After 5 weeks, I'm on Lesson 11 of 24 in @ryankleech's Manual Master Class which is all about "gaining comfort in a manual while rolling through a dip." I practiced the dip on some small rollers in our local @CROCTMTB skills park here in Northfield (my hometown) last Thursday and got to where I could consistently manual over one. It gave me enough confidence to try a bigger dip at @lebanonhills on Friday. It was psychologically much more intimidating because of the two trees just past the dip. I was reluctant to go fast enough and I wasn't confident that I could correct my direction if I started to lean to one side or the other. After about 10 attempts, all fails to one degree or another, I finally nailed one. Kind of scary but So Much Fun. Course info at mtbskills.net/ryan
ROCKING MY FRONT WHEEL AROUND A TIGHT UPHILL SWITCHBACK Once I got confident in my track stands, it became much easier to learn to 'rock' my front wheel, a skill that I now use frequently in all sorts of technical situations. I recorded this 50-second video clip yesterday of me rocking my front wheel in the Figure 8 segment of Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails – CROCT's Sechler Pk trail in my hometown of Northfield. You'll see me using a few track stands and ratcheting in the sequence as well. Who loves rocking while rolling? I learned all of these skills from the courses and mini-modules that are part of a @ryankleech Connection membership at: mtbskills.net/ryan
BIG BOULDERS = PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT Whenever I see a big boulder around town now, I want to see if I can play on it. I recorded this video last week at the entrance to a park in town where #croctmtb has an #mtb trail. Track stands, backwards hopping, ratcheting, and the 3/4 pedal stroke make it possible. I learned all of these skills from the courses and mini-modules that are part of a @ryankleech Connection membership at: mtbskills.net/ryan
If you armor up, let 99% of the air out of your tires, & drag the rear brake while pedaling, riding icy trails can be a fun challenge. I spent over 30 minutes sessioning this corner on CROCT's Sechler Pk trail this week. After a dozen+ fails, I was able to make it up 3 times: once cheating to the left, once cheating to the right, and once right up the middle.
Side-to-side bike/body separation is a basic skill for holding a line on skinnies or any narrow terrain. The increased feeling of stability at low speeds increases one's confidence, too. Steering a bike by its seat & riding no-handed helps demonstrate how a bike can be controlled this way. I created this video yesterday when a rider who was having a difficult time riding a narrow snowy rut in a fat bike race posted his frustration in our MTBSN Facebook group at bit.ly/MTBSNFB
A 50-sec video of my driveway braking skills practice session yesterday. It's based on the article "3 braking drills that will add speed to your riding" by @leelikesbikes, posted to the how-to category of @mtb_project's blog I definitely need some work on getting my heels down more for drill #3, what I refer to as 'hop-heavy braking.' @leelikesbikes was right when he wrote, "This is a double complex move! But it’s double rad." I also need to find a different surface other than pavement to practice., eg gravel or hard-packed snow.