Riding down things
One of the greatest things about mountain biking — and one of the scariest things for beginners — is riding your bike down all sorts of things: steep slopes, vertical ledges and even big drops.
The way we teach it, you use the same basic technique when you’re coasting down a hill, rolling down a ledge of flying off a monster drop. The only differences are the angle of your bike and the amount of sky between your tires and the ground.
Intro: this is simpler than you think >>>
Coasting down a hill >>>
Rolling down a ledge >>>
Flying off a drop (advanced) >>>
Wheelie drop (advanced) >>>
Big drop with a lip (advanced) >>>
Popping off a drop (hella advanced) >>>
Elliott Hoover with perfect form on a big drop — on a hardtail! — at Pawnee National Grasslands in CO. He’s using the same fundamental skills you’ll use when you ride off a curb.
Since taking the clinic in May I’ve focused on 3 things in my downhill riding.
– “Heavy feet light hands”/not hanging too far back,
– Looking through obstacles to the exit/”next thing”.
– Controlling speed and pumping (or even pedaling) through rocks (as opposed to just hanging on and hoping for the best:)
At this point places like Picture Rock, Heil, Rabbit Mountain (basically pure blue on mtbproject) are just pure fun for me.
(Incidentally focusing on those 3 things seems to have helped my uphill riding through rocks quite a bit.)
But when things get steeper to the point where I have to feather the brakes all the time, I find it really difficult to find that balance point and not feel like I am hanging off the bars.
Are there any drills or techniques to work on that?
As a corollary, what’s a good progression of Front Range trails between Picture Rock and Bitterbrush to increase difficulty incrementally?
Thanks for your time!
– Practice very hard braking on flat ground with perfect balance.
– Practice hard braking on a steep downhill with perfect balance. Pavement is great for a start.
– Do the same practice while braking down a flight of stairs.
While you’re out there, focus on weightless hands. If your fingers are pulling, you’re too far back.
I consider Bitterbrush to be the next step after Picture Rock, but that is a big step. Try posting that question to our Facebook group. Someone will have a better suggestion.