Sunday, March 23, 2008

Finding that Edge of the Envelope?

I once worked with a guy who liked to say, "If you've never missed a flight, then you're spending too much time in airports."

In other words, you're being too conservative and haven't found that edge-of-the-envelope.

Today whilst dropping down the bumpy single-track descent at Elings Park, riding both brakes the entire time, I couldn't help but wonder, "If you aren't crashing every now and then on your mountain bike, perhaps you're going too slow..."

Same principle I suppose, but the consequences are a bit more frightening!


Anonymous said...

Well then start crashing. You'll be going real fast then right?

It is a great old saying in motorcycle racing too. If your not riding on the edge and crashing on occasion you're probably not getting everything out of your bike and yourself.

The again at our age, it's also a matter of not becoming mangled for the season and losing fitness. I'de say the more you ride those same trails the faster you will become and in racing your skills will improve lap after lap.

Until you hit the big time in Sport (LOL) you probably don't have to worry anyway as the group will be minutes behind ;-)


Steve Weixel said...

But didn't you just crash and break a rib? Maybe you found the edge of the envelope and now you just need a new envelope?

Greg Knowles said...

If you aren't crashing, you aren't trying. ;o) I know I like a little bit of the thrill of being on the edge. My edge is just a lot duller these days.

Marco Fanelli said...

John- It does seem to get easier with repetition, then again, maybe it's just getting closer to the crashing part. BTW, Dr. Dave was there doing trail work, and I begged him to pave all the trails (wouldn't THAT be a cool course!) but of course he said no. Worse yet, he said they are taking out the climb up the road and replacing it with some new trail. Bummer.

Steve- My rib crash was an effort to find the edge of the stupidity envelope, which I did quite easily.

Greg- Maybe not duller in your case, probably just smarter!

Anonymous said...


That's great news on the removal of the road. The removal of the jeep road with the new trail was a big success. If they do as great a job it really will enhance the riding at Elings and the race itself.

When I moved here I hated Elings as a silly little landfill with no trees and just some little switchbacks on top (I moved from the NW mind you). Now we have a pretty sweet XC course that even now includes A TREE on Cliff Drive. A few blocks from the house I feel lucky to have it and waves to surf a few blocks the other way ;-)


jen said...

I'm so not a fan of smacking planet. It like hurts and stuff.

Gravity = bitch

Jason said...

I've been trying to find the edge coming from the other direction.

Anonymous said...

agreed, that is my explanation for all the broken bones, scares and wobbly wheels. there ain't many top athletes who don't have a few knocks to hang next to their trophies.

Anonymous said...


I took the sage advice and crashed all day in Fontana. I even lost count ;-) Off to sooth my wounds and loosen up any stiffness on a long monday ride.


Anonymous said...

As for the new Elings trail and the elimination of the fireroad climb from the race, it seems the only place where you'll have the unimpeded ability to make/lose time will be on the paved climb and certain places up top. And where is the contemplated start for the "On Your Left!!!" festival?

Kim McD.

Anonymous said...


Aparently "on your right" will be the new start as in the start on the Cliff drive side. I heard rumors also of a plan to remove the paved road, and the switchbacks at the top of the paved drive, possibly from the course if the new sections can be done in time. Might be the park doesn't want to be totally hijacked by the event.

Anyway just a rumor. We'll find out soon enough.


Marco Fanelli said...

Dang! What's the world coming to when a MTB race removes a perfectly good paved road! Sheesh!