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Riding Techniques – Part I

First, whether the trails are wet or dry, you should always ride in such a way as to minimize your impact on the environment – remember, ride don’t slide. That said, let’s move on….

How to ride mud:

One of the most common mistakes when entering mud is to have too much weight on your front wheel, causing it to dig in and often causing you to do a header over the bars (and maybe even a face plant into the mud). Before entering, shift into an easier gear and move your weight towards the rear wheel – but stay in your saddle. Take the straightest line through, pedal smoothly and try to maintain your speed. Ideally you want to avoid sinking into the mud and getting bogged down – try to imagine yourself floating over the mud and you’ll get an idea of what you’re trying to achieve.

How to ride tree roots:

If at all possible, try to approach and ride over tree roots at a right angle, otherwise your front wheel will tend to slide along the length of the root. If you have to hit it at an angle, avoid using your front brake, and use your forward momentum to carry you over without pedaling. If you can, try and lift (or “wheelie”) your front wheel over the root and in most cases your speed will pull your rear tire over.

You may have to experiment with pedal positioning to ensure that as you contact the obstacle with the front wheel and then the rear you’re at the start of your “power stroke”.

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