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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So last Sun. hubby and I headed out to Kicking Horse Resort for some downhilling. This is my first year downhill riding and I still consider myself a beginner mtber.

It was super fun but I definately was shaking like a leaf going up the gondola and riding down some of the steeper sections. I just get so nervous once I start picking up speed I slow down and can't relax enough to just release the brakes and ride. :( Hubby video taped some of my riding for fun and gosh I am riding soooo slow but honestly it felt like I was going 10x faster.

I don't know if it's nervous energy, adrenalin and just the exertion but I was really just buzzing and shaking after the runs. Took a few minutes of slow deep breathing to calm down.

I love downhilling, smiled and laughed all the way home because I think I rode better than I did last year and was proud to have cleared stuff I would have totally sketched out on (thank you Dirt Camp!)

How do you ladies keep calm and stay confident?

Crash
 

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Kicking Horse ---- so jealous!!

I don't have any advice, but I am going to try Stripes advice to have silly songs playing in my head when I start getting tense. "Springtime for Hitler, In Germany..."
 

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Okay, so I don't know how much this helps but:

There are two big things that have helped me feel more comfortable at speed. One is learning to weight and unweight (or jump) my bike over rough stuff. You didn't really say what sort of terrain exactly you're scared on, but it applies to most situations. No matter how rough the trail, there are always some spots that are smoother than others. Say you're going down a very rough doubletrack road with ruts and loose rocks and such. Normally you'll see some smooth spots here and there. Don't brake sharply or try to corner on that loose stuff, but aim for a smooth spot and use it. Once you're there, think like youre' going to float over the nasty stuff to the next spot. It's definitely easier to watch and follow someone who is doing it right, but the key is not just the line they're taking but where they are "touching down". I guess what I'm saying is to think of picking your line on the trail in 3-D. There's not just the "do I want to go left, right, or center" but there is "do I want to jump, skim over this stuff, or push down and dig my tires in to brake or corner or reset for the next jump". I'm not talking big air here, just coming up so the bike is light and skims/floats over the rough stuff. And when you do end up in a sustained patch of rough rocks - don't panic. Stay loose, look ahead, and scan for the next good spot. This makes you go faster because it gives you more control - AND it makes you look ahead. The farther you're looking out ahead, the faster you can safely go. You do not need to look down at the rocks and roots that you're about to roll over - you see them in your peripheral vision and you need to look ahead at where you're going to go next.

Second, make sure you are weighting your front tire enough. We all started out with someone telling us "keep your weight back or you'll go over the bars!" But that advice is supposed to be momentary. Right as you're rolling down a steep rock, you shift your weight back, then go back to center. Right as you're applying the brakes hard, you shift your weight back and then go back to center as you ease up. If you're hanging your butt back over the rear tire as you go down a gravel road, you have no control over your front tire and that is scary! Get back to center unless you're actively going over an object that requires you to shift back for a second. Once you're centered, you are weighting your front tire and those knobbies can dig in and grip the ground and give you the control you need. If your front tire feels loose, push down harder on the front of the bike. See if that doesn't help you feel more stable. And if you have a hard time doing that - look at your bike setup. Are your bars too high? Too many spacers? Bike too big? I know when you're downhilling it's natural when you start to think the high front end of the bike makes you feel safe because it pushes you back and you feel like you won't endo. But what's really safe is to be able to balance properly on the bike and weight your front tire so you can control your bike the way you want to. It's impossible to corner without weighting the front tire. So for me - staying more centered/forward gives me more control of my tires and makes me feel safe going faster because I'm in control.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay so here are some pics, no pics of me doing anything really cool 'cause I'm still learning but the scenery is nice!!! The top still had a lot of snow, and some of the trails were still closed. 10 km down of downhill, super fun. :thumbsup: Thanks everyone for the advice.
 

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good thread and I'll try some of that advice. I think knowing the trail has so much to do with going faster so don't kick yourself for not knowing the trail and what's coming. I also have a problem with going fast, but it's usually when I'm coming to a jump. I have a tendency to brake check when I really need a pedal stroke, I guess it's a fear thing. So when I come to something I know I need speed to clear, I try to tell myself "pedal, pedal, pedal" to get those 2 or 3 pedal strokes in instead of coasting. Since I'm not fast, I concentrate on being smoother on other things like on turning. Anyhow, nice pictures crash looks like a beautiful day!
 

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LWright said:
watch the video on the other thread, "Don't touch my big boobs". No speed at all, just excellent control, get comfortable going slow and speed will come as a by product.
Just my opinion though.
That's an awesome video, and while a lot of the balance and such crosses over, the technique and skill involved in a high speed loose corner isn't the same as the skill required to trackstand and hop your rear wheel around a super tight switchback. I just see them as different but equally valuable skills.

Don't get yourself in over your head in either direction. If you're working on high speed corners, do it in a low consequence area and wear armor until you feel confident. Just like if you're going to work on hopping your rear wheel around a switchback, don't try to develop the skill on the edge of a cliff - practice it in a parking lot and work your way up. As you develop the consistency, you'll develop the confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cool video, but why is it called "Don't touch my big boobs"? Hubby was quite disappointed watching it with me! :) Ha, ha!

Jewels- "Pedal, pedal, pedal" Sounds like a good trick. Going to try that today at the bike park. Hopefully I'll still be in one piece, though I am working this weekend and would like a day off. JK...

Hope everyone has a good riding weekend!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
jaclynj said:
I was in Golden last Sun too!! Except I was shuttling/riding up Mt Seven (there was only the 2 of us so we had to ride back up to the truck). 2 minutes down...25 back up!
Sunday was an awesome day to be out! The weather was perfect. Driving in from Calgary we saw three bears, a mom and her two cubs and then on the way home we saw two more black bears just walking along the side of the highway.

People keep asking us to try Mt 7 but I think I am too much of a beginner still, maybe next season or towards the end of this season!

How was your riding day?
 

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Our day was stellar!!! We did 20Km of XC at the Moonrakers...Which was mostly riding down until the last climb back up to the truck. We saw 2 bears driving out to the trails, but none on them! Hopefully the dog was making enough noise to keep them away.

Then we decided to go to Mt 7 on our way home. My husband's never done it, he liked it okay, but decided that he wants a proper DH bike. I've only ridden the 3 k down and this was my second trip to it. It's sooo smooth and flowy with a fun 1/2 pipe-ish section at the end. If you can ride Kicking Horse, I'm sure you'd be fine there!

I actually prefered Steamboat in Radium to Mt 7! You should try it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jaclyn, we should plan one weekend to meet up there!! That's if you don't mind showing us around. We have a truck so we could shuttle up together. Hubby's bike is just a little too heavy to ride up (Demo 9) and if we ride up all I hear is how he needs to get a new bike that's lighter, blah, blah, blah ;)

We haven't done any XC around Golden yet, we keep planning to but again never enough weekends in the summer to do what we want to do.

Let me know....
 

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callmeCrash said:
jaclyn, we should plan one weekend to meet up there!! That's if you don't mind showing us around. We have a truck so we could shuttle up together. Hubby's bike is just a little too heavy to ride up (Demo 9) and if we ride up all I hear is how he needs to get a new bike that's lighter, blah, blah, blah ;)

We haven't done any XC around Golden yet, we keep planning to but again never enough weekends in the summer to do what we want to do.

Let me know....
For sure! I don't know how far up I can go, but I've got some friends that would love to come and would be keen to take your hubby to the top...or close to it! Any Saturday works for me, except next weekend.
 

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Connie - That was a superb articulation of technique. I don't do DH but I ride XC. It seems like much of the same advice applies. I'm trying to work on unweighting at the right times. Also, I hadn't thought about the "keep your weight back advice." I can see why we would also want to keep our weight balanced so the front tire doesn't wash out. Thanks a bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
jaclynj said:
For sure! I don't know how far up I can go, but I've got some friends that would love to come and would be keen to take your hubby to the top...or close to it! Any Saturday works for me, except next weekend.
Oh don't worry, I don't think I am that adventurous either! I am a slower rider remember! :)
We can do the shorter runs together!!:thumbsup: July is kinda a nutty month for us, we are going to do our big bike park tour of BC. Are you going to be around for Aug long weekend? We were thinking of staying in Golden over that weekend. Or the weekend of Aug 16-17th? Let me know! I think it would be super fun.
 

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callmeCrash said:
Oh don't worry, I don't think I am that adventurous either! I am a slower rider remember! :)
We can do the shorter runs together!!:thumbsup: July is kinda a nutty month for us, we are going to do our big bike park tour of BC. Are you going to be around for Aug long weekend? We were thinking of staying in Golden over that weekend. Or the weekend of Aug 16-17th? Let me know! I think it would be super fun.
The long weekend works good. We live in Invermere and it gets crazy here on holidays!! We've got some long XC rides planned, but that's about it....and maybe a trip to Fernie and Silverstar...Who knows!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
jaclynj said:
The long weekend works good. We live in Invermere and it gets crazy here on holidays!! We've got some long XC rides planned, but that's about it....and maybe a trip to Fernie and Silverstar...Who knows!
Cool. So let's plan to meet up the Sat of Aug long weekend (Aug 2nd)!!
 
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