lost my footing on the pedal all the time, I would lose my pace when trying to keep up with fellow riders or simply lose my speed when I didn’t want to lose it. When I got my new bike, I bought the Crank Brothers Candy pedals and haven’t look back. Being clipped in prevented me from losing speed and kept me pedaling despite the roots and rocks best effort of knocking my feet off the pedals.

      When I first got it, I rode my bike around a flat and thick grassy field. I was simply trying to get used to clipping in and clipping out. Once I got comfortable I started riding the “boring” trails, then slowly progress back to the “fun” trails. After some times, riding with clipless pedals became muscle memory. I don’t even think about unclipping, my leg just unclips me when I sense danger.

      Again, thanks for follow back. More biking related posts are coming and they will be humorous.(I hope people will find them funny. :)) I have plenty of funny experiences riding bikes with a good group of people.

      • Indeed! I have Crank Brothers Candy pedals on my road bike and I LOVE them! Very easy to clip in and out, I agree. Although I have still fallen 3 times now =) No “sexy” story about them, either. One second I was standing, then POOF, on the ground.

        But that actually makes a lot of sense to me, about not having your feet jerk off. Come to think of it, even just on my road bike I’ve had a couple slips kind of like that, and being clipped in probably helped me stay upright and keep that momentum. Thanks!

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