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  1. #1
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    How Do You Regain Confidence?

    Here's my question, how do you get back into your groove after you take a spill early on in a ride? I'm by no means the best mtbr out there, I'm assuming many can relate, but I do enjoy pushing myself and tackling challenging tracks. However, I find that if I take a spill early on in a ride my confidence is shot and I usually perform worse the rest of the ride. Even over technical spots that I have navigated before.

    I realized that this is mostly a mental thing, but what do you do to regain your confidence mid-ride? Anyone else experience the same thing?

    Maybe it's just rule #5 haha (Velominati ? The Rules)

  2. #2
    Cow Clicker
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    You congratulate yourself for riding harder and faster and pushing yourself. Then, get up and congratulate yourself because you are now better than you were a minute ago.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  3. #3
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    This has been discussed several times.. What I do is go and reride the trail that a crashed on as soon as possible. Take it slow and easy. But there is no special trick to getting confidence back except being on the bike. If you are not feeling it, walk.. There is nothing wrong with getting off your bike and walking a section that you aren't comfortable riding. Better to walk a section and live to ride again..

  4. #4
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    I had a bad accident resulting in an ER trip and some decent injuries about a year ago. My first time back out riding was extremely slow and my confidence was def shaken. I rode something easy and it helped my confidence much more than riding a challenging trail. I gradually worked myself back up to the same level I was at pre-crash pretty quickly. It made sense to me. Confidence is massively important.

  5. #5
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    I wrecked really bad on a road bike a few years ago, think face first into a curb at 25mph. Once I was healed and back out riding, confidence was shot. Riding more and more was the only way to get it back. In your case of same-ride confidence, try clearing the spot again if its doable. You'll build your skill and a second try clear will give you a little pat on the back.

  6. #6
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    I started riding mnt bikes last year. I have crashed four times resulting in one broken rib and one broken wrist. My problem is getting over confident. When that happens I crash. I am an old roadie so I love going fast. Some times that doesn't work out too well. My bars are very wide and I keep clipping trees. People tell me to cut them but I like the width. Last week I crashed my new Trigger 29er-1. I was going down a very fast downhill section that has a sharp right turn followed by a pair of trees that my bars are wider than. I was feeling great and thought, I got this. Next thing I knew I was doing a front flip with a left side 180. I didnt break any bones this time but I was really sore for a week. This was in the first ten minutes of the ride. I picked up the bike and we continued on at a slow pace until I figured I was ok. I am trying to learn better control of my speed and my agility around trees.

  7. #7
    Rogue Exterminator
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    I just put it out of my mind and don't think about it other than maybe what I did wrong and what I could do to prevent it from happening again.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I just put it out of my mind and don't think about it other than maybe what I did wrong and what I could do to prevent it from happening again.
    I wreck all the time! Just tell myself I'm going to get back up on that bike and get better EVERY time I ride!! My main problem is getting out of my EggBeaters!! Lolol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrymasz View Post
    I wreck all the time! Just tell myself I'm going to get back up on that bike and get better EVERY time I ride!! My main problem is getting out of my EggBeaters!! Lolol
    I also wreck all the time! LOL! I actually wrecked today and went over the bars right in front of two others riders, but my buddy was too far back to see me go over. Coming down fast and hard on a new trail, but it was worth it! Get back up and shake it off! The greater percentage of the MTB community is there to help, as was the case today. This should motivate you and remember, the more you remember and respect the trail, the more the trail pays you back with the skills for your future rides!

  10. #10
    Rogue Exterminator
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    I have had quite few wrecks lately myself.
    The last one though resulted in a torn rotator cuff so my wrecking days are over for a bit.
    I am sure I will be off the bike completely for a while and when I get back on it will be fire roads and other easy trails.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  11. #11
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    Fear and anxiety will hold you back which is why it's so important to heal and rebuild confidence, no matter how small or severe the injury.You will be less likely to return to an activity if you continue to experience pain.

    I've had a few major and minor set backs (injury, and health issues) but what works for me is the use of imagery to guide my recovery and transition. I use various imagery techniques to stay motivated, keeping a positive attitude, overcoming pain and anxiety that help me to recover and back in the saddle.
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  12. #12
    Perpetual n00b
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    Build a berm on every corner! Nah but seriously it can take a long time to get the confidence back after a bad wreck. I crashed on the road at 20mph. It destroyed my acromion and that took a couple months to heal. That memory is with me now on every ride so I play it safe for the most part. It's a blurry line between confidence and recklessness. But you don't really know you were being reckless until after the fact.
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

  13. #13
    I always bleed like this.
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    It takes some time.
    I also crash all the time, former Paratrooper, explosives, stupid crazy etc. last year went off the side of a small log and one of those crazy things, hit so hard I immediately got nauseous. Thought I watched all the fingers on my right hand get broke. After all the crazy stuff I have done one little tumble and bridges I used to fly over, I started walking.
    It is not you, it is your brain telling you to be afraid and getting over that takes some time. Keep riding, walk sections that bother you and it passes over time. My first ride this year after dealing with the same things and all the anxiety had faded.
    Keep at it.

  14. #14
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    Take every crash as a learning experience. More often than not, the crash resulted from operator area. Identify that area, and work on it.

    When you know certain areas of trail are coming up that may give you difficulty, focus on staying relaxed and loose, keep your head up, and breathe smoothly.

  15. #15
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    Time and getting out of your own head is what it takes.

    With a couple of my OTBs I've gotten back up thinking how the hell did that just happen and knowing I could have made the section so I don't really lose any confidence. And I wasn't gonna puss out in front of the other guys, so I got back up and kept going.
    I do still take it slower on the spot of my worst wreck though. Hard and fast downhill doing over 20mph when it felt like the front wheel disappeared on me. I tumbled hard and broke the chain and rear derailluer. My neck still hurts a bit, and it's been 5 months. Since then I have taken it on the brakes and slower every time. I am able to take that downhill a little faster each time, and last time was up to 22mph again.
    2012 Rockhopper 29er.

  16. #16
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    Go home and have a beer..........

    Seriously, why fight it and risk further damage to yourself, or worse, your bike! Some times its best to just call it quits and take the rest of the day off.

  17. #17
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    Continuing a ride after a big slam can be difficult, even more difficult to get up and attack again with the same energy you started with. If you can get up and shake it off - then just put it behind you right away and forge ahead. Accept you did it, and got it out of the way for now. Don't dwell on the fall, even if you can still feel the pain throbbing. Instead, just feel the groove of the trail/ride and concentrate on line choice, cadence or breathing - be IN the moment. "During the ride" is not the time to reflect on your mistake.

    Realize that crashing is a reality of riding a bike. They go hand in hand - not two separate things, if you ride, you WILL crash.

    Also helps - practice tumbling/falling. In your back yard, living room, wherever. It will help when sh*t hits the fan.

    and of course, HTFU... lol. (great link)
    Airborne Flight Crew

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  18. #18
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    There's nothing wrong with protecting yourself after a crash. That's the smart part of your brain taking control of the situation. Call it self preservation.

    Consider yourself lucky if you can get up and get back into the saddle.

    Things will return to normal on the next ride.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by breckenridge View Post
    In your case of same-ride confidence, try clearing the spot again if its doable. You'll build your skill and a second try clear will give you a little pat on the back.
    +1 Keep trying until you succeed if you're feelin' it. If you're not feeling it, lay off. There's many spots I had to session to be able to clean both climbing and descending.

    Just be careful of the after-crash jitters. The fear, tension and adrenaline caused from the crash can and will make you screw things up again. Find a way to calm this. I know some people that will run for a minute, others just stop and take deep breaths.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  20. #20
    OMG!
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    Losing confidence during the ride is pretty short term, you might be better off thinking long term. The answer is pretty simple- ride more. As you get more reference experiences and muscle memory, you will crash less while simultaneously being able to push harder.

  21. #21
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    I've had a few spills, most recent ones on a certain mini-rockgarden on the trail I regularly ride. What caused me to fall most of the time was fear. Knowing this part was tricky and switching to "defensive" riding mode. Too much braking, not enough speed, too much tension on the body. Front wheel gets stuck, off I go. Again and again. I'd found the right line between the rocks but I wasn't relaxed and confident enough.

    After a few spills my confidence had taken a hit. I still went for it 2 or 3 times on every ride and one out of three I'd crash. No injuries thankfuly, just scratches, bruises and a dented top tube.

    The solution for me was repetition and approaching the rockgarden with the right state of mind. Control my speed but keep momentum to go over the rocks. Actively steer the front wheel where I want to go, the rear will follow. Look where I want to go (not the front wheel). Stay loose and let the bike move under me.

    I've become a better rider from this, and still have many things to learn. I crashed again a few days a go on a loose turn. Tricky terrain, wrong approach. Analyse & repeat. If you don't fell like it, leave it for the next ride. Think it over in the meantime.

  22. #22
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    It usually takes something to scare or take me by surprise to help me loosen up when I've just set out.

    I would generally start out not going flat out; maybe it has something to do with making sure the bike (and mind) is sound before picking the pace up.

    If I do fall off; as long as nothing is damaged, its a step in the right direction. At least I know next time either not to push that section as hard or; approach it physically or psychologically differently.

    But aside from that; it is normal to be a bit shaken after nearly destroying yourself; I don't think you are any different to the rest (most) of us.

  23. #23
    Teach me! :-)
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    Hitting the ground is part of it!

    If your not falling off your not trying hard enough!!

  24. #24
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    For regaining my same-ride confidence, I keep in mind that crashing jacks the heart rate. I get back on the bike right away, but ride slowly, just about recovery pace, to get the heart rate down (and make sure none of my injuries were significant). Then I begin to slowly accelerate, then accelerate a bit more, and a bit more... to get back into the zone.

    I recently gave this advice to a beginning racer and acknowledged that it feels weird to ride so slowly in a race, but if that prevents a second crash then it really does get one ahead faster.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamjunky View Post
    If your not falling off your not trying hard enough!!
    I live by this rule in both my skiing and mountain biking. If I don't crash at least once a ride it is because I am not trying to get better. For me, crashing is a positive sign that I am trying more difficult things and am getting better. Well, usually it is, I do often have those "I just did something stupid" crashes as well.

    As a matter of fact, just the other day I had a crash that actually helped me gain confidence. I was trying to ride this giant rock that we always ride past. There is an easy route to ride to rock off to one side, but there is a more difficult route that is much harder to get on that requires riding up and over the rock and has a pretty substantial vertical drop at the end of it.

    I was having issues getting over the large hump you had to climb to get onto the rock, but it was mainly because I was hesitating. Finally I just peaked over the top but my front tire slipped out and I ended up endo'ing and sliding down the rock (all while my wife was taking video to post on Facebook, thanks dear!).

    Got up from the crash, everything was fine and it kind of reminded me that more often than not, crashing isn't that big of deal and really doesn't hurt that much (usually...). Rode the whole thing clean on my next attempt.

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