Obsessed with speed

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  • Obsessed with speed
  • Stevie P
    Member

    I’m slightly worried I’ll start to lose sight of the enjoyment.

    Sounds like you may be already…

    Take a time-out and do some recreation rides. I don’t really train on my bike but I do focus a lot on training when it comes to rock climbing. I’m very harsh on myself and micro-manage every little bit of training / nutrition and always seem to focus on how bad I’m climbing rather than focusing on how far I’ve come.

    Sometimes it’s good to just go back to doing it for fun rather than specifically trying to be ‘great’ at it. After a couple of weeks you will get your motivation back (if you have lost it) and start training again.

    Also, look back to when you first started riding and see how far you have come. We tend to only judge ourselves by yesterday’s performance and sometimes that’s not enough to see our real progress.

    Hope that helps. Have fun!

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    trying too hard probably slows you down anyway

    I felt I could go faster on the day, but only in my head, obviously

    Anyone else getting stuck in a similar rut? I’m slightly worried I’ll start to lose sight of the enjoyment.

    Isn’t that the opposite of being ‘stuck in a rut’?

    Hang onto that drive, determination and frustration, it’ll make you a better rider. Some of us don’t have it (myself included) so I’m forever happy to bimble around.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Maybe I should stop watching all the DH videos on Dirt….

    I have come along way over the last 2 years, even that is difficult to say, so I should be happy with how I’m progressing. It’s the very technical dh trails that I get frustrated on. I get days were I put it donw to my bike (Meta 5 btw) and others just myself. I have looked at coaching, thinking that I could improve that way.

    But you’re right, I need to start just enjoying it again and not always on a mission!

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    do you ride with anyone faster than you. Nothing more motivating than getting dropped on a DH…

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Become obsessed with smoothness. The smoother you are, the faster you’ll go. Pinging wildly off rocks isn’t fast, it just feels fast cos you’re being rattled around so much.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Generally I ride with people my own level, around my local XC trails, but do ride with better (much better) riders as often as possible. Does push you on no doubt, the dh race proved that. I hit jumps and drops I wouldn’t do if I was just out for a recreational spin.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    My own experience of Racing DH is that the Harder you push, the more “Red mist” descends and the worse, more ragged and out of shape you get, thus you go slower…

    What I did learn was that as much as racing DH is about going really really fast where you can, it’s also about learning to judge the right speed and line for all the sections you encounter, getting het up and ultra competitive doesn’t actually help, a bit of cold detachment and reading the course is the way to go. it’s not normally that “big” jump or drop where you lost the time, it’s most likely the 3 or 4 seemingly simple corners where you over-braked, took the slower line or dabed a foot…

    That and tiredness, spend the whole morning riding and re-riding the course, not drinking/eating enough and yep, come your race run your bolloxed, tired and making mistakes, getting annoyed with yourself and making yet more…

    The solution is to walk the course noting the stuff that might hold you up or sneak you some extra seconds, roll the course feet up and see if your right, session the bits you think you need to practise, one maybe two “race pace” (ish) runs then just relax and stay hydrated, knowing you are prepared, take your time preparing methodically.

    And most of all Do enjoy it, winning isn’t everything, I tended to meet some great people share a laugh and cheer on strangers with far too much enthusiasm, as with any sport if it’s all stoney faced seriousness then it’s soon thinned down to the fast boys and misserable cocks, and the fun just disappears…

    Euro
    Member

    crazy-legs – Member

    Become obsessed with smoothness. The smoother you are, the faster you’ll go. Pinging wildly off rocks isn’t fast, it just feels fast cos you’re being rattled around so much.

    I agree with that completely.

    Going out with faster riders is also beneficial but can be a tad dangerous. I personally find I go faster if i’m ‘just taking it easy’. I don’t put any pressure on myself and it just seems to come easier.

    Trying too hard is a recipe for disaster in my experience – especially on a meta 5 up the Hill :wink:.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with my riding. Over the last few months my fitness has improved, I’m getting faster, and confidence is coming along with it. However, I’m now expecting myself to hit everything as hard and as fast as possible, and when I can’t, I’m feeling rather annoyed with myself.

    I competed in my first dh race in April, finished well down the field, but really enjoyed myself. Also just completed my first xc race, again really enjoyed it, finishing in the middle of my class (50 strong field). The xc result didn’t bother me so much, as it’s mostly down to fitness than raw bike riding talent, but the dh race result did. I felt I could go faster on the day, but only in my head, obviously 😀

    Anyone else getting stuck in a similar rut? I’m slightly worried I’ll start to lose sight of the enjoyment.

    GW
    Member

    many good DH riders never finish higher than midpack in races I wouldn’t worry about a low place in your first race. You won’t even know how to practice productively yet. What race was it?

    glenp
    Member

    Yep – think slower and more deliberately to go faster. Flow is a smooth thing – if you’re not calm your flow will become “turbulent”.

    jackthedog
    Member

    Maybe I should stop watching all the DH videos on Dirt….

    Do you know, I think this and all the magazines play a bigger part than most people think.

    Recently on BBC news website they were saying that the current youth are the first generation to grow up with free hardcore pornography on tap, and that it’s skewing their perception of what actual, real sex is actually like, which is leading to feelings of disappointment, boredom and inadequacy.

    I think the same is true of riding. At least it was for me. I used to watch all the Sprung and Earthed videos, aspiring to be able to land fifty foot doubles into manuals like Cedric. I used to read the mags religiously, trying to work out how those at the top of their game were so good. And it did nothing apart from make me feel inferior when I went out into the woods, aspiring to greatness yet only managing average.

    Nowadays, with more years behind me, I’ve stopped watching the riding porn and reading about the rich, famous and talented. Instead I just go out and ride my bike, at my own pace. And it’s approximately a thousand percent more enjoyable.

    Sometimes I’m the fastest in the group, sometimes by far the slowest. But I’m always having fun.

    rocketman
    Member

    Part of being a good rider is realising when you are having a bad day and to put it behind you and move on. Worst thing you can do is react to a bad day and start changing yourself and your bike(s)

    And R&R is just as important as time on the bike. Chill, take it easy and The Flow™ will take care of itself.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Thanks for all the responses.

    jackthedog – interesting point about being saturated with all these videos. Though good porn on tap is no bad thing, Shirley? 😀

    I think that I am a smooth rider. I’m 6 2″, and I even dwarf my large Meta, so I have to be smooth. Think of me as the Peter Crouch MTB

    As above you’ll go quicker when you you relax and don’t over think things, but getting your attitude right is only half the battle.
    Following quicker riders down a trail is always good, it shows you that there is potential to go quicker and it spurs you on to try and keep up, but it’s difficult to tell whats going on looking at someones rear wheel, that’s where it pays to stop and think.

    To go faster you will, funnily enough need to work on going faster. Cornering, braking, reading the terrain, working on your flow, weight distribution – many factors. These things take conscious effort, practice and time to develop before they become natural, if they ever do.

    Also I don’t give a toss what other people say (and no doubt I’ll be corrected by some internet riding legends), but the Meta 5 is an awful bike pointed down a hill even compared to other bikes in the same class, an overgrown xc bike, so you’re not giving yourself any advantages in that department.

    retro83
    Member

    muddyfunster – Member
    but the Meta 5 is an awful bike pointed down a hill even compared to other bikes in the same class,

    Really? I mean it’s obviously no DH bike but I thought it was cracking* ride downhill for a trail bike.

    * Pun not intended 😉

    stevemtb
    Member

    I enjoy DH days and seem to find it fairly easy to get faster and faster all day.

    That is until there’s a race number strapped on the handlebars. A few of the practice runs tend to be half decent but I don’t think I’ve ever had a good race run. Far too many seem to end in big crashes.

    I’ve decided not to attempt any more DH races as it takes all the enjoyment out of the weekend for me. If I managed to relax for one race run it’d probably all come good but just got sick of the pressure I put on myself to be faster on the race run which either resulted in frustration for days after or pain from crashes.

    I am pretty competitive and do ok for other events but DH racing (and golf medals for some reason) seem to have a hugely negative affect on me!

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    muddy, thanks for the post.

    Interesting point on the Meta, as recently It’s been bugging me. It felt much more at home in the XC race, albiet too heavy and a little too slack, than it did at the downhill race. The downhill race was part of a short DH Ulster League developed to help being new riders to the sport (one day events, short courses, low costs, no uplifts etc). Course is in the video below, and Ben Reid also raced on the day.

    Norco Prototype update with Ben Reid

    glenp
    Member

    Have you got a pic of you going downhill? Just freewheeling, rather than pedaling on the flat.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Glen, that’s me punctured on the last lap of my xc race, start/finish area. No photos, but plenty of videos:

    http://stcolin.pinkbike.com/channel/GoPro-HD-videos/

    glenp
    Member

    Didn’t spot the puncture! That explains the body language. Was just wondering if you always carry your head down – clearly the end of a xc race with a flat will make anyone’s head hang. 🙂

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Punctured as in physically punctured! 😉 Though it does look like the back tyre in flat. I think my lungs were left on the last bit of singletrack

    glenp
    Member

    Ah – as in deflated. I know that feeling well! Not easy to disguise.

    I was just wondering if, technique-wise, you might benefit from consciously getting your head up and your eyes much further ahead of the bike. Can’t say that’s going to be needed, obviously, because I haven’t seen you riding – but generally most people benefit from working deliberately on that. I’m always telling myself off for little lapses in that department.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Also I don’t give a toss what other people say (and no doubt I’ll be corrected by some internet riding legends), but the Meta 5 is an awful bike pointed down a hill even compared to other bikes in the same class, an overgrown xc bike, so you’re not giving yourself any advantages in that department.

    Ha aha ha

    Rémy Absalon won the Mega on a Carbon 5.5!

    Lifer
    Ha aha ha

    Rémy Absalon won the Mega on a Carbon 5.5!

    Oh, I didn’t realise the OP was Remy Absalon. Are you Remy Absolon by any chance? Probably not. That’s akin to saying Citreon C4’s are supercars because Sebastian Loeb won the WRC in one.

    The OP has commented that he feels he’s lacking downhill speed. An xc biased trail bike will only be a disadvantage here when what he seems to be looking for an advantage.

    What elite level riders can do on any bike, much less their own fully custom race bike bares little or no relationship to what an average rider can do on a vaguely similar stock bike, never mind a mega avalanche specialist. Furthermore it’s been well documented and stated by Absalon, Vouilloz and others that the mega is won and lost in the pedaling sections, not the dh.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I can confirm I AM NOT REMY ABSOLON. Nor do I wish to be, he’s French, bless his onions.

    *Heads off to the classifieds on SDH to have a look at large burly bikes*

    scruff
    Member

    I ride local DH timing sessions and have learned alot off better riders. Corner exit speed is where the seconds are.

    Cornering like this consistently is really really hard >>

    cynic-al
    Member

    I’m obsessed with booze.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Furthermore it’s been well documented and stated by Absalon, Vouilloz and others that the mega is won and lost in the pedaling sections, not the dh.

    Definite proof that the Meta 5 is ‘awful pointed downhill’

    Spending money on a new bike is, of course, the first thing you should do to get more speed.

    glenp
    Member

    Love that cornering picture. Got all the elements in place there – head up, weight through the middle of the bike, heavy on the outside foot, heel down, soft hands and hips turned to the exit. Nice one.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Lifer, tongue in cheek comment. I’m certainly not going to be changing my bike to make me better/faster.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Lifer

    Definite proof that the Meta 5 is ‘awful pointed downhill’

    Noting your facetiousness, no it’s not. But coming from the mouths of elite world class enduro dh riders who’ve won the mega it’s definite proof that a bikes dh performance is largely irrelevant to them when it comes to winning that race, the race you were sighting as “definite proof” of the meta’s dh performance. Of course they are just the opinions of professional racers, perhaps you know best.

    At any rate, I’ll say it again, what the pros ride is of no relevance to the average rider and to try and imply that it does is idiotic. Please dont be offended be me expressing my opinion that an xc trail bike is an awful dh bike. It’s not a personal slight on you or your masculinity.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Get a copy of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills v2, read it all, then try to improve your biggest technique weakspot on your next ride. Once that’s sorted do the next. And so on. I’m currently working on consistently getting that body position illustrated above when cornering.

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