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I rode all the black and red sections of the new Brownie Lake trail at @morcpics's Theodore Wirth Singletrack this week. This video shows two sections that I found to be the toughest: 1. An uphill, armoured left turn. After a couple of fails (not that steep but the rocks were a bit slippery with dust and leaves), I cleaned it with a wide cheater line and then again with a straight shot up the middle. 2. The long, straight, steep, rocky uphill with a steep slab in the middle. I got up the slab twice but then lost my balance. I gave up after about a dozen tries. Traction was absolutely perfect. Looking closely at the video, I can see now what I did wrong. I will be back. So. Much. Fun. 55-second video, 50% slowmo:
I’m trying to get better at climbing, especially rock-strewn uphills and stairs. Two videos of my recent failed attempts:
The rock stairs at Carleton College in Northfield:
Riding up a downhill rock garden at Hillside Park in Elk River:
I’ve cleaned some steep uphills with steps/logs recently (St. Olaf College, Lebanon Hills) after reading about the techniques in this BetterRide.net blog post:
Losing traction, “bogging out”, doing accidental wheelies, and/or getting a case of the “swirvies”, are all common causes of riders not making it to the top of technical descents.
Oh yeah. But I’m now getting the hang of how to do it right.
- scoot far forward on the saddle
- lower your chest (nose near the handlebars)
- keep your elbow elevated
- only stand slightly and briefly in order to make extreme weight-shifts or grossly accelerate the bike