Typically on a mountain bike trail you get a mixture of climbs that make you curse the effort, fast decents that terrify you, and flat sections in which you can catch your breath and enjoy the view. If you think about it, it is very similar to certain periods in our life (with family, work etc). The advice below for decending can be intrepreted in more than one sense…
Look at least a couple of metres ahead of your front wheel so that you can anticipate the obsctacle and any risks, as your speed increases, the further ahead you need to be looking.
Don’t brake inattentively. First slow yourself down (using the rear brake) to take on an obstacle, then if necessary with the front brake until you come to a stop. If you realise that the obstacle is too dangerous get off your bike and go around it.
Use your weight:
In steep descents it is necessary to shift your weight and put yourself into positions that aren’t necessarily comfortable in order to keep your balance.
Control your fear:
Excessive fear and the resulting tension are the main causes of falls, not the obstacle itself. Ride knowing that fear has a function, that it is necessary for the evaluation of risk and that it should determine an action (accelerate, change direction, brake). Keep it under control and act accordingly.
Take challenges on step by step:
It is advisable that the first few times that you take on a decents you go slowly and look for the water flow line (the path marked by rainwater) between the obstacles. After a bit of practise you will have developed a series of habits that will kick in even on descents that are new to you, revealing yourself to be surprisingly well prepared.
Descents, like climbs and the flat stretches, are necessary to make a complete and well-balanced biker. When they happen don’t curse at them, take them on with the knowledge that once you reach the valley you’ll be a better biker, and with experience you’ll learn to enjoy them…