When and how often do you say "I can't"?
There is another choice in your poll which could be filed under “Other”. This is “I choose not to”. For me I would file advanced jumping, high speed cornering and high drops fall into that category. The associated risks are too high in the Risk/Reward equation and I simply choose not to pursue practicing those types of MTB skills.
I like this a lot, Griff. I say "not yet" a lot, and I've made slow and steady progress on skinnies and going uphill on rooty trails. I haven't focused on my jumps much yet but I know that pulling the front of the bike up with the arms is key, when the front wheel goes airborne. I have a jump like this one at the end of a curvy downhill that I jump with momentum only, that I mean to practice this on. I'll try it next time and see what happens. I usually ride a steel frame fat tire bike and they aren't conducive to most jumps, but at least I'll have a soft landing!
My default is “not yet” but I am often more optimistic about my future abilities than warranted. In those cases it becomes “I can’t…( easily do this the way I expected.) I need to re-analyze the composite skills and try from there.
Regarding your jumping video clips: Notice the young rider is pulling the bars to his hips until way past the peak, and only worries about tipping the front end down until much later. You are anticipating and are too anxious to start matching the landing. In the 70s the Motocross style was to land rear wheel first off jumps. If you are pitched sideways landing the rear wheel first will straighten you out. For MTB its almost a religion to jam the front wheel into the dirt as soon as possible (to start steering - or go OTB?). For me, if I am in a position to land rear wheel first off the jump, I can easily adjust the angle of the bike to match the landing later, while arcing down.
I would humbly recommend finding a jump where you can get confident landing rear wheel first over and over. Even a small jump. Looping out is not as common as feared, but better to have a less steep transition so you are not concerned.
If there are things to ride that are at my outer boundary of skill, and the risk vs reward is not in good balance, I will say "I can't ride that." At nearly 70 years of age, I would rather put my energy into the things that are a "not yet," and enjoy the journey of getting there without the fear of ending it all.
Hi Griff - I like the new format with the video introduction!
As you probably could have guessed I have plenty of can'ts - mainly anything with the front wheel up. I like to say I'm on day 3650 of the 30 day wheelie challenge. Manuals are just as bad. I have had several attempts following the RLC path and they've all been marginally successful and then lead to injury. Generally back spasms, I think I am mentally compensating for the tipped back sensation by overworking my core and that leads to a flare up of an old chronic injury.
The not yets are more slow speed related. I can feel that fakies are do-able for me, I just can't do them (which makes it more frustrating at times). Low (no consequence) skinnies are the same.
Interesting to read some of the jumping suggestions on here. The young lad has a technique that is very different to the RLC approach and some of the suggestions also differ. It's good to hear alternative views and I'll bookmark this page and take some of them to my local jump spot soon.