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Learn track stands to ride tighter & steeper uphill switchbacks: Episode 3 of MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Episode #3 of my MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio is now available.

Main topic: Why learning track stands is so helpful for riding tighter and steeper uphill switchbacks.

See the show notes and links on the MBR page for Episode #3 .




Hey everyone! Welcome to Episode #3 of the Mountain Bike Skills Network podcast. My name is Griff Wigley, also known as the mountain bike geezer. I’m am the guy behind the Mountain Bike Skills Network blog and I’m the founder and host of the Mountain Bike Skills Network Community, currently a group on Facebook.

My intent is to have all three – the blog, the online community and this show — help recreational mountain bikers like you, have more fun while upping your skills. Why? So you can ride the stuff you want that challenges you. I think of it as a Goldilocks Zone. Not too scary or hard; not too easy or boring but juuuuuust right. That middle is where the fun is and one of the most reliable ways to stay in that Goldilocks Zone is to continually increase your skills.

You can learn more about the Mountain Bike Skills Network at mtbskills.net, which is a relatively new web address, a replacement for mountainbikegeezer.com which I’ve been using the past 6 years.

I’m coming to you from my world headquarters – a basement office in my house in the small town of Northfield in the southern part of Minnesota, a state in the upper midwest region of the USA.

In today’s show, I first want to talk about the importance of track stands — which, just in case you’re totally clueless, has nothing to do with tracks — bicycle, railroad, animal or otherwise. Track stands are all about staying balanced on your bike while not moving forward — and oddly enough, that translates to being more stable when you ARE moving forward on certain types of terrain, most notably, switchbacks.

After that, I’m going to provide a bit of a roundup of what’s happening in our online community. Women mountain bikers are increasingly making their presence known there — both in numbers and in participation — and that seems to be the main reason why things are a-humming and a-buzzing.

So stay with me.

Why track stands can help you get better at riding tighter & steeper uphill switchbacks

Back in February, I put up a poll in my MTBSN FB Group asking:


Continue reading Learn track stands to ride tighter & steeper uphill switchbacks: Episode 3 of MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Video: big boulders = playground, made possible by track stands, backwards hopping, ratcheting, & 3/4 pedal stroke

Video: practicing mtb balance skills in my garage when it’s -5 F outside

Video: hopping backwards to get lined up for a ledge

Video: track stands, hopping, & rocking to get back down a skinny

Video: Two different ways up a tight switchback

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Two different ways up a tight switchback at @morcpics @lebanonhills with a downhill slab after the turn. 1. Front wheel inside the round rock at the base of the switchback. A track stand at the start: A) gave me time to scope out my line up the incline as I ended up too close to the tree in previous attempts; and B) it gave me time to weight my rear wheel (19-second mark) before applying torque to the leading left pedal, as I was spinning out in previous attempts. After rounding the tree at the top, I rock the front wheel sideways to the left as I'd crashed on the slab in a previous attempt. I added 2 old photos to the video to show the slab. It's tricky because one's wheel is turned sharply left as contact is made. If you don't have time to straighten it by the time you ride off the end of the slab, it's OTB time. 2. Front wheel outside the round rock at the base of the switchback. I'd dabbed so many times to the inside as I pedaled up the incline in previous attempts that I wanted to see if 'straightening the turn' a bit would give me a more reliable route up. Rocking the front wheel sideways 3 times did the trick. It also enabled me to go wider around the tree which in turn allowed for a straighter route over the slab. 57 seconds, 50% slowmo

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