I’d never heard of the term ‘pedal ratcheting’ as a mtb skill until recently when I noticed that it’s one of the skills covered in IMBA’s ICP Level 2 course. See it demonstrated at the 1:18 mark of this video by ICP’s Lead Instructor Trainer Shaums March.
Pedal ratcheting turned out to be helpful last week in two instances. The first was when I was attempting to ride this multiple rock/elevated boardwalk skinny in the skills park at the Lebanon Hills MTB Trail system. I was on my 29’er, trying to get through in the opposite direction from normal (more difficult) without a rear wheel hop:
The second challenge was this slightly elevated wooden skinny in the XX loop at the Theodore Wirth MTB park in Minneapolis. It has two curves that are difficult to clean on a 29’er without hopping. But pedal ratcheting made it much more doable:
It was especially satisfying to clean it without hopping because when I first tried it two years ago (see this post on my Mountain Bike Geezer blog), I was confident that I’d never be able to do it without hopping the rear wheel.
So now the questions about learning pedal ratcheting start occurring to me: What are the prerequisite skills? Other than tight turns on a skinnies, what other technical terrain/trail situations warrant its use? And the core Thick Skull MTB question: what exercises and drills would help riders develop the skill?