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  1. Having only limited Mountain Biking experience I competed in an Off-road Duathlon recently and got beaten up for my troubles. I have ridden on local fire trails a bit and it is OK, slow, dirty, bouncy but OK... I guess. My bike is an entry level hard tail from 10 years ago(Giant) with a spring based shock which is stuck on the firmest setting(it's broken) so that may account for some of my lack of enthusiasm for this kind of cycling. This event was on lots of "single track"(much, much more than I expected) which is constant dodging, turning(so many tight switch backs to go up a hill, that's not even that steep FFS!), bouncing off rocks, slipping on embankments or in corners and in my case falling off my bike... repeatedly. In the race riders would go down hill much faster than me while I kept stacking trying to keep in touch, my hands got covered in blisters and my bike felt like it was going to shake apart. At one point, before another rider told me what the A/B signs meant I went straight of this ramp and "got air" before I knew what was happening. There are even tree trunks left across on the track... like, on purpose... intentionally! Up hill was always smoother and I could finally get some power down, the other riders politely let me through as I did for them on them on the down hills. But totally opposite to road cycling the advantage on the down hill appeared to be worth more than going faster up hill. In conclusion, Mountain Biking sucks, don't you agree?