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Disgruntled Peccary
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I feel like maybe that technique might work against you at some point?
There is a solid point of diminishing returns.

Don't ask me how I know.
 
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I pretty commonly have a beer or a nice stiff shot before dropping in on something steep and gnarly on a snowboard.
Every run??? Could be totally blotto by noon. I suppose a lot of people at the resort are anyway. The Mt. Bachelor Sun Bar is often packed by 11am.
 

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Every run??? Could be totally blotto by noon. I suppose a lot of people at the resort are anyway. The Mt. Bachelor Sun Bar is often packed by 11am.
Lol.
No, first run. A lot of that stuff was an all day affair approach, but plenty of lift served gnar too.

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Wow. I'd certainly crash with some drink in me, especially with not much food on my stomach.
Certified lightweight here.

I'm on team "drops are no problem". For some reason I've never had a problem hitting any drops. It's all in the mind for sure. Think it's a result of my teenage years, freestyle biking (as well as mtb). Used to "drop" off of all kinds of random cityscape features.

Jumps on the other hand, they're a different beast. I jump well enough but not as well as I'd like. Jumps are more involved due to the complexity of executing a good takeoff. Again it's mental, and I don't spend enough time working on them. I've always managed to pull them off (sometimes unexpectedly) when needed on a trail, but purposely airing big gaps, not so much. I find I'm stuck in a certain comfort zone of height or length. I think speed is a factor as well. It's a head game.

I think the best advice for both is simply start small and progress. It's good to push your comfort zone a little but not worth getting injured trying to progress too quickly.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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Wow, now I'm reminded of the bike snobs post for New Years in 2010..

" All that is left now is to embark upon the upcoming year like a mountain biker confronts a long stretch of technical singletrack: excited yet frightened, over-equipped, poorly groomed, and sufficiently stoned."

Maybe on to something?
 

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Wow. I'd certainly crash with some drink in me, especially with not much food on my stomach.
Certified lightweight here.

I'm on team "drops are no problem". For some reason I've never had a problem hitting any drops. It's all in the mind for sure. Think it's a result of my teenage years, freestyle biking (as well as mtb). Used to "drop" off of all kinds of random cityscape features.

Jumps on the other hand, they're a different beast. I jump well enough but not as well as I'd like. Jumps are more involved due to the complexity of executing a good takeoff. Again it's mental, and I don't spend enough time working on them. I've always managed to pull them off (sometimes unexpectedly) when needed on a trail, but purposely airing big gaps, not so much. I find I'm stuck in a certain comfort zone of height or length. I think speed is a factor as well. It's a head game.

I think the best advice for both is simply start small and progress. It's good to push your comfort zone a little but not worth getting injured trying to progress too quickly.
This.

I think its because "drops", or step down jumps are things that happen with some frequency in most trails I've been on. Like a root before a steep downhill, a random rock outcroping, or even just a good ledge/washout. So they feel fairly natural to me (I spent a fair bit of time dirt biking in the mountains as a kid). The manmade ones are the same, just usually taller.

Jumps with big lips and gaps? Nope, those aren't natural to me yet. I've got to get more time on them. I made progress this summer... but would love to spend 3 times that long on it if I can next year when I go visit.

Skill parks are great as it turns out :).
 

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Ok, there's a lot of piss taking answers here. But the reality is this is a real question for many mountain bikers.

The answer is 2 fold.

1) identify the skills required to to those jumps. Work on the skills then slowly progress your level to achieve your goals. Taking small and achievable steps to increase your ability and jump size is the way for the least crashing and injuries.

Spending time shuttling at a bike park repeating the same jump runs over and over adding to jumps to your basket really speeds progression.

2) Mental toughness and fear control. 80% of your challenge is In your mind.
You have to work on methods to be able to compartmentalise that fear and rationalise what you are about to do with the mind set that you can do it and you have the skill to do it.

Pro's do this really well. They have learnt to control the "fight or flight" fear response side of there monkey mind to push well beyond what stand weekend warriors think is even possible.

The more you overcome your fear the easier it is to control it.
 

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The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Somebody else said that before I did. :)

Where's the Famous Quotes thread?
=sParty
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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You build any skill by repetition. If you really want to have confidence in something, you need to not only repeat it, but set it up so you have success. Nothing builds confidence like success. This is why you should hit gaps and jumps you feel comfortable with, and why people will tell you that if you want to putt well in golf, only practice what you know you can sink.

I can hear my hockey coach now... tweeet again.
 
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Some big booter jumps that you have to have speed to clear look like a freaking wall as you're approaching it!

Drop-offs only make me nervous if they are either big beyond my comfort level (obviously) or if they have a gap before the landing. Adding a road gap adds to the technicality of the drop. The big drop-off on Dirt Merchant is a good example of one that makes me feel tickly "down there."
 

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For me, the short answer to all of this is practice. And specifically, practice on something that doesn't scare you. And practice until you almost feel bored with it, and then move up to something larger.

I find drops much easier than jumps for some reason. Drops just feel natural to me, especially ones with even a moderate amount of speed. I primarily use the "throw the bike forward" method. Plenty of videos on youtube can help you get the idea

Given, I've not hit anything abnormally large (my largest so far is about shoulder height), and any time I do anything larger than I've done before, I do get a bit apprehensive, and go scope it out a bit, and will only hit it if I'm "feeling" it that day.

Jumps are really difficult for me though, especially anything lippy, or that shoots you high (vertically) into the air. Something about the way they are shaped plus the speed makes me think I'm going into orbit. And my history with dead sailoring or otherwise being sketchy on jumps has me riding scared.

So this summer, when I was visiting family in Utah (I brought my bike, best decision ever), I decided to hit up a local jump skills park almost every day I was there. Each day I did 20 laps of the a run that was a combination of their Green, "double green" and blue trails. The run had 5 "actual" jumps on it. So every day I was doing 100 jumps. Later in that trip I made it to Trailside Park in Park City Utah, which, to its credit, has some of the best jump practice trails I've found anywhere. I spent another two days riding those.

On each individual run, it was hard to notice any progression if I'm being honest. But comparing runs from the end of the day to the beginning, I really saw improvement, and the difference from the beginning of the trip to the end, was pretty dramatic. I went from casing every jump on the trail, to clearing everything. I went from being rigid on the bike, to starting to throw some movement (lets not get carried away here... it was a slight bar turn and tilt of the bike... but it felt huge and amazing).

TLDR:

My personal biggest problem is fear, and how that fear makes me ride the jumps/drops.

The best way I've found so far to counter that fear... is by griding out time on jumps and drops that feel "too easy". This is intentional, as doing something that is "too easy" over and over again encourages you to start to play around a bit (to make it not boring), and playing around with something makes you more comfortable with it. And once you are truly comfortable on the smaller stuff, start working your way up.
I could copy and past this as my response. Well said Logan.
 

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1) Progression: As others have mentioned, start small and work your way up. Most bike parks have progression drops which is a great way to learn.

2) Ride behind someone better than you. This helps with the speed you'll need which is key.

3) Ride within your comfort zone. I should follow my own advice. If you're not feeling it, don't do it

Also, pretty pricey but the Ninja MTB Hopper ramps are phenomenal. My friend has one and I'm getting the larger size next month. Good cause you can aim em uphill so it's a step up. Much less intimidating that way since you're not as far off the ground. And depending on location, you can also practice in the snow or use a beat up old bike and jump into lake if that's an option.
 

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How do you guys overcome your fear of crash?

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Fear is a good thing for several reasons, however overcoming fear is also a skill just like learning how to position your body or applying the brakes properly.

The main thing is to start with something you're confident with. A 1 foot jump or drop may seem easy even to novices, but doing it with the proper technique is a different thing. Mastering it is when it becomes more of a reflex than something you have to think about. I know of a lot of people who can jump or drop off 4-5 feet but have to think about it along the way. Everyone progresses differently, just work on being consistent and getting used to the feel so it becomes more natural.

Novices tend to also be novices at suspension settings. If you're practicing how to land from jumps and feel like you're getting bucked on landing, slow the rebound more. Always practice good technique and stick to the basics.

Don't forget to pad up and wear a helmet, always.
 

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I went to a private pretty hardcore Enduro spot about 2 years ago, was terrified but rode everything, slowly. It was a training day for an upcoming race.

Then during my lunch break I drank 1 beer I had with me, I then turned on my Strava (which I had used maybe 5x in my life at that point) and proceeded to get 1 KOM & 3-4 top 6 places. Some of the people on that list raced the Pro class, but still being a private spot the # of total riders was pretty small and certainly some of those guys were still getting up to speed.

However it was pretty apparent that I was a faster, smoother, less 'in my head' rider after just 1 beer. Which I could not feel at all otherwise.

I now often carry one of those plastic 99 cent bottles of vodka in my hydration pack and find that it's a good tool to loosen me up and make me ride more in the moment if a ride or obstacle is stressing me out. Liquid courage I guess.

What about the nose candy?
 

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When “training” or practicing, ride 80% of your ability and you’ll never crash. Session to bring your 80% down to your 60%. Now you have a new 80% to ride on, it was your former 100%. Now it’s your 80%.
 

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See if you can find somewhere with a skills area to practice. I'm heading to a park later today that has a nice skills are with three progressively larger drops on a dedicated loop so you can just roll them again and again and as you gain comfort on the small move up to the large.
I setup my phone to record myself so I could see how I was doing. The small drop is about 12", the medium drop is maybe 20" (knee height), and the large drop is waist height. I didn't hit the large drop because I just wasn't getting the consistency on the medium...

 
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