A very real desire of mine is helping people get better bike control in the air. I had one rider crash while trying a whip that I happened to catch on video and I couldn’t help but review the footage time and again in an effort to help correct what went wrong. Here is what I found, and the results that we got on the following weekend helping someone else with the same thing.
It really is amazing what you can get away with- unless you are ruled by the bike. Whatever had happened earlier in the jump didn’t matter so much as the fact that his body was sideways with the bike when it landed, and his arms were straight. The bike compressed on landing and then rebounded the other way violently. He rolled out of it like a cat, but there was a better way.
This investigation reinforced three things you should always do, no matter how sideways the bike lands.
- Get forward enough to keep your arms bent
- Because you are forward, some power as the rear wheel hits the ground will help control the rebounding effect of the bike
- Get your hips more in line with where you want to go than the bike is before you land
And it was this last point that helped Daniel the most at Hawkes Bay on a very windy day, because it is only possible if you were pushing the rear of the bike outwards earlier in the jump.
If leaning bike and body to the left, your will want to lead the bike by getting your shoulders to the left. Your hips may move to the right to start your twist, but the key comes when your left foot pushes sideways against the bike. This helps the rear of your bike to go sideways more than it wants to go, which then means it will want to return back into a straighter place before you land.
For more info on leaning, you can check out videos on our YouTube channel like this one. Regardless of the lean, though, helping your bike get more sideways than it wants to go will help the bike to return straighter, along with getting your body more in line before you land.
It was enough to give Daniel a really good style, some great pictures and a proud girlfriend.