Help, I appear to be a useless mincer

Home Forum Bike Forum Help, I appear to be a useless mincer

Viewing 15 posts - 41 through 55 (of 55 total)
  • Help, I appear to be a useless mincer
  • MTFU is generally a bad idea! If you’re nervous there’s a good chance your riding has picked up flaws it didn’t have before. You need to find your flow again and work back up. Having been Jedi’d a month ago I can confirm this would help – I’m riding significantly quicker already.


    I went thru a similar experience, but it was a new frame that caused my total loss of bottle. The frame was quickly sold on, but my bottle seemed to not recover. Definitely go for skills (re)training to get your confidence back, South England Jedi appears to be the recommended default point, North England Rafferty Brothers (pro Ride Guides) would be my recommendation from personal experience. One of the guys I ride with has improved his confidence noticeably from an Ed Oxley course.


    Not sure being a mincer is a problem really. I dislocated my shoulder on the South Downs Way about ten years ago riding very fast on slippery chalk and have been very tame on my bike ever since. The dislocation and physio kept me off my bike for 8 months.

    I’m 43 now and do look enviously at the photos in magazines of people riding heroic jumps etc but they’re mostly twenty years younger and four stone lighter! I also think that as you get older you tend to become more cautious and aware of danger.

    Interesting to note too that the first time I ever went mountain biking at the Lookout in Bracknell a girl was airlifted out by helicopter, the sales guy in the shop I bought my first MTB from ended up with more metal plates in his body than a Terminator and my current LBS who are in the process of putting together a Cotic Soul for me have a young guy in there sitting in a wheelchair and on crutches who apparently bent his feet back the wrong way and shattered all his toes! It seems to me that the accident rate in this sport is far higher than many of us imagine because too many of us are seeking to emulate the pictures we see in the magazines.

    I applaud those who can ride safely on terrain and at speeds that make me wince but I also don’t think those of who mince along need to apologise or feel bad about it. The main thing is that we all love riding – fast, slow, fat or thin. You don’t need to justify the way you ride, what you ride or wear to anyone. I have for example finally realised that I bloody hate technical fabric cycling jerseys next to my skin – I find their polyester/nylon fabric itchy, scratchy, sweaty and have finally just accepted the fact that I love cotton T-shirts to ride in – they’re cooler (at least for me), more comfortable and looser fitting which helps accomodate my generous proportions.

    I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a whole load of us out there who are currently under-represented by the magazines etc and maybe I should form a club – “The Gourmet Mincers Cycling Club” where the dress code bans lycra tops but doesn’t go so far as to insist on tweed breeches and where a lazy pace and stopping for lunch in a pub are encouraged…


    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    +111111 for some 1 on 1 coaching – throwing Cyclewise at Whinlatter into the mix. Helped me with a 1 on 1 session to see what was going on with technique. Relaxed and fun – get out whatever you want really.

    Starting back small can be good, try a different ride. Don’t go out alone!!

    Following someone through jumps/drops who you know and knows you also can help. The proof that you are going to make it.

    Aside from that maybe consider a sports shrink.


    Yes. Another plus one for coaching.

    Master Jedi spotted the mincers mistakes in my riding yesterday and with two quick bits of advice had me flying tabletops without trauma.

    Cheers for helping me find my wings again 🙂


    would like to add another +1 to the 1-2-1 session with Jedi.

    I’ve never been that confident when my wheels leave the ground but after that day I was chomping at the bit to go and practice what I’d been taught … subtle changes that make all the difference and a real ‘do it at your own pace’ style …

    …great day, well worth it

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    After OTBing yesterday into a nice patch of brambles while attempting to mince down something only slightly technical, I look like I’ve been in a fight with an angry cat.

    I’m also not convinced that the ‘I’m a mincer’ mindset is much safer, unless you’re going the whole hog and getting off and pushing a lot.

    I need someone to show me how to ride loose, rocky, rooty stuff with a bit less hesitation and brake-grabbing, as trying to go through at a snails pace clearly isn’t working.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Fellow member of the mincers club here … dislocated my finger and cut my shin on Saturday and naturally got very cautious on Sunday. To me this is just part of riding, a natural cycle of pushing on then retreating a bit. Riding with mates really helps me, you can see what is possible and it’s good as the company gives you more confidence. @martin it is about have the right amount of speed as you probably know, too slow and the wheels “stick” on the roots and rocks, you need that amount to help you skip over but not too much that you are out of control.

    Premier Icon unklehomered

    For about a year I went over the bars all the damn time. 3 times in 100 yards in Italy once, was ridiculous. My advice is much as above, just keep riding, find some rides with just very little challanges so you can just enjoy being out on the bike again. I would consider 1 to 1 coaching, and riding with mates/a group who are at a similar level than maybe your present/old riding mates are (i.e. find some people who are scared of things you aren’t, such people are great for confidence 😉 )


    Sessioning stuff would be a good start – maybe go to flats for a bit if you are cliiped in and drop the saddle if you ride with it at pedalling height – if you are sessioning, it makes sense to load the dice in your favour and there’s no need to be able to pedal straight after completing whatever you are completing. Also go for some really big, grippy tyres – maybe even totally impractical for ‘normal riding’ a pair of 2.35 super tacky High Rollers for example – just to further load the dice.

    You can get a lot out setup changes – one of my faves in winter is to pop the trusty old super tacky high roller on the front and a pumped up crossmark on the back – catching the back end gives the reflexes a work out, and you feel like Sam Hill drifting the back all over the place!

    The OTB solo night-ride = broken ribs is exactly what happened to me in May so I can empathise. I lost a bit of confidence as a result too. Now I found that I’m back to the same level of ‘bottle’ I had before if I’m ‘on it’ on the day of a particular ride. Where I have found it affects me is on rides where I just don’t feel on my A-game, the first hints of tiredness or loss of technique do seem to trouble me more than they used to.

    It could be that I’m just getting a bit older, though! I feel like I used to ‘fall well’ – I can remember a couple of offs about 5 years ago where I managed to tuck and roll a bit – a couple of offs this year have had me landing like a sack of spuds!

    Premier Icon roverpig

    Lots of good advice here on how to improve skills and confidence, but it’s also worth remembering that (presumably) you ride for fun. I’m always surprised at how we (and I’m as prone to it as anybody) beat ourselves up over something that we chose to do. Do we get some strange kick from the self loathing? So what if you walked down a bit of trail that somebody else would fly down with barely a thought? You’ll live to ride another day.



    First ever coaching session booked for next weekend. Mincing drop-offs and steep roll-ins top of the priority list to sort out. Absurd mental block at the moment. Ok to push ourselves but don’t agree with the MTFU comments. The trails will always be there tomorrow. If you don’t feel right today, come back another day.

    Interesting to see all the Jedi/coaching comments. It seems a peculiar Brit characteristic that we get to a certain level of technique in sport then hate to have further lessons/coaching to take us to the next level. Seems a very different pysche to the French who seem to have more of a passion for lessons and la technique.

    mr plow

    If you can’t see yourself completing a manouver don’t attempt it. Simple.

    Premier Icon Trekster

    My moto is ” if in doubt bail out”
    Served me well fo over 20 odd yrs 😀
    Would love to be able to fly through the air like a young’un but my mate is currently nursing a dislocated shoulder and the torn tissue to go with it = months off the bike 🙄
    I am too old to be worrying about being rad to the max dude 😉

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    @martin it is about have the right amount of speed as you probably know

    Of course. But no matter how often I repeat the ‘speed is your friend’ mantra on approach, I’ve got the involuntary brake drag yips.

Viewing 15 posts - 41 through 55 (of 55 total)

The topic ‘Help, I appear to be a useless mincer’ is closed to new replies.