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  1. #1
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    Psyched Out - Lost Passion

    So over the weekend I had a pretty scary stumble on the bike at a bike trail I wasn't THAT familiar with. I'm still fairly new and have been obsessed with MTBing but yesterday I went out to a trail I have done over and over again and was still afraid on well known spots. Is this a familiar feeling to anyone? Have you ever suffered from a fall and taken some time to get back into the groove of things? I just literally was not feeling it at all...

  2. #2
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    I've got a section of trail that after 2 years STILL makes my butt pucker, and I built it! And yes, it's quite normal to be a bit gun shy after a get off, or even a close call sometimes.

  3. #3
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    Pretty normal to be very tentative after a good spill. Go back to your well known spots, visualize riding them well, and then ride them. Your confidence will come back.
    When my confidence is low, I find my technical riding is worse and I'm more likely to spill again until I get my mojo back.

  4. #4
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    Oh yeah...
    This is one of the most mental sports I know.
    Par for the course what you are going through. Its part of the sport!
    Ride places you would deem easy and rebuild your confidence, but get back in the saddle once you are feeling it again.
    Lynn Woods
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  5. #5
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    ^^^^+1

  6. #6
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    It happens. Just need to ride to get it back, but maybe not the same bits of trail. I took a nasty fall this January on a ride. I am not riding that trail again because the trail was more of hiking path than a trail in the first place.

    Still next time out on proper trail when I got to similar type spot it cause me to pause and just walk it. I had never crashed here before, but was always dicey. So I just wimped out and walked it. No big deal. A few weeks later I rode it again and this time I just bucked up and rode it. Confidence. It comes from riding and can be lost in a crash. To build it back up either tough it out and ride the crash zone again or ride some other stuff that get progressively more complex and like the crash area.

    BTW.... Not ever ride needs to be super techy challenge. Some times you need just smooth spin on easy terrain just to get the enjoyment of pedaling the bike again. I have trails near home with different character and I can choose to ride smoother trails with tough climbs or techy steep sections or moderate tech with lots of exposure and just about everything in between. I just choose which trails I am in the mood for.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
    bust a move
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    For me the length of time that I'm psyched out is directly related to the seriousness of the tumble. It always goes away though...thankfully.

  8. #8
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    ^
    which is directly proportional to the cost of damage to the bike and the cost of hospitalization.

  9. #9
    undercover brother
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    It happens. Like others have said, gain your confidence back by riding easier trails. It will come back to you, but you can't let it linger in your mind.

  10. #10
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Everyone has ups and downs.. It's natural. Just don't lose your focus on why you ride, what brought you to biking in the first place.

    I don't ride chunk all the time - I prefer smooth and flowy with a tad of chunk tossed in for fun - I do from time to time hit the chunkier stuff just to keep the bike handling skills in line.

    Crashes happen and I am sure most of us on here have done it from time to time - some more than others. I have done it, separated shoulder and all that, and got back on the horse and rode again like my dad always told me.. Son, get up and dust off and get back on the bike.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  11. #11
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    get back on the "horse",,, look where you want to go..not where you don't.......and no harm in walking some parts if you are not feeling it..... i'd rather be teased for a minute or two that nursing a separated shoulder for a month.

  12. #12
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    Completely normal feeling.

    Learning to deal with fear is a big part of becoming a better rider.
    Check out my You Tube Channel

  13. #13
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    Something similar happened to me the other day. It was my first time out on my favorite local trail this season. There is a funky 3-4 foot drop between 2 trees, juuuust wide enough for your bars to fit through. There are also 3 or 4 roots at the top of the drop pointing in different directions, between the trees, on off camber ground... The key to this drop is just being confident and hitting it with speed so that the roots can't substantially effect the tracking of your front tire which causes you to slip out sideways. Being my first ride on that trail on my new bike for some reason I decided to go at it a bit slower than normal and just roll it (remembering the last time I hit this feature on a new bike, at speed, and crashed anyway) Well, big mistake. Probably the worst crash I have taken in years. I ended up sliding off the back of the saddle, the bike shot forward and I landed on my back, crunching my spine in the process.

    Mind games, man. Like others have said try to build your confidence back up. One way to do that is to attack familiar features that you know you can ride and have ridden many times before. Good luck.
    2011 Trance x1

    All good things in all good time

  14. #14
    The 5th knuckle
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    For me it's when I'm not a little apprehensive is when I get hurt. If it's too easy, familiar, I'm not paying attention, that is when I mess myself up. A little fear is good, none = dirt snack.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  15. #15
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    There is a sketchy section of a particular trail that I often ride several times a week, that previously over the years I made it through unscathed at least 60-70 times. In fact, I didn't even look at it as much of a challenge anymore and thought nothing of it when I approached. Then, last November, I suddenly found myself going over sideways and breaking a few ribs at this section, and was scared to death just trying to make it back to my car (difficultly breathing in the middle of the woods with nobody around will do that to you).

    Guess what---to this day some days I simply dismount at this section and walk through it, depending on how confident I feel on that day. A few months ago, I dismounted every time...I'm just now getting back to where I ride through 60% or so of the time. Remember, before the crash I scoffed at the section and thought nothing of it; I'm guessing it will take a solid year before I get back to that point again.

    It's human nature and you'll just have to fight through it. But whatever you do, don't let fear get the most of you and succumb to it. You'll have to become mentally tougher and that's a good thing, which you can then apply to other areas of your life.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I guess a lot of it has to do with how you're feeling that day huh? I climbed up this massive hill two times last week and failed to get it yesterday, I was pretty hard on myself but I guess I should just chalk it off to an off day and expect to have those every now and then.

  17. #17
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    I had a massive otb on a quick downhill bruised/cracked ribs and cracked my helmet. For about 2 months I avoided the spot and when I would ride it I would stop right before it unintentionally and get off to walk. It was all in my head. One day I just rode it again with no problems and now its all good again!

    Your body can handle anything
    Your bike can handle most things
    Your mind can only handle what it wants

  18. #18
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    It just means your brain is still working properly.

  19. #19
    High Desert MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarBoom View Post
    I had a massive otb on a quick downhill bruised/cracked ribs and cracked my helmet. For about 2 months I avoided the spot and when I would ride it I would stop right before it unintentionally and get off to walk. It was all in my head. One day I just rode it again with no problems and now its all good again!

    Your body can handle anything
    Your bike can handle most things
    Your mind can only handle what it wants
    I think I would change that one a little:
    My mind can handle anything
    My body can handle most things
    My bike can handle what my mind and body want it to...
    It's all Here. Now.

  20. #20
    High Desert MTBer
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    ...and if I have a big tumble, I go over it in my mind and try and figure out why. It's usually caused by lack of focus, or lack of commitment, so next time around, once I am healed, I try it again only mo bettah! Usually that works...
    It's all Here. Now.

  21. #21
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    We've always called it "the fear," it happens to any sane person in any action sport. I've experienced "the fear" as a kid when skateboarding, as and adult after crashing, or almost crashing my MTB and BMX bikes. I've felt it after a scary slip rock climbing. It can become impossible to commit when "the fear" is in you... you just have to work through it, or take a break. You'll pull an awesome move, or bunny-hop an obstacle that jumps out of nowhere and you'll be fine again.

  22. #22
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    This has happened to pretty much anyone who rides a bike. I find the older I get the more cautious I become. The last major crash I had I separated my shoulder, broke my helmet and caused all sorts or damage to my bike. I also learned I needed to wear glasses when I ride but thats another issue. My first ride after I healed was that trail. I had to face it. I rode it slow and easy. The next time a little faster.. It took me some time before I could go full speed but I got there. The thing is, if you're not feeling confident, walk it. Who cares? Another person said it and I agree, I'd rather be made fun of for a few minutes than to crash, separate a shoulder and be off the bike for a month. This sport is a giant mind game. But its up to you on how you handle the game and how much you let the fear get to you. For what's it worth, I'd rather walk a section and live to ride another day... just sayin..

  23. #23
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    It happens, I did it last year, went OTB bounced my noddle off a large rock. Spilt helmet open pulled muscles in my neck but no other injurys thanks baby jesus. For the next two rides I really slowed down through that section, now I just bomb through it again. A friend I used to ride with years ago went off a step down hill at full speed, I don't know what the hell he was thinking its a full stop drop in downhill and he went over at full speed. He went through the tops of the trees then fell to the ground close to the bottom of the hill. No broken bones which was a miracle but bruised his kidneys, he never rode that section ever again and it was totaly his own fault. I tried to get him to ride it again but he refused, don't let that stuff happen to you, just like everyone else said get up dust yourself off and get back at it.
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  24. #24
    pin it
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    During my brief mtb experience, I've had my share of +++falls, broken bones and health issues (cancer). What works for me is to get back to riding as soon as possible after a traumatic event. The return to riding can be transitional or taken down a notch (depending on physical limitations) but I think mind over matter is the key to overcoming doubt.

    I work with a woman who (several years ago) fell off her bike, got scratched and bruised and never rode again. Which makes me think that the longer you avoid something, the more difficult it can be to go back to it.
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  25. #25
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    remind yourself that riding is supposed to be fun.
    you don't have to challenge yourself every minute on the bike.
    when i was doing that it became a chore and frustrating when things didn't work.
    now i just head out for a great ride, if an obstacle comes up and i'm feeling it ,i'll try to make it ,if i'm not feeling it ,it'll be there next time.
    after a few bad crashes and injuries i reevaluated why i ride and now i enjoy it more than ever.
    Team Van Go

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