Top 5 Tips For Riding Scary Obstacles With Confidence

Mountain biking can be dangerous. I'm sure we all know that. Here are five of the scariest obstacles and how to overcome that fear. (Upbeat music) number one, fast, loose corners. Whilst they don't look that scary, things can go wrong here really fast.

A slide or a crash here could be really bad. So my first piece of advice would be have really smooth inputs to the bike.

So by cornering really smooth lines, try to open up the corner. Any big turn or anything with the brakes, and you can find you can start sliding really quickly.

So be smooth with your line and with the brakes. Also don't forget something like this where it's burned or the loose bits will fall to the bottom with gravity.

So really stay away from the bottom of that burn. It's gonna be really slippery there. So in this example, this corner is really actually quite smooth so I can get nice and low to the bike.

I don't have any big, rough bumps to try and absorb. So nice and low, is gonna lower my sense of gravity and give me a bit more grip. And then it's really trying to be prepared for a slide.

And that is down to a few things. It really comes down to experience. So, riding slippery trails a lot your instincts will become better and you'll actually sort of predict hopefully when you're gonna slide.

Things like the feel of it, the speed you're going, how tight the corner is but also, on this corner for example, it's really gravely and I can hear my tyres just starting to slide before they really lose traction.

Another example of a fast corner here and this one really comes down to line choice. You see up on the main line there isn't that much support.

There's a little bit of a burn. But the best thing about it is it's really hard packed, it's actually really grippy dirt.

So you go a foot to rider's rights. You've now got all this loose gravel stuff on top of that hard pack so that's gonna be really slippery. So this corner is all about line choices.

(Upbeat music) northshore sections can be really scary. Especially if they're narrow on exposed parts of the hillside. Like this here. I think if you go off side on this part you are gonna need a parachute.

But really the skills on this section are gonna be exactly the same as on that really exposed section. So it's really a mental thing.

Just think if I take it easy on northshore, work at your levels of grip is something i'd really wouldn't wanna fall off on.

It's gonna be hard obviously on the wood where you could fall off the sides. So take it easy and bare in mind that in the wet it can be really slippery.

So on the scary, exposed part of the trail I would say ride in the middle. Obviously if you're riding off on the right side here, it's gonna be pretty scary.

Also, if you try and overcompensate and come too far to the left you could end up clipping your petal on this rock. And that's gonna have the same effect.

Probably sending you off that side. So try and keep your head up. Look at where the trail is going. And try to stick in the middle of the trail. (Upbeat music) rock sections can be really intimidating because you really don't wanna crash here.

Can be super painful. Here i've got a bit of bad rock which is actually surprisingly grippy even in the wet so i'm not gonna worry too much about sliding around.

This section's got a bit more rough now so picking a good line, a smooth line is gonna be really important but also trying to avoid those whale sized holes.

And then i'm just gonna use the movement in my arms and legs to try and smooth out those dips or bumps where I can't avoid them.

This section now is getting more steep. So I think if I maybe come off the brakes a little bit. And even if I get out of control i'm gonna look to where I can get back in control and there's a grippy section just at the bottom of this rock slab.

In a rock section like this, where it's just really rough, there aren't any massive holes. Really a good technique is to just stay back on the bike so drop your heels, keep your head up, keep that front wheel light.

So there's no chance if you hit something too hard hopefully you can get some up and over the bars. Try to stay loose on the bike and on weight if they're aren't any big holes.

When you're a novice rider and you start going off drop offs you can get that horrible feeling of your front wheel disappearing into thin air and getting pulled forward as if you were going straight over the bar.

So a good manual technique is really important for keeping that front wheel up and in the air. You can practise manuals anywhere. It's that easy to learn.

Think about pumping down towards the bike and then sliding back with your hips. Making sure your head is up and your arms are locked.

So that your front wheel doesn't start going one way or the other. Moving on to bigger drop offs it's really important to have that skill nailed because you've got so much more time in the air.

That's more time for it to go wrong. And the consequences are gonna be much worse. So now that skill on the small drop offs slow it down to make sure you can still land two wheels at the same time and then it's exactly the same skill on the big drop off.

(Upbeat music) judging the correct speed for jumps is really important. Because coming up short and overshooting can be just as bad as each other. So that's gonna come with a bit of experience.

Like anything, start with small jumps. The table tops. Learn what speed you need for those. Or sometimes you just follow a friend if they can do that jump already.

When it comes to technique, the bunny hop is really important. Because getting your weight to lift the wheels into the air is also gonna give you the ability to make high tide jumps.

If you were just relying on pulling or pushing with your arms on legs then you're only gonna be able to make that much height before you run out of space. So again, practise that bunny hop technique.

Doubles can start to get really scary. Because now there's a gap that you've got to clear. This is where the bunny hop technique gets really important. Because if you come in and you realise you're going too slow and you're not gonna make it then you can give it a big pump, get more lift and even in the air can then tuck the bike up to you to hopefully make the distance clear of that jump.

It's also really important with double jumps you commit to doing it so definitely take your time to scope out that jump. Try and judge the speed. Once you decide you're gonna do it, do it.

It's really bad news to actually head towards and I think oh, am I gonna do it, aren't I gonna do it, then hit the brakes. You've got to be super committed and confident you're gonna clear that double.

So don't worry, being scared is all a part of mountain biking. Even at the highest level. So just take your time.

Progress with your skills and hopefully you'll start feeling more confident. Click on the gmbn logo to subscribe if you haven't already. And click over there for a how to bunny hop video.

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