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Old 02-18-03, 10:17 PM   #1
Jim311
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Confidence is everything.

It seems like lately I'm really only limited by my confidence when it comes to attempting to go big. I used to be pretty fearless, but the combination of clipless pedals and maybe just fear seems to have taken over. I can't seem to get back to the confidence that I used to have on my bike. My skill goes much beyond my confidence levels, which has really been a limiting factor lately. There are things I'm pretty sure I can do successfully, but is there a key to gaining confidence on the bike? I'm sure some of you freeriders/huckers out there have some experience on the matter.
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Old 02-18-03, 10:40 PM   #2
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Jim,

Well, I'll start by admitting that I am not a free-rider. I am a humble "Mountain Biker". However, I think it is important to realized that Confidence is a relative entity! It takes just as much confidence for me to push my envelope and ride on the edge, as it does for you to push your envelope and ride on the edge. Our envelopes are just different sizes... (mine is a business envelope, and yours is a padded reinforced 9 1/5 x 12 manilla envelope)

That said, "Time on the Bike" is the ONLY way to gain the Confidence that you feel you lack! Every couple of months, I realize that I went a little bit faster, a little bit farther, a little bit higher, a little more stylish, and a lot more relaxed than I used to go...

Keep Riding. But It is important (especially for you) to stay within your "relative" comfort zone. Going too big, too soon is a recipe for disaster.

It'll happen, especially if you've been there before. It just takes a while for the familiarity of it all to come back to the level of INSTINCT...

Good Luck Bro'

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Old 02-18-03, 11:25 PM   #3
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Well, I'll start by admitting that I am not a free-rider. I am a humble "Mountain Biker". However, I think it is important to realized that Confidence is a relative entity! It takes just as much confidence for me to push my envelope and ride on the edge, as it does for you to push your envelope and ride on the edge. Our envelopes are just different sizes... (mine is a business envelope, and yours is a padded reinforced 9 1/5 x 12 manilla envelope)
That is the best description of peoples own confidence that I have ever read. Thank you

I find freeriding there are two kinds of confidence. Confidence in ones bike and ones own ability. Unlike most sports I have played this sport requires total confidence in your device. After that confidence in your ability. Lets assume you have confidence in your ride there are some tricks I have used to get over humps in freeriding.

1 - don't think - Flowing is really the key. I find just allowing the bike to be part of me instead of a tool of me works well. And I can always tell which mode I am in. When I flow I am faster and more confident. If I am analyzing and thinking, I am slower and not as willing to sacrifice my body.

2 - Riding with people better than you helps because they are more likely to nail things you may fear a bit. I also find just watching people nail things I may have lost confidence on helps a lot as well.

3 - using the fear to your advantage - Hey some things are sketchy. This is where I get sketchy. I can do a steep drop off (I don't drop it I ride down it right now) but if that steep dropoff is rocky or sharply turns at the bottom you can feel your heart jump into your throat and so many things can go wrong. Use that adrenaline to go further, instead of listening to your brain use that built in drug to push into the sketchy movement.

4 - Use the odd ride to do nothing. Xc examining. Ride to that drop you fear and look at it. Visualize you landing it perfectly and then continue on the ride. I am a big believer in visualization and found this helped a lot to get me landing better.

5 - 3 times is a good rule. If you try something 3 times and fail miserably. Leave and try something else. Don't let one thing defeat your confidence. Go and beat up another obstacle or two and come back with that gained confidence. Reason being after 1 failure you start to worry. 2nd one you worry more and start thinking too much. 3rd most people get negative. Thats the point to leave. No need to beat yourself up and start loosing confidence. Right

6 - Ride...period

hope that helps a bit.
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Old 02-19-03, 12:30 AM   #4
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I haven't been back on the bike for but so long. I only really have time to ride on the weekends, so I guess it's taking me a bit longer to become more confident. I think it start to overthink things, and that usually keeps me from doing them. I think too much about what can go wrong as opposed to what can go right. I don't spend nearly as much time on the bike as I used to in my peak days when I was younger. I used to ride 5 days a week or more, so I guess the bike just became an extension of myself. Maybe it's just a matter of time. Each time I get injured it gets harder and harder to regain confidence. Just a psychological thing I guess.
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Old 02-19-03, 09:18 AM   #5
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Confidence is everything. I'm really just getting started on this freeriding thing, but from an ex-motocrosser's point of view I know that you can do anything that you believe you can do. I was the same way when I started racing moto-x and super-x, at first everything seemed out of my reach. But by starting small and working up, I eventually was able to clear everything the "big boys" could clear. You first have to develop a good feel for your bike, then comes the part of speed management and so on. After awhile it will all be second nature.
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Old 02-19-03, 08:24 PM   #6
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Well, I had a run in with a little wall this past weekend that made me stop and say holysh**!!! The way i over come these things is to look at the wall, imagine the worst sceanario, then look to the sky, take a deep breath and then start the descent. I do not look down at it until I feel my front tire start the drop. The next thing I know I am around the turn at the bottom and on my way with a huge rush of adrenaline.

Drops are done in some what the same way. Jumps on the other hand I approch a little differently. I get my self psyched as if I am just about to open a can of woop-a** on a running back and just nail it. I always prefer to fly farther then needed rather then come up short (which I do from time to time).

The only way for you to get over the "fear" is to just do it. If you know you have the skill and bike to do it then any probs you may encounter you will be able to make the necessary adj. and keep your self out of intensive care
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Old 02-19-03, 09:26 PM   #7
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My confidence level went South when, while showing the Mrs. how good of a rider I was (this was about 10 YRS ago) I did a gnarly vrrrrrroooooommmmm...... hit dirt mound/jump hhheeeeeeehhaaaaawwwww... face plant.... wreck front wheel... walk to hospital pushing bike, bleeding from the face, hand and a an ass that REALLY hurt plus my pride in shambles
So now, while I will go MTB riding and I will challenge myself I WON'T do stunt type stuff... this, for me, would include any drops higher than your standard curb LOL
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Old 02-19-03, 10:36 PM   #8
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My last crash was pretty nasty. It all happened so fast.. I don't even know what happened, really. My back wheel just skidded out on this wooden jump that I'd done pretty much all day long. I was showing off as we were leaving the trail.. and ended up limping back to the Jeep


My knee and wrist still havent been right since... nor has my confidence
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Old 02-19-03, 10:58 PM   #9
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My lack of confidence is pretty high. I hope it stays there, as i prefer life w/o a wheelchair.

Seriously, at my age i'm concerned with the opposite as you young'ns are. If i get home well exersized and in one piece, i have been successful.
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Old 02-20-03, 12:05 AM   #10
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Enh, I build up confidence toward the end of a day. Especially when I ride with friends.. it encourages me to do stupid things. This weekend I'm going to have the opportunity to hit some dirt jumps and gnarly riding... so we'll see
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Old 02-20-03, 12:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by dazco
My lack of confidence is pretty high. I hope it stays there, as i prefer life w/o a wheelchair.

Seriously, at my age i'm concerned with the opposite as you young'ns are. If i get home well exersized and in one piece, i have been successful.
Hmmmm...how odd...if I dont come home with some ache or pain I know I didn't push myself hard enough
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Old 02-20-03, 03:24 PM   #12
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You mean, you sometimes come home NOT hurting? Hmmm, what a concept!!! Never done it! ha ha!

L8R

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No Blood, No Balls
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Crash, Get-Up, Try Again, Learn
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Old 02-20-03, 04:12 PM   #13
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You mean, you sometimes come home NOT hurting? Hmmm, what a concept!!! Never done it! ha ha!
I always do at least one warmup run. If I find I am having problems focusing I never try doing anything beyond my ability. Those days I never end up hurt. I have some serious issues focusing sometimes so if my brain can't cut it then I won't do it ...

Otherwise I always hurt somewhere. Shoulders mostly (I land on my shoulders fairly often haha)
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Old 02-20-03, 04:21 PM   #14
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My most common injury are the legs. Anywhere from ankles smacking the cranks to knees smashing the bars, to big bruises on the inside of the thighs to ????

Seems like I spend more time healing than I do riding!

L8R
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Old 02-20-03, 06:42 PM   #15
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My knees and ankles are always screwed up. I just now recovered from a crash almost 2 months ago. I had pain so deep in my knee.. I have no idea how I could have injured it so badly.. but I did.
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Old 02-20-03, 06:47 PM   #16
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I'm now 37 - I never had so many bumps, bruises, scars and scrapes on my body! Not even when I was a little kid!

It's fantastic - keeps me alive.

Jim311 - keep us posted on your site progress. Check out mine while you're at it http://www.bikecolorado.com
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Old 02-20-03, 07:17 PM   #17
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Cool website! Hopefully one day I'll have the know how and the time to build a good website like that

I updated the first page last night.. it's not so cheesy now. I got a better program and some HTML books, so hopefully I'll be able to make a pretty good site.
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Old 02-20-03, 07:51 PM   #18
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Good luck with the site Jim, I have been thinking of setting up a "Cycling Webmasters" forum for html / coding help, and link exchanges / ideas... Let us know if we can be of any help, alot of geeks on the forum
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Old 02-20-03, 08:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by a2psyklnut
My most common injury are the legs. Anywhere from ankles smacking the cranks to knees smashing the bars, to big bruises on the inside of the thighs to ????

Seems like I spend more time healing than I do riding!

L8R
Man...my knees always seem to nail the stem...I forgot about that

And there are a numbr of geeks here...
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Old 02-20-03, 08:32 PM   #20
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Yea, I'll be sure to ask plenty of questions. At this point I'm just trying to decide what all I'd like on my website. The content is the biggest issue. This weekend we'll be riding alot, so we're going to take some nice pictures from our rides. I'm thinkin about making a "Recent Ride Pics" section to put them all into.. and maybe do some writeups of each ride. Seems like it'd be fun.
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