Experienced riders come to us with good single track skills. I’ve asked them what works for them and I agree with all they expound. I’d love to hear from you regarding what works for staying on track, especially when it’s tight and essential. What I hear the most is balance and where you keep your eyes. Keeping your focus ahead about 20 yards or more helps you anticipate obstacles and you get less front wheel wobble. Staying balanced over your bike always help you ride better and on track.
A few years ago I was following my son, Mark, on a narrow single track ride. I asked him to pick up his pace as I was about to fall over. He did, but told me I needed to work on my balance. Me? I’ve played a game for years where I focus on my balance with center axis right oner the bike left to right and front to back. When I’m winning the game, I can ride over and through all kinds of nasties and look like it’s easy… it feels sooooo good!
The “eyes out” part I learned as a Freestyle Skiing (moguls) competitor more than a few years ago. My coach would holler at me as I came out of the gate, “Up, up, up, up, up!” I was watching what was happening at the front of my ski’s, not anticipating what was a few turns ahead on my line. When I keep my eyes out on the mountain bike trails, I anticipate my moves and ride better and safer. My “computer” already knows wuz up in the nasties out front. Watching up close is sorta like driving your car while watching the hood ornament. Up, up, up, up!
The woman in the photo has her eyes out front and has her center axis right over the bike. If she were standing on both pedals she would have even better balance. Give me your ideas on balance and focus, would you? Any other mountain biking skills would be appreciated.
I found this photo of Pat, my lovely bride, on the same ride as the photo above. Notice how balanced she is as she stands on both level pedals, eye’s out… committed to greatness! (There’s a topic….commitment.)