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jacob429

Multiple Obstacles - Where to look?!

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Something has been nagging at me and I wanted to get input from you guys. 

 

So when we're on trail rides, we always try to look as far ahead as possible. This also counts for techniques like pivot turns, floater turns, etc.. 

 

The question is, if you have multiple obstacles in quick succession, especially requiring intermediate techniques like the double blip so you can't simply roll over everything, when do you switch your focus from the first obstacle to the second? For instance, let's say you got a double ledge with the first being undercut and requiring a japzap. To get a solid front wheel punch, you need to look at the ideal point of impact right? And then do you shift your focus to the next thing right as your front wheel impacts the first thing since you know you got it - or do you keep focusing on the first thing until your bike is climbing it and look at the next thing when you feel safe/cleared? 

I feel like the best thing to do would be to shift your focus the instant or even slightly before front wheel touch (once you know you're lined up and going to hit it), but I have found it extremely difficult to do this in practice, especially the bigger the obstacle is. This might be a mental thing but for the big obstacles out of my comfort zone I feel like I get tunnel vision, and will forget things like look ahead or good brake control. Then again, in trials you walk the sections and make a mental note of positions of obstacles - for instance in some of the indoor trials the pros might be doing a massive blind splatter (as in they can't immediately see what's ahead) where they have to bridge a gap with their bike which means placing the front wheel on the next obstacle correctly or take a massive tumble over the bars. My thoughts are scattered around on this, everything is situational, but wondering what you guys think.

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8 hours ago, jacob429 said:

Something has been nagging at me and I wanted to get input from you guys. 

 

So when we're on trail rides, we always try to look as far ahead as possible. This also counts for techniques like pivot turns, floater turns, etc.. 

 

The question is, if you have multiple obstacles in quick succession, especially requiring intermediate techniques like the double blip so you can't simply roll over everything, when do you switch your focus from the first obstacle to the second? For instance, let's say you got a double ledge with the first being undercut and requiring a japzap. To get a solid front wheel punch, you need to look at the ideal point of impact right? And then do you shift your focus to the next thing right as your front wheel impacts the first thing since you know you got it - or do you keep focusing on the first thing until your bike is climbing it and look at the next thing when you feel safe/cleared? 

I feel like the best thing to do would be to shift your focus the instant or even slightly before front wheel touch (once you know you're lined up and going to hit it), but I have found it extremely difficult to do this in practice, especially the bigger the obstacle is. This might be a mental thing but for the big obstacles out of my comfort zone I feel like I get tunnel vision, and will forget things like look ahead or good brake control. Then again, in trials you walk the sections and make a mental note of positions of obstacles - for instance in some of the indoor trials the pros might be doing a massive blind splatter (as in they can't immediately see what's ahead) where they have to bridge a gap with their bike which means placing the front wheel on the next obstacle correctly or take a massive tumble over the bars. My thoughts are scattered around on this, everything is situational, but wondering what you guys think.

What bike?

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I've struggled for years to ride over stuff where you can't see what's on the other side. If you try and see where you are going to land you end up leaning forward and not getting over the obstacle. 

What I have finally learned is once you set off , especially front wheel high , then you are committed. So looking doesn't actually help until you are off the obstacle. You have to assume you will land where you need to. 

Double steps are the same above a certain height. Once the bike is climbing you can't see the second one anyway as the front wheel is in the way. So rely on the sensation through the pegs to know if you are up.

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9 hours ago, baldilocks said:

I've struggled for years to ride over stuff where you can't see what's on the other side. If you try and see where you are going to land you end up leaning forward and not getting over the obstacle. 

What I have finally learned is once you set off , especially front wheel high , then you are committed. So looking doesn't actually help until you are off the obstacle. You have to assume you will land where you need to. 

Double steps are the same above a certain height. Once the bike is climbing you can't see the second one anyway as the front wheel is in the way. So rely on the sensation through the pegs to know if you are up.

Interesting perspective and very insightful. The message I take away is, concentrate on dealing with the immediate obstacle and remembering what you observed when you walked the other side earlier. Focus on the first but select a technique that you know will carry you over the next before going for it. 

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 Actually the question you asked and the correct answer is actually just backwards. The question has been the same for decades. Why when you are out trail riding obstacles obstacles are easier to ride? Once they are in a section that you have just walked the section, your mind tends to lock up.

Edited by lineaway

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31 minutes ago, lineaway said:

 Actually the question you asked and the correct answer is actually just backwards. The question has been the same for decades. Why when you are out trail riding obstacles obstacles are easier to ride? Once they are in a section that you have just walked the section, your mind tends to lock up.

Sorry I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying that the mental barrier is more pronounced in trials because you have walked it and are likely over thinking it, compared to trail riding where you just "send it"?

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Yes, trail riding you do not second guest what you can ride. You just go for it!

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11 minutes ago, lineaway said:

Yes, trail riding you do not second guest what you can ride. You just go for it!

Yeah I totally agree this is a major part of it. It's amazing how everything seems easy on a trail ride, but then a wimpy log can get you hung up in a section or practice area.

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