I'm a roadie, I have no fear going downhill at 40+mph on the road, but I have a massive fear of single track.
It's all in my head and I know it. If someone is riding behind me and I don't know what's in front of me I'll go over 3 ft. log piles, off drop offs, etc. My body knows what to do, but my head screams "Nooooooo" the entire time. I ride the brakes, and skid on corners as a result. I really want to be a competent mountain biker, and would love to race x-country, but I can't seem to get over my fear.
I have 3 decent trails within a 30 minute ride (10 min drive) and 2 other trails within a 20 minute drive, so access isn't a problem. When someone good rides with me, I'm fine, I scream a lot, and am slower than they are, but I can keep a decent speed and handle most stuff. But then I'm a pain in the ass and slowing guys down who'd rather be having fun.
What should I do?? Anyone else have this problem staring out? I'd love to go to dirt camp or something, but it's really expensive.
(btw, I'm a female, and ride a trek 3500)