Slow Speed Tactics
Sometimes you have to ride around ruts and rocks in a tight radius. You might be able to coast through, but controlled pedaling often improves stability. But if you pedal, you might go too fast. One cool technique is to apply the brakes while pedaling at the same time. This allows you to control your speed better than just coasting or braking intermittently.
It’s a good idea to practice this technique at first. While waiting at the trailhead for your riding buddies, try riding as slow as possible while pedaling. While applying steady brake pressure, make small circles or serpentine patterns with the shortest radius possible. You can even lay out some rocks to ride around for practice.
This technique involves clamping down hard on the brakes while applying pedal pressure at the same time. The most skilled riders can do this and remain balanced on two wheels without moving an inch. Again, this is something you can practice at the trailhead.
On the trail, the track stand is often useful to navigate the tightest turns. You might need to change wheel direction abruptly which requires a momentary stoppage of movement. The track stand lets you do this without dismounting. You might have to execute a series of starts and stops if the trail is extra tight. Then pedal out softly and move on to the next challenge.
When riding slow, make sure you look where you want to go. If you focus on obstacles you’re trying to avoid, you might end up kissing them. Keep an eye on your exit, and your bike should follow.
So keep in touch and get out on the trails.
About The Author
Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia…discover the shortcuts to mountain biking for beginners and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.