Saturday, October 9, 2010

Crashing Some More

I think this is the third time that I have talked about Crashing.  It has been a focus because many people outside of Mountain Biking (and some inside) view crashing as a negative thing.  Like it is bad and you are doing something wrong.  I look at crashing in a positive way.  Meaning:

1.  I'm not afraid to try
2.  I at least tried
3.  I've learned I still have things to learn

Being not afraid - Health fear in mountain biking is good (at least for someone in his 50's), it helps me set my limits.  It lets me know that I enjoying being in the air no more than a second or two, but not five or more like the gravity guys (I learned this first as a wakeboarder).  Thus I can push myself, within my fear limits.

Trying - To improve your mountain biking skills, you need to try things.  When I started out, there were sections of my local trails that I would get off and walk.  As my confidence on the bike grew, I started attempting these sections (knowing the worst that could happen is that I might fall or have to unclip and walk). Riding new trails helped this also.  There have been lots of times riding a new trail (like in Bend a few weeks back) where I came to a new obstacle, without knowing it was there or time to think about it and I cleaned it.  That gives you confidence to try those tough ones that you know are coming.  I remember completing a trail, having a blast and then looking at the map and seeing it was labeled as a "Black Diamond" and thinking, wow I didn't think it was that hard. That comes by trying.

Still Learning - I still crash because I still have things to learn about being a good mountain biker in all situations. Recently I carried to much speed into a corner on the "Secret" trail as it went between two trees.  A trail that I have taken a number of times.  I had the choice to hit the tree or bail.  I chose the latter and grazed the tree with my ear and arm going backwards.  The picture shows the results.    I went to Bend and crashed sessioning a great skinny (the picture show how I bailed but the bike stayed).  I have learned that I'm good at crashing.  I may get some scrapes, but I don't lead with my wrist, so no breaks.
The Skinny in Bend

Lead with your head

Rubbing the Tree

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