5 Ways To Push Your Mountain Biking | Mountain Bike Skills

5 Ways To Push Your Mountain Biking | Mountain Bike Skills


– Do you feel like your
skill level has plateaued? Often the learning curve
is steeper to start, and then you get comfortable
and stop progressing. So let’s look at a few fun things today that will help you push on
and improve your riding. (jazzy music) The first thing to do is
to change your mindset and go back to being a 13 year old. Now I know some of you
watching this will be, but I’m certainly not, but I
think that’s when you progress the most, just through
messing around on your bike. First fun challenge is the manual, and it’s a really useful skill for things like dropoffs,
jumps, technical terrain. Just get yourself out
there, do the manual, see how long you can hold it for. Put a stick down where you drop the front wheel, keep trying to beat it. The longer the manual, the better. You want to even challenge
some of your mates. So why is a manual gonna help
you progress your riding? Well it’s the first part of
learning front wheel control, and you need to unweight your front wheel over lots of things like
wet routes, dropoffs, it’s gonna stop your
front wheel from diving. So when it comes to big, slow dropoffs you’re gonna need a manual. Also you’re gonna learn
where the balance point is on the bike before you start
looping out and going too far. You’re gonna need good rear brake control for stopping that from happening,
but a good balance point, knowing where that is, means you’re hopefully gonna do bigger bunny hops. (jazzy music) So you’ve done your manuals,
keep practising those, ’cause you can always get better. Now, moving on to the bunny hop. Now this is a key skill for
jumping, for getting over gnarly terrain, it’s just a
mountain bike fundamental. Again, you can always get better at this. So I found myself an obstacle, a big log, and I’m gonna try and go from
the smaller end, up over that, but then challenge myself to
doing the bigger end over here. So Martin has already
given everyone over at GMBN a bunny hop challenge,
and Blake was the best, so it’s definitely time
for me to practise this. And it’s great to have an obstacle ’cause you’re gonna see
directly if you are improving. So your newfound bunny
hop skills are gonna help you make height on
jumps, and hopefully make you more confident to
actually hit bigger jumps. They’re also gonna let you
unweight over gnarly terrain, so it’s something that downhill
racers do an awful lot. Sometimes they’ll literally just unweight so the bike carries more
speed over the bumps, they don’t sink in and hit them. Often they actually use a proper bunny hop to gap over stuff. That does make the unridable ridable. Learning how to drift is a
really simple thing to do. It’s good to find yourself
a big open spot like this, that’s nice and soft, should you fall off. You don’t have to actually
make a corner at all, just learn to move the bike around. And it all starts with a skid. I would recommend trying to
do this on flat pedals, or at least unclipping your inside
foot if you are using clips. ‘Cause a big dive could save
you here from falling over. So come into the corner
nice and quick, and just over-exaggerate the corner,
so turn a little bit harder, lean the bike over a little bit more, and now just start
dragging the back brake. That’s gonna start getting
the rear wheel loose. Eventually, once you get the feel for it, it’s good to not do it with brakes at all. So just lean the bike over, turn hard, and then you’ll get a feel
for it through the front and the rear wheel
movement at the same time. Once you get the hang
of this, it really is gonna help your confidence
in slippy corners. To begin with, I’ll bias my
weight towards the handlebars to make sure the front
wheel has got some grip. Eventually I’ll start bringing
my weight a bit further back on the bike, to try and
initiate a two wheel drift. Learning to drift really
teaches you the subtleties about where to place
your weight on the bike, so that you’re equally drifting
the front and back tyre. So I used to do a lot of this
when it came to my race bike for downhill and in duro, so
that I knew the sweet spot. So that when I was really
pushing the limits, and actually I was third, when
I maybe wasn’t expecting it, hopefully I was in the
right spot so I didn’t just end up crashing,
so I slid the front tyre or the back tyre right by itself. So once you’ve got the skills, it’s now about pushing yourself. So this is almost a bit
of mental progression. This could be riding a
more technical trail, so going from a blue to a red to a black, but it could be hitting
bigger and bigger jumps. This really does need to
be gradual progression, ’cause if you go too
far, and send yourself off a really hard jump, or
really hard piece of terrain, you end up crashing, you’ve
gone back a lot of steps. So you do small baby steps, and build that progression all the time. To see a video for some
racing inspiration, click up there for a video
from Andes Pacifico last year, down there for Blake pushing
his limits at the Darkfest, subscribe and give us thumbs up.