Rolling In

Now this is one steep roll in, but you can ride your bike straight down it.

lookingintoabyss1

All you have to do is:

  1. COMMIT
  2. Bend your knees and get your weight low and back, but don’t make your arms too straight and rigid.
  3. RELAX
  4. Let go of those brakes
  5. WOOP like a Viking when you rule that roll in.

edrollin

There I go. Notice the trees are vertical; none of that tilting the camera to make it look steeper.

You use exactly the same technique for riding any steep slope. You don’t have to go so far off the back of the bike when it’s less steep and remember, stay loose and don’t lock your arms out, or you’ll lose your control.  Have you got that? Get on your bike and go and do it then.

nialgisburndouble

…..and there goes Nial giving it some moto style over the double.

You can find this roll in and the double jump at Gisburn Forest right next to the xc trail. Photos by Tim Kershaw and Benji Haworth.

Dalby Forest downhill and Proud Dad :-D

Just been up to Dalby Forest with the family to visit Jonathan, Judith and Saul and do some riding. On Saturday we had a ride all together with the little ones on their “no pedal” Isla Bikes. On Sunday, after a play on the jumps at Dixon’s Hollow, Nial, Jonathan and me headed off to the Dalby Downhill track. Bit of a whiskey hangover for Jonathan and me after our tasting session on Saturday night with his bottle of cask strength single malt.

The DH track is short in distance but with it’s mainly smooth surface, tight lines and drop offs it’s great fun. We managed to scare ourselves and feel good about our riding – I love the way that there is always another level to progress to in your riding, with stages of fear and elation to keep the buzz going. Anyway it’s worth a visit if you’re riding at Dalby and like that sort of thing. You’ll find it off the red route dropping away through a couple of marked posts! Sorry I can’t be clearer, but I was just following Jonathan.

Nial managed to break the travel adjust on his forks and had to ride the track with them set at their lowest setting of 95mm. Even though he was hitting his bash ring on some of the drops, it didn’t seem to slow him down much. Blooming 11 year olds – I was riding the Cannondale Moto, a Singletrack test bike, which helped me keep up with him….just!

Jonathan is one of the organisers of Single Speed UK 2009 and from what I heard it’s going to be a great event with a cool course.

Today Greta (4 years) has just ridden her Isla Bikes Cnoc 14 – no stabilizers – for the first time unassisted. That makes me a proud dad all round.

Off to Gisburn Forest tomorrow with TimK and Benji for more downhill progression.

Mountain biking skills session with Charlotte

Charlotte is fairly new to mountain biking. She’s made great progress so far at getting down and around obstacles in the trail. Where she wants to improve is in getting over rocks and roots.

I started off by teaching her how to get the front of the bike up. From not being able to do this at all she can now wheelie the front up!

Next we looked at how to lift the back wheel while riding along. “Unweighting” the bike like this helps to carry you over an obstacle.

Charlotte made great progress out on the trails and cleaned some technical climbs that have previously stopped her dead. With practice these new skills will really come together and she’ll get more fun out of being able to pop her way up and over stuff on the direct line.

Check out Charlotte’s mountain biking blog here

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Wake up…time to ride

After spending the weekend making this site I’m fairly desperate to get out and ride a bike. Remember kids – with the snow all melted now there will be a slippy, wet and muddy surface layer on the trails. This is not bad though, because it gives us the chance to continue practicing our “off the brakes” riding techniques that we were getting into on the snow. I’ll be hitting those corners and keeping my fingers off that front brake, controlling my speed with a little rear brake and laughing all the way to the traction bank. Can’t wait…but remember tyre choice is crucial – open tread and grippy compound for me.

What tyres for Calderdale? That’s easy – today it’ll be Supertacky Swampthings…..

Punch The Wall on Vimeo

Charlotte rides Punch the Wall, from Singletrack magazine. Go girl…

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Showboater’s Paradise

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…..that’s me in there that is