Learn To Bomb Down Trails Like A Pro

10
May
2017

If you’ve ever spent any time seriously getting into the sport of mountain biking, you’ll have noticed something. There seem to be a lot of people out there on the internet who can do the seemingly impossible on two wheels, shredding down the side of mountains at speeds that’ll have you checking you haven’t set your YouTube video to double speed.

Although it might look staged, many of these pro mountain bikers are actually doing the things it looks like they’re doing. They’re traveling along skinny trails at forty miles per hour and jumping huge tabletops and drop-offs as if they’re not even there. And what’s more, they’ve got the time while they’re in the air to think about how their jump looks with many of them throwing in the odd trick for good measure.

In a nutshell, it’s impressive. And not something your average mountain biker could ever hope to achieve. Right?

Well, not so fast. Granted, many of the people you see on Santa Cruz or Yeti promo videos grew up near Whistler and got to train with the best in the world from a young age. But some of them managed to build their skills, even if they lived in super flat parts of the country or never left the city. It turns out that it’s really all about the basics. This is what you need to do if you want to bomb down trails like the pros.

Get The Right Gear

There’s a world of difference between the “mountains bikes” sold at your local supermarket and actual mountain bikes that you can ride from the top of the trail down to the bottom without feeling as if you’ve been sat atop a pneumatic drill. Modern mountain bikes are able to soak up big and small hits, meaning that you avoid getting tired hands as well as getting impaled on your seat post.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s also important to have the right clothing. Things like Eastbay coupons help to bring the cost of trainers and sports clothes down to levels that most people can afford. The right shoes are essential for making sure that you’ve got a grip when you push down on the crank.

Learn To Manual

Manualling is the art of being able to ride a bike on the back wheel. And while it might be the sort of thing you’d expect from the thugs down at the local park, if those thugs went out on the trails, you’d be surprised by how good they were. Manualling allows you to climb big rocks that get in your path and fall off drop offs without the front wheel unceremoniously crashing into the trail and knocking you off balance. In short, being able to manual allows you to ride faster and with confident.

Flickr

Jumping Comes From The Legs

Finally, you need to master the art of jumping. Jumping doesn’t mean trying to heave the handlebars towards you. Instead, all of the energy comes from your legs. Squat down as you approach the jump and then spring up at the lip. This will give you air. Then while you’re in the air, focus on the landing by lining up your wheels with the slope of the trail.

Enjoy Your Ride
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3 Responses to “ Learn To Bomb Down Trails Like A Pro ”

  1. Paul Kirby on May 28, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I love mountain biking. Just love it. I grew up riding BMX bikes on trails and all over the place and mountain biking just brings that kid in me out to play. I still enjoy a solid road ride, but given the choice I’ll choose knobbies over slicks.

    Confidence in what your bike will do is also important. When you’re learning to ride off-road you really need to get a feel for the limits of traction you have in different conditions and different terrain. Learning to read shadows, shift quickly when not under power to go uphill, and watch the trail ahead are also skills to develop. Most of all, have fun! Many local clubs or shops will have “learn to ride” days – Austin RidgeRiders here do it Sundays – and that is another good way to gain confidence for the new rider.

  2. Eric Hutchins on May 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I think I will stick to the road!

    • Darryl on May 16, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      I hear you, brother.

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