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What constitues hard/easy, pushing yourself, steep etc etc?

Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
edited May 2010 in MTB general
Only just bought my bike and I'm reading as much as I can about stuff. I was out for a bit on it yesterday and my donfidence wasn't great but I wasn't pushing myself I don't think. Technique probably wasn't brill though. I was jsut riding about on paths made by walkers and bikers, few tree roots to ride over, not massive ones and uphill parts were fairply hazard free but qutie steep, my fitness isn't very good at the moment.

What I am wondering is when I hear about people talking about getting into MTBing and what helped eg a few steep downhill sections got their confidence up... How steep are we talking here? I've not been out on any trails as of yet so can't compare visually between a hill I see and instantly think sod that or one I jsut go over. I'm trying to get a gauge of what's what if you get me. Even a picture of what is considered pretty challenging to most would do so I can see how brave etc I am now.

That prob makes no sense! haha



  • bomberesquebomberesque Posts: 1,701
    I know what you mean but it's very difficult to advise someone you don't know on something as personal as what constitutes pushing themselves.

    Generally though it's putting yourself outside your comfort zone by just enough that you learn without killing/injuring/dispiriting yourself. Much more fun in a group than alone IMO and safer.

    I would say join a local club and go riding with them, within a group you'll find your level and be able to judge yourself against how others ride (and watch how they do it for pointers). Also a good way to get to know the best parts of your local trails. Before you know it, you'll be one of the ones that new members will be looking at for pointers!
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • rubins4rubins4 Posts: 563
    Dont worry about what other people are up to. I recon thats how bad things happen to people by trying too much too soon. Of course a bit of competition can help boost you ability, but i would just concentrate on what you feel comfortable doing to start then progress from there. Always a good idea to go down a steep bit on foot first just to get a feel for it before attacking it with the bike too.

    Just my humble.... ... t=12613038
    Anyway, fk dis, I iz off 4 a ride innit. l8rz peepz
  • RealManRealMan Posts: 2,166
    If you won't ride it its impossible.

    If you can't ride it its hard.

    If you can ride it its easy.

    Ride lots of hard stuff and soon the impossible will become possible.
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    Haha, I like the replies. Can see the benefits of joining a club. Knowing me though I'll be out with the big boys and end up being stupid! So can see both arguements for that one.

    Think I'm going to go with the outside of the comfort zone idea for now, can see how that would help.

  • Just get a feel for it for the time being. You'll only find what you're comfortable with by riding it.

    I have a habit of following people down stuff, then hesitating half way and ending up on my censored . If you're going to do it, do it. If not, don't worry about it, just build up to it.

    What may look simple, may not be, and vice versa. Only your own experience will tell the difference.
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    Cheers for the advice. Going to ahve to get out with some people otherwise I won't even know where to find these places!
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    I agree with what has been said above. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, but be sensible about it. As your skills improve, your confidence in yourself will improve, and I think that confidence is half the battle when it comes to technical riding. Have confidence in your abilities and you'll stay in control, but attack something you really aren't sure about and you'll probably just tense up, grab a handful of the brakes, and be jolted down the trail out of control :p
  • rubins4rubins4 Posts: 563
    yeah, confidence is not suddenly trying to stop yourself just as you come to the edge of a drop or the lip of the jump etc...but being a moment too late! :lol: It normally ends in tears, but you learn for next time that you need to build up to it. Discovering what you cant do i think is part of the learning process; sometimes it hurts, but thats life. Charging into something you probably shouldnt have even attempte, just because other people can, i think is foolish. ... t=12613038
    Anyway, fk dis, I iz off 4 a ride innit. l8rz peepz
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    Agree with that being foolish! Have youtube'd some vids of blue routes and black red etc and most fo the blues look like ok (the speed I saw some doign them at thouhg is beyond me yet), reds I've seen some dodgy loking parts, don't fancy no jumps, curbs are big enough for now! lol!

    I used to be pretyt good on my mountain bike when I was like 18, and tackle most things, landed on my face a couple of times but censored happens. now though I'm a bit more wise and even the thought of landing on my face hurts!
  • Getting out with a club is a great idea. It lets you see what other people can ride and how they do it. What's hard now will seem easy soon if you keep pushing yourself a small bit at a time!
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    Cheers, I'll get googling some clubs local to me and enquire. Nice one folks, much appreciated.
  • Agree with that being foolish! Have youtube'd some vids of blue routes and black red etc and most fo the blues look like ok (the speed I saw some doign them at thouhg is beyond me yet), reds I've seen some dodgy loking parts, don't fancy no jumps, curbs are big enough for now! lol!!

    Most stuff at trail centers is rideable by pretty much anyone really. You might find yourself walking down a handful of short more difficult sections, but there's no shame in that, some of them are pretty dangerous if you're not comfortable with it. The jumps you can generally ride over. Speed and confidence comes wth experience.
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    I'm thinking that too from watching the vids. I think one of the the steeps I went down yesterday was more dodgy than the stuff I've seen on the reds today on youtube. I prob wouldn't go down that one again just yet as it was pretty scary with the tight turn or hit the wall at the bottom of it but I came out good :)
  • dan sharddan shard Posts: 722
    A word of caution, The vids look a LOT tamer than the reality! Start off on a blue and work up, but again be carefull, there is quite a big step up between blue - red and red - black. Just dont be scared ofgiving it ago, let your bike do what it is designed to do and dont clamp your brakes on or stiffen up. You ARE going to fall off so just accept it and have fun
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    It's all relative. I remember my first trip to Glentress, going to the skills area and looking at the stepdown bit and thinking "Nah, that's just stupid, who'd try and ride down that?". That was, oh, 15 months ago I think? Went back to the skills area last saturday, and rode down it, then picked an alternative line and rode off the side of it, then rode down the rocks that form the border of it, then dropped the whole thing, then rode up it :lol: It's amazing how things get smaller and less steep.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    I'll try the blue at Kielder in two weeks time and go from there. I'll just keep in mind not to slam the anchors on and just go with it... straight into a tree :)
  • twebeasttwebeast Posts: 10
    1) pushing yourself a little and often is by far the safest way to learn. If you could ride your bike every day you'd soon be very good indeed

    2) set yourself goals:- things you've seen on the trail and liked the look of but chickened out; or small skills, like straight-lining roots, or pumping the terrain for speed, small jumps/drops etc; and work on them.

    The little bits combine to give you extra trail mojo; and set you up for the next level

    3) some days we all suck on a bike. If you feel off your game; or your confidence is getting worse on something you think is risky; walk away. It'll still be there next time. I've seen some serious schooling come from off days not being heeded

    4) if you're on an on-day and everything's going right, go ahead and hit that section you've been eyeing up. 9/10 times you get it. But be aware if you get too cocky you will discover your limits.

    5) don't be phased by age/body shape/fitness. As long as you push yourself on the small things regularly it will all come to you.

    6) as everyone else has said, ride with others. There is no greater inspiration than seeing other people sending it on the trail in front of you.

    7) chics dig scars, pain is temporary, glory lasts for ever
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