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switcbacks, any advice?

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Old 06-07-02, 04:50 PM
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MIjoe
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switcbacks, any advice?

The new trail I've been riding has quite a few switchbacks, particularly on downhill sections, that I don't feel really comfortable with.

I'm just now getting back into trail riding after several years away form it. I don't seem to be able to recapture the care free abandon that I had when I was younger. This particularly rears its head in these downhill switchbacks, which I have been basically crawling down.

Trails that I used to ride were less technical, more straight-ahead up and down. I feel more comfortable flying straight down a hill then I do with all these tight turns, in that case I can just hold on for dear life.

I think my real fear is that I'll get a little out of control and tumble off the side of the trail, straight downhill.

So any advice on how to approach such trails. I suppose practice will help with my confidence, but any pointers would help.
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Old 06-07-02, 07:49 PM
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Guess everybody is out riding? Beautiful evening for a ride down here in Georgia.

Guess I should have mentioned that today was my second trail ride in 5 years, my second trail ride on clipless pedals, my second trail ride on a new bike, and my second ride on the trail of which I speak. I've got plenty of excuses for being a bit nervous.

Just got back from the trail and I must say it felt quite a bit better, though I'm pretty out of shape after a pretty long road-trip where diet and exercise went out the window. Having a bit more experience on both the trail and my new clipless pedals helped out. Today I prepared for the tight turns ahead of time by clipping out my inside foot and that helped. I still think I'm going to go through brake pads like crazy, as much as I'm using them.

Suppose it's safe to say it's as much the pedals as the trail, but it's improving every time I get out.

The ride was not uneventful though, I'm going to start another thread about my ride.
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Old 06-07-02, 09:23 PM
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I think that if you take the trail slow at first (do it a few times really learn the trail) then gradually increase your speed, just to a comfortable level. you will get better as you ride and be able to ride more difficult trails at a higher speed.... so basically practice!
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Old 06-08-02, 12:53 AM
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Or just ride with people much better than you. you'll go faster... maybe not nearly as in control, but PAH, who needs to keep from steering into trees? Obviously I don't.
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Old 06-08-02, 07:44 AM
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Just practice making good lines around the turn and more speed will eventually come. I also big time agree about riding with friends, even if it's unsaid the competition is there and riding speeds always increase, as do wrecks, haha.
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Old 06-08-02, 11:59 AM
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I did my first off-road riding in years in May. I met up with a really experienced MTBer on a very tough technical trail. He kept having to unclip in readyness for the bike sliding out on the lose surface.
Learning to ride technical trails is quite challenging, so you need to be on autopilot regarding the use of your clipless pedals.
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