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Great article and very timely. Last night I went for a ride, wasn't feeling 100%, but wanted to charge down a trail because conditions were really good and for once I knew there wouldn't be traffic going the other way. I rode like crap and almost crashed a few times. About halfway through I thought to myself "just slow down, you don't want to crash." But I didn't slow down and rode it out. At the bottom of the trail I told myself that was really stupid. Did I get away with a couple catches that were a mix of luck and skill? Yes, was it worth it? I am not sure.
Last year my riding progressed and I was riding faster than ever. Before that I always focused on fun and popping off stuff and just screwing around. One day while riding with some faster friends I held onto a wheel I never imagined I could. After that something switched and I have really enjoyed riding faster. Jeff Kendel Weed had a video about how he approaches riding and it struck me that my approach has completely changed over the past 2 years. One of the things that has stuck in my head this year is that speed raises the risk of a really bad crash. There is a fear in some of my riding that hasn't been there before, some days it drives me to go faster and others it slows me down.
I think fear and progression are topics that deserve more thought and conversation. I really hope to keep getting faster, but I also know at some point I am going to switch back to screwing around more on the trail.
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