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Thread: No balls

  1. #1
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    No balls

    Seriously, I have no balls. My fiance is a hardcore MTBer, and I got into MTB after meeting her about 4 years ago. She loves really technical trails, rockpiles, and such. Anyway, she goes over lots of stuff that I chicken out on, although I'm a LOT better than when I started. I can easily outclimb her though.
    I get hurt alot, too. I'm always bleeding from several spots below the knees, broke a rib this spring, should have had stitches several times, etc.. I imagine my trepidation on dangerous stuff is related to me getting hurt a lot.
    How can I overcome this?
    Would knee/shin/elbow guards give me a psycological crutch?




    Yes, I have a pair, and they do have hair on them.

  2. #2
    Its got what plants crave
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    Armor up if you are getting injured. Some crashes are to be expected, but as you get better your confidence will increase. I think most stuff is 90% confidence, 10% skill. In the words of Stewie Griffin...


    "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

  3. #3
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    Don't beat yourself up.

    I lost my balls a little over a year ago when I crashed at Plattekill and broke my collar bone and cracked my sternum requiring a Ti plate and seven screws. I recently purchased a new Reign and went trail riding only to chicken out on mild drops. I could almost see myself crashing on drops that I would not have thought twice about a year ago on a xc bike. It's OK and natural to be hesitant after getting hurt. Broken ribs suck and broken bones take you out of work, add to arthritis later in life, and keep you off your ride. Not everyone has to go big to be a good mountain biker and enjoy their ride. I regularly go to the bike park but ride it "all mountain" or as if I'm on a technical trail ride instead of looking for air and still have a blast when lift access riding. It is good to have pads and a ff helmet but don't let it give you a false sense of security. All the protective gear you can fit on won't stop your bones from breaking if you hit the ground hard enough. Controlling your speed is really the key, for me anyway. I found that out the hard way and it cost me 6 months off my bike. Enjoy the sport on your own terms.

  4. #4
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    Definetely buy some armour for your knee/shin and arms it will give you confidence .
    You need to learn to relax before you do any technical riding,If you tense up your body can not soak up as much as when its relaxed.
    I have had some quite big crashes including dropping 20 ft to the floor when i got a drop wrong.I also have had lots of smaller mishaps that sometimes have resulted in injury (sometimes worse than the bigger crashes).If you keep thinking you are going to crash you will.Stay confident and tell yourself you can do it.Find a section you havent done cleanly and try it a few times untill you can slowly as you clean sections you will get more confident in your riding skills.
    It takes time and a lot of riding to get the confidence to do certain stuff.

    I have been riding for 8 years and there are still sections i see that are difficult but in the end i will do them.It is mainly as the other person said 90% confidence an 10% skill.Not everybody wants to do drops and very technical riding.

    If she has been riding a lot more years than you she will have a lot more confidence and experience and she should allow for this when riding with you and should help to improve your riding.
    Good luck

    Get out and ride

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    Commitment is everything. Only when you commit ahead of time will you have the SPEED to carry you thru/over stuff. I crash on stuff all the time because I am going too slow.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311

    "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."
    So true, and also attributable to H. Ford.

  7. #7
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    It does no good if you "force" yourself into doing something you don't have confidence in. You're just asking to be injured if you aren't 100% committed or confident. Build your confidence up on lesser trails and stunts, then progress in difficulty.

  8. #8
    attending to my vices
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    Make sure you drop your seat for tech dh stuff. Yes, just wearing shin guards is a huge confidence booster. Also assess your bike. Is it ideal for your riding application?

    If you just get some simple leg and elbow guards and put them on for the downhills then you should feel a lot safer. I would reccomend leg armor first elbow is a bit extra and can get annoying.
    OVER THE LINE SMOKEY!

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    Dont get pushed into trying anything super-technical. It takes time to build up the confidence and skills to ride technical stunts and trails well. As long as you are always learning and advancing then don't stress.

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    carefully cultivate a pair by yelling loudly and driving big trucks, and with a steady diet of mountain dew, redbull, steak, and hot dogs.

    But seriously, what kind of bike are you on? some bikes are alot more confidence inspiring for rocky gnar then others, not all bikes are created equal.

  11. #11
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    Get used to the gnar. And remember, no pain no gain. Don't let scars or scabs slow you down.

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    Practice trackstands and balance drills (riding on curbs, etc) in a safe environment. With good balance you can clean a lot of things by just continuing to pedal even when it looks like you might not make it. And, when you have a sense of what good balance feels like at slower speeds, its easier to keep it in the midst of a log hop or the like.

    Try bailing out a little earlier if things are going bad. If you wait until the last possible second to clip out you run a higher chance of not quite making it in time to prevent a fall.

    IMHO the point is to keep it in the 'fun zone' - too much skill and not enough difficulty is boring. Too much difficulty and not enough skill is frustrating and injury prone. The right mix is fun.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=William42]carefully cultivate a pair by yelling loudly and driving big trucks, and with a steady diet of mountain dew, redbull, steak, and hot dogs.

    Don't forget the chewing tobacco! Can't grow balls without a fat wad of snuff!

    I like what I am reading in this thread though. Don't ever be ashamed to walk. When you do decide to go for a new feature commitment is everything!

  14. #14
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    I find a local bike park helps too. Start on the green stuff and work your way up as you build confidence. You'll be amazed by what it can do for your riding on the trial. My bike isn't made for park work, but I have run the park a few times and it has made a huge difference for my usual riding...more confidence and less being awed by trail features.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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    Buy as much armour as you can, full face, drop your seat, make sure your suspension is set up ok, and do what I did go and find some where that teaches mountain bike technical stuff, it helps so much to know the basics, instead of trying to make it up as you go along, also make sure your bike is upto the trails you are riding, it does make a differnce, trying to do freeride on an xc bike will hurt, and enjoy your self is the most important thing, and don't be bullied into doing too much.

  16. #16
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    I'll second the committing. the only times I have seriously eaten **** is when I didn't fully commit to the terrain, half way through a section I tried to wuss out and it took me out.

    Also speed is your friend, the faster you go on that rocky, rooty section the smoother it gets and the easier it is to maintain your line.

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    good advice above.... pads... momentum... skills/technique practice

    but also, I bet your fiance would love for you to ask how she gets through the technical bits. In my experience any of us who've learned certain techniques, and learned to clean technical sections and features... we love to talk about how to do it. I bet your fiance would too. Added plus... you'd be listening... and we all know women love when a man listens to them.

  18. #18
    ride hard take risks
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    What bike are you riding??
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  19. #19
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    3 things, really.

    Patience. Progression takes time. Take the time to ride and re-ride small sections of a trail in order to get a feel for it. And drop the saddle when the going gets steep.

    Shin guards.

    Flat pedals.
    Hadley rear hub service here and here.

  20. #20
    Back at it and LOVIN' it!
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    I want to say THANKS to all the commentary on this thread...some really good replies - None of that "Get some balls you p*$$y" stuff and that is great to see!

    I'm at that same level of wanting to take it bigger and ballsier but I find myself not clearing some basic things and it is very frustrating but seeing where I was in July when I got back into biking after 15+ years and where I am now is a HUGE improvement - I...for me...slammed pretty hard and ended up getting some pads for a bit of a confidence boost and it has helped a bunch

    I said to myself today on our ride that 2 things I've learned that really help me get out of some jams is...

    momentum...keep pedaling through

    ...and balance
    Ride Hard - Ride Safe - Have Fun

    Go s#!t...I'm not a fish

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero
    Commitment is everything. Only when you commit ahead of time will you have the SPEED to carry you thru/over stuff. I crash on stuff all the time because I am going too slow.
    Yup and yup!

  22. #22
    ride hard take risks
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    Still would be nice to know what bikes there riding heck if his GF is riding a 7" travel bike and he's on a 3" travel that would explain allot, if their on equal bikes then all suggestions stand true.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    What bike are you riding??
    I'm either on a 07 Stumpjumper FSR or a Stumpy HT 29er (just got it).

    Here's some of us on Sunday. I didn't do this one.


    Me on the 29er. This stretch is right after a gnarly downhill rock garden.


    Fiance goofing off. I didn't have the guts for this either.

  24. #24
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by manowar669
    I'm either on a 07 Stumpjumper FSR or a Stumpy HT 29er (just got it).

    Me on the 29er. This stretch is right after a gnarly downhill rock garden.

    Stop looking at your front tire, chin up look ahead at all times. Either lower your seat post when doing steeps or get a Gravity Dropper type post for on the fly. Knee and shin guards like the TLD's.

    http://www.blueskycycling.com/produc...nee-Guards.htm

    A good book like the one by Lee Likes Bikes and Brian Lopes.

    http://www.leelikesbikes.com/
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    I just went down to our local "bike park" for the first time after eating it on a set of tables. I think I will be a little hesitant when I go there to ride after my rib fully heals. Just do it I guess.

  26. #26
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    Dude,

    Save your balls for what they were designed for... part of a love machine package under the covers. Our club has a saying "walk today, ride tommorrow, crash today, cry in sorrow". 'E'nuf Said.

  27. #27
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Why would take advice off a bunch of internet losers like us? Take it from a great American hero!


    Lance Murdoch: Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  28. #28
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    I agree with the 90con and 10skill... but without the proper skill you still suck. Think of it like IQ.... you have set #, that is your potential. Some people use all theirs, others use none. Filling your IQ cup is your job.... training and more training make a dumb guy smart. You have a potential in biking.... your bike IQ. To fill it you need to train and train some more. And you need to train properly. One thing that has helped for me was the video Fundamentals. The right skills helps that confidence really go up. (This is beginning to sound like a dear Abby)

    I am not a natural athlete. When it comes to biking I have been very slow at progression. Proper training, patience, and practice have all helped me to man up and hit stuff that I thought impossible.
    Bikeless Rider

  29. #29
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    i started a year ago and have become pretty good at doing technical trails, i seem to have a block with jumps and drops though, anything over a foot and im looking for a way around it, i can jump 4 stairs easy but i find street drops way different to offroad.

    yesterday i was with a friend of mine (expert rider) on the local downhill run, i was trying to psyche myself up for a 2 foot drop, sounds easy but the terrain is very rocky and you cant see the landing the behind the drop, it was freaking me out,

    i did the worst thing you can do, went for it and at the last moment slammed on the brakes thinking i could stop in time, i nose dived off the drop flew over the bars tried to break the fall with my hands but came down on my head anyway, i was ok but my right hand is sore from taking the impact, my shoulder and left arm ache and i hurt my left knee, im lucky i was fully armoured in leg gaurds full face and a pressure suit or else i wouldve been a lot worse, now i have to wait until the aches and pains go away to go back up there and drop off that thing,

    my bike friends are all mountain bike guides technicians or both, its frustrating to not be able to ride like them i think i have a little in common with the original poster, if we enjoy it and i do, stick with it

  30. #30
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    speed is your friend when doing jumps and drops...keep up your speed andif you are blanced on the bike you will land it, then worry about the terrain once you are back on terra firma

  31. #31
    There's no app for this.
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    coupla thoughts for you

    I'm also on a Stumpy, here's a few things I've done to use it on the Norshore in BC.

    1) get a Kenda Nevegal Kevlar bead 2.35 front tire, the back one's OK, that'll give a bit more traction up front and help you on technical stuff. Run it soft, abut 20lbs, or whatever your weight allows to make it wrap around all the slippery stuff you ride over that freaks you. If you don't want a new front tire, then soften the one you have mounted.

    2) practise balance: track-stands, and tight, tight circles on the flat. Your butt will think the bike and you are one, and when the going gets tricky, then no problem.

    Lastly, dress for the crash, not the ride. Combine that with dogonfr's advice of look ahead not down, + commit to the trail, and you'll start to feel the flow.

    Cheers, and good luck, Jim

  32. #32
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    I agree with the "speed helps" bit. the worst biking injury I've had was when i went over the bars and landed head first off of a relatively small drop that I didn't know was there. I was also not going quite fast enough for it, and my weight was too far forward, so the front wheel dropped, i went OTB and landed on my head. had I known the drop was there, I likely would have hit it as fast as I could and shift my weight far enough back so that the rear tire touched down first. or, if I didn't feel like going for it, I would have taken the ride-around. another piece of advice: if there is a section you haven't ridden before, either walk it or at least get off and take a good look at it before you ride it. this gives you a chance to see if you feel you can clear the section or not, and also gives you a good chance to look for what appears to be the best line through that section. if you feel up to the task of riding that section, you know what is in store and you can hit it as hard as you dare. if you don't feel up to it, all you have to do is get your bike and walk past it.
    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    My butthole would pucker and invert until I was inside-out before I got to the bottom.

  33. #33
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    Point and Shoot

    This is my girlfriends favorite saying. She does quite well on rocky downhills. Coming from years of jumping horses in competition helps. (not her jumping over the horses, but riding them over jumps)

    Worst thing you can do is brake too much. Sometimes you just got to let the wheels roll, and let it flow.

    Good pads do help too, if it improves confidence. That and pedals you can get out of. Good platforms with 5-10 shoes, or clipless if you are used to them. We both like our Shimano M-647 pedals with multi release cleats. Give you good power up climbs, but very easy out.

    We have tried several types of knee pads recently. Rockgarden LZMX, and the Landing Zones. But our new favorite is the Dainese 3X knee guards. These are easy on and off, and truly comfortable to wear both uphill and downhill.

  34. #34
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    When you do clear something that scares you. Walk back up and do it again. Reinforcing the motions and breaking down the mental block will do wonders.
    When I dont do this the same sections of a trail will freak me out even thought i have cleared them before. Clearing them twice back to back seems to erase the fear.

    Or you could just date a woman who is worse on a bike than you are.

  35. #35
    Capricious youth...
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    -Hit it just lightly faster than you think you should.

    -Talk yourself through it (ie. say out loud "don't brake check, DON'T BRAKE CHECK!)

    -More speed on slippery surfaces means better traction (rocks, gravel, dust, etc.)

    -After you do something, do it again immediately. If you do something once, you might account it to luck. If you do it twice, you get to remind yourself that you have the skill to do it again and again.

    -Celebrate after you've done something. Get off the bike, look at it, and know that you just gave that jump/drop/rock garden a serious middle finger.
    Meh.

  36. #36
    attending to my vices
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    sorry, I can't tell in the picture, but if you are using clip-in pedals, ditch them. Get any brand of BMX flat pedals until you master your balance and your balls. Then you can decide to go back to clip-ins for extra climbing ease.
    OVER THE LINE SMOKEY!

  37. #37
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    Good thread and lot of info for you to soak up.

    Manowar, one thing I'll add is what helps me. When I watch someone do a particular move I pay very close attention to how they pull it off. I watch the body position on the bike, how they pull up on the bars to do a step up or lean way back to do a steep roller, etc. It really helps me visualize how I would pull it off.

    I was always a daredevil on a bmx bike when I was a kid but didn't get back into riding a mountain bike seriously until 2 yrs ago when I was 34. All those skills had vanished as well as the fearlessness. But after I hit my first 2' drop, it all seamed to be easy. I got the feeling of doing it and the more I did it, the more confidence I gained and now I go off of things 4' high with confidence.

    Start small on each type of move you want to master and watch how your GF does it. Then practice on those smaller moves doing what she does until you feel confident. Then move it up a notch and get confident on slightly larger moves. It's all about the technique, practice and confidence and last but not least....bike setup.

    Doing a steep roller with your seat up high isn't a recipe for success. Hey, I'm no technical master but I'm getting better and more confident as I continue to ride with people who are better than I am. It's made me a better rider. And since you've got a mountain biking GF who also happens to be a better technical rider than you, I'd say you've already found the perfect riding partner!

    Good luck and go hit some dirt!

    JP

  38. #38
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    this might be inspiring! just aim to do this one day:


    (Lance Canfield)

  39. #39
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    Looking at your photos I would feel better wearing knee pads and even elbow pads riding through that rocky terrain, if your not confident it makes sense to protect your self, it only takes a few knocks to put a dent in your confidence, I always put some pads on if I'm going somewhere I don't know or I know is technical, I get laughed at but when the other guys bin it they are bleeding and hurting, where I just have a dent in my pride.
    If in doubt bum back is my moto :-)

  40. #40
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    start downhilling.

  41. #41
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    I can recommend the Fluidride DVD for learning body position and technique.

    I was a wuss in rocky terrain for a long time when I had a Kona set up for XC biking. Long bar stem and high saddle plus clip ins.
    After getting a real bike (HT), low saddle (always standing up), 40 mm stem, flatties, RS Pike 426 and wide handlebar. I can now suddenly push through all those difficult trails.
    No OTB yet on it

    The day after this post I OTB'd hard, nothing broken though...
    Last edited by chksix; 11-19-2008 at 01:19 AM.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero
    Commitment is everything. Only when you commit ahead of time will you have the SPEED to carry you thru/over stuff. I crash on stuff all the time because I am going too slow.

    Amem brother. Thats what it all about. Whether you are scared or not doesnt matter. Commitment creates a visulization and positive thought process which if executed properly, your body will get you through the other side, off the ledge, over the obstacle or whatever. This is all possible while still being a little scared. Also, after many successful stunts, jumps or whatever you will have built up a confidence in your riding making the whole process second nature. I know is sounds a little hippie like or maybe new age but whatever you call it, it works. I used to race speedway motorcycles and commitment to getting into and through the corners at full speed while carrying a ton of grip was one of the first things I was taught. In short, it all starts upstairs in your dome and then your body carries out the orders.
    Last edited by philb3131; 11-19-2008 at 12:09 AM.

  43. #43
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    I'm in a fairly similar situation as you... a good bit farther along on the skill range, but still I don't really have the confidence to send it like a lot of my buddies do. A couple days I was riding a trail near us. I kinda just call everything where you pedal up cross-country, but I guess that a lot of people would call it all-mountain or even light freeride. It's a fun, steep, sometimes pretty sketchy trail with a number of drops and jumps. One in particular was a log drop. Probably only 3 feet or so, but you had to go fairly far out to avoid other logs under it and the landing was immediately followed by a loose switchback turn.

    My friend took one look and launched it. No problem. I wasn't quite so sure. Two main thoughts convinced me to try it:

    1) Almost nothing is as bad as it looks. Seriously, how many times have you done something and been like, "Wow I can't believe that I was so freaked out by that".

    2) I thought of what could realistically go wrong. I almost certainly wasn't going to overshoot it, so the worst that could happen would be I wouldn't pop it enough and would endo. End result... damaged pride and maybe some scrapes and bruises. Nothing too bad.

    So I went for it. And you know what? It was easy. Nothing to it. Simple pull up on the bars and fly right over and rail the corner.

  44. #44
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    By a pair of plastic balls, attach to the saddle, and ride around. You will look so...odd... that you will forget about other distractions.


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