Downhill fear?
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Thread: Downhill fear?

  1. #1
    100 K right 2
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    Default Downhill fear?

    I rolled a car a couple years back because I was just experimenting with lift off oversteer or scandinavian flicks with a FWD car.in this case a 89 SAAB 900 turbo 4 door(RIP).the corner I rolled it just happened to have to be a fall-away turn(where the road slopes toward the outer edge) with a fair bit of downhill slope to it.that turn exaggerated the effect of the flick or lifting off,and before I knew it the back end was WAY farther out of line than what I knew what to do.I panicked and let off the gas(instead of staying in the throttle) which only made it worse.I fishtailed for a little before finally sliding off the road-smashing through a 4x4 post-then hitting a guy wire for a power line which flipped the car. Ever sense then I seem to have developed a terrible fear of going downhill(even though I like to go downhill ski racing in the winter). On level or uphill sections its full throttle top of third or bottom of 4th,but down hill its 2nd gear at about 30 MPH...I am just wondering how to overcome this fear?Before the crash I could go downhill with just a slight reduction in pace.Now I just kinda feel like a granny when I am going downhill.Heck even for little hills the brakes come on as soon as I get near the crest.


    any idea how to get faster downhill?How to get over the fear?heck in my ski racing alot of times I SKI faster than I drive a car downhill.

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  3. #2

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    Just practice and more practice to get your confidence back up.

    Back in high school when I was on the diving team, I did one of the biggest fears of a diver... I hit my head on the board. I was actually sick that day which was throwing off my jumps. I was doing a back somersault and put too much hip towards the board so I didn't move away from the board. I came around and saw the board coming up under me. I put my arms out which took some of the fall but I still had a hit across the face of the board.

    I was freaked out to try back somersaults after that for a day or two but I just slowly worked my way back to it.

    With you, knowing what you did wrong, and how to correct the problem if it should come up again should help you overcome your fear with going down roads. You might even need to come to the same moment you had before, but overcome it. But the turn you rolled was an odd case, off camber and downhill. Something that would be called in notes during a rally, maybe even with a caution.

    But I take it you were practicing on open roads, which you really shouldn't do it in the first place.

    Best of luck.
    Billy Elliot Mann
    Car #37
    1988 VW GTI - Sold!
    1996 Civic - Build thread!
    1992 Civic - Wife's rally car
    Octane Academy Alumni. They found the best driver by having us snowboard and ride ski bikes!

  4. #3
    stay less flat...
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    Quote Originally Posted by slidways View Post
    I rolled a car a couple years back because I was just experimenting with lift off oversteer or scandinavian flicks with a FWD car.in this case a 89 SAAB 900 turbo 4 door(RIP).the corner I rolled it just happened to have to be a fall-away turn(where the road slopes toward the outer edge) with a fair bit of downhill slope to it.that turn exaggerated the effect of the flick or lifting off,and before I knew it the back end was WAY farther out of line than what I knew what to do.I panicked and let off the gas(instead of staying in the throttle) which only made it worse.I fishtailed for a little before finally sliding off the road-smashing through a 4x4 post-then hitting a guy wire for a power line which flipped the car. Ever sense then I seem to have developed a terrible fear of going downhill(even though I like to go downhill ski racing in the winter). On level or uphill sections its full throttle top of third or bottom of 4th,but down hill its 2nd gear at about 30 MPH...I am just wondering how to overcome this fear?Before the crash I could go downhill with just a slight reduction in pace.Now I just kinda feel like a granny when I am going downhill.Heck even for little hills the brakes come on as soon as I get near the crest.


    any idea how to get faster downhill?How to get over the fear?heck in my ski racing alot of times I SKI faster than I drive a car downhill.
    obviously on descents gravity is working against you when it comes to braking (but with you when it comes to accelerating...) so you have to give yourself more braking distance.

    on descents keep it simple: brake in a straight line, trail off the brakes as you turn in, roll in to the throttle to tug the nose toward the apex, full throttle once you've made the direction change.

    on descents being smooth and keeping the tires hooked up is the key - just like ski racing.

    learn to feel your tires and you'll be more confident and faster on all angles and surfaces.

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  6. #4
    Slid'n around 'n havin a ball randyzimmer's Avatar
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    I'm scared to death of downhills on the road and skiing
    but while competing, I don't even notice them...
    other than the revs build faster and that makes me happy.

  7. #5
    I have a cat. Eric Burmeister's Avatar
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    If you've got any experience with a dirt bike, go out hillclimbing. Pick steeper and steeper hills that are near impossible to climb. Then practice making the decents faster and faster, too. After a few tries you realize that it's just WAY easier to just upshift and roll down the hill than be apprehensive and skid the rear tire all the way down, shaky and crooked.

    A couple weekends of hillclimbing and you'll be gassing it down the hill (as long as there's not a "hole" at the bottom that sacks your suspension) and you'll carry the same confidence into the rally car.
    Things could be worse. You could be a crackhead.

  8. #6
    50 caution yump phlat65's Avatar
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    I agree with the dirt bike reference, but when going down hill, it is way easier to add speed than t scrub it off.
    #141
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    Sean and Jenne Medcroft

  9. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by randyzimmer View Post
    I'm scared to death of downhills on the road and skiing
    but while competing, I don't even notice them...
    other than the revs build faster and that makes me happy.
    Ride with Randy Therapy.

    For years Randy has beaten insalely modded turbo cars w/ his humble NA car. He'd lose gobs of time to them in the first 1/4 mile, most every uphill that you couldn't carry speed into, exponentially more time lost on stages w/ uphill starts and time on mega straight aways.

    His secret to beating the more powerful cars. He doesn't lift going downhills.

    Cost for Randy therapy sessions correlate to entry fees. You don't even have to call notes because he doesn't listen to codrivers anyhow. Just sit there and pray you'll survive. Take two and call me in the morning.
    Dave Shindle/Navitron 2000

  10. #8
    just another old phart Foghorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancia037Rally View Post
    Ride with Randy Therapy.

    You don't even have to call notes because he doesn't listen to codrivers anyhow. Just sit there and pray you'll survive. Take two and call me in the morning.
    I'm not sure that I would say that he doesn't listen to codrivers. I think he just listens selectively. On stage, no, he doesn't listen. On the transits I 'm pretty sure he listened to me telling him which way to go.
    Kent Gardam - KD8MRR

    this is rally, and it's not supposed to be easy....Eric Burmeister, 2009

    In my opinion, rallying could stand a bit less posturing and circus and a bit more backbone....Phil Barnes, aging co-driver

  11. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foghorn View Post
    I'm not sure that I would say that he doesn't listen to codrivers. I think he just listens selectively. On stage, no, he doesn't listen. On the transits I 'm pretty sure he listened to me telling him which way to go.
    Yes, you are right. Let me clarify. He listens to the notes but is commited to his guts. Once (SnoDrift 2002) I told him to turn into a lake. Instead, he followed the road and corrected the note. Randy rules at blind tulip rallies.
    Dave Shindle/Navitron 2000

  12. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foghorn View Post
    I'm not sure that I would say that he doesn't listen to codrivers. I think he just listens selectively. On stage, no, he doesn't listen. On the transits I 'm pretty sure he listened to me telling him which way to go.
    Agreed....it's either that or he has an insanely accurate sense of direction.
    Travis Sleight
    Saratoga Springs,NY
    KC2QIU

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