Happy hump day bicycle peddlers!
When I am coaching, I am just reminding folks how to be a human on a bike. You see, a lot of riders get on a bike and forget they can control their own arms and legs. Riders stiffen up and then ask me why they feel lack of control.
Well, what controls the bike? You do. So if you move LESS, then you have less control over the bike. If you have the willingness to move MORE, you will feel more control of the bike.
Control leads to safer rides, which leads to more confidence on the bike, which leads to less crashing. Everyone is happy!
So I teach the dance with the bike. While learning the dance with the bike, we explore broadening our RANGE OF MOTION. So in practice settings, I would ask you to make moves far more dynamic than you would on the trail. The moves are simple:
Move up and down; maintain eyes forward, chin over handlebar, high shoulders, low hips, heavy feet, light hands, elbows and knees move OUTWARD as you move down (this keeps you centered).
Move back and forth; this comes in two stages: moving over the bike and then moving the bike under you. Lean forward as fast as you can, then move to the back of the bike as far as you can. Make sure your arms are straight and feel like you're hanging off monkey bars. Your booty may give you a reminder if you have gone too far. 2nd stage is lower your body then push and pull the bike to achieve these moves while keeping your helmet still.
Side to side; lowering your body slightly and leaning the bike over to each side. Try to keep the wheel straight. You can do this by keeping your chin over the bars and hinging from your big wide elbows. Leaning the bike side to side can increase your trail flow and confidence.
Twisting; the number one thing that helps riders with cornering skills. Read that again. Twist and look behind you. As you point your nose behind you, let your hips rotate to the opposite side of the bike (remember, this is a normal human movement. Try it off the bike). What you get from this: “In The Box” riders don’t look away from the front wheel. So being willing to look away from the front wheel and look through the exit of the turn is key for confidence and skill improvement. By rotating your hips, you are separating your belly button from your handlebar. “In the Box” riders do not move their hips or lower body very well (too stiff and unconfident). Being willing to rotate your hips helps you add weight to the correct foot for cornering and YOU WILL ALWAYS GO WHERE YOUR BELLY BUTTON IS POINTED. That's why you looked away from the tree and STILL hit it!
Coach Al and I are running a FREE clinic this Saturday where we will be opening up this topic and helping riders with these moves on and off the bike in a class we call: Better Bike Body Separation: Mobility for Mountain Bikers.
This class is free, sign up link Back over to the left <<< you passed it.