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  1. #1
    involuntary dismounter
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    will it ever get easier?

    i started riding again about 6 months ago after a long absence (due to a really bad ride that literally almost killed me)...and i'm having a blast...except for one thing...

    ...all the ppl i ride with are boys...and they keep getting better...and i feel like i am not getting better as fast as them...so i feel like the little kid that trails the older cooler kids...and i don't like that feeling...

    am i alone on this one? or do others feel this way too? will i ever get better?

    i'm sick of being the slowest one out there!!!

    i need a pep-talk!

  2. #2
    L1MEY
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    You shouldn't feel bad... I get that feeling most of the time.

    Most often I ride with my hubby, who is (amazingly) slower than I am, or on my own. When I ride with other people, which is not very often, I am always the last one. I dunno what it is really... I've only been riding off road seriously for about a year, but I'm in pretty decent shape (I ride, run, hike and go to the gym). I find I have plenty of stamina to keep riding for a long time, but the short burst of energy required for a steep climb just wipes me out if I'm not really careful about pacing myself. I guess the only cure is more time on the bike working on those climbs, and making sure I have enough energy food with me.

    The key is enjoyment. If you're not enjoying riding with the fast guys, go on your own and see if you enjoy it more. If you do, then it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are because you're having fun

    - Jen.
    - Jen.

  3. #3
    abolisher of A$$holes
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    I'm not really sure what type of riding you're talking about...but I'll take a guess that it's Dh/FR from your profile...in that case...

    my first thought is that you still may be a little hesitant from such a bad ride/crash? you had a while ago...it always takes time after one, but it seems like for most males it's easier to shake off than the females...

    secondly, most likely it has to do with the genetics of male vs. female when it comes to you speaking of them being faster than you...again, talking about DH here...the only thing you can do to make yourself faster is to continue to ride...and ride as much as possible...try to pedal standing rather than sitting...it's the best way to help build your speedy leg muscles...and the saddle time will just get you more cofortable as well as the old saying...practice makes perfect...

    if you're talking about things like jumps, drops, gaps and ladders...well, I've come to find that most males that are continually improving...have a different perspective on crashing...it just comes with the territory...getting used to it/learning to do it better will only help you have more confidence in trying bigger and harder stunts...just keep getting out there and trying...and riding with people that are better than you is a good thing...they continually push you to do better...and by watching them, you can also see how to do things...

    as far as only riding with the boys...I hear ya on that one girl...wish there were more of us...good luck with your riding...and just keep getting out there...

  4. #4
    Displaced Southerner
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    You can do it!!!! The main thing is that you are having a blast again. And remember that "getting better" doesn't just mean getting faster.

    Most of the guys I ride with are faster than me. But they are also very encouraging to me, and it's me that makes it a bigger deal about them waiting for me, or feeling like I am holding them back. I am also very lucky to have a great group of girls to ride with, that I am pretty evenly matched skill and speed-wise.

    So...no, it's not just you, but don't let the mental frustration get the best of you. Go ride, have fun, and I think you'll find that you will get faster, etc. Just don't let that be your focus. (the faster part...let the riding and fun part be the focus!! )



    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    i started riding again about 6 months ago after a long absence (due to a really bad ride that literally almost killed me)...and i'm having a blast...except for one thing...

    ...all the ppl i ride with are boys...and they keep getting better...and i feel like i am not getting better as fast as them...so i feel like the little kid that trails the older cooler kids...and i don't like that feeling...

    am i alone on this one? or do others feel this way too? will i ever get better?

    i'm sick of being the slowest one out there!!!

    i need a pep-talk!
    Whatever you can do or dream you can do, do it now. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
    ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Heck.. I'd be overjoyed to just HAVE someone to ride with.. anyone. LOL I ride alone so much and it gets old. I think everyone is different, bodies are different, sometimes our expectations of ourselves are just too high. Just keep enjoying it. Don't let yourself get burned out or too frustrated and throw in the towel. Chin up! I'm sure you're doing wonderfully.

  6. #6
    hari kari
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    Own YOUR ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    ...all the ppl i ride with are boys...and they keep getting better...and i feel like i am not getting better as fast as them
    That usually means you need to practice and train more than them.
    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    ...so i feel like the little kid that trails the older cooler kids...and i don't like that feeling...
    If you don't like that feeling, you're going to have to practice and train more.
    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    will i ever get better?
    Yes, it's possible, but before it will happen you'll need to practice and train more.
    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    ...i'm sick of being the slowest one out there!!!
    That's really fascinating, but your feelings are pretty irrelevant. To meet your stated goal, you're just going to have to practice and train more.
    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    ...am i alone on this one? or do others feel this way too?
    I'm sure a lot of people feel that way. And those that do, ride like poo.
    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    ...i need a pep-talk!
    No, you don't, you just need to practice and train more.

    While you're at it, you'd be wise to raise your expectations of yourself. You can do that a couple of ways. First, stop comparing your progress to "other people's," whoever the **** "they" are. Number two, quit submitting to your own (apparent) stupid belief that for some reason guys ride "better." Number three, take responsibility for your own damn progress, and don't expect, ask, or need others to support you emotionally before you'll allow yourself to ride a mountain bike well.

    Mtb is a humbling and demanding sport, like any other. But, like any other, it's surmountable, and the challenges you face mostly in your own head. And all the time you spend looking for answers outside of it, you're just (forgive the expression), spinning your wheels.

    Good luck, quit whining, and go ride your damn bike. Well.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Good job! So

    what's your point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hello Kitty
    That usually means you need to practice and train more than them.
    If you don't like that feeling, you're going to have to practice and train more.
    Yes, it's possible, but before it will happen you'll need to practice and train more.
    That's really fascinating, but your feelings are pretty irrelevant. To meet your stated goal, you're just going to have to practice and train more.
    I'm sure a lot of people feel that way. And those that do, ride like poo.
    No, you don't, you just need to practice and train more.

    While you're at it, you'd be wise to raise your expectations of yourself. You can do that a couple of ways. First, stop comparing your progress to "other people's," whoever the **** "they" are. Number two, quit submitting to your own (apparent) stupid belief that for some reason guys ride "better." Number three, take responsibility for your own damn progress, and don't expect, ask, or need others to support you emotionally before you'll allow yourself to ride a mountain bike well.

    Mtb is a humbling and demanding sport, like any other. But, like any other, it's surmountable, and the challenges you face mostly in your own head. And all the time you spend looking for answers outside of it, you're just (forgive the expression), spinning your wheels.

    Good luck, quit whining, and go ride your damn bike. Well.
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  8. #8
    cyclemaven.net
    Reputation: Kallisti's Avatar
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    Ride alone, ride w/ women

    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    i started riding again about 6 months ago after a long absence (due to a really bad ride that literally almost killed me)...and i'm having a blast...except for one thing...

    ...all the ppl i ride with are boys...and they keep getting better...and i feel like i am not getting better as fast as them...so i feel like the little kid that trails the older cooler kids...and i don't like that feeling...

    am i alone on this one? or do others feel this way too? will i ever get better?

    i'm sick of being the slowest one out there!!!

    i need a pep-talk!
    I found that I had to stop riding with guys for a little while. Guys ride very differently than gals in body position. This is because of the way our weight is distributed on our bodies. When we're just learning, we often have a tendency to watch body positions of others for clues on how to clear obstacles, take a sharp turn etc. Well, the guys positioning was all wrong for me and would send make flying over the bars. I didn't even realize I was trying to mimic positioning until I rode with a more experienced woman. She'd showed me how to clear an obstacle, and all of a sudden it became easy. I realized then, that as women it's easier for us to control the bike and balance from the hips.
    Once I realized what was going on, I stopped riding with guys for a month or two. I rode alone A LOT to figure out my own way of doing things. I made a concerted effort to find more women to ride with too. I also took a few lessons, and got dirt mag's "fundamentals- The Mountain Bike Technique Video". The video is DH/freeride and I found the techniques from the smaller guys, particularly helpful.
    Hope this helps a bit.
    Donate now!
    I'm a roadie this year for AIDS LifeCycle. Find out more by going here:
    http://girlmeetsbike.org

  9. #9
    cyclemaven.net
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    In fact, take a look at this..

    Rockin & Rollin in SoCal - Ride Recap

    In this thread are some great pictures of a gal with some serious skillZ. I think that in this series of pictures you might see what I mean about the difference in body position for accomplishing the same stunt.
    Donate now!
    I'm a roadie this year for AIDS LifeCycle. Find out more by going here:
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  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    It is good that you ride with people faster than yourself, it will push you to become faster. If you always finished first what would be your motivation to get better? Train smart and often and you will get faster.

  11. #11
    you know your crazy right
    Reputation: konahottie_311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    i started riding again about 6 months ago after a long absence (due to a really bad ride that literally almost killed me)...and i'm having a blast...except for one thing...

    ...all the ppl i ride with are boys...and they keep getting better...and i feel like i am not getting better as fast as them...so i feel like the little kid that trails the older cooler kids...and i don't like that feeling...

    am i alone on this one? or do others feel this way too? will i ever get better?

    i'm sick of being the slowest one out there!!!

    i need a pep-talk!
    Well I spent the first year of free riding only riding with the boys and i know it made me a better rider but it does suck always being last or the one person in the group that cant ever get off a drop ot up on a stunt. but then this year was so much better (until the crash where i was riding with a boy who was encouraging me to try something new) I will always love riding with the boys even though it kills me. But i ride alot of commuting hours on my own and that came in handy on my 1 cross country ride this year where I kick some guy butt....so jsut keep riding and if you can get some hours in on your own it really helps. and every year your strength with grow and you will get that much faster....Kona
    Boobs to the tube.......

  12. #12
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    From a male standpoint, I can see several things that might help. First, you have to enjoy the ride. Let the guys know that you don't like riding alone all the time. This use to happen with me, when I first got back into riding. I made them take turns staying near me - that way I could learn from them and have someone to talk with. Sometimes just watching someone lines through stuff really helps. Also, the biggest thing I learned was nutrition before and during a ride. I use to struggle on a 15 mile ride. I didn't eat before the ride and would only have water during the ride. Now I do 17 to 24 miles with no problem. I make sure I eat something before and during the ride. This made a huge difference in my energy level and also made me enjoy the rides more.

    Another thing is time in the saddle, mentioned in the other replies. The last thing, and I don't want to be flamed for this but, to an extent, I think it is true. In general, males are typically stronger than females, so getting over some of the tougher obsticles are somewhat easier due to strength. Women can make up for that lack of brute strength by using better technique and better lines. I find that someone who is stronger than me, usually pulls away on the flatter terain, but I can pull away from them in the technical stuff because I have better techique. I hope that made sense.

  13. #13
    pronounced may-duh
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    Quote Originally Posted by dHarriet
    i need a pep-talk!

    First relax, this is supossed to be fun. Next, remember nobody is great at somthing dificult like mountian biking right off the bat. It takes practice. Just keep at it and slowly (not overnight) you will improve. If you stick with it and keep a good attitude, some day you will relize that your pretty darn good. You will have one of those moments where you surpase your expectations and say "wow I didn't know I could do that". It will probably sneak up on you when you least expect it but it will happen.

  14. #14
    life is a barrel o'fun
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
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    I will always love riding with the boys even though it kills me.

    Ha, I could've said this too!

    I love trying to keep up with the hammerheads as it's automatically a training ride. But I find that once in a while, they like to ride with me for the "relaxed pace" (heyyyy.....I'm goin' as fast as I can!!)

    Sometimes you're out there to race; other times to train; the rest is for FUN. 'cause if you're not enjoying yourself, you start to hate the sport. If you push yourself now and then, it gets even more fun when you notice the progress you make as a result.

    Lately I'm feeling really sluggish, and getting a little irritated when I read posts by the guys that say stuff like:

    "I've been off the bike for months, but still broke a record today."
    "I just got into mtb after kicking a 10-year heroin and fast-food binge, and don't know how I'm able to ride so fast."
    "Yeah, I'm like 450lbs, never rode a bike before, don't know what vegetables taste like, and finished on the podium."

    Obviously I'm exaggerating, but that's what their posts look like to me sometimes. Think I'll take up smoking, buy some bonbons and cancel my gym membership
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  15. #15
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    "I've been off the bike for months, but still broke a record today."
    "I just got into mtb after kicking a 10-year heroin and fast-food binge, and don't know how I'm able to ride so fast."
    "Yeah, I'm like 450lbs, never rode a bike before, don't know what vegetables taste like, and finished on the podium."

    Obviously I'm exaggerating, but that's what their posts look like to me sometimes. Think I'll take up smoking, buy some bonbons and cancel my gym membership
    Haha christine, thanks for a good laugh.

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