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What variables push you to "ride around."

Oct. 19, 2020, 3:40 p.m.
Posts: 266
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

I'm ok with my perception of what is rideable (for me) evolving at glacial pace. 

I always look at features I won't/can't yet ride and see if I can visualize it. 

Usually like a light switch all of the sudden I'll be ok with it. Often. I'll just have the sense that while I may not ride it well, I will ride it out. Them it takes a couple less elegant attempts before I'm really comfortable. 

I ride enough features now that were a hard pass a couple years ago that I trust the fact that just because I fell uncomfortable now doesn't mean I always will and that's fine. 

The steep chute and drop section of severed jus below the good sir Martin crossing is on my radar. I can tell my brain is processing it. 

Dale's crack of despair in not sure I'll ever ride but it seems less of a hard no than it did a year ago. So whatever happens.

Oct. 19, 2020, 3:40 p.m.
Posts: 266
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

I'm ok with my perception of what is rideable (for me) evolving at glacial pace. 

I always look at features I won't/can't yet ride and see if I can visualize it. 

Usually like a light switch all of the sudden I'll be ok with it. Often. I'll just have the sense that while I may not ride it well, I will ride it out. Them it takes a couple less elegant attempts before I'm really comfortable. 

I ride enough features now that were a hard pass a couple years ago that I trust the fact that just because I fell uncomfortable now doesn't mean I always will and that's fine. 

The steep chute and drop section of severed jus below the good sir Martin crossing is on my radar. I can tell my brain is processing it. 

Dale's crack of despair in not sure I'll ever ride but it seems less of a hard no than it did a year ago. So whatever happens.

Oct. 20, 2020, 6:39 p.m.
Posts: 122
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: AlanB

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.

Words of wisdom Alan!

Oct. 21, 2020, 2:08 p.m.
Posts: 679
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

There are so many factors than come in to play, but for the most part these days on trails I'm familiar with I either know before hand if I'm going to hit a difficult section or not. There's no roll up and think about it or check it out, it's either go or just pass on by. For new stuff or things I haven't done in a long time it depends on a bunch of factors

- am I riding solo? if so and there's any doubt I'll just skip it
- if I'm riding with someone and we've talked about it before and we trust each other I might follow them through/over 
- if it's brand new and there's a risk of getting hurt if I stack it I'll scope out the line and then based on my mojo level for that day either do it or not

It really comes down to my confidence level that day and how I feel I'm riding. I don't have a need to push the bar every ride and am just happy to sit back a bit and put it in cruise mode. I not afraid so much of crashing and getting banged up a bit (as long as it's not serious), but more concerned about how a crash might impact everything else I do. I don't see any point in taking a risk on the bike that could negatively impact my ability to work or do other fun things if I crash.

Oct. 21, 2020, 6:37 p.m.
Posts: 122
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: AlanB

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.

I would add a third rule:

Rule #3 - It's when you can no longer ride it.

I am finding there are a bunch of features that I used to ride that no longer make sense to me as I get older.  I am still pretty good at riding steep rock rolls and skinnies that aren't too high above the ground, but elevated structures and high skinnies no longer seem worth the risk.

Oct. 22, 2020, 10:07 a.m.
Posts: 12871
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: skooks

Posted by: AlanB

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.

I would add a third rule:

Rule #3 - It's when you can no longer ride it.

I am finding there are a bunch of features that I used to ride that no longer make sense to me as I get older.  I am still pretty good at riding steep rock rolls and skinnies that aren't too high above the ground, but elevated structures and high skinnies no longer seem worth the risk.

So what you are getting at is the mental game necessary for, say, features with a high-risk of serious injury. But why is it that way? Why do most riders at one point step back from that progression, has it only to do with longer recovery, or is it something else as well? 

I am sort of arguing with myself about that point. I have the goal of learning a nac nac at one point in my life, drop that rock drop I am currently building in my area, and jump that big warming-up jump near the top in the forest at Fermlibert Bikepark in Malmedy, Begium, one day. If I do these things....not sure, to be honest - but I do not want to give up. I sort of refuse of accepting that the prime of my life was spent not progressing the way I wanted to because of life choices I made back when I was younger.

Oct. 22, 2020, 11:47 a.m.
Posts: 679
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Mic

So what you are getting at is the mental game necessary for, say, features with a high-risk of serious injury. But why is it that way? Why do most riders at one point step back from that progression, has it only to do with longer recovery, or is it something else as well? 

I am sort of arguing with myself about that point. I have the goal of learning a nac nac at one point in my life, drop that rock drop I am currently building in my area, and jump that big warming-up jump near the top in the forest at Fermlibert Bikepark in Malmedy, Begium, one day. If I do these things....not sure, to be honest - but I do not want to give up. I sort of refuse of accepting that the prime of my life was spent not progressing the way I wanted to because of life choices I made back when I was younger.

It comes from the experience of knowing what the costs are for a big crash and typically having more to lose or pay for if a big crash happens. If you're married with kids and are the main breadwinner of the family the potential consequences of a big crash are much higher than when you're 20 and feel like you have no responsibilities.

Oct. 22, 2020, 1:04 p.m.
Posts: 12871
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: Mic

So what you are getting at is the mental game necessary for, say, features with a high-risk of serious injury. But why is it that way? Why do most riders at one point step back from that progression, has it only to do with longer recovery, or is it something else as well? 

I am sort of arguing with myself about that point. I have the goal of learning a nac nac at one point in my life, drop that rock drop I am currently building in my area, and jump that big warming-up jump near the top in the forest at Fermlibert Bikepark in Malmedy, Begium, one day. If I do these things....not sure, to be honest - but I do not want to give up. I sort of refuse of accepting that the prime of my life was spent not progressing the way I wanted to because of life choices I made back when I was younger.

It comes from the experience of knowing what the costs are for a big crash and typically having more to lose or pay for if a big crash happens. If you're married with kids and are the main breadwinner of the family the potential consequences of a big crash are much higher than when you're 20 and feel like you have no responsibilities.

Was thinking along those lines, and I understand it. Dan John said in one book about lifting "Intensity is a young man's game." guess it can be apllied to riding bikes as well, heck, life in general. 

Still, I am somehow not happy with that notion. Maybe, as one friend of mine puts it, it is the simple fact I try and catch up to the life of What Could Have Been.

Oct. 22, 2020, 1:25 p.m.
Posts: 840
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

^Yup

And once you hit that realization, the "reward" from doing those things disappears too. Ive been hurt bad enough and it hasnt impacted me professionally; I came to the realization that it was just a matter of time, and thats not an acceptable outcome to me. I now have no shame in skipping stuff  because in the bigger picture, my family has bills and Im the only one with a job!

So now I get (and seek) my rewards elsewhere - great rides alone or with great people - specific features mean nothing to me and whether or not I clean something sketchy or that I havent cleaned before is almost irrelevant to me unless its a critical part of a trail that otherwise provides a great experience.

People who get their rush from progression have a different approach, or perhaps havent yet reached the personal situation where things matter more than progression.

The weird thing is that people think that by doing outrageous stuff that it will somehow change their future. It wont! People will high five you that day and call you a hero on the gram, but none of it matters. It might matter to you that day you cleaned something wicked but at some point in the future you too will forget.

Oct. 22, 2020, 1:36 p.m.
Posts: 12871
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: Ddean

^Yup

And once you hit that realization, the "reward" from doing those things disappears too. Ive been hurt bad enough and it hasnt impacted me professionally; I came to the realization that it was just a matter of time, and thats not an acceptable outcome to me. I now have no shame in skipping stuff  because in the bigger picture, my family has bills and Im the only one with a job!

So now I get (and seek) my rewards elsewhere - great rides alone or with great people - specific features mean nothing to me and whether or not I clean something sketchy or that I havent cleaned before is almost irrelevant to me unless its a critical part of a trail that otherwise provides a great experience.

People who get their rush from progression have a different approach, or perhaps havent yet reached the personal situation where things matter more than progression.

The weird thing is that people think that by doing outrageous stuff that it will somehow change their future. It wont! People will high five you that day and call you a hero on the gram, but none of it matters. It might matter to you that day you cleaned something wicked but at some point in the future you too will forget.

True. And I really know what you are talking about. 

But that motivation is still there, somehow. I simply do not want to leave this life in old age, knowing that I could have cleaned this or that. And for me, it is not about the rush of progression, but rather showing myself that I am strong and confident enought to do this, hope this makes sense. Riders who are in it for the rush of progression are not really in for the ride, if you know what I mean. Not to slag anyone, but....

Oct. 22, 2020, 1:53 p.m.
Posts: 840
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

^Progression still matters to you - which is awesome. It may always or perhaps your priorities will change one day; there's no wrong answer. People's priorities are what they are on any given day and people are allowed to change them whenever they want!

The only thing that matters is that people get to do what they want. Im glad that I get to ride with some absolutely incredible riders, who are also great people, and they dont care whether I skip stuff or not. Its all about the great times on bikes!

Oct. 22, 2020, 1:56 p.m.
Posts: 12871
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: Ddean

^Progression still matters to you - which is awesome. It may always or perhaps your priorities will change one day; there's no wrong answer. People's priorities are what they are on any given day and people are allowed to change them whenever they want!

The only thing that matters is that people get to do what they want. Im glad that I get to ride with some absolutely incredible riders, who are also great people, and they dont care whether I skip stuff or not. Its all about the great times on bikes!

Word....great times on bikes, the most beautiful and fun machines ever created.

Oct. 22, 2020, 3:15 p.m.
Posts: 122
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Mic

Posted by: Ddean

^Progression still matters to you - which is awesome. It may always or perhaps your priorities will change one day; there's no wrong answer. People's priorities are what they are on any given day and people are allowed to change them whenever they want!

The only thing that matters is that people get to do what they want. Im glad that I get to ride with some absolutely incredible riders, who are also great people, and they dont care whether I skip stuff or not. Its all about the great times on bikes!

Word....great times on bikes, the most beautiful and fun machines ever created.

I totally get what you mean about progression, and I understand why it's a powerful motivator. Personally I have reached the point where the primary motivator is maximizing the amount of years I will be able to keep enjoying outdoor pursuits under my own power at some reasonable level of performance.  Trying to keep the dreaded e-bike at bay for as long as possible!

Oct. 22, 2020, 11:24 p.m.
Posts: 648
Joined: May 11, 2018

To use some other sports examples, they have shown in studies that competitive runners as they get older have worse knee joints than lifetime non-runners. They have also shown that recreational runners have better knees than both competitive and non-runners. 

What i take from this is that there is a sweet spot for activity. The people who really push their boundaries for too long will wear out their bodies due to repeated injuries (traumatic or overuse). In my case, I have found a routine to manage my overuse issues and rarely have any pain while cycling. I do like my black and double black trails but I don't really progress that much anymore. As soon as I start racing strava I end up with more crashes. As soon as I start trying gaps or bigger jumps I end up with more crashes so I have a set of "rules" I tend to follow that seem to keep me out of trouble. 

I think if I really wanted to progress, I still probably could and keep myself relatively intact but it would have to be slow and deliberate, and I really don't have the time to commit to such an endeavor. To go out and just try things at my age without working up to it deliberately is probably just inviting folly. 

Thanks for all the perspectives.

Oct. 26, 2020, 9:04 p.m.
Posts: 800
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

an aside....

i read an article a couple years ago about Coloradans. something along the lines of how many are not even 60 and having knee and hip replacements because it has a massive high competition culture of racers in endurance sports. 

my wife and i sometimes talk about the friends and people we know here in coastal BC and how different they are from where we originated. she laments that she doesn't know any ladies who want to get together for coffee or tea to socialize. everyone is 'training' or getting in a work out. if going for a run or a ride isn't involved, the gals simply don't have time to get together which is very different from the culture she came from 'back east. 

at least half the people i know are hyper competitive and into racing of some sort. not that this is unique to BC but it's next level here for sure. results in a lot of pushing limits.

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