Poor trail buildings effecting my confidence (has anyone else had this problem)

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Poor trail buildings effecting my confidence (has anyone else had this problem)
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Posted: Jun 22, 2021 at 23:47 Quote
Hi, just want to get other riders take on poor trail building effects their confidence, thought this would be a good spot to do it as it would allow differing areas to compare different situations.

So a bit of background, I’ve been riding Enduro and DH for approx 5 years. And over the course of my riding I’ve improved my level, travelling and living in Whistler for 2 seasons for sure helped with this. When I felt I was riding my best I was able to hit every trail and line (haha baring some of those insane gaps and cut in shoots) in the Whistler Bike Park this ranging from whipping Crabapple hits comfortably to riding the hardest tech trails such as goats gully and lines such as the inside steep line of Captain Safety. I was able to even no-handler, and no-foot can being the hardest tricks I could do. (These are just examples to give to an idea of my riding level)

So coming from a non biker mountain sport background I was pretty happy with the level I’d been able to progress my riding. However I have been back in Australia for approx a year and a half and obviously have continued riding, I knew coming back that here we don’t have the riding Canadians do and I’d have to adjust my attitude to just making the best of what we have (because we genuinely have some very good riding here in Australia).

I knew that I was going to experience a drop in my riding level from coming home and living a normal life compared to when I was riding pretty much everyday in one of the best spots in the world. But my problem mainly is with the trail building and how poor it is. For example; I will ride the hardest DH tracks in the state and enjoy riding them, hitting all the lines and riding as aggressive as I can because they are built well. I will then go back to say a local enduro track and some guys will have built some jumps on it, these jumps arn’t huge but to me look sketchy and I just can bring myself to ride them. (Where riders of much lowering ability’s will hit them)

This is just frustrating me so much to the point where I am angry with the sport. I know some people will probably be triggered by this post which genuinely is not my purpose. Over the last 5 years I have put a lot of time, money and effort into MTB and I am just some frustrated to the point where I think I am feeling really shit about myself after rides and honestly just want to stop riding.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and would be greatly appreciated if you could share your story.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 3:46 Quote
I moved from a hill filled bike paradise to a flat place where the trails are extremely rough forest paths. I had a couple of months finding it hard and began to doubt some of my skills. I miss riding sustained downhills but I have gainef skill on low speed jank, creating flow when there is none, and technical climbs. It just takes time. I'm still looking forward to riding some purposebuilt trails again soon.

You can stop riding if the frustration is that bad. The expense and effort only seems worth it when bikes are fun. Maybe you can put your bike money into counselling sessions. Seriously, getting the yips on a few jumps shouldn't lead to anger and low self worth.

You might enjoy riding more if you change your perspective.

Your post focuses a lot on your ability to ride hard trails. Then you identify the problem as poor trails. You note that other riders can hit the features. So your problem is not poor trails, it's attitude.

You've found a new challenge and instead of accepting it you are blaming other things. Leave your ego at the trail head and enjoy the experience of working out how to ride your local trails.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 5:33 Quote
Have you put any work in? If not, get involved with the community and suggest improvements or help build new (sanctioned) trails with what you've learned. You'll probably learn a lot in return.

I'm also guessing the word you're looking for is unfamiliar, not outright poor (because that would be weirdly elitist). Local trails are almost always a world apart from manicured lift access. Take getting familiar and comfortable with them as a challenge.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 6:00 Quote
the trails where i live arent cut or maintained, they're more like a path that has been walked over and over.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 13:08 Quote
Sometimes, if something can't be done or built the way you want, you've got to do it yourself. I would start trail building if I were you.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 14:03 Quote
Those trails that look sketchy are just a new challenge to overcome. Maybe hang out with those dudes that are ripping them and try to level up your game. Another thought - those guys that are tearing up the sketchy jumps probably learned how to do that someplace nearby so find out where the progression can be obtained and build up to the big sketch. When you return to Whistler you'll probably be in another league.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 15:48 Quote
Thanks guy some really good advice, it’s appreciated. The only problem where I live when I’ve helped the guys out building trails they don’t want anyone else’s opinion and actually get weirdly aggressive at the thought of someone whose not there mate helping them.

Also read a comment saying the trails are different not just outright poor, this I would however like to rebut as trails can be outright built poorly, such as these. But I do agree I probably have to change my attitude to improve my riding of this nature.

Posted: Jun 24, 2021 at 3:08 Quote
deco1 wrote:
Also read a comment saying the trails are different not just outright poor, this I would however like to rebut as trails can be outright built poorly, such as these. But I do agree I probably have to change my attitude to improve my riding of this nature.


In what way are they poorly built?

I have a mate that can send huge jumps, but is sketched out by some of the smaller local jumps. The thing is that the huge jumps he sends in parks have landers that are hugely forgiving as they are quite wide and super long. Meanwhile the local jumps have smaller landers, often without case pads, that require riders to properly set their speed and employ proper technique to accurately nail the lander. (I'm the same way on my moto) So he's simply not used to them and it's a part of his game that he needs to work on.

Or are the trails poorly built in a way that makes them look like they'll collapse underneath you?

Posted: Jun 24, 2021 at 11:29 Quote
deco1 wrote:
Thanks guy some really good advice, it’s appreciated. The only problem where I live when I’ve helped the guys out building trails they don’t want anyone else’s opinion and actually get weirdly aggressive at the thought of someone whose not there mate helping them.

Also read a comment saying the trails are different not just outright poor, this I would however like to rebut as trails can be outright built poorly, such as these. But I do agree I probably have to change my attitude to improve my riding of this nature.

This is pretty common with unsanctioned trails. I grew up in the 20" world and I've seen as much as fights break out over riding some other group's blood and sweat. There's a strong no dig no ride culture in BMX and I'm sure we've got some granola variation of that for MTB. I'm more suggesting getting involved with the orgs that build funded trail centers.

Since it sounds like you came up in MTB through Whistler, I think you may have to seriously re-temper your expectations of 'quality' local spots. There are very few if any hand built trails in the world that have anywhere near the on tap attention, tools, materials, knowledge, or backing/funding that Whistler does. Keep in mind that your poorly built is another man/woman's hard work.

Posted: Jun 24, 2021 at 13:07 Quote
deco1 wrote:
Hi, just want to get other riders take on poor trail building effects their confidence, thought this would be a good spot to do it as it would allow differing areas to compare different situations.

So a bit of background, I’ve been riding Enduro and DH for approx 5 years. And over the course of my riding I’ve improved my level, travelling and living in Whistler for 2 seasons for sure helped with this. When I felt I was riding my best I was able to hit every trail and line (haha baring some of those insane gaps and cut in shoots) in the Whistler Bike Park this ranging from whipping Crabapple hits comfortably to riding the hardest tech trails such as goats gully and lines such as the inside steep line of Captain Safety. I was able to even no-handler, and no-foot can being the hardest tricks I could do. (These are just examples to give to an idea of my riding level)

So coming from a non biker mountain sport background I was pretty happy with the level I’d been able to progress my riding. However I have been back in Australia for approx a year and a half and obviously have continued riding, I knew coming back that here we don’t have the riding Canadians do and I’d have to adjust my attitude to just making the best of what we have (because we genuinely have some very good riding here in Australia).

I knew that I was going to experience a drop in my riding level from coming home and living a normal life compared to when I was riding pretty much everyday in one of the best spots in the world. But my problem mainly is with the trail building and how poor it is. For example; I will ride the hardest DH tracks in the state and enjoy riding them, hitting all the lines and riding as aggressive as I can because they are built well. I will then go back to say a local enduro track and some guys will have built some jumps on it, these jumps arn’t huge but to me look sketchy and I just can bring myself to ride them. (Where riders of much lowering ability’s will hit them)

This is just frustrating me so much to the point where I am angry with the sport. I know some people will probably be triggered by this post which genuinely is not my purpose. Over the last 5 years I have put a lot of time, money and effort into MTB and I am just some frustrated to the point where I think I am feeling really shit about myself after rides and honestly just want to stop riding.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and would be greatly appreciated if you could share your story.

As a few have said, I think you need to realize, this is Mountainbiking.

Some trails are built by diggers, some are built by hand. Both have their place in the sport. Saying they are poorly built is a subjective opinion.

If it bothers you that much and makes you feel poorly, I would suggest revisiting why you ride and if you could have another perspective on it. Start seeing the "poorly" built trails as challenges. Set some goals, make it down without crashing or even down without dabbing. Make riding fun again. As others have suggested getting involved in trail building whether it be dig days or even building something in you backyard takes everything to another level and provides a new perspective again. If you don't want to do that, don't ride them. Simple.

Now not implying this is the case but lets be frank, do you think these trails are poorly built because you struggle with them? IMO, Its not helpful for self development to blame everything that you cant control for poor performance or experiences. You just see everything in a negative light. Nothing will ever be good enough.
Solution - work on the skills needed to ride the trails you see as poorly built. Learn to enjoy what the builder has created. Sometimes the builder has no idea and it may not be a great trail to ride but a trail nonetheless, but sometimes the sketchy nature is exactly what the trail builder intended. Of course, if there are features that are downright dangerous and or broken/blown out, then use your common sense. Some trails need to be maintained and this isn't instant. Sometimes wear adds to the character of the trail.

Also realize that no single person on this earth has ever had a "perfect" ride. One of Specialized's recent advertising videos was centered around this. Every ride will have its good points and bad points. Key is to focus on the good. It can be as simple as, you are alive, able bodied and out in the outdoors doing what you enjoy. For me, that makes every single ride, even if its in the pissing rain, a good one.

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