Hip Hip Hooray
Two years ago I overshot a corner on a downhill and pulled a Ten Dam going about 20mph. Concussion, temporary amnesia, trip to the ER, yada yada yada, now I suck going down hills.
The routes around here are hilly and my max speed is almost always in the ~35mph range. If I get a straight away downhill where I can sight the upcoming road well, I do fine. But if it's winding or curvy, I freak out and pretty much ride my brakes, white knuckling it the entire way down.
It's fairly pathetic, I realize. I tell myself "ok, relax, just go with flow"... yeah, no. I know that being tense does me no good but this mind over matter thing isn't working.
My only option would be to drive somewhere to ride, but that's the chicken shit way of handling it. lol
Any ideas other than "suck it up"?
1st, I really don't need to see any more crash videos. I think I've hit my monthly quota.
Bike handling skills come with time. If you are taking a corner too fast there is little you can do. You have to know what you and your bike are capable of...and what the road conditions are.
There are ways to improve. If I had the time I would find some links for you but google something like Criterium Skills and downhill descending. There are drills like picking a water bottle up of the ground, how to properly lean into a corner...
There are ways to tighten up a corner. Changing the center of Gravity, knee in, knee out etc. One counter intuitive means is counter steering. Go into the corner, lay the bike over as far as you are comfortable and then turn the steering tube in the opposite direction. It's usually a good idea to be very light in you seat as well.
Braking once you are into a corner can spell bad news. (not that it can't be or at times needed) In order for the wheels to grip the road they need to be moving at the same speed the road is going past. To much brake and a little skid can turn into a big one. Motorcycles can get away with tapping their brakes in corners but they also have the acceleration power.
Finally...This is an old mountain bike skill. Look your way thru the corner. Your bike will follow where your eyes are looking.
I hope this helps some.
MTA: Your remark about being tense is dead on. Relax...fear is ok if not good but tense is bad.
Thanks! I'll read through the links tonight.