favorite freeriding skill

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    • #76252


      The trackstand has quickly become the favorite tool in my freeriding tool kit. In tough situations it is used nearly as often as any front wheel lift and gives more security than a stable high speed turning technique. Learning the trackstand teaches critical lessons to the freerider.

      The trackstand teaches some important things. Pedal awareness to me, is being sensitive to what you pedals are doing beneath your feet. Are they to tight or loose or, is your front foot at the one, two or three o’clock position. You’re gonna learn that to do a trackstand. It also teaches how important relaxation on the bike is. Riding relaxed with little worries about the activity of the bike beneath you, will allow clean gnarly sections. If you try to muscle a gnarly section you’ll crash nine out of ten times. If you try to muscle a trackstand, your trackstand will always end-up horizontal. The trackstand is a powerful ally on the trail.

      The ability to stop and evaluate a section before riding, without breaking your body position is priceless. If you can stop just as you enter a surly rock garden, you won’t find the need to apply brakes again or at least not apply them aggressively. Without brakes screwing up the flow of your wheels you’ll be able ride lines, not available to other riders. You won’t win any races doing this, but who cares, we are freeriding. For those of us with frames that experience excessive "brake jacking" no brakes all ways makes a smoother ride. Being able to stop and pick a line on steep sections means you get to ride things the first time through.

      Now for my favorite trackstand story of the year, featuring me. I recently took bike tour of Peru. During the meet and greet portion, I made it clear, that I was a slow incompetent rider. I work my best when expectations are low and that god damned camera is OFF!! On the trail I made a point to be slow. Not, for some psychological reason, but because I knew we had nine days of riding ahead and I didn’t want to shoot my wad early. I had been riding a lot of stuff that other riders had been walking. I was far enough behind, that only the rear tour guide knew I was riding nearly every obstacle. We approached a point where a steep technical section was right at a rest stop. I pulled up as a full 2/3 of the crew was finishing the walk to the bottom. You couldn’t see the first three feet of the trail until your front wheel was just about ready to drop in. With everyone clearly expecting me to crash, I crypt up, held a trackstand, evaluated my line, then rolled though flow and liquidity. With a second or third try, most, if not all of these guys could have ridden that section. I was able to clean it on the first try because of my trusty trackstand.

      Got a favorite skill in your freeriding kit, tell us why and give us good story to support it.

    • #76253

      My favorite freeride skill is landing on two wheels. 😆

      But seriously, it’s a verry sweet felling to hit the money spot on your landings and be ready for whatever is next on the trail.

      Low impact on the body lets you ride for a little longer.

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