I would have liked a trail ride on my mountain bike today. Weekends, though, often mean that the trails are also used by lots of walkers and the inevitable need to slow or stop can be frustrating. For this reason I thought it would be better to repeat my last ride which involved 3 laps of the purpose built trails on Heakey Nab. Last time I particularly concentrated on some cornering and jumping skills which I suppose are fairly advanced.
I rode towards the steep climb and turned a left hand corner when I heard and felt something catching the downtube of the frame. Whatever it was it had pulled the gear cable and broken 2 zip ties which held it to the frame. I didn’t fancy going back home for a repair so I looked in vane in my backpack for something to secure the cable with. With nothing to hand I had to improvise. Recently some wire fencing has been removed at the bottom of the slope so I bent a piece of wire backwards and forwards until it broke free. From this I fashioned a primitive but workable clip and carried on up the hill.
There were quite a few younger riders on the trails and as usual there was much more standing around talking than there was riding. I rode my 3 laps and made sure that I bent my elbows and knees on the approach to corners to then look for grip points.At these places I extended particularly my legs to push the tyres into the surface to maximise grip and did the turning there. On looser surfaces I could then relax my line to avoid sliding.
The way to get the bike off the ground on jumps is basically the same, pushing away from the bike on the up slope to throw your body and bike weight upwards. I even had some words of enthusiastic encouragement directed at me again! I again enjoyed practicing and am looking forwards to using this method on some other local trails next time.
I feel mountain biking requires the most thinking. I’m always looking ahead and planning what I will do next.
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