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Is it just me ?
#1
I've been riding bikes since I was a kid and MTB'ing for ten years or so, but probably only really started pushing myself skills wise (at the age of 38) last year.

Other than one faceplant in July I was reasonably impressed with my improved skills and confidence.  I was riding quicker than I ever have done last October at Holmbury hill.

So why is it that this year I'm crap ?  I've ridden offroad 4 times since Christmas, twice at Bedgebury once in Surrey and once at Friston and every time I've felt slow, crap and bottled drops/jumps that I was flying at last year.

Anyone else find their bottle/skillz lacking after a couple of months break during the winter ?
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#2
I guess you do lose confidence in your grip and nerve it its not tested regularly - keeping your toe in as much as possible helps obviously.

At the moment, conditions are and have been muddy and wet, which always knocks confidence as grip isnt always there.

With drier season hopefully coming soon, you will probably get more confident as you've been punting around on the slippery stuff for a few months.

I bottle most jumps higher than a foot, but thats just me!  Tongue

It's your age mate, common sense and age tells your brain that you really shouldnt be chucking yourself off something!
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#3
Tell me about it.  I stacked one of those tiny tabletops at Bedgebury due to me reading in some MTB mag that it was a good idea to run your tyres slightly low pressure to get more grip.  The result was, as I landed, my squashy tyres rolled over and I lost my balance and landed on my face.  I've not been able to take off from that tabletop since.  

I was determined to do the "judges seat" drop at Pitch hill in March, but when I got there I absolutely cacked myself.  Dont think it's that bad really, the drop is only about 2ft but you can't see the lip of the drop from the run in and it just looks scary.  I will nail that this year though, maybe after sharpening myself up at Afan.

Gutted that I didnt really get into MTB's when I was in my 20's but back in the early 90's  the whole "scene" wasn't quite the same.  I was riding around Bookham Common on a rigid trek thinking that flat bridleways with a bit of mud on them were "gnarly" cause I had to bunnyhop the odd puddle. :'(
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#4
Nothing to do with age... i'm an old git and i'm riding harder and faster than ever!!

This is due to a few things, one is that i'm riding with the guys off the forum which means some are faster uphill, some are faster downhill etc and i'm pushing to get as close as I can to the guys that are the best in each area. I'm willing to learn from everyone... being old i'm better going down to still don't embrass myself on the ups.

Another thing that really helps is keeping the fitness levels up, if you are slogging round with your lungs hanging out you can't be attacking the trails in the ways that get the best out of them. I have ridden all winter and having a decent headlamp has meant i can get out anytime.

Perhaps one of the most important things is to crash, most crashes end up with no more than a scratch or bruise, once you realise that crashing doesn't hurt that much you can push on again. Its normally when you approach a section gingerly that the problems start, fly into with speed and you're normally through it before you get a chance to bottle it...

The important thing is to get out and ride...  and enjoy
Mei securis turpe meus vox<br />            
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#5
&quot;Mbnut&quot; Wrote:Perhaps one of the most important things is to crash, most crashes end up with no more than a scratch or bruise, once you realise that crashing doesn't hurt that much you can push on again. Its normally when you approach a section gingerly that the problems start, fly into with speed and you're normally through it before you get a chance to bottle it...

Bang on there.  If I thought about some of the things I tackled at Afan, I never wouldve done them.

Im pushing myself to get out with the lads for blean tonight, because riding with my regular buddies, you do get complacent, in respect of you dont mind slowing down or letting them wait etc because you're all mates.

Being out with other people I dont strictly know will push me better and I'll learn more no doubt - who knows, I might surprise myself at my progress(?)

Plus its hard to cop out of sketchy sections if everyone else is egging you on!!  Wink
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#6
Riding with the lads off of here has been the single most important factor to my ongoing improvements...  and getting the Whyte which just inspired me to go and ride.
Mei securis turpe meus vox<br />            
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#7
Here you go:

http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/fitness/art...-up--21014
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#8
I think the biggest thing holding me back is time, work all week, weekends is family time with the odd ride thrown in here and there.

Would love to get out and ride with guys better/faster than myself though as you all point out, that's how you really improve, by looking at others and not wanting to be left behind.
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#9
&quot;Mbnut&quot; Wrote:Perhaps one of the most important things is to crash...

Couldnt agree more! 4 weeks off work so far!!
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#10
&quot;Blackers&quot; Wrote:Couldnt agree more! 4 weeks off work so far!!

You Blackers have taken it to the extreme....

But you do prove my point in one way... most of your crashes left you relatively unscaffed!!!

How are you doing fella
Mei securis turpe meus vox<br />            
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