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What variables push you to "ride around."

Oct. 15, 2020, 7:47 p.m.
Posts: 624
Joined: May 11, 2018

25 years ago, skinnies were becoming popular and they freaked me out! So I got myself a trials bike and practiced on curbs, picnic tables and anything else I could get on top of. Now I can do most skinnies but will sometimes skip those with too high of consequences. Same goes for drops and lines that require a lot of commitment - all made easier by practicing in low consequence situations.

Not too long ago I watched a video of someone trying to conquer Imonator. They must have fallen off it 20+ times. My feeling on skinnies is that I get one shot. If I'm not confident enough that I believe I can do it 100%, I often skip it. If I come off a skinny, I move on. To me, it's not worth a twisted ankle or a torn ACL. Seeing someone come off skinny, in some cases 4+ feet off the ground baffles me. Then again, he rode the skinny roller coaster where I have not. I've done all the other parts but passed on the skinny roller coaster.

For drops and high consequence moves, I often use the "if I wouldn't jump off this without my bike, why am I contemplating it with my bike?" rationale. This keeps me honest and on drops that are generally less than 5' (shoulder height). Steeps I'll usually do if they have a good run out but a super steep 30' rock slab with a harsh bottom is just asking for it. I realize I would be OK 95% of the time but 30' down a steep rock with no braking ability generates a lot of speed and any fall could be catastrophic.

Wondering what makes others take a ride around? What % success do you need to feel to attempt a feature? How serious a crash are you willing to risk? Any features on the shore that you always look at but never do? Any features that you know you will never do (the skinny roller falls into this category for me). I'm always curious how others assess risk. I'm also always appreciable of people who add their crashes to their videos. Watching too many videos always makes me feel like I suck but then I see just one of their crashes and I go - oh yeah, that's why I don't do those things.


 Last edited by: RAHrider on Oct. 15, 2020, 7:50 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 15, 2020, 7:57 p.m.
Posts: 699
Joined: March 15, 2013

I just go with my gut.

I don't hum and haw too long, and I usually know within one or two roll ups. If I'm not confident within that time then I almost always just pass. IMO it's better to just know or feel really confident than to roll in nervous or sketchy.

Sometimes you just know instantly too once you get on your bike and roll up to something.

The more I think about things that scare me the more I sketch myself out...


 Last edited by: thaaad on Oct. 15, 2020, 7:59 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 16, 2020, 9:33 a.m.
Posts: 295
Joined: April 15, 2017

Same. 3 goes and then move on. You should definitely know by the third attempt - but if it's a balance issue or something else fairly simple then I can work on it for a few more goes like hooking up the entrance to the rock roll on Pangor.

If I do clean a new section/stunt then I tend to miss the next new one out, like the universe is keeping count or something stupid like that.
If it's new to me, then I'll go the full Remy and spend time analysing the whole thing and by that time I'll know if it's something I can ride, or I'll break it into pieces.

Some stuff just takes a mind game to do like the  exposed 'skinny' across boogieman. It's not that skinny but it sure is exposed. Consequence is the limiter for me. The log on 7th before the gangler is higher stakes than the log exit but both are similar in skill requirements. Hell even that log near the end of Kirkford has claimed me a few times in the wet.

Oct. 16, 2020, 12:17 p.m.
Posts: 342
Joined: Aug. 10, 2012

Depends. Some days I just don't feel "it". Other days, same place, I have mojo. Not always sure why because sometimes I pass on a section when I'm with a group (and you'd think peer pressure would egg me on), sometimes I'll ride a questionable line when I'm by myself....and vice versa.

Oct. 16, 2020, 12:28 p.m.
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

If there are too many variables to control. I was out on my first wet weather ride recently, on the first ride of a new bike, faced with a brand new feature (that was a bit steep, a bit treacherous/off-camber, the sort of roll that might be steep enough to require an air that would be decided after rolling in) on a trail I didn't know that well. The unpredictability of a fresh bike was enough for me to walk around. To try a move like that for the first time I need to be comfortable on the bike, knowing predictably how it will handle a range of situations.

Oct. 16, 2020, 1:05 p.m.
Posts: 1237
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

I still abide by the advice that if you're not feeling it, leave it for another day. 

100% loose and wanting to hit it or you're compromised, per Wade's advice after that 3rd switchback ravine attempt.

Oct. 16, 2020, 4:39 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: April 26, 2012

All great pieces of advice so far and try to heed it all when I ride.

Usually I frame a general plan for what I am going to ride before I ride, incorporating factors such as conditions, size of riding party, riding solo, how much time i got, skill level of those i am riding with, do i know the trail, are there features I want to ride, etc. Once I begin my ride within the first minute or so i try to pick up on queues of how I am handling my bike, energy level, balance, focus, line selection, etc. At this point I lock into a decision of what features i am willing to ride given all of the above considerations and tend to not deviate once the decision is made. With the decision made and a plan in place i can cruise the trail with confidence and hit what i am confident to hit on that given day.

If i am not riding a feature, i will usually stop and have a look to ponder and plan for the next time i am out on the particular trail. usually found that my success rate, on features i think are challenging, goes up when i take some time to ponder them away from the trail.

I have a family, am mid 40's and a day job, so my tolerance for risking serious injury is pretty low. My general rule of thumb for attempting features these days is as follows:  Hucks over 4 to 5 vertical feet are are a pass, skinnies higher than my chest are usually a pass,  very Steep Rock rolls with minimal run out are a pass, hucks to flat are a pass, and gaps over roads, rivers or pungy sticks are a pass.


 Last edited by: Sanchez321 on Oct. 16, 2020, 4:53 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 16, 2020, 5:14 p.m.
Posts: 295
Joined: April 15, 2017

https://nsmb.com/articles/pro-riders-talk-injury-and-recovery/

Oct. 16, 2020, 6:27 p.m.
Posts: 624
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Sanchez321

My general rule of thumb for attempting features these days is as follows:  Hucks over 4 to 5 vertical feet are are a pass, skinnies higher than my chest are usually a pass,  very Steep Rock rolls with minimal run out are a pass, hucks to flat are a pass, and gaps over roads, rivers or pungy sticks are a pass.

Don't forget the rock filled chasms. They are high up on my list of things not to jump over as well as everything you mentioned.

The log ride on seventh secret has always been a pass for me even though I regularly ride many logs that are much easier. Everyone f%$ks up every so often. My crashes are usually on easy trail where I simply misjudge something. Any feature where a slight f-up results in a 30 foot fall is a pass for me.

Intereatingly, I have started to realize that I have a trust factor in the trails I ride. Often, the way I ride trails is committing in itself. If there was a sudden turn or I had to stop unexpectedly, I often would not be able to, therefore I am trusting that the trail is well built and maintained with no trees down or weird trail features. When I ride new trails, I generally start trusting on second guessing them within the first minute or so. For instance, the first time I rode eastbound and down, I rode every feature at speed because everything just seemed to flow. On the other hand, kraft carpenter on the Woodlore, I didn't trust at first sight. Just an often  overlooked aspect of how I am making decisions.

Oct. 16, 2020, 6:35 p.m.
Posts: 699
Joined: March 15, 2013

As of now I'm changing my outlook on riding hard things.  

From now on I'm just gonna ask myself "How sweet would this look on Friday fails?" and if there's high potential for sick crash footage them I'm in.

Oct. 16, 2020, 7:05 p.m.
Posts: 1237
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: Sanchez321

My general rule of thumb for attempting features these days is as follows:  Hucks over 4 to 5 vertical feet are are a pass, skinnies higher than my chest are usually a pass,  very Steep Rock rolls with minimal run out are a pass, hucks to flat are a pass, and gaps over roads, rivers or pungy sticks are a pass.

Don't forget the rock filled chasms. They are high up on my list of things not to jump over as well as everything you mentioned.

The log ride on seventh secret has always been a pass for me even though I regularly ride many logs that are much easier. Everyone f%$ks up every so often. My crashes are usually on easy trail where I simply misjudge something. Any feature where a slight f-up results in a 30 foot fall is a pass for me.

Intereatingly, I have started to realize that I have a trust factor in the trails I ride. Often, the way I ride trails is committing in itself. If there was a sudden turn or I had to stop unexpectedly, I often would not be able to, therefore I am trusting that the trail is well built and maintained with no trees down or weird trail features. When I ride new trails, I generally start trusting on second guessing them within the first minute or so. For instance, the first time I rode eastbound and down, I rode every feature at speed because everything just seemed to flow. On the other hand, kraft carpenter on the Woodlore, I didn't trust at first sight. Just an often  overlooked aspect of how I am making decisions.

Fall zones, excellent point to bring up. 

Been trying to explain risk vs reward to my son. Take a pass on low skill high consequence moves.

Oct. 16, 2020, 7:54 p.m.
Posts: 295
Joined: April 15, 2017

The horror ravine on Dale's and the one on Grannies are currently a hard pass for me as well. I'm not sure how to build that skillset to be honest....

Oct. 16, 2020, 9:25 p.m.
Posts: 119
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

It's highly variable for me, and depends totally on how I am feeling/riding that day. I haven't been able to fully identify why I am 'on' one day and 'off' the next. The crew I am riding with makes a difference, as does my energy level, state of mind, and weather conditions. Most of it is in my head though. I skipped the woodwork onto the millenium log the other morning, even though I had ridden all of the skinnies on pangor and all of the woodwork on boundary a few days before. Some features will always be a hard pass though, such as the gangler and the egg on ladies. I used to ride the high log on 7th and the Boogie man bridge, but the risk no longer seems worth it to me.

Oct. 16, 2020, 10:58 p.m.
Posts: 699
Joined: March 15, 2013

The gangler is definitely weird. When you're at the top of it the place where it meets back with the rest of the trail looks sooooo far down.

Oct. 19, 2020, 3:05 p.m.
Posts: 1215
Joined: Dec. 3, 2003

Rule #1 - When you ride up to a stunt you can see the future. If you don't see yourself riding off it cleanly, then don't do it!

Rule #2 - It's not what you can ride, it's when you can ride it.

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