Death grip, too much brake & no momentum...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    even with experience sometimes you just have those days. I had one in Mammoth this weekend. Saturday I was on the brakes too much and was just a wuss. Sunday I rode much better...........All I can say is ride NorthStar again and again and you will get use to it.
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  2. #2
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    Death grip, too much brake & no momentum...

    Yes this sounds like a reciepe for an endo / crash. Went to Northstar this weekend & found that while I am concious of the evils of any or all of these factors I find myself hitting steep rocky sections and doing @ least one no no. Any tips on how to lessen or deal w/ one or all ? Its easy to say just lighten the grip, stay off the brakes w/ enough speed but fear, lack of experience, wrong line somthing goes wrong and you make a mistake - crash. Thanx

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    Yes this sounds like a reciepe for an endo / crash. Went to Northstar this weekend & found that while I am concious of the evils of any or all of these factors I find myself hitting steep rocky sections and doing @ least one no no. Any tips on how to lessen or deal w/ one or all ? Its easy to say just lighten the grip, stay off the brakes w/ enough speed but fear, lack of experience, wrong line somthing goes wrong and you make a mistake - crash. Thanx
    that's why northstar is so cool. a big part of it is learning the lines. keep riding there and you'll get more confident with time.

    meeting new people to ride with is important too, in fact it's huge. when i ride solo, i languish in my comfort zone. when i ride with people, that's when i progress. it's kind of ironic how an individual (and sometimes solitary) sport like mtb'ing can have such a big social component to individual progression.

    a couple tips. keep your eyes looking forward where you want to go. instead of always looking for ways around the rocks, a lot of times the best line goes directly over the rocks, and maybe connects from one rock to another. there's a couple spots where i've memorized a certain rock, and i know if i roll over that rock i'll be on my preferred line. and it's true what they say about speed. i didn't used to believe it, but it really is your friend. that said, control is your friend too so if you're instincts are telling you to slow down, sometimes it is a good idea to listen to them.

    if all else fails, watch bruce lee movies and memorize cool bruce lee quotes like these:

    "consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper executation of all physical action."

    "empty your mind. be formless, shapeless, like water. you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. you pour water into a bottle it becomes the bottle. you pour water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. now water can flow, or it can crash. be water my friend."
    Last edited by cornholio; 07-18-2005 at 09:33 PM.

  4. #4
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    first learn to ride with no hands really well and then take the brakes off your bike, next trip to n* you will be ready to go ...
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  5. #5
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    Rock gardens are a unique breed of animal. Bike set-up and body position are all factors, but it's confidence that seems to matter most; and that only comes with time and mileage... Strap on all of the armor, stay behind the seat, and keep your feet on the blocks at all costs. A simple dab in the rocks is usually enough to send you over OTB's. And de-tune your suspension. Run your low speed comp. full out and rebound on the fast side. This is most beneficial up front. With body position, don't consider yourself dead-weight; you can unload the bike to help get over the rough spots. Good luck keen, hope some of this blab can be put to use.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwithgun
    Rock gardens are a unique breed of animal. Bike set-up and body position are all factors, but it's confidence that seems to matter most; and that only comes with time and mileage... Strap on all of the armor, stay behind the seat, and keep your feet on the blocks at all costs. A simple dab in the rocks is usually enough to send you over OTB's. And de-tune your suspension. Run your low speed comp. full out and rebound on the fast side. This is most beneficial up front. With body position, don't consider yourself dead-weight; you can unload the bike to help get over the rough spots. Good luck keen, hope some of this blab can be put to use.
    Fork Tunning is one thing but skipping on the rocks is another. There are 2 ways you can do rock sections slow and safe or Deathly fast with a line and pretty much just glaceing off the rocks because speed will help you in those section's once you have them down pat. Depends on the rock section. I remeber one race Experts where going to the side. Elite's where going off the drop fast and throwing themselves right into the Fray still they managed to save like 5 sec off the overal time by that method of droping into the rock garden. Blew my mind but it works.

  7. #7
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    Got an old hard tail sitting around? In the "off season" (northstar's off season that is ), I was out of a dh bike and rode my old xc hard tail around. On somethings it was the same, but I did notice it made me fearless on uber tech big rock sections...ie dogbone, sticks, lower karpiel. Before I would be otb from the start and just getting pisssed off and beaten up. Now I'm a$$ over tire from top to bottom, because I'm used to doing rocks on a xc bike with a fork that is for the most part rigid (old rockshock judy).

    Another good excersize is to just keep working on a section that you can already do. If you can do upper karp., keep working on it, except to progress, next time you see that huge rock infront of you, dont pick a line around, it BULLY IT!! just hit the mofo and see what happens. I find that doing things like that give me faith in my fork, which, to me is super important. Hit a few big rocks head on. It will leave you saying things like "So that's how much 7" is!!" And remember, your suspension does not end on your bike, your body must react to the terain as well. "be the water".

  8. #8
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    True, but that goes back to the confidence issue. Take Kovarik for example. Watch him get off line in a nasty section and he just leaves it pinned. Speed stays up, body calm and fluid, the bike sounds like it's being torn to shiit though... but it's like wrecking isn't on his list of things that might happen. That's what makes them who they are, and us mere mortals. I was just looking for something more productive to say than "stay off the brakes, it's easier that way." Which is a true statement by the way. Only side effect is that it hurts more when you go down . Plus, keen, riding an enduro without the HA slacked out puts you at a bit of a disadvantage.

  9. #9
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    Lean back, keep your arms and legs loose and I think the real key to getting down rockstar...I mean Northstar is momentum. Definately don't ride over your limits but carrying enough speed in those rocky sections will get you through a lot. You just kinda enter that zone of skipping over the tops of the rocks. Kinda zen-like.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khemical
    Lean back, keep your arms and legs loose and I think the real key to getting down rockstar...I mean Northstar is momentum. Definately don't ride over your limits but carrying enough speed in those rocky sections will get you through a lot. You just kinda enter that zone of skipping over the tops of the rocks. Kinda zen-like.

    Over the last year of riding DH leaning back & bending my knees has helped quite a bit. The more I think about riding I find I probably overbrake the most. If I say to myslef just stay off the brakes I come to a point where I feel I am going to fast and need to slow down just a little - well that usually ends up w/ more brake than needed and if the brakes were hit right before the worst of the rocks, and you know it was the worst section and time to brake because you stopped focusing on the trail ahead and affixed your eyes to that big rock. While riding the chair I watch riders and can tell when trouble is near - too slow, bad rythem then crash. Practice helps but i'd rather not crash too much my bones are older and healing is slooow. Thanx

  11. #11
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    yeah speed is good. the bike works much better when your wheels are rolling, so gotta keep em rolling.

    but just as important as absolute speed is perceived speed. it's the perception of speed that can cause you to be too heavy on the brakes and make mistakes. and usually you're not going nearly as fast as you think you are. in the brian lopes / mccormack "skills" book, he says keep your eyes looking further down the trail to reduce your perceived speed.

    somebody mentioned head angle. equipment is not everything, but it is something, and riding the tech rock gardens with a xc/trail oriented bike definitely makes things a bit sketchier than on a bike with slacker dh/fr geometry. with a slacker head angle, you have more margin of error for the "oh sh!ts".

  12. #12
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    This is some great info! I to find myself in the same situation. The worst part is that my bike has terrible brake jack so when things get hairy and I tighten up on my brakes, things get even crazier. My biggest delema is that I LOVE slow techy trail riding, but when I come to sections like that at keystone I know that I need to carry my speed, but my inexperience with DH(this is my first season) tells my to slow down. oh well I'll keep having fun and continue to progress!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by drum714
    This is some great info! I to find myself in the same situation. The worst part is that my bike has terrible brake jack so when things get hairy and I tighten up on my brakes, things get even crazier. My biggest delema is that I LOVE slow techy trail riding, but when I come to sections like that at keystone I know that I need to carry my speed, but my inexperience with DH(this is my first season) tells my to slow down. oh well I'll keep having fun and continue to progress!

    I think perceived speed & over focusing often leads to over-braking. I come in @ a comfortable speed give a quick scan for a good line hit the rocks - all should go well but... I think I am going to fast because I am focusing on the big nasty rocks right in front of me, I then add some brake and error flashes if I am stll upright. I read somewhere that if you see a line your brain will memorize it that instant and you should then focus on the terrain ahead not every rock and crevis 2' away. Hmm got to get over the focussing, braking, and speed jitters I guess.

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