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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first ride off-road on the CX bike today went OK, but narrow and overgrown trails made it tough to get a rhythm together and other than some time spent in the park doing dismounts and remounts, I'm not sure I got a lot of benefit. I think my fitness training is best done on the road but as a total novice I need to find a place to develop my bike handling skills...

What do you guys do to train off-road and where do you go? I havent even been to a race yet so dont really know what to expect on a UK course, except for mud when the weather turns! I have a feeling its not much like the local trails I have access to though...

Any suggestions?
 

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I've used a local park and have thrown out a few logs as barriers to work on my skills. I also found a small trail behind the local highschool/middle school and I've made mixture of road/grass/off camber and single track. I can do this loop in around 1/2 hour or less.

how about some single track local to you?
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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Yea. I use a local park like c-lo. A few spots where I can dismount and remount, although you can practice that anywhere. I use a few trees as pylons and do figure "8"'s and an off-camber slalom course when Mr Grumpy lawn maintanence man isn't around:p
 

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The local private school has a killer loop that they've cut for the X-country team. They've linked it into a series of corn fields. The corn fields have double track paths for trucks and farm vehicles.
Once I cut down through the bottom of the fields, there's a hinky, off-camber turn that leads to a 500m section with 4 big mudholes and then back up into thhe school ground via a 50-60m run-up.
This leads to crushed stone, then to pavement and back around to the farm field double track.
The loop, at race pace, is about 8 minutes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks guys - you've given me some good ideas.

I have a 6 mile out-and-back route of some gravel & mud lane, loose shallow bark singletrack created for horse riding, a very rough short track across a crop field and some fast grass path to a rocky rutted 200m uphill. Come winter it will be muddy, wet and slippy & hard going. Problem is its so overgrown right now that visibility is limited and there's a real risk of running into someone walking their dog etc. Come autumn as foliage dies back it will open up and probably get better, as I used to ride it on my MTB last year.

I guess I need to find somewhere to practice tight turns etc as you suggest. Its a bit of a challenge as we cant just ride to a park and go tearing around, but I have a feeling I know some quiet spots with some trees that might be just the job. I guess any distance off-road will all contribute to improved bike handling skills anyway...

Appreciate the ideas. I have a better feel for the type of efforts needed so can start to tailor my interval training etc to improve my speed as well.
 

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veldrijder
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Bigpikle said:
I guess I need to find somewhere to practice tight turns etc as you suggest. Its a bit of a challenge as we cant just ride to a park and go tearing around
Maybe I'm missing something here, but why not?
 

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Depending on where you live, rural high schools usually have large parcels of land.
Or find the local train yard. It'll have access roads all over it. I bomb through ours 3 or 4 days a week...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jmoote said:
Maybe I'm missing something here, but why not?
we have complex laws in the UK about where adults can and cant ride a bike. Paths on the side of highways and designated footpaths are NOT allowed, leaving only designated bridleways (designed for horses), general byways which are access for all, but fairly rare and of course any specific cycle lanes.

I'm pretty sure the local parks in most towns would not be classified as accessible sadly. In many respects cyclists are classed as the lowest form of life :mad2:
 

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I have 2 loops

in Balboa Park an easy pedal (warm up and warm down) from my home
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Balboa Park would be nice, along with the typical climate there - I have friends just down the road from there and am lucky enough to get to San Diego several times a year. Very jealous!
 

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old school drop out
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It's almost time to stop riding the mountain bike on the trails, and start riding the CX bike on the same trails. :)

Are there mountain bikers in your areas? Ask them where to ride.
 
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