Lies we tell ourselves

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    • #270710

      Because it’s a single speed.

    • #271193

      I know I’ve told myself the following lies more than once:

      • I don’t need to get off my bike and check the line.  I got this. [ER visit]
      • Man, I really shred that section.  What???  Strava must be wrong!
      • Dude, I really got some air on that!  [Video tells an entirely different story].
      • Forgot my backpack… it’s ok I don’t need it. [Flat]
      • That guy looks like he’s in terrible shape.  I’m going to smoke him on the next…. Hey, where’d he go?
      • If I had a more capable bike I could have…. [fill in the blank]
    • #271232

      After watching GMBN/Seth’s Bike Hacks/Singletrack Sampler/insert youtube vid here here I can certainly add the following:

      • That’s easy! I should just bunny hop that rooted section. (Goes over section, catches so little air the roots file a restraining order)
      • Just Manual through that mud. I’ll be much easier! (fail so miserably, Swamp Thing asks me for my number ‘cus he thought he saw me on Tinder)
      • Just look ahead down the trail! If you’ve already looked at it, you’ve pretty much cleared it! (Tried going between two trees, clipping handlebars causing a fall and transformation into a bus for crickets, spiders and inchworms)
      • Hill climbs are easy! Just like Niel said, drag the rear brake and meter your power to the ground. (50+ year old legs say “@#%$%# please. Y’need all the help you can get! How’bout you get off and push for a while and not drag so much brake next time?”)

      And the biggest one (for now) is

      • I was an All-Star/Top Rated/Multi-Sport/Martial-Art/Whatever Accolade athlete back in (insert years normally beginning with a 19) so picking up mountain biking will be easy! I should be clearing jumps in about three weeks and be in competitive shape after six! (NOPE.)
      • #271260

        Revengel: “Just Manual through that mud. I’ll be much easier! (fail so miserably, Swamp Thing asks me for my number ‘cus he thought he saw me on Tinder)”

        That made me laugh way too hard, bravo!

      • #271261

        Glad you enjoyed! I do need to work on my manual skills, however.

      • #271314

        So does everyone who isn’t Phil Kmetz…

      • #271377


    • #271253

      I’m going to flip this a positive direction: “I don’t have the skills for that drop/rock garden/gap.” Until I get the balls to try it:-)

      • #271262

        Good point.

        There was a root filled climb I started to think I’d never get. It’s right after a small creek crossing (about 1 1/2 feet wide) and it’s steep and chock full of roots. But the last time I rode that section I was able to conquer it. So that was certainly a lie I told myself.

    • #271280

      I am absolutely NOT spending more than $X on a bike! [So why did it cost almost 2x???]

    • #271335

      That new bike will make me faster.

      If I cycle a lot, I can eat all I want and I won’t gain weight.

      If I cycle a lot, I’ll look as good as I did 10 years ago.

      If I cycle a lot, I’ll live to be 100 years old.

      If I cycle a lot, I’ll be as fast as the Pro’s.

      — Maybe some of these lies are useful.—


      • #271391

        If I cycle a lot, I’ll look as good as I did 10 years ago.

        For some of us, this actually is not a lie at all. I took up riding singletrack only a little over 2 years ago in summer of 2017 and at 46 I’m in way better shape than I was at 36. MTB’ing can keep you young – mentally and physically – and that is no lie at all. 😉

        Then again, the recovery from MTB crashes can remind me how old I really am. 😛

    • #271499

      “I can get this ride in before the rain hits.”

      – ER visit – broken ribs – battered shoulder – many scrapes and bruises –

    • #271500

      Oh, and one that bites me all too often

      “I can just ride over that stick.”

      20+ years ago out on my first ride on the new bike, headed downhill on a wide open trail and ran over a large stick.  It flipped up and inserted itself through my rear wheel.  Stick hit the rear brake cables and frame.  Broke three spokes before it stopped the rear wheel dead.  I go flying over the handlebars as the front wheel turns hard right.  By some sort of bad luck my right ankle gets trapped between the top bar and handle bar.  Now I’m doing a superman with a bike attached to my foot.  Came out relatively unharmed, but the bike was broken.  Had to walk it home a few miles, and go back to the bike shop the next morning.

      Last summer I rode over another stick.  Somehow it turned upwards and jammed into my right pedal, stopped my dead in my tracks.

    • #271526

      I look great wearing skin tight shorts with a diaper stitched in side them while wearing  a psychedelic billboard jersey while riding a neon pink-orange-yellow-purple bike???

      • #271546

        “I look great wearing skin tight shorts with a diaper stitched in side them while wearing  a psychedelic billboard jersey while riding a neon pink-orange-yellow-purple bike???”


        Of course!!  And you want the search & rescue party to be able to see you when one of these other lies tells the truth.

    • #271534

      This time I’m going to hit all the features, jumps and drops.

    • #271535

      *Go-Pro effect*



      I’ll just leave this here.

    • #271610

      Thanks for everyone contributing. I have laughed at how many of these lies I have told myself. Let me add  a few more.

      I am only going to ride for ‘X’ amount of time. (add at least 20-30 min to ‘X’)

      I am going to take it easy on this ride and just enjoy being out here. (it echoes in my head as I crank down to try hit a section/feature faster or squeeze in one more trail in)

      All I have to do is shift my weight this way to hop, jump, manual, etc… (YouTube effect)

    • #271614

      “I got this”

    • #271642

      It’s funny the different lies we tell ourselves. Mine are to get me out of trying. If you don’t try, you can’t fail.

      I was using my regular hardtail to commute to work but the enduro tires were a bear to pedal and I hate watching that tread wear down. I noticed that I cruise at the same speed on my single speed with cheap XC tires as my hardtail (~13MPH) even though I have to pedal 37% faster and it is super easy to accelerate to 19MPH to make the yellow lights (impossible to maintain that cadence though). Even when I am purposely trying to keep my heart rate in the “fat burning” zone, I have still set PRs compared to the hardtail.

      With my preconceived notions of how fast I would be on a low-ish geared single speed compared to a broad geared hardtail thoroughly vanquished, I decided I would hit some of the single track on the way home from work. Despite having a backpack weighed down with a computer, bike lock, work clothes and various odds and ends and having finished the big climb, I went for it. I had already bargained with myself that I would stick to the outer edges of the ravine to keep it easy. By the time I got down to the trail, I thought, “I’ll just dip in a little more”. Had to walk a bit of the first climb but that was ok.

      The next decision came soon – left to the border of the woods to continue to the climb – or – right to a narrow downhill followed by technical ups and downs and even the flat is technical. I couldn’t resist, but I had the next bargain – enjoy the down and walk the rest. Remembering how easy it was to accelerate, I kept at it and only had to walk a bit at some awkward sections. This is when I realized that I had been believing my own lies.

      From when I first noticed a little opening into the woods and I took my old-n-busted 1994-ish Rock Hopper onto those trails, I always had an excuse. At first it was gears and brakes that didn’t work – valid excuse. Then with a better bike it was lack of skills – again valid. But once the skills were there and I still couldn’t get the climbs – said to myself these are really good trail running trails but too technical for mountain biking. I resigned myself to getting my mountain biking fix by loading up the car and driving to the real trails – where I almost never have to even put a foot down. I would still use my local trails to session some fun sections with the kids. But this year those excuses went out the window, with a little perseverance I got three of the steepest most technical climbs and the up hill switchbacks. There is plenty still to master and I can’t even say that I have a clean lap but I know it is doable and I can have fun doing it. Even with a backpack.

    • #277909

      Along the lines of what @vapidoscar and others have shared, many lies start off with:

      “I’ll never be able to…”  [Fill in the blank]

      The things I am able to do now far surpass what I thought I was capable of not that long ago… whether it was cleaning a tech section, steep climb, gnarly washed-out descent, how fast I could do a ride lap or segment, or how far I could ride.  As to the last point, I completed a 70m ride yesterday.  It wasn’t overly technical in any way (just 4k ft of elevation gain) but for me it was a major achievement especially when I was completely spent last year doing the 55 miler.  The thought of having to go another 15m seemed insurmountable (even when doing 55m seemed ridiculous 2 years before that).  I’ve seen guys (and gals) make immense improvements in all areas of the sport.  It speaks to the human spirit and desire to improve.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished with good old-fashioned (yeh, I’m over 50 lol) effort, determination and perseverance.

    • #277977

      I don’t need to get off my bike and check the line.  I got this. [ER visit]

      Made that mistake on way home Friday. Decided to double back and take the sketchy decent. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not as sketchy as I remembered. There is a series of three drops.

      The first is small and it didn’t matter that I messed it up and dropped the front end too soon. The third is too scary but there is a ride around.

      The second had a tree fall in it. Someone had already come along and cut a big chunk out of the top and laid a big rock and a smaller log to get through the chunk in the log. It looks really cool. Now typically when you see a feature like this on these trails, the other side has logs laid nicely to make it rollable.

      So I am coming from the first drop along a bench cut curve and lining up the notch in the downed tree. I come up real slow to roll the second drop. As my gaze gets past the log, I see there is no such roll out. I grab two handfuls of brake and try to put a foot down. But I put the wrong foot down and end up tumbling head first straight down hill on top of a fallen log with my bike still between my legs and my work bag pushing me down. Had to use my hands to walk myself off the log and off my bike. I have a handful of nice bruises (with scrapes on them) to show for this.

      After eying it up. I tried to roll it again but with my work bag and a high seat post plus a throbbing leg it wasn’t happening. I hope to go to Ray’s soon and try to work on these skills that I am still lacking.

      Insult to injury, when I got to the bottom of the trail, there is a single track climb back to the bike path and then a big climb home but of course that is when I run into a trail runner. He was very courteous and waved me on. I was ready to limp out but felt compelled to tough out the climb to honor his courtesy.

    • #279834

      @ vapidoscar  I can’t help but chuckle as I know issues like this all too well.  This emphasizes the point that even when you (think) you know an obstacle it might end up being different either because our memories aren’t perfect or, more likely, because trails are anything but stagnant.  Trees fall, logs move, dirt erodes, etc.  What once was a good line may now be anything but.  And the bruised ego usually hurts more than the bruised body… and can even take longer to heal.

      And I love your last point about the final climb where the runner waved you on… oh the things we do for pride!  I can definitely relate.  Lol.

    • #279856

      @rmap01 I’m still working on the ego from things that happened last year. But has been a mostly pain free 2019.

      I hit a couple sections on the way home to get back into it. I was surprisingly shaky but part of that was fallen leaves. The first section I plowed straight into a tree (slowly). I wanted to at least have one section go well to leave on a high note. It took two approaches on the final section but I was able to clean an awkward little decent and the punchy climb out.

      The weather has been anything but cooperative this year. We had the wettest possible spring. I don’t think much was open until July. Then last month, we had a micro burst, which is like a straight line tornado, that knocked down tons of trees. Erosion from all the rain made some of the more exciting sections into too scary. But with more weather, I’m sure it will change again some day.

    • #284295

      It’s only a ten mile ride; I can do it at the edge of dark in an hour….   And I don’t need no frigg’n light.  Oops.


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