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confidence building to go faster xc

bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
edited March 2010 in MTB general
its probably i just need a load of experience in single track to challenge me. but is there anything else to help alongside? tried out with this group, they were incredibly helpful http://www.notthesundayrun.com/webphotos/ntsr/main/news.php but i think ive been on a road bike for so long that im not used to sliding about on soft mud/grass.

Posts

  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Repitition is good, if you can find a short easy to repeat fun bit and just ride it over and over you'll soon see an improvement. Either that or get hopelessly stuck in a rut ;)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    ye, just riding a litle section over and over is great for confidence and getting used to what the bike does at speed and wheen its slippy. i have a little 1 min max section of mudy, slipy trail with a few jumps, a few berms, a few drops, and a few roots and one sttep bit, and a rock section. its everything in one short section, its a short easty spring back up some fireroad to the start, and its good fun. There is nothing better for improving confidence and skills.
    another thing to think about ciming from Road biking s that you may ( im not saying you do, but have a think....) be over controling..... when your nervouse, or something you can try to resist the bike kicking, bucking and sliding around, but just staying loose and alowing the bike to move where it wants while keeping your shoulders and head stedy is something that can really help. i find that alowing the bike to just run its cource and guide it rather than control it helps. If you try to muscle the bike around you may be tiring yourself out and the bike will seem to slip and kick alot more than if you just le it do its own thing, staying in control without contoling it, if that makes sence..... of cource at times like in tight turns you need to be more aggressive and flick the bike around, but it doesnt stop you staying loose and letting the bike slide on its own.

    In some cases resistance is futile and you just have to accept that your sliding/flying/whatever.

    but really think about that, you may dismiss it as something that is irrevelent, but really try to just let the bike go.....
    and as i n-wind said find a short section or two and just sesh tham, its great for getting used to the bike doing stuff beneath you...


    but mostly have fun and dont worry about you techniuqe too much, its all about fun in the end....
    I like bikes and stuff
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    ive found its best to ride with people faster than you, and learn from them. sessioning a section of trail is good, but its probably best to take a skills lesson at a trail centre or watch videos of other riders and get a mate to video yourself, then see what they are doing differently and try to recreate what they are doing when riding. i went to canncok chase with a mate who has never done any serious mtb'ing before, he was mega stiff on the bike, grabby on the brakes and generally all over the place, made him watch me a few times, told him to loosen up and he improved massivley in the space of a few hours. its just practise i guess and getting technique right.

  • ive found its best to ride with people faster than you, and learn from them

    I've found that too. I mainly ride on my own, but riding with faster riders does up your game...especially when they are behind you on singletrack and you're trying not to hold them back. :oops: That makes you ride faster.

    Some of the main things that help me (when I remember to do them, of course :oops: ) are looking ahead on the trail (not a couple of feet in front of the wheel), being in the 'attack' position, and learning to shift your weight accordingly. When I remember to do those three basic things all together, I find that I ride so much better and faster, but still not as fast as I'd like (old age).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Marin
    SS Inbred
    Mongoose Teocali Super
  • I'll 2nd what the last 2 said. Try to ride some technical stuff with better riders - it really opens your eyes to what is possible and gives you the confidence to follow them through stuff that might have had you off and walking.

    So much of riding is mental - sometimes its hard to control the voice in your head that goes 'What are you doing? Get off now! You're going to die!' :lol:
    I hate it when people say David Beckham's stupid...its not like anyone ever says: 'Stephen Hawking - he's s**t at football.' Paul Calf
  • So much of riding is mental - sometimes its hard to control the voice in your head that goes 'What are you doing? Get off now! You're going to die!'

    So it's not just me then? :D
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Marin
    SS Inbred
    Mongoose Teocali Super
  • slimboyjimslimboyjim Posts: 367
    I'd definately recommend a skills course - especially if you don't have some 'better' riders around you to learn from.

    I've done a couple with CycleActive and found them really good - they go through general riding technique and body positioning which is half the battle! Most obvious improvement for me was the vision thing though (looking further up the trail) - nothing like someone telling you to look further up the trail to force you to adjust your vision as you just don't realise how short-sighted you become sometimes. The other thing I found is that, as I trust them perhaps a bit more than mates and you build up to stuff better than you may in just a general ride, when they say I can do something I have a bit more of a belief I can! Through this I've pushed myself further (i.e. done more technical features) than I would have otherwise. Less than a hundred notes for a day at a trail centre or a bit more for a weekend up in the Lakes...

    Other courses are available :wink:

    Best of luck!

    James
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    thanks for all help. unfortunately i live in northern ireland and its main focus is for mountain walkers only. the nearest mountain range i can cycle to is the antrim hills so im going to test out there.
  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    Try riding lots of wet roots. I used to go ahhhhhhhh every time my back wheel would start to drift or skid but after getting used to the bike catching again I now really love the feeling you get from a well controlled drift!

    Only wish it were snowy more often :wink:
  • JamesBrckmnJamesBrckmn Posts: 1,360
    Riding in front of faster riders makes you go much faster, and see what's possible, but riding behind faster riders is better, beacasue then you can copy their technique and try to keep up with them.
  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    I disagree. I find faster riders just go off into the distance and you don't see them until they stop.

    However if they are behind you then you subconciously push yourself more because you don't want to hold them up. (well thats what I think anyway but everyones different :wink: )
  • ilovedirtilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    Yeah like some people have said, if you can feel your back end drifting out, just let it. If you try to control it too much, then it's just going to go badly, as i've recently discovered. As long as your front wheel tracks well, then your rear will follow it. It's when your front wheel washes out you're censored :P
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • kenankenan Posts: 952
    Go for a ride with a pub at the end. Nothing speeds me up like the thought of a cold one :)
  • jadamsonjadamson Posts: 644
    going out with friends is great for building skills especially if there quicker than you. however if we are talking about "confidence" like the title says then maybe some lone rides might benefit as you have no one to judge you and you can take things at your own pace. as said before just session bits of your local that your not comfortable with, push yourself and you will reap the benefits.
  • HardrockRobHardrockRob Posts: 230
    I'm the same boat...biking properly for just over a year and struggled with the confidence, especially on techy bits. Actually worked out that it was my spd pedals holding me back slightly as was constantly concerned about unclipping in time. Swapped to flats and have found that without the worry of unclipping my confidence and technique has improved.

    Will no doubt go back to spds at some point but am enjoying the feeling of liberation being unclipped has given me, and knowing I can now dab if I need to.
    2015 Nukeproof Mega TR 275 in raw
  • HardrockRobHardrockRob Posts: 230
    I'm the same boat...biking properly for just over a year and struggled with the confidence, especially on techy bits. Actually worked out that it was my spd pedals holding me back slightly as was constantly concerned about unclipping in time. Swapped to flats and have found that without the worry of unclipping my confidence and technique has improved.

    Will no doubt go back to spds at some point but am enjoying the feeling of liberation being unclipped has given me, and knowing I can now dab if I need to.
    2015 Nukeproof Mega TR 275 in raw
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