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  1. #1
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    feared downhill

    Hi all, this is my first post in this forum.

    I'm not an acrophobia.

    But I was really scared when I meet a very steep downhill or just a drop off section. though its height is only 5 meters. That's enough to drift out my adrenalline. When I meet the downhill section of the track, I'd rather going down from my bike and hold it until I come safely on the lower ground.

    What should I do to overcome this fear?

  2. #2
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    Oh, i think i'm in the wrong thread... sorry... AND THIS WOULD BE MY 5TH POST!

  3. #3
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    It's often a combination of fears. One or two fears is easy to break through. It's all in the mind. Break it down to more specific fears and solve them individually. If you're afraid you're gonna flip over, address that. What would cause you to flip over? If you're afraid that you'll lose control of yourself and run into something due to the speed, address that. Are your brakes and tires good enough? Is your bike stiff and easy to control or does it flex left and right really easily?

    In the end, you just have to expose yourself to your fear and resolve yourself to not be controlled by your fear and fight it with reason rather than allow yourself to be fooled by rationalization. I recommend watching others doing it so you can get an idea of how it's done, though.

    Basic advice for riding steep downhills is to lower your seat and choose an easy path (picture a line) that is as straight as possible. Slowly approach it, aim the bike on the path, and get your butt low and back once your front wheel goes over and let go of the brakes enough that you don't skid (feather the levers lightly). Use less brakes as you become more confident. Don't skid, as that makes it hard to control the path that your wheels follow. It's extremely hard to make a turn when you are on the brakes and so far back and low on your bike.

  4. #4
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    thanks Varaxis,

    I know a bit about DH technics and have tried it but I stop in the middle. I also try to slow down my bike very slow almost stop but the fear that haunting me have beaten me up. I lost my concentration and gave up.

    My bike is a hardtail. Its condition is not bad. Tire is ok the brake is fine though I use a V brake.

    But the last thing I made it, where there was no turning back and no other way that I had to take that section and I did what you write that I have to lean back and lower the sadle.

    And yes I could make it. I was so excited on that time. Finally I can made it!

    thanks for your advice.

  5. #5
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    You just have to accept it's not a matter of if you will go down, it's a matter of when. Just expose yourself to the challenges and be prepared when it does happen. Until then enjoy and have fun. Even after you crash..

    Tails

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    Do smaller ones and as confidence builds so should the size of the downhills.

  7. #7
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    When you lose the fear, you lose the fun. When in doubt, move your butt back behind the saddle and lower your center of gravity. There have been times when my chest touched the saddle. Do NOT lock up the rear wheel and learn to use the front brake. I know it might sound weird to new guys to use the front brake going down a steep hill. lol
    Last edited by Gary H; 11-23-2011 at 05:42 PM.

  8. #8
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    A good bike makes downhills so easy that it's easy to forget how it was with a bad bike. I know I gimped myself with my brakes and tires, going for cheap IRC Mythos tires and Tektro V-brakes. Shimano V-brakes are much better than the Tektros I had, but modern day discs are even better and I found that tires are definitely not a good place to skimp on, as they're they most important point of contact for a bike and has characterizes the amount of control you have so much.

    Shitty brakes (probably road style calipers):

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/lQgXBoiRca8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  9. #9
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    Another technique is to "tilt" the terrain, to try and picture how you would handle the terrain if it weren't so steep.

    Let me make an example of the footage my buddy took of me:

    The below doesn't look so hard, does it?



    Tilt it upright and this is what ya got:



    And probably the worst/scariest perspective (aside from looking straight down from above):



    Don't think it makes much difference if you tilt it upright:



    It all depends on how ya look at it.

  10. #10
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    Or eat shrooms.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails feared downhill-file0006.mov_snapshot_00.49_%5B2011.11.23_15.56.21%5Dage.jpg  


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    many thanks to all of you. I will do some practice on a steep DH section this weekend and try to focus on it.

    I hope everything is going to be fine tomorrow.

    all I need is a determination to fight against fear.

  12. #12
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    If it's scary scream, it relieves the tension. Go easy on the brakes, if you stop the wheels from turning, you will crash. Let it roll and scream!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    It's often a combination of fears. One or two fears is easy to break through. It's all in the mind. Break it down to more specific fears and solve them individually. If you're afraid you're gonna flip over, address that. What would cause you to flip over? If you're afraid that you'll lose control of yourself and run into something due to the speed, address that. Are your brakes and tires good enough? Is your bike stiff and easy to control or does it flex left and right really easily?

    In the end, you just have to expose yourself to your fear and resolve yourself to not be controlled by your fear and fight it with reason rather than allow yourself to be fooled by rationalization. I recommend watching others doing it so you can get an idea of how it's done, though.

    Basic advice for riding steep downhills is to lower your seat and choose an easy path (picture a line) that is as straight as possible. Slowly approach it, aim the bike on the path, and get your butt low and back once your front wheel goes over and let go of the brakes enough that you don't skid (feather the levers lightly). Use less brakes as you become more confident. Don't skid, as that makes it hard to control the path that your wheels follow. It's extremely hard to make a turn when you are on the brakes and so far back and low on your bike.
    Good one Varaxis

    I think it's a solid advice. Fear is not a bad thing it keeps you from doing some dumb things Mtb without fear would be boring, but to keep it in check would be my goal.

    I like to break it down into sections, basically entry, brake(when applicable), and exit. Practice with small manageable stuffs first be it rolling off curb, a few stair steps, 12" rock/drop before you go to the next level.

    Most important is to size up and have a plan before you execute, look at an obstacle then have a plan spot your exit/landing keep your focus just beyond that(always a good idea). You can practice by looking at the picture(s), but keep in mind the pic usually do not relay the same intimidation factor like being on top of the obstacle, it's a good start.

    Best to hang around the tech section(s) especially on a busy weekend, watch how good riders clean it, and how some not so good bail or walk. You'd see the people who clean it almost always more committed and carry some speed thru the section, it's much easier to clean tech section with a little bit of speed.

    I started with rolling off the sidewalk, then stairs slowly I build my confidence, I used to walk these sections but now I just roll it



    As for the drop off, well you just have to learn to deal with being claustrophobic, there's a trail I ride all the time but never had a good relationship with, though it gets better I've never feel loose and relax there it's pretty buff for the most part but some steep drop off just humble me a bit
    <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ptCWOAwSzE" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

  14. #14
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    Drop offs? Oh, you mean exposure where drifting 1 foot in the wrong direction = 1 long ass fall? You're not alone there. I used to suck at switchbacks, so it was kind of scary for me in those parts.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/21963254?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="584" height="329" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

    I honestly dunno how to overcome this fear, except to know the trail (this is my 2nd time down this trail) and to trust your skills and bike. I crashed mid way in this vid since my front tire went flat and lost faith in my bike. That f'd up the fun factor for the 2nd half of the vid.

  15. #15
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    ouch that chick going downhill looks like that would of hurt

    im wondering if she didn't look but went straight across onto the road yes brakes might of been **** but thought she would of turned before the got across the second part of road

  16. #16
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    I made it. just went it through.

    view from the top


    view from the bottom


    the height is about 5 meter with the slant about 45' but the lake in front of the this part always makes me nervous. if you can't make a sharp turn to the left you'll be plunged to that lake.

  17. #17
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    I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to some drops. I see a drop and tell myself it's no bid deal but have a hard time getting myself to do it. Then over time I gain more confidence in my riding ability and give it a try.

    I've noticed that it's usually over and done with before I have a chance to be scared. I just lean back and put my arse over the back tire, hold on and just go with it.

  18. #18
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    Yesterday was raining. After the rain I tried to geting in to the track. the track was muddy. And I didn't dare enough to take a short descended part. I took another and skip that part.

    What should I do on the mud and slippery off road descent parts?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassava View Post
    Yesterday was raining. After the rain I tried to geting in to the track. the track was muddy. And I didn't dare enough to take a short descended part. I took another and skip that part.

    What should I do on the mud and slippery off road descent parts?
    Well mud is a difference story altogether. You just have to finesse your way down. If you start to skid then you'd have no control over the bike keeping the wheel rolling will give you control of steering and slowing down.

    Many things would work against you, mud packing on your tires, slippery conditions, etc. Not to mention cleaning up is hell. I usually avoid riding in a wet muddy condition because the muddy tires weight feels like 15lbs and the clean up, well you know where I stand

  20. #20
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    For some, rain days are trail work days. Riding in the mud can cause permanent trail damage, so avoid it if possible. Riding around mud and puddles also causes problems, harming vegetation and widening the trail, making the problem worse. If you would like to preserve the trail you ride, it's a good idea to take some tools out (mcleod, shovel, collapsible bucket, etc.) and fix the trail. The rain helps pack in dirt really well, so when it dries, good trailwork becomes smooth and fast. For dry areas, the rain is a godsend, since you don't need to keep running someone out with a bike-mounted trailer to get more buckets of water. After the rains stop, it feels so nice, since the colors are more vibrant, air is fresh, and the sky seems bluer, making for an extremely memorable first ride on your completed work. It's a good time to "give back" to the trails, what you would normally just "take" for granted. The ultimate goal is to make the trail more enjoyable and better balanced with nature. Creating flow is key to a good trail design.

    If the rains bring ruts, you can help fix that and make your trail be fast, fun, and safe. If no one fixes the ruts, they become deeper and much worse. You can grade/slant the trail surface from one side of the trail to the other to direct the water off the trail and get rid of "berms" if they are keeping water from draining properly. The berms in this case are the ones that aren't doing anything besides creating a tall border for the trail and preventing water from draining, not the functional berms that are in tight fast corners. They're created naturally due to the trail creating an "U" shape between the high side and low side of the slope due to wear--need to turn that U into a slope that better allows water from the high side to drain to the low side, rather than stay on the trail (basically the whole trail sort of becomes a rut without maintenance).

    If the rains causes areas to puddle up, you can dig out all the bad dirt and drain the puddle, then find big rocks to armor that spot and allow drainage. Try to make the top surface of the rock garden rideable and cover it with a bit of dirt to speed it up and make it so people don't get surprised by the new rough surface, and become more comfortable with it as the dirt wears and more of the rock garden is exposed.

    Muddy spots can be fixed with the two techniques used about. Direct the water off the trail and get rid of the bad muddy dirt and fill it in with good dirt and rocks. Rocks are a great trail surface, since it's hard wearing, low maintenance, and offers good traction when clean, preferably big rocks that are heavy enough that they must be picked up with two hands or tools. Tracks from hikers, bikers, and other trail users leave permanent marks in the mud when it dries, which needs to be fixed.

    No one likes "stop and go" trails, where you are constantly braking and then speeding back up to cruising speed and no one likes "brake burner" trails. Creating flow makes it so you can maintain a high speed throughout, without needing to use brakes as much, making it fast and fun. Then you can add in some features that takes advantage of the speed, like bermed corners, whoops/rollers, jumps and drops, but make sure to create alternate routes (AKA sissy lines), so those not so brave can still ride around the more advanced stuff.

    People are often envious of trails in the Pacific NW, like in BC or Oregon. It's partly because there are so many rain days that mtn bikers do a lot of building and care. Regardless of the location, well maintained trails are a beautiful sight. Here's one of my local trails:


  21. #21
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    Here's a good informative vid about trail building, but is still helpful if you just want to help fix and maintain current trails. Not really on-topic, but since you asked a question about riding mud, I figured adding to the perspective I brought up earlier would help:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/XxTM3iuRzZk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Attached some pics of the visit from IMBA to the above trail:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails feared downhill-imbasycamore1.jpg  

    feared downhill-imbasycamore2.jpg  

    feared downhill-imbasycamore3.jpg  

    feared downhill-imbasycamore4.jpg  

    Last edited by Varaxis; 01-19-2012 at 09:31 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post

    Shitty brakes (probably road style calipers):

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/lQgXBoiRca8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    lol at some of these videos. Great video to show for someone trying overcome fear.

    You just need Master Chiun to set you straight.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVW View Post
    lol at some of these videos. Great video to show for someone trying overcome fear.

    You just need Master Chiun to set you straight.
    LOL @ Wilford Brimley... That guy is OLD!
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  24. #24
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    I saw that clip on youtube that was a terrible ending. He/she was died after that accident. So sad to hear that

    that was I read on its comments.

  25. #25
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    starting small helps, it also helps to find some smooth drops that are not rooty or dug out / washed out. the first few large drops i came across i was like WTF but after i did it the first time i had that "its not so bad" mentality

    the first large drop i came across with a sharp turn in the middle i was the same way but had enough experience that i knew how to use my brakes and maintain control but i was going through the same thing in my head... then i seen a 13 yr old kid (max) pass me and hit it like a champ so i felt obligated to do it lol

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