Lining up for a rut can hold the same feelings a person gets before dropping into a half pipe on your skateboard or bmx. Perhaps the risk of injury is lower, but the fear is real. There were many skills we worked on during our three camps at Pirinis since our last newsletter, but confidence at keeping your front wheel from wandering out of a rut is probably the best thing we worked on.
It is Rude to Steer
Without a doubt, the quickest way for us to help people with ruts is to force their front wheel into the lowest part of a rut, early. It gives them no chance to steer, so they must rely on using their front brake and then throttle control instead. How do you force someone to do that? By using a big stick.
We used the tip of a road marker or road cone carefully placed to only give them a small window of free space in the rut. We told them that each time their front wheel touches it is equal to one strike, and three strikes equals ten push ups. Right now you are probably wondering how many push ups we had to dish out. Isn’t it funny how we get pleasure from other people’s pain.
Well actually I don’t think anyone made that many mistakes. The effectiveness of this skill is really quite amazing. It really forces a rider to do all those things that they know they should like looking ahead and being patient on the power. Most of all it forced them to use their front brake deep into the rut, which is the best gift I could give them.
There are many other things that you can concentrate on, such as pointing the toe on your inside foot or keeping the ball of your outside foot on the peg, but no matter how much you do those things, rubbing the inside of the rut with your front wheel helped them to lean more than anything else which is always the goal.
It really was a great summer, and a huge thanks goes to all those riders, along with Trish and Francis. Dylan, my wing man extraordinaire also deserves a big mention, cracking down on the smaller details like the army man he is.