Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Tannehill. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Tannehill. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tannehill Kwik Stats 2

I took out my Single Speed on the Tannehill 12 hour race course and the Furnace Quarry trail. The rain was not so hard last night, and the trails held up well after yesterdays 12 hour race, some of it in light rain. I could not quite figure out the start the other day. But it became apparent after watching the race. That is correct I sat this one out. I have done one 12 hour race and it was not the the most fun I have had racing. I prefer two to 6 hour races, going from experience. I also weighed racing against, being wiped out and missing riding for a few days. I rode hard on Friday and had a great time at Oak Mountain. That left some sight seeing time Saturday with Tammy to check out the history that is just packed into this park! The rain was mild enough and there was a nice break, with some sun even, that made for a fun session working on my cornering in somewhat slippery conditions. I rode a berm up to high and smacked a tree pretty good. Even after all these years riding, I see that I can improve my cornering. Leaning into the corner early, keeping the center of my mass towards the center of the curve, knee in even. From a physics stand point, I thought that pointing the knee into the center of the curve took weight off the tire contact patch. As gravity trumps, the inertial forces, measured in G's, that pull you out of a corner, until about 60 mph on pavement on a road bike. But as the coefficient of friction is reduced in a greasy corner, it is easier for that inertia to overcome gravity and make you slide out. With more of your mass inside the corner, it kind of acts like a planet and your bike acts like a spacecraft being slungshot around it. And then if you still manage to slide out, allowing your body to move outwards, brings more weight to the contact patch, yes, but more importantly, I think, it acts like a weight shift, similar to a log hop, just in a different plane, reducing the force pulling your bike to the outside, as your mass, your body moves out and you keep your bike (and tires) tighter in the curve. I practiced this more and more as the lap progressed. I started late and was running out or light, which is good, cause I have a 6 hour drive in the RV pulling the car tomorrow. But I was tempted to get more practice in. Building on the carving I learned in the sand, leaves and pine needles of Alafia, Balm Boyette, Santos, Munson and the Lake Overstreet trails in Florida. I threw in a blast through the slightly wet rocks of on the Furnace Quarry trail, hoping for a little Strava glory!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bruce and Lois

Bruce, messaged Tammy and asked for some medium rides, for a trip they are planning later in the year.  Years ago back in Jersey, Bruce and Lois helped me through a tough period in my life and helped keep me riding after I got slow and fat and depressed.  I don't know if they know how much it helped.  I have had many friends that seem to come into and out of my life.  I like to think of it as our paths coming together for a while, before they diverge.  Even when I met, Bruce and Lois had been riding for many decades and liked somewhat technical riding and would not interested in Strava KOMs or accumulated feet of climbing.  Just having a good ride.  There have been times that they had to put the Mountain Bikes away for various reasons.  It is good to see them even planning such a trip, leaving sunny California.

I would recommend the following Epics:

Kansas Switchgrass
Kerr Scott, North Carolina
Dupont State Park, North Carolina
Ocoee Trail, Tennessee
Big South Fork, Tennessee
Rock Lake, Cable, Wisconsin
Levis-Trow Mounds Wisconsin
Cuyuna Lakes, Minnesota
Alafia River State Park, Florida
Santos, Florida
MOCO Epic, Maryland
Maah Daah Hey, North Dakota
But only well after a rain and when it is not scorching hot, kind of a small window in the end  July, early August I guess.
Copper Harbor, Michigan
This does have some tough climbs, but they are not too long.  But it may be my favorite trail system yet.

For rides not on the IBMA list:
San Felasco Hammock Preserve, Gainesville
Bethel Biloxi Mississippi
Games Loop/UWF Pensacola Florida
Balm Boyette Florida
Lake Leatherwood Eureka Arkansas
Redbug Lake Overstreet Tallahassee, Florida
Tom Brown Tallahassee Florida 
San-Lee Sanford North Carolina
Tannehill Forge Alabama

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tannehill Ironworks Kwik Stats

The course is mostly marked. I just did not know where the start of Saturday's 12 hour race was. I rode a bunch of the course backwards. It is fun in both ways! The Furnace Quarry trail, while not in the race (I think), is a must ride, particularly if you miss the rocks of the NE!

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Ever wonder why some riders just pull away when it gets twisty, even though others might be a more powerful climbers or faster in a the straights?

In mountain biking, you need sufficient fitness and power to weight of course.  But without bike handling skills, you will be left in the dust.  In this article I will discuss cornering.

There are a couple of camps on cornering.  Cross Country or Down Hill/All mountain .

DH and All Mountain riders, generally run full suspension rigs with more travel, wider tires and bars than those used by the XC crowd.  They will drop the seat post, unlike XC, where the length of the rides and races preclude standing the whole time.  There is debate on whether the energy savings of staying seated is worth more than the aggressive handling that a dropped seat allows.  Dropper seat posts are a burgeoning option to do both.

For all turns above tip over speed 4-5 mph, initiating the turn, with a counter steer, weighting the outside grip, momentarily turning slightly opposite the turn, helps set up turning in the direction you want to go.

XC riders and racer, particularly those with a road back ground, will then steer into the turn and by weighting the inside grip and outside pedal(pedaling forward, not backwards to prevent derailing the chain and crossing gears).  Not long ago more hardtails than full suspension bikes were found at the races.  That ratio has flipped and there are more FS bikes now.

The DH/AM rider will also counter steer and then weight the inside grip, but here is were the dynamics differ.  Ala BikeJames and Better rides, you keep your outside foot back to support the weight of the hip swing to the outside weighting that pedal down, akin to carving a ski turn, with a back pedal action.

Lee McCormack, is similar but you go into the corner with the outside foot forward, allowing you to swing your inside knee towards the inside of the corner, allowing a forward pedal to weight the outside foot.

In his article Seb Kemp states a concern that weighting the inside grip,may push the front tire to far to the outside.

I am in the XC camp.  You can read below to see how that came about.  My style is more of a blend.  I run my saddle a little lower than my road bike height, but still in efficient pedaling range.  I will slide my but off the saddle slightly to the outside.  With the outside foot down, inside leg is up high enough to do this, or even let it move in front of the saddle to get more outside if needed.  I keep my upper body close to the bars to weight the front wheel, to maximize traction, with a slight up words roll to the outside.  Kind of automatic when you push the inside bar down, while staying close to the bars.  But like Seb says don't let the front wheel stray to far outside.  I learned pressure on the inside grip method.  it comes from road biking where the handlebars are much narrower.  So after the counter steer, weight the inside grip to get the lean going in the direction of the turn, then drive the front wheel into the ground with the outside grip.  It kind of feels like flying and the handlebars are your wings.

There are times that keeping your pedals level ground, particularly in rough terrain.  There is one technical section at the Vortex at Santos in Ocala Florida that I go in to the right and snake left and right in not much more than a bike length.  I felt much more stable with the left foot back, because the two right snakes define the feature.

I see a problem with outside pedal back, weight the pedal down is effectively a back pedal.  Even with a chain guide upfront, the chain can cross up in back across the the cogs.  Sometimes just a nasty noise, sometimes the chain skips or jams, twists or breaks.  The hopefully you just stop and not knee the stem or pitch off the bike, ouch.

I was part of a lengthy discussing at Mountain Bike Geezer.

I started to revisit cornering after encountering machine made berms for the first time at  Tannehill Alabama, shortly after embarking on this Quest.

I mean man made berms, not the occasional natural banking off of a the base of a tree or the contour trails that cross washes, kills and runs.  Now, I have been riding for decades on fire roads and deer trails.  Deer don't have much need for berms.  I taught myself how to corner after reading Davis Phiney's book "Training For Cycling", oh so many years ago.  being a sprinter and not a climber, he used cornering skills regain contact with the peloton on the descents.  You can get copies on online cheap.

Berms actually require little technique, at speed.  I had to train myself not to do my usual technique on berms.  You need to keep your weigh more in line with the bike. You and the bike lean in relationship to the horizon but is nearly perpendicular to to the banked surface.   To actually increase your speed, bring your mass to the inside, swing your inside knee in and opening your chest facing it toward the exit of the berm, pushing the bike into the hole that is the apex of the berm and pull the bars back to the chest on exit, pulling a wheelie or almost pulling one.  I am starting to get it, letting off the brakes and using as much speed as possible, seems to be the trick.