Originally Posted by DC950
Going 20% faster through a tight, twisty, 30 foot piece of trail is only going to gain you a bike length. It's also going to be seriously hard to go that much faster and will take a lot of energy yanking the bike around to do it. Going 20% faster over a 150 foot flowing section is going to gain you 5 or 6 bike lengths. It will be scary at first, but it's completely doable and definitely takes a lot less energy than a tight, gnarly section does. The long, flowing sections is where I tend to "rest" before the inevitable next bad place.
Something to think about.
This is true. It was actually the smoother and faster sections that did not require both hands on the bars and intense concentration that I chose to find the camel back hose and take a drink. Funny, but the whole time I was doing that I was thinking about how much time I was losing just trying to get a drink, especially if it took a few tries to find the hose and get the end of it up under my helmet, one hand on the bar, all the while not crashing and trying not to lose too much time.
But your point is well taken - the fast sections are prime low hanging fruit for a better overall lap time.