How does your mindset affect your speed? I devised a simple experiment.

You can gauge a ride based on performance or enjoyment…or both. If it’s performance, you’re Charging, and probably using Strava. If it’s enjoyment you’re blissing, and finding the most pleasurable lines. If it’s both there’s a good chance you’re flowing.

So, I rode the same trail three times and took notes after each cycle. It’s a trail I know very well, technical and mostly downhill. There are many holes in the controls of this experiment, but here are the results:

First Run Charging. I got in the race mindset. Go as fast as I can. Tackle the trail. I scared a dog and a person and my tire lost traction a couple times on acceleration. I grit my teeth, and it was a rough ride, I did a bit of bouncing around but my lines were direct and pointed at the finish line. My body felt a little impacted but that didn’t matter! Time: 3:15

Second Run Blissing. I got in a mindset that strived for a beautiful and enjoyable experience. I wanting to make my riding like art. My time did not matter, I smiled at someone as I passed because I was smiling the whole way. Time: 3:08

Third Run Flowing. I blending the first two mindsets and felt the tug of attention between the two, but pretty soon the mind gave up and I just let it flow. Surprisingly I took a few more risks, it was an exciting ride, it was smooth yet fast. I was going for time but it didn’t matter, I was going for pleasure but it didn’t matter either. Time: 2:54

Which mindset do you think you ride from the most? Cultivating both charging and blissing individually is important, and that supports your ability to then consciously integrate them which increases your chance of flowing.