Confidence...???

blackhawk468

President of Bling
N. Texas SP
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Nov 3, 2000
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#1
Well, my friend let me borrow her truck for a few days so I went out to Mosier Valley on Tuesday and Thursday for practice. Fun track! Well, the track is fun, but it has these huge ruts. For some reason they intimidated me and I couldn't lean into them or ride the rut or anything. I couldn't keep my line at all which resulted me in taking out another rider at one point. I know my problem is I go "oh no" before i hit the rut and look where i don't want to go, and thats usually where I end up going. There is this one turn after the Pro privateer jump that I fell in 50% of the times that I went through it, by the end of Thursday I had about 6 huge fist size bruises on my knees and upper legs from falling so much. How do I over come this fear of ruts? I know how to take them, I just can't do it. It is driving me insane. :think This whole incident kinda lowered my confidence because at Oakhill MX I just got to where I didn't wreck at all. (What a great feeling!) and then I come to Mosier Valley and I'm wrecking sometimes 2 times a lap, and rarely did I do a lap where I didn't fall. What do you think about when going through a rut or an area of the track where you fall alot. I would have posted this in the Riding techniques forum, but I wanted womens opinions, I get guy opinions all the time at the track. How do I overcome this fear or gain confidence? Thanks in advance for your help!:confused:
 

MotoEnduro

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#2
blackhawk, yeah I know what you mean about ruts, I have trouble too! Just this weekend I was practicing through some really deep ones, and would mess up every time I looked at the darn rut, but did ok looking at the end of the turn where I wanted to go. Its hard not to look though!!!
Find smaller ruts to practice on first, and gradually move to bigger and bigger ones, that way you gain confidence. I still have problems with rutted jumps, I have crashed badly (broken bones etc) a couple of times when the rut would kick the rear tire out to the side just as I was getting airborne:( I will only jump now with the smallest of ruts, if they're large I won't do the jump, just have no confidence for that right now. I see it and kind of freeze up inside and get all stiff, its no way to take a jump.
 

bbbom

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#3
I know what you are saying about losing confidence. After my crash at Vantage, rocky downhills intimidated me. I finally just made up my mind that, one hard crash (or several) were not going to slow me down. In the more technical sections I tend to stall out on a couple areas near the house when I lose my confidence. Usually, if I just tell myself at the beginning of the section that I'm going to hit it hard I can make it through easily. I don't always hit it hard enough though and then I have to go back and do it again.

What I think about when I come to a section that has kicked my butt before is - This time I'm doing it!!! At least it usually works for me.

Another option is to take it one step at a time. Go a little faster, and a little faster until you are back where you were or beyond. On the trail I mountain bike, there is a great little section where you come down a steep hill, hit the bottom and go straight up the next hill but have to make a 90 degree right hand turn just past a tree then continue on the trail along the side of the hill (I call it the whoopdy do). Karl just fly's down the hill and glides up and around the tree. I have tried it probably 10 times but always chicken out coming down the hill to slow or when I get to the top of the other hill instead of letting the inertia send me back around, I stop. Finally, yesterday I did it and it was soooooo easy but, I had to be totally confident to keep my speed up on the downhill. I had built my confidence by going faster and faster and getting closer and closer to doing it each time prior. Now, it's easy.
 

nkd

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#4
ruts - they drive me crazy

Try not to get discouraged, I think everyone hates ruts! I would also
say that the best advice is to ALWAYS look at the end of the rut, NEVER
right in FRONT of you or off to the side because where you look is where
you will go. Just focus on the exit of the rut and it will help and try to stay
loose. The other day someone taught me to do downhills correctly, I always
used my back brake and sat back on the seat and slide all over the place,
this past weekend a pro told me to sit of right by the tank, no clutch and
NO rear brake, just light hold the front brake and it was amazing, I had
total control, at first I panicked since the hill was steep but once I practiced,
I got to be a pro at it. SO just keep on trying and you'll master it, good luck
Nancy (AKA Harleygal);)
 
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#5
I, too, have a problem with ruts or riding on the side of a hill and highsiding!!

I do exactly what you said-----look at the rut and guess where I go----right into it!

I have started talking to myself (:eek: ) while riding (look ahead, look where you want to go, don't look at the rut, etc) and it seems to help me. In addition, whenever I have trouble of that sort, Bob makes me do it again and again, until I get it right and have the confidence to do it correctly and not fall.

I hope this helps you!

Anne
 
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#6
All the ladies have the same advice as I do. I would try and get into your head that the ruts do NOT intimidate you. Do NOT let it be a mind game. Definitely look ahead (sometimes easier said than done) but it helps TREMENDOUSLY!! Practice the section you are having trouble with over and over until you feel confident. You don't have to go mock 10 through it just go at a speed where you are in control. Practice, Practice, Practice!!! That's what is going to do it for you! Don't forget... don't let it be a mind game!!

Let us know how it turns out.
 

nikki

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Apr 21, 2000
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#8
In my first two races on my new YZ 125 this year - I had a problem of the front tire popping out high on the ruts - I would start off in them - and the front tire just wouldn't stick. And, as the result, I would lay the bike over in the corner.

THEN, I got my suspension done for my weight/riding ability and what a difference!!! I guess there wasn't enough weight on the front tire because of the stiffer stock springs, so the tire had a mind of it's own and wouldn't "stick" in the rut and follow the line. After getting my suspension done - I haven't had this problem since!!

But my best advice as for taking the ruts is to keep up momentum through the corner. Not saying to pin the gas - but just keep a steady throttle. When you completely let off of the gas - your bike lose momentum and may fall over. Also - make sure you are positioned before the rut so both your front tire and back tire will follow the line - because if you just get your front in it and your back goes higher that the rut - you'll have trouble! Last piece of advice - just keep reminding yourself that practice will make perfect. And you probably won't master it in a day - it takes time. It took me two whole seasons before I quit consistently laying my 125 over in the corners! :confused: