“Smooth it out” was what my teammate Kain Leonard used to say to me before every downhill race. This meant, “Don’t take the smooth lines fast, take the fast lines smooth!” Even if you focus is control, safety and/or being more efficient this applies to you too!
As I often state in my camps, smooth equals fast and smooth equals efficient. It also gives us more control, allows us to run lower tire pressure without flatting and beats up or bike and body less. Being smooth is a win, win, win, win situation (except for bike shops, they will be bummed that you aren’t coming in for repairs as much).
MTB, The Odds are Against You (which is good!) this is my second piece this year on how fear is good.
When you were young were taught to seek a sensible, well paying career? Did you grow up hearing that thousands of hopeful actors go to Hollywood and never make it? Told that these actors end up waiting tables or heading home with their tail between their legs? This is the SADDEST advice! Everything worth doing in life the odds are against you! It’s called challenge ….
Fear is a powerful and often misunderstood emotion that has some effect on every mountain bike ride we do. The fear we ALL experience while mountain biking varies greatly in intensity from rider to rider and from trail to trail. Most riders think of pro downhill racers as fearless but in my 17 years of coaching them and 20 years of being one I have found that even the fastest pro downhill racers experience fear, on beginner trails! So the idea of “No Fear” is comical at best, we all experience fear and it isn’t always a bad thing, fear can save us from injury and keep us from doing things we aren’t skilled enough to do. On the other hand, fear that is
Probably never thought of it that way but often fear can save you from injury and it can create a great feeling of accomplishment when you overcome it (through practice and baby steps).
This is an update to a 2010 article I wrote as I continue to get a version of the following question at least once a month and as I have continued to ride and learn my feelings on this subject have evolved.
“I do have a question, I’ve only been riding for 3 months, at what point do you think I should get clips? I’m not sure I am ready for them but I notice the people I ride with are all clipped in and they are so much faster than me. Is that a big factor in speed?