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Thread: Drop confidence

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    Drop confidence

    I got in to mountain biking about a year and half ago and im not starting to push my self a lot harder and ride rougher terrain. jumps are no longer a problem but any time I come up to a drop that i can see coming i have to stop turn around and approach it again to go off of it. the same is not true if im not expecting the drop like right around a corner i stop thinking and just do it but if i see the drop coming i get scared. I had the same problem as a goalie in lacrosse and was able to over come that but for some reason i just cant get over it on my bike.
    I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they over came it.

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    I think you are probably over-thinking it. Try practicing on a couple of the drops in question a couple times so you get confident on them. Get comfortable eyeing them up and riding off. If you are confident in your skills and technique you will likely be less apprehensive when you come up to drops in the future.

    Just my $.02. Good luck and have fun!

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    I still have this problem, it's just that the drops or jumps I'm worried about are bigger now then they used to be.

    You need to focus down the trail instead of staring at the lip of the drop. If you keep focusing on the drop portion of the trail then you'll never be prepared for it. If you start to focus down trail, probably at the landing, then there's nothing stopping your focus from continuing down the trail. More than anything, you need to do it to be good at it so keep practicing. Eventually you'll get better at it, it just takes time.
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    who says you have to ride everything, anyway?

    I certainly don't. there are some jumps or drops I have done before and just do not like the landing or the flow or whatever, so I use an alternate route around that obstacle or I walk it. and then some are just too big for me and my sense of acceptable risk, so I don't ride those, ether.

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    thanks for the advise jkrout and zebrahum ill try to go out tomorrow and just go through lines that a struggle with and regardless of being scared just do it anyway and let my body react so hopefully when i come to those same drops later on i can just go off of them. NateHawk i want to be able to go over them with out stopping i love the rougher trails and this is just one element of them that i want to master and am struggling to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    thanks for the advise jkrout and zebrahum ill try to go out tomorrow and just go through lines that a struggle with and regardless of being scared just do it anyway and let my body react so hopefully when i come to those same drops later on i can just go off of them. NateHawk i want to be able to go over them with out stopping i love the rougher trails and this is just one element of them that i want to master and am struggling to do so.
    I love technical trails, too.

    but I have limits and I don't let myself be persuaded by testosterone to do stuff that is not in my best interests. most everyone else has limits, too, whether they like to talk about it online or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    thanks for the advise jkrout and zebrahum ill try to go out tomorrow and just go through lines that a struggle with and regardless of being scared just do it anyway and let my body react so hopefully when i come to those same drops later on i can just go off of them. NateHawk i want to be able to go over them with out stopping i love the rougher trails and this is just one element of them that i want to master and am struggling to do so.



    You can't master them from a gurney or a hospital bed, sometimes you have to give them the ole hairy eyeball before you hit them, sometimes it's best not to hit them at all. It all comes with experience.

  8. #8
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    I started riding this past summer. On my main trail there is one drop that always scared me. It's right after a turn, past some roots and kinda hidden behind a tree. It's actually quite dangerous as you can't see it till your right up on it. I'm surprised it isn't marked, anyway it's a 2 footer into a chute type terrain that's very smooth. I don't know why it scared me every time. But I'd always gotten off my bike at this spot and walked down it. I know I was over thinking it, but couldn't shake the feeling of impending doom. Then just last month I got off my bike at the top of the hill leading down to this drop, walked down to scout it out and got back on my bike said "F' it and went for it. After bouncing over the roots and around the corner it ended up being one of the smoother drops of the whole trail!

    Sometimes you gotta just go for it. There's another man made drop that's about 8 feet or so...I'm gonna pass on that one. I don't want to destroy my bike. I'm sure I could do it, but I really don't feel like snapping a frame in 2 if I mess it up.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I love technical trails, too.

    but I have limits and I don't let myself be persuaded by testosterone to do stuff that is not in my best interests. most everyone else has limits, too, whether they like to talk about it online or not.
    And get yerself farked up!

    Words of Wisdom here. I am not ashamed to carry my bike when I think the chance of getting hurt is over 10%. Part of the reason Ill be 54 next month.

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    the drop isnt anything that i could really get hurt on its just a small maybe two foot drop onto a smooth landing its just that its like a small like 4" drop right before it so i think that my weight is going to be forward when i go off the actual drop so i just psych my self out

  11. #11
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    This also applies to drops, jumps, and generally most other technical features as well.

    Rule #64 / Cornering confidence increases with time and experience.
    This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

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    where did you find this list of rules i would like to read the rest

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    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    where did you find this list of rules i would like to read the rest
    Velominati
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

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    With drops lately i walk it, let the rest of the group go by (i am the more advanced rider in my group) then i take a good long look walk back up and give it ago. From the bottom most dont look to scary, but i am terrified of heights and drops and bridges/tall skinnies can be unnerving sometimes. But once i do them, its no problems after that.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

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    Drops are easier to me cause of my above average height.. Jumps on the other hand.... I usually avoid them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    You can't master them from a gurney or a hospital bed, sometimes you have to give them the ole hairy eyeball before you hit them, sometimes it's best not to hit them at all. It all comes with experience.
    I can wholeheartedly agree with this!
    My three biggest injuries last year... which combined cost me 6 months off work, almost that much time off the bike, and a few thousand dollars in medical (thankfully no bike was hurt during the events )... were all from what I call my static jumps.
    These are the ones where I stop, check out a jump, and wrestle whether I can/should do it.
    I finally just push myself to do it, then... well, the next thing I remember is picking myself up off the ground in pain


    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    the drop isnt anything that i could really get hurt on its just a small maybe two foot drop onto a smooth landing its just that its like a small like 4" drop right before it so i think that my weight is going to be forward when i go off the actual drop so i just psych my self out
    I did a 2-3 ft drop off a stage in our local park. Dropped my front wheel too soon for some odd reason, sailed OTB's, landed directly onto my shoulder.
    The resulting torn ligaments cost me the most last year... in terms of time off work, 2 surgeries, and some money.
    It was the last thing I thought about doing after a ride that had some short steep downhill, and stairs, along with roots in one section.

    The trails never seem to get me as bad as the stuff I'm just sitting around on my bike thinking I should be able to do, even if I haven't done it before.
    I've done stuff bigger and hairier on trails than the three things I crashed hard on last year... go figure

    You might pile up some pallets, put a ramp up to them, and work your way up in height for drops. I can find pallets for free all over my town (even at the hospital I work at).

  17. #17
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    As others have stated take a look first. If it's simple go ahead. Always focus more ahead to the landing then the drop or jump, this will help you take off correctly. If it's something new always be sure to have knee, wrist, elbow pads and a helmet. Or any other safety equipment you feel more comfortable with

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    You can't master them from a gurney or a hospital bed, sometimes you have to give them the ole hairy eyeball before you hit them, sometimes it's best not to hit them at all. It all comes with experience.
    Wisdom!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I still have this problem, it's just that the drops or jumps I'm worried about are bigger now then they used to be.

    You need to focus down the trail instead of staring at the lip of the drop. If you keep focusing on the drop portion of the trail then you'll never be prepared for it. If you start to focus down trail, probably at the landing, then there's nothing stopping your focus from continuing down the trail. More than anything, you need to do it to be good at it so keep practicing. Eventually you'll get better at it, it just takes time.
    This. Focus ahead farther down the trail then how you currently ride. I got iffy on drops too and I just focus ahead now and its not such a problem.


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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I still have this problem, it's just that the drops or jumps I'm worried about are bigger now then they used to be.

    You need to focus down the trail instead of staring at the lip of the drop. If you keep focusing on the drop portion of the trail then you'll never be prepared for it. If you start to focus down trail, probably at the landing, then there's nothing stopping your focus from continuing down the trail. More than anything, you need to do it to be good at it so keep practicing. Eventually you'll get better at it, it just takes time.
    I agree with this both on the tech climb and tech descend. Looking further, and spot your exit would help you with your follow through. Just acknowledge the lip then stick it. It's ok to go back and reset the set up so you are better prepared. Don't have to hit all really. It's best to practice on the smaller stuffs til you are 100% before you go bigger.

    See the next advice from the Sage below.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    You can't master them from a gurney or a hospital bed, sometimes you have to give them the ole hairy eyeball before you hit them, sometimes it's best not to hit them at all. It all comes with experience.

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    alright thanks for for all the advise im going to go out later today and go off the smaller drops and get my confidence up and then try and work my way up to the drops im scared of. as for protection I never get on a trail with out my helmet and lately with out knee pads too, as a lacrosse goalie you were ridiculed if you wore any additional protection now that no one judges i will gladly layer on the body armour to protect myself

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    try finding a small drop to practice on. My biggest problem was over thinking. Just clear your head, stay calm, and send it

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    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    alright thanks for for all the advise im going to go out later today and go off the smaller drops and get my confidence up and then try and work my way up to the drops im scared of. as for protection I never get on a trail with out my helmet and lately with out knee pads too, as a lacrosse goalie you were ridiculed if you wore any additional protection now that no one judges i will gladly layer on the body armour to protect myself
    That's the key -- practice and confidence. For the most part, if you can ride a 1' drop, you can ride a much bigger one. You just get to where you're able to land correctly on the 1 footer, and slowly move up from there. That is what I remind myself every time I'm on a new trail or working up the nerve to hit a new drop I've never done before.

    Pads and a full-face helmet also do wonders for my confidence, although I know it is just psychological.

    It is good to scout them out, too, check out landings and, for me, confirm in my head that I've done something like that in the past, so I can do it again. But to me, many people start too close to the drop or jump after looking at it. I always see people try to start like 20 ft above the drop they are trying to take, and it seems to end in disaster a lot of the time. I push my bike way up the hill, so I can ride for at least 10-15 seconds, maybe even above another obstacle or corner, so I can hit the obstacle with a bit of flow and continuity. I also like to hit drops pretty fast if I can, which allows me to pretty much just ride off it, so I like to make myself plenty of room to be at the speed I want to be going; the slower ones are the hardest for me. Just something that I find to work. YMMV.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  24. #24
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    From what I read it sounds like the drop is on a decline to start with. You say your body weight feels to forward at the start and this certainly will mess with your confidence as you are essentially not positioned correctly.

    If the drop is on falling section on trail then it requires a certain amount of speed. Too slow and the front will flop early. Try getting just off the seat a bit, almost in attack position. Have body weight forward a bit towards the bars, knees/elbows bent. At the lip push the bike forward with your hips/feet while resisting a bit with your hands while bringing your center of mass back to neutral so you don't endo. The idea is to 'loft' the front a bit, into the drop. Again the faster you are going the easier this. If going fast enough you don't really need to do anything, just push the bike a bit in front of you and the landing will be natural.

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    so i went out today and walked over to the drop in question and yes it is on a decline and looked it over and the landing itself is smooth and packed down so more or less i just said screw it and rode through the trail and when i got the the drop i was moving at a pretty good pace and just didnt let my self think about and went off with no problems.. because i was able to conquer that one i was able to do another drop witch i normal avoid simply because its huge in my opinion (5ish feet) and all in all had a great ride

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    although Im pretty sure i just jumped over the ledge of the drop when i was trying to loft the front wheel after that first small drop before the big one haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    although Im pretty sure i just jumped over the ledge of the drop when i was trying to loft the front wheel after that first small drop before the big one haha
    Whatever works

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    <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2rdz434" target="_blank"><img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/2rdz434.gif" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2rdz434" target="_blank"><img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/2rdz434.gif" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>
    the same mistakes...over and over again.

    I actually had to help one of my students this past fall when he did just this same thing on the local trails. had to peel him off the trail and help him stop the bleeding. my riding buddy then took him to the hospital.

    he had a concussion (typical symptoms of being confused) and also broke his nose.

    he did pretty much the exact same thing as the guy in the ani gif. Only difference was that the guy I saw do it had his bike loaded with almost a gallon of water in bottles on the frame plus a heavy steel rack.

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    Ouch. Never done any of this stuff on a MB, only BMX bike. I've almost done that though. The front end drops below the point of no return....

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2rdz434" target="_blank"><img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/2rdz434.gif" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>
    A perfect example of what NOT to do. Looks like he forgot to pull back on the bars. Still funny though since he was just showing off.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

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    Sometimes you just want to know the background story behind a picture!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Sometimes you just want to know the background story behind a picture!
    Here son, I'll show you how it's done!
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  34. #34
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    Love the way the expressions on the bystanders never even flinches. Like they expected it.

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    Hold my beer...

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    I have this same issue, I feel smooth going through the trails and if the drop or big hill just comes at me I can handle it. But if i can see it and have that quick moment of contemplation I jam the brakes and size it up ultimately wussing out or fail at the landing (hence the name). What I have found for me to work is I've gone to the beach (now being winter they are completely deserted and the sand if compact) there are these metal beams that resemble the width of a single track and with the lake receding it creates a drop from the beam to the sand. There are 3 of them at different heights that I use to drop off and get comfortable with the feel of it before I go the trails.
    Idk if this will work for you but you're not alone my friend.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by infested View Post
    I got in to mountain biking about a year and half ago and im not starting to push my self a lot harder and ride rougher terrain. jumps are no longer a problem but any time I come up to a drop that i can see coming i have to stop turn around and approach it again to go off of it. the same is not true if im not expecting the drop like right around a corner i stop thinking and just do it but if i see the drop coming i get scared. I had the same problem as a goalie in lacrosse and was able to over come that but for some reason i just cant get over it on my bike.
    I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they over came it.
    This is a great thread, thanks for asking. I appreciate your honesty as most guys wouldn't dare to admit they're scared of stuff. I know I am freaked by drops and jumps. I learned a lot here. Thanks for being a real man.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    A perfect example of what NOT to do. Looks like he forgot to pull back on the bars. Still funny though since he was just showing off.

    So many mistakes in this one...Weight too far forward, pedals in the wrong position, pulling up AFTER the front wheel starts to drop,etc. More balls than brains.

    To the OP, just stay relaxed. The more tense you are the more trouble you will have. If you feel that you may be in over your head there is zero shame in waiting until you are mentally ready.
    "Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race. " ~ H.G. Wells

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