"recreational" trail riding........
I'm 54, and realized after riding around some local trails, with a friend of 31, that he was riding thru sections which I would have in the past, but now find myself walking. One particular section as a steep incline, with a banked dirt edge, rocky bottom, which led into a rocky, dried-up stream bed, then a bank up the other side. He rode down, and across. I walked down (just couldn't imagine the consequences of falling on those rocks if slipped off the dirt embankment). I did ride across the stream bed and up the other side. Kind of bothers me that I'm skipping the more technically challenging sections these days, but I guess better out on the trail, riding most, than none at all. Anyone else finding themselves more cautious these days?
Time for a change.
All depends on the group I'm with. There is not a trail that I have done before that I baulk at nowadays. In fact, if the rest of the group show any hesitation, I take it faster, and neater, just to show them that that the old un can still do it. Mind you as soon as we get to the technical uphills, I find that I save my energy for the more technical bits, and save myself wherever I can. I may be slower than I used to be, but I can still do it. I may be 58 and I may be slowing down, but I do enjoy showing the 30 year olds how to do it occasionally.
See my posting on "Gentle Cycling" and I may be starting to slow down a bit as I really enjoyed that slower less technical ride.
Maybe your brains have come in. I feel like I COULD still do most of the technical sections I did 15 years ago, but there's a risk-reward consideration: If I try and fall, it takes me three weeks to heal these days. If I get off and walk, I can spend the next three weeks riding, so I come out ahead in the long run. I'm reluctantly and grudgingly admitting that a 60-year-old may not be able to do everything he did in his 30s.
A rule I think all cyclists should follow:
"If you don't feel safe doing it, don't do it. No matter what the group pressure may be. Be your own person and follow your own safety rules."
Likely the reason a person doesn't feel safe is because they don't yet have the skills to attempt a particular maneuver, and, therefore, it truly isn't safe - for them.
Even when I was younger and more foolish (I raced motocross for a while) I found my "fear" reflex was connected directly to my throttle hand.
When some young whippersnapper told me that the best line through a particular corner was to bounce off the oak tree at the apex....
When I was doing a lot of trail riding on my Schwinn Moab, I would often get off and push...Also, I frequently rode alone, due to my odd schedule.