Monday, August 1, 2011


Lately I've been bummed.

It seems when I started riding I was much more fearless than I am now. In the beginning, I would follow Michael through tight turns and bumpy lines without being scared of falling or hurting myself. Now however, I'm a big chicken and I'm trying to pinpoint when the shift in ballsiness happened.

Today we went to Wompatuck and the whole ride I was nervous to get on singletracks. Right before shifting from the road to the trail a wave of panic would come over me. I thought maybe it's from being clipped in or maybe it's because I have fallen a few times and hurts. But the more I think about it the more I know that it's not the fear of falling that's freaking me out; it's the fear of the unknown.

I really don't like riding trails that I'm not familiar with because I get scared to death that I'm going to whip around a corner and smash into a tree or hit a hill with crazy rocks. I don't trust in myself nearly enough to relax and just go with it because I'm frightened of hitting the hills without enough momentum or being in the wrong gear to wrestle with whatever technical challenge pops up.

This really shouldn't be a surprise to those that know me. I'm rather notorious for wanting to control all situations. I'm not one of those people that reads the last page of a book because I need to know how it ends before it starts (which is so stupid by the way, considering that the last page of a book hardly ever makes sense unless you have read the book), but I am the type of person to plan out every minute of a vacation. Surprises don't sit well with me, and mountain biking is becoming one long unpredictable panicky experience every time we go out.

So why wasn't I scared in the beginning considering that I was equally unfamiliar with the trails at that point? Well, at the start of this whole thing I naively trusted that Michael knew every single trail and wouldn't take me on something I couldn't handle. But after a few trips together I realized that he usually didn't know or didn't remember what was coming up either -- and that rocked my trusting world.

Any suggestions on how to overcome this fear would be greatly appreciated. I still want to ride, but I'm starting to have less and less fun out there. Maybe some suggestions of starter trails would help? I know I could probably google, but I always trust people's personal recommendations so much more. Or, since most of you are from all over the place, maybe some tips on how to feel more relaxed on a bike?


(I'm hoping a frowny emoticon will make you feel sorry enough to help me.)


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