Lacking Skills

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Lacking Skills

Postby petie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:09 pm

So I only rode for about 2 hours today, but I think I picked the wrong trail. My shins are more bloddied mess than skin and I lost count of the number of times I ate dirt. About halfway through the ride I was wondering if maybe I should just stick to fire trails and stop overestimating my abilities (that all went out the window as i was pegging it downhill though :lol: ). I haven't been out for a couple of months but was doing 1 decent ride a week off road before that, but had been sticking to the simpler trails (still ate dirt alot though).

What has everyone else done to improve their skills, apart from riding more? I don't mind sticking to easy boring stuff, but feel like at some point I should be able to move onto some harder stuff. I know I haven't been out in a while, but the same thing happened every time I tried a harder trail when I was riding more regularly!
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by BNA » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:12 pm

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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:12 pm

Ride more, play more... Find a spot where you can just muck around riding obstacles etc... Many a time I wouldn't leave a spot till I could get up or down something even if it took half an hour.
Get smooth... Smooth power delivery going up really steep technical stuff helps.
Ride with mates that are better than you.
Get used to cleaning and dressing wounds :-) .
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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby petie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:00 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
Get smooth... Smooth power delivery going up really steep technical stuff helps.

Get used to cleaning and dressing wounds :-) .


Smooth power delivery is hard on a rigid singlespeed... :lol: But will work on that

I clean wounds for a living, hence the reluctance to have wound of my own to clean.

I did try to go back and re-ride sections but uphill switchbacks were the main culprit and riding down them only to go back up is SUPER demoralising :(
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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby Gordo » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:31 pm

i stuffed around a lot with my set up. wide bars, narrow bars. short stem, long stem, flats and clip ins. seat up , seat down. i still do this actually.

i found just riding the same trail over and over, breaking the trail down in small bits that i would try and do better on each time helped a lot. even getting off the bike and look at bits, trying to pick the best line, reading the trail. eventually i got to know the trail so damn well it fell into place. When i'd go to a new trail, i'd just do the same thing. it takes effort. some people just ride once and give up, thinking they cant do it. Im not saying im a great rider btw, but im way better than what i was.
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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby Baldy » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:52 pm

If you don't have some experienced friends that can give you a hand then I'd suggest something like this http://www.mtbskills.com.au/
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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby Jean » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:35 am

Baldy wrote:If you don't have some experienced friends that can give you a hand then I'd suggest something like this http://www.mtbskills.com.au/


+1, but if you are really eating that much dirt I've got to ask what tyres are you using? Otherwise back off a bit and take it slow before you try to take it fast. If your problems are about going uphill then as stated smooth power delivery will help a lot.
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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby barefoot » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:46 am

Get good balance.

That's something that can be worked on. On the bike (riding really, really, really slowly, trackstanding on grass so it doesn't hurt so much when you fall off etc.), and off the bike (shower while standing on one foot!).

You'll get better at feeling the early stages of being off-balance, so you can catch it before it gets too far along and you can no longer correct.

Once you can get through a section of track at walking pace or less, you can work on improving your speed. Some obstacles need momentum to get through, but most can be done slowly, and in control, if you have the balance for it.

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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby petie » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:55 pm

After all this helpful advice I think maybe my problem is partially bike related(how convenient, blame the bike). Alot of my stacks were loss of momentum, mainly obstacles on uphill switchbacks. I think my lack of confidence made me slow down and then not being able to put big power down to keep momentum meant I was never going to make it through the section. Reflecting back I only had one stack downhill compared to like 20 uphill! I do have some troubles heading down but seem to be able roll through of power out of obstacles.

My single speed gearing is pretty good for 90% of the local trails, but I haven't ridden this particular section before.

Maybe n+1... Or maybe I will hit up my local oval and try some trackstands and set up some small obstacles to practice on. Actually does anyone have tips on producing more power? Do I need intervals, sprint training or endurance.

On another note, has anyone done a skills course they recommend? In Canberra even?
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Re: Lacking Skills

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:35 pm

practice riding skills everywhere, doesn't have to be on the trails. Grassy is good. Practice stopping quickly, riding really slowly, skidding, riding along a line (eg top of kerb), riding over stuff, steps, logs, etc. It all helps.
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