How do you explain why a rider can do incredibly well on their own track when ruts and bumps never form in exactly the same way? It is more than just an illogical leap in confidence. Knowing how to ride a certain type of dirt means that you have confidence to reach your potential where the grip is good and to avoid being caught out by the bumps or slick sections. This article is a full explanation of what I showed Ben Wall on one corner, work that drew a hard-earned double thumbs-up from his dad and brother.
This corner is the first of two 90 degree turns that have a big dip in between. There are more than enough slick sections and bumps that rightly cause you to be cautious, but with the best line choice you can actually attack it really hard.
The first difficulty is landing far enough to the left on the step up before this turn. Try to pick the top of a tree in the distance to use as your reference point. If you can land far enough to the left without jumping off the track then the next part is easy. All you have to do is stay straight and power hard towards the outside berm.
By staying straight you can power hard and then use a moment of braking without the worry of slipping out, before committing fully to turning is what is a solid berm. So you are powering hard then turning hard, followed by an even longer burst of powering through the dip, rather than pussy footing around the inside.
One problem was an awkward bump in the center of where we wanted to turn, so I suggested a mini version of the straightening idea, which is what prompted the double thumbs-up from dad because it was so effective.
This is the kind of next level tip that Ben and his dad were looking for. I boosted through, being careful to make a very small straightening as I hit the bump. It would be almost indiscernible if you didn’t know what you were looking at, but made enough of an impression for Ben to quickly figure it out, the great effect.
Having the ball of your foot on the outside footpeg is very helpful, ready to push hard as you hit the bump just in case you didn’t straighten enough. The turning phases before and after the bump can be quite incredible, so be prepared to make up some serious bike lengths on your competitors, and try to find other places to use that skill, like we did.