I'm getting confident enough in my hopping backwards that I'm looking for logs, rocks and ledges to hold a track stand against so that I can back up and THEN try to get up/over them… just for fun! Here's a video clip from last week. The skills sequence: 1) track stand against the vertical ledge of an old bridge; 2) hop backwards; 3) track stand; 4) pedal ratchet to get into position; 5) 3/4 pedal stroke to lift the front wheel; 6) pause in pedaling while unweighting rear wheel. 25-second vid, normal speed then 50% slowmo:
Earlier this week I placed these two railroad ties in our local skills park as a different type of skinny challenge — steep up and steep down. But then I discovered that it was a fun challenge to ride up, make a tight turn, and ride back down. It was a good way to practice my novice-level 'baseline balance skills' of track stands, hopping, and rocking. You can tell I'm a novice by how long it took me to get lined up for the descent — hence, the 4x speed for that segment, followed by the 50% speed for the hopping backwards segment. Now THAT was satisfying! 30-second video
Two different ways up a tight switchback at @morcpics @lebanonhills with a downhill slab after the turn. 1. Front wheel inside the round rock at the base of the switchback. A track stand at the start: A) gave me time to scope out my line up the incline as I ended up too close to the tree in previous attempts; and B) it gave me time to weight my rear wheel (19-second mark) before applying torque to the leading left pedal, as I was spinning out in previous attempts. After rounding the tree at the top, I rock the front wheel sideways to the left as I'd crashed on the slab in a previous attempt. I added 2 old photos to the video to show the slab. It's tricky because one's wheel is turned sharply left as contact is made. If you don't have time to straighten it by the time you ride off the end of the slab, it's OTB time. 2. Front wheel outside the round rock at the base of the switchback. I'd dabbed so many times to the inside as I pedaled up the incline in previous attempts that I wanted to see if 'straightening the turn' a bit would give me a more reliable route up. Rocking the front wheel sideways 3 times did the trick. It also enabled me to go wider around the tree which in turn allowed for a straighter route over the slab. 57 seconds, 50% slowmo
I've got my 29'er back together and it's about 5 pounds lighter than my fat bike. So last week I started working on my hopping skills (sideways, forward, backward) again. Yesterday, I tried to put them to use in one of the rock gardens at @morcpics @lebanonhills and at its skills park. So. Much. Fun.
I learned with a scooter which is pretty funny. Check out myproscooter’s stock if you’re feeling adventurous.
It's tricky to make both turns of this narrow boardwalk skinny (at @morcpics Theodore Wirth mtb trail) without hopping the rear wheel. But I discovered yesterday that my improved ratcheting and track stand skills gave me more precision for placement of my @advocatecycles fat bike's front wheel. I could run the wheel partially over the edges of the boardwalk which gave my rear wheel more room to make the turns without hopping. My next challenge is to use a rocking technique to reposition both wheels for both turns. That might take awhile! 40-sec vid: