OK friends, can you guess when I really don’t like mountain biking? I will give you some time…….
You might be tempted to say “well when you fall silly!” and of course that IS one of the times that I dislike mountain biking. But actually I have the least fun on my mtb when I am riding a semi technical or technical trail for the first time.
The problem, as I see it, is you can see how to go UP the big rock, but you absolutely cannot “scan the trail ahead” to see how to get down the big rock before you have to get down the big rock. (Authors note: I am using a big rock as an example to simplify things here. It could be any technical obstacle. No offense meant to rocks! Though there are a lot of them here in CT.) You also do not know which way the trail is going to go after you go down the big rock.
Then I find I am slowing down to look and then things become difficult (because sometimes faster is easier, as long as it is the right fast).
My first trip through the Nathan Hale State Forest was kind of like that. Too tight, too twisting, lots of rocks. Not little rocks, big rocks, sharp rocks. Lot’s of foot dabbing and walking.
My second trip through Nathan Hale was much better. Faster, smother, less dabbing. The difference was a little confidence and a little speed. It was also more fun.
Author’s Note: I rode there today for the third time. I had awesome flow when I started. Then for some reason it went away and the ride became a struggle. Some days you just don’t have it.