Have you recently purchased a mountain bike, and after a few months maybe an intro clinic you are looking to progress some more? Maybe you have been biking for years and never had any formal training?
If you are looking to take your mountain biking to the next level I've got a few tips!
Recently, I just held a Scott Contessa Ride Days XC clinic with my friend Elin Nilsson over here in Sweden. In the past we've been focusing on DH camps and have decided to branch out a little bit. Below are a few tips we shared with our campers.
TIP 1: Can you lift your front and rear wheel? Individually? Together? Side to side? With flats, clip less, both? If you are not sure about this go outside and give it a try. If you are riding flats remember to hold your pedals at an angle with the toes down to lift your rear wheel, use the same technique for lifting both wheels. With your handlebars you want to rotate your hands forward. Try this with your feet on the ground? Does the rear wheel lift? Also try lifting the rear wheel with one foot on the ground and another on a pedal along with the hand rotation on the handle bar. The rear wheel should lift again. Try this first on a flat surface then take it out on the trail.
TIP 2: Balance - Just like the previous drill you can try this on a flat surface with a wooden plank if you can get a hold of one. Can you ride to the very end? Give it a try. First start by carrying some speed. Remember to keep your vision up and looking at where you want to go, not where you are. Next see how long you can stand on your bike and balance without moving forward. Can you keep it upright for a while? Use your rear brake lightly and shift your weight and the front wheel slightly to try and stay in one spot. If that feels good give it a go on the plank. Can you hold the bike steady, in a track stand while on a plank? These skills might come in handy if you encounter some narrow bridges on the trail.
I'll leave you today with those tips to work on. Check in again soon for more mountain bike tips!
Enjoy the trails and don't forget to bring some Nature's Bakery to fuel your journey!