Mountain biking is intrinsically risky. The chances of injury are something we have to accept to enjoy the sport. Today I rode Rivington which is quite a big area of excellent MTBing. I took a considerable risk on one long downhill despite having thought that I should take it easy and try to learn the segment a bit better.
The result was a Strava personal record but it’s left me questioning whether I took an unnecessary amount of risk to achieve something so trivial.
20 years or so back I was very fast on this downhill and gave it everything to improve my stopwatch times. I wrote about consequences of this behaviour after my last Rivington ride. Today I started on the wet trail at a decent pace but wasn’t giving it everything. Later I approached a particularly muddy area and braked for it. I messed up a bit that I’ve rather forgotten about with rarely riding the trail over so many years and took the wrong choice where the trail splits into 3 alternative ways.
Despite these setbacks I still kept attacking and near the end came to a dirt road section which cars have access to. Coming around a corner, already having taken some speed off by braking, I found a car approaching. I braked but there was an easy gap to the left so I didn’t lose all my speed. If the car had been in a different position on the road things could have been very different!
Riding home I was sort of resolving to not try for a faster time ever again but analysing my performance using Strava tells me that I can take a considerable chunk off my time with a few simple tweeks. So what should I do?
Here is my Strava log. https://www.strava.com/activities/2057449116/segments/51889057814
The picture at the top is Rivington Pike, the highest point I reached today at around 1250 feet.