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  1. #1
    Professional Crastinator
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    Help! Trail Blunder Sensory Overload

    I have always told people who asked that when I'm going fast I tend to ignore the big scary stuff along the trail and focus primarily on where I will place my tires. Sure, I regard the scary stuff and avoid ripping off my derailleur or catching my bars on a tree, but when I blunder into something unexpected - like I did yesterday, following a 4" dual suspension bike (too closely) on my rigid - I usually have some sort of plan.

    Yesterday I all but blanked out. I was so overwhelmed by what I saw I had no recourse except to brake slightly, hang off the back, and just try to stay on the bike. The guy in front had done just a small weave that adjusted his approach to the section while I stayed on a straight line (I should have trusted his lead). He had a wayyy better line through. I looked for the gaps - there were few if any. I pinballed off one rock and bounded over another while my front wheel made an awful "PANG!" sound (thank you Ardent and Blunt for holding together). Braking was largely ineffective since I was barely touching the ground anyway. I scuffed a tree with my elbow and was finally able to go off-trail and get things settled before I returned to the line. This has to be maybe the 3rd time ever that I've felt totally and completely out of control. I mean, I feel like my brain shut off - like any input from me was hopeless (maybe that's my brain assuming control - or disabling control? - out of self-preservation). It was weird. You don't want to do nothing, but you don't want to do "too much".

    I'm sure there is an instinctive response, but what does everyone else do in this situation besides crap their pants? What else can you do?

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
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    Slow down until you learn the trail/line.

  3. #3
    I4NI
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    It happens. His line may have ended in the same result as yours.
    I'd go back to the spot and walk it and see what you could have done different.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  4. #4
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    Instinct. I just hope my years of experience is enough to get me get through. If not, I do what you did and live to fight another day.
    2011 Niner EMD
    Wounds Heal, Chicks dig scars, Glory lasts FOREVER!

  5. #5
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Hey if this is the first time this has happened to you you are far ahead of the game.
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    ************^^^^^^Rock Garden
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqpcBpSsj1A

  6. #6
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    All the time.....on the dirt bike. Only multiply by a factor of 1,000
    2007 Cdale Caffeine 29er Lefty.
    "Your not going to shove you're proper grammer down are throats!!"

  7. #7
    Professional Crastinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whit45 View Post
    Slow down until you learn the trail/line.
    I've been on this trail 20x

    It seems everyone forgets about this spot. You're carving and swooping for a couple miles, then *wham* a bunch of jutting rocks about 3 bike lengths long, a big tree on the right, a left-right combo around the tree, then another arrangement of jutting rocks and another left turn.

    I've been in wayyy over my head before on other trails, but this is the first time I couldn't even respond. I was feeling pretty helpless. Of course, that was followed by that triumphant "I-didn't-crash" feeling.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  8. #8
    The White Jeff W
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    Happened to me in a race Sunday. Hit a corner at speed (probably around 25-30 mph) and the front tire washed out on the apex & sent me into the weeds & trees. I was able to hold on to it but cant remember anything from the moment I felt the front tire let go till I came to a stop off trail.

    I felt bad for the guy right behind me because he followed me off the trail. He said he thought I was going down.


    Actually after replaying it in my mind I remember saying ****!****!****!****!****!****!****!!!!
    No moss...

  9. #9
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    I actually stay really calm in those scenarios. I just become focused and let my instinct / muscle memory bike handling go to work to correct my mistake while everything is in slow-mo.

    Then you get that hot adrenaline feeling sweep over you once you have corrected without crashing while cursing yourself out.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  10. #10
    Professional Crastinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    I actually stay really calm in those scenarios.
    This is what usu. happens - mostly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    I just become focused and let my instinct / muscle memory bike handling go to work to correct my mistake while everything is in slow-mo.

    Then you get that hot adrenaline feeling sweep over you once you have corrected without crashing while cursing yourself out.
    This is also what usu. happens... and what makes it fun. But this last time I was completely mentally detached from it - just hanging on I can't even call it a save. Just pure, dumb luck.

    I was pretty sure I wasn't the only one who gets in over their head once in awhile.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

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