29 July 2019 / Riding Tips

More Balance and Time in a Rut

There is a subject I rarely teach, purely because of how advanced- or retarded- it is. It has to do with a riders ability to get their whole body hanging off to the side of the bike, that they feel they are falling, when needed.

Say you are doing everything else you possibly can. You are looking ahead. You were using some front brake to lock the front wheel into the rut. You were careful to not use too much throttle, but now you are using more throttle because you are falling to one side.

Somehow you have managed to stay up on your feet, despite the huge temptation to paddle. You have also stayed crazy low to the bike so your arms are bent enough to give you the movement that is key to this skill.

More Time

What you are about to do helps keeps your wheels in line with the rut just long enough to survive, hopefully without even needing to stab the ground with your foot, although it has the bonus of also making a stab more effective.

As you are falling out of line, what you do is shift your body off towards the side that you are leaning towards, only leaving the opposite hand and foot where they would normally be. You can even put all your weight on that outside foot by lifting your foot off the lower peg.

Inspector Gadget

This is something that mud and sand riders learn almost naturally, but even they can exaggerate it to great effect. Kade, Lennox and Harlem in these photos of our day at Titri Park in Dunedin show a lot of these skills, but even they will benefit from exaggerating this skill more than they did.

It is similar to what you see a trials rider doing when he is balancing at a stand still, and it  actually takes practice. So the next time you face these unpleasant obstacles, use it as an opportunity.

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