Ride your ride. If you’re hitting brakes a lot, it’s because you need to right now. The more you ride, the less you’ll need to. A friend and I got into MTB in late July. He had never done it. I had, but it’s been a few decades. He goes full speed. All the time. He’s faster, but crashes more often. I brake when I need to. I’m not the fastest, and for now, I’m comfortable with where I am. Don’t push yourself further than you can handle


But also put trust into your bike. The suspension and traction are your friend, they can go a lot further than you might expect. If you are confident that your bike can handle it you'll also ride with more confidence. Also listen to your body, your inner ear is damn freaking good at keeping balance and your brain is smart enough to know where your hands are, if you ride between trees don't think about whether the bike will fit, think about if your hands/arms will fit.


Don't look at the trees. You'll go where you look. It took me a while to learn to look further down the trail.


This is the way. See the trail. Where you want the bike to go, do not see or focus on anything that brings fear. You will gravitate toward it, AND you will ride slower, because, you are focused on one item on the trail….. Look 10-15 feet ahead of you, SEE where you want to shred with your bike. Day after day, ride after ride…. Wax on , wax off. Mr. Miyagi.


Hit a couple trees, you’ll learn really quick that you don’t like them. Or just look where you’re going, spatial awareness is real as is object fixation. Look at your line, follow your line. Speed will come as you get more comfortable on the bike.


Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Focus on being consistent and deliberate in your motions.


Do whatever you need to do to have the most fun possible. Ride the brakes, who cares. Speed will come with time. Also never a bad idea to hire a coach or ride with people who can critique your technique.


Listen... it's OK to hang on the breaks. The fact your not hitting trees means you can feel your limits. It's super important. Seat time will get you the speed. Some guys never feel that limit and get crunched hard. But yeah at some point you're probably going to hit a tree. Be prepared, Get a full face helmet and chest protector : )


Full face all day. Crashed hard this week, slid 20 feet across my face, walked away with zero headache (plenty of body ache though 😂!). I recommend iXS Trigger FF MIPS.


Fear is there for a reason. Hitting a tree or flying OTB hurts. Always respect the fear. The moment there’s no fear you risk doing more than your skills are ready for. It takes time and more riding to get comfortable. Most importantly ride your ride - who cares how fast you are - as long as it’s fun.


Don't get over the fear, learn to love it... if you're not scared, you're not living.


Wear good protective gear / I ride with body armor and have crashed where the armor did it’s job and it was like nothing happened ** you still can get hurt but much much less than the people I see in the lift line wearing tank tops


Just give yourself time to progress. Ride the greens until you’re ripping them hard and know every turn. Then move to the blues and do the same. If there are skills parks in your area with jumps/pump tracks definitely hit those up too, you’ll learn more in an afternoon on the pump track than you would in a bunch of miserable survival-rides. Also get safety gear - at the least a nice helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, some safety/riding glasses, and gloves. They take a lot of the pain out of crashing and will give you a lot of confidence.


Keep going, keep riding - every jump will get a little higher, every corner you'll take a bit faster - the more you do the less you'll fear. At some point though you will crash - it happens to the best, the most prepared and it's one of the risks that comes with mountain biking. The thrill, the buzz that comes with DH and trail riding goes hand in hand with the fear of crashing - embrace it!


Idk I’m still scared about handle bars and they keep getting wider. For me it’s just knowing the trail after having ridden them so many times


cut em down..


No I like them wide


You state that you are “having to stay fast to get over rocks and bumps”. This could mean a lot of things but usually when I hear this from a beginner I find they don’t have good bike/body separation and are being a passenger. That sometimes works at higher speeds on blue trails. But you’ll get to a point where you can’t “speed” your way out of the situation. Take those same lines that you feel you can speed your way through and ride them slower - shifting your weight, separating your body from the bike.


Basically if I'm going too slow I can't turn well or go over bumps, I just end up stopping without momentum


Yes, there are a lot of things that go into being able to ride over chunky trails in control. But start with understanding body position and turning. Watch the Roxy Ride & Inspire YouTube channel. She is a very good coach: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwfXYMc609PVbpcRszyEmFeYdWh-dwcDs


I agree with All other comments regarding taking your time. Secondarily, the way I’ve always progressed fastest is by finding people to ride with who are just a bit better than me. They can help coach and inspire confidence


Confidence only increases when you know how to control your bike. Control allows you to stay smooth and ride faster....practice is key to anything.... Smooth riding is the key to learn. If you go fast on the edge orveyond of control you have more fun but usually ride by instinct. You wont make progress like that and tend to inherit bad habbits.


Last week I was really holding back, the week before I wasn’t and had three minor crashes. Same set of trails, similar conditions, but something spooked me or felt off and I just wasn’t right. Maybe the Monster I had before the ride tipped me into the fear.


Energy drinks do not help me in the slightest. They make me more tense and jittery and ruin the flow. You want smooth, measured movements.


Only had about 1/4 of a can. Definitely giving that a miss in future.


As someone whos been riding for about a year and a half now, most of that confidence just comes with experience. Staying loose in your arms and leg’s definitely helps. Just have fun and keep progressing! 🤘


If you have a reliable bike and know how to be positioned on it, fully trust in that. I’ve made it through so many things that I would’ve never thought I could ride, but those two things got me through it and kept me rolling.


Fear is a normal reaction. What you need to focus on is being calm and collected when in a scary situation. If your reaction is to freeze up or make bad decisions, that's going to get you in trouble. Mental preparation is key. Deep breaths, realistic confidence in your ability, and being in a good state of mind all help. Focus on the task at hand, suppress the knee jerk reactions and allow yourself to control the bike. The moment you let the fear take over, that's when you are in too deep.


Need your first big fall that's all


It’s sort of something you just have to deal with. It’s not an irrational fear. It’s not like the first time you jump off a diving board while you’re dad is swimming in the pool below. You can get really hurt riding mountain bikes and you just have to decide if the risk is worth the reward. For me, it definitely is, but I don’t try and fool myself about it being particularly safe because it definitely is not.


Like some have said, just keep riding. I also watched a lot of Roxy's vids when I started to ride gnarlier stuff. She addresses both the psychological and skill aspects of riding. https://youtube.com/c/RoxysRideInspire . Good luck👍.


The only way to improve is to make mistakes…


Repetition…. Ride, ride, ride. Get out every chance you have. Get to know the trails you ride and your bike. Enjoy the ride!


I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.