Big Bear Mountain Bike Enduro 2 2020 slow and steady.
Slow and steady is not a good approach when we are talking about an Enduro race, however in light of my last performance (read the details here) the goal was to ride conservative and minimize errors.
With the goal in mind to restore confidence, pushing hard and making mistakes seemed counterproductive, as I knew crashing would send me in a tail spin and restart all the chatter in my head that ultimately hindered flow on the last race.
Sometimes you have to slow down to go faster, this was one of those times, although I could have gotten a much better time by taken more risk and even with a trail departure, I would have likely been faster than my ride in the safe zone, I felt pushing it would have created a problem for future races.
I focused on slower corner entry to hopefully exit faster, also I focused on looking further ahead to make better line choices.
However, the biggest goal was to quite the mind and focus on riding instead of chatter in my head.
There is no flow when the mind is trying to ask and answer 1000 questions.
Flow happens when you are one with the activity and your mind is quietly automating the tasks at hand.
Getting off the brakes, turning in, putting weight on the outside pedal, extending the inside arm, rotating the hips to the inside of the corner, looking through the turn, making yourself heavy, feathering the rear brake if needed, pumping trail features, pre jumping bumps in the trail, breathing, adjusting for slipping tires.
Awesome as it sounds, I did not get much flow, I think mainly because I focused on keeping calm, which kept me out of the zone. I still felt good about the process as I did not have to deal with a racing mind, crashes, running out of trail scenarios and negative self-talk.
I finished 12th, slower than my typical pace, normally this would have been disappointing but in this case Despite finishing outside the top 10.
I was happy with the progress in the right direction, even when it means I was slower, even slower than my pre-ride 😏
Without the brain chatter distraction, it also gave me an opportunity to focus on what areas of my riding I need to work on, with cornering in loose conditions standing out on the technical side of things. I often found myself cornering without enough weight on the outside.
Positive things I noticed, my braking improved as the poor traction available required me to be off the brakes completely while cornering.
Now I’m looking forward to the 3rd and final race of the 2020 season on October 10 2020.
I’m looking forward to a quite mind in the state of flow automating my riding.