For an experienced mountain biker who has been riding for decades, this might seem like a no-brainer. But to a relatively new user of knee warmers, figuring out how the heck to keep those slippery pieces of lycra from sliding down your legs and bunching up at the knees can be very frustrating… and for many, it can lead to shunning knee warmers altogether.

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While there are hundreds of miles of bike-legal singletrack in the Roanoke region (not to mention all the gravel roads and doubletrack), Carvin’s Cove is the undisputed hotspot. With the main trailhead located just 15 miles from downtown Roanoke (a metro area of 315,000 people), not only are the trails excellent, but they’re accessible as well.

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I only had one day to ride in Flagstaff, so I tried to make it count. I started my ride at the rocking Fort Valley Trail System which, unbeknownst to me, connects to several other major Flagstaff trails. My route ended up taking me from Fort Valley Trail System to Schultz Creek Trail to the Arizona Trail and back the to Fort Valley Trail System.

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While it’s still a long time until race day and I’m definitely not an ultra endurance expert, I just thought I’d share three unexpected things that have been extremely helpful in my training.

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The main goal of my California trip this past summer was to find legal trails that weren’t in the Singletracks trails database, ride them, map them, shoot photos, and upload all that information to help make the best mountain bike trail resource on the internet just that much better.

Here are two excellent SoCal trails I had the opportunity to ride that were not yet listed on Singletracks.

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When most mountain bikers think of skills they need to learn and practice, braking isn’t usually one of them. I mean, how tough can it be: pull the lever and your stop, right?

Actually, it’s a lot more complicated than that. If you take the time to learn how to brake properly, it can do wonders for your riding, giving you more control and actually making you faster.

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