Technical Hill Climbs
|07/16/2012||Posted by under Carburetor Parts|
One nasty hill can turn a fun ride with your mates into an absolute nightmare. It’s a big part of trail riding and by learning a few skills and techniques you’ll be able to tackle almost any nasty snotty uphill you come across. When you arm yourself with that skill you can ride and not worry about a ride-spoiling uphill.
This is a skill you should work on for all of your riding. but when it comes to hills looking ahead can be the difference between making it up and getting stuck. The further ahead you look the more time you have to scan the terrain and choose the best line. Always look where you want to go – don’t focus on the things you don’t want to hit! One guess what happens when you fix your vision on that nasty rock you want to avoid: yep, you end up there.
Scanning the terrain choosing the best line, then getting to it is a skill that comes with experience. Looking ahead is important but you need to know what you’re looking for. When choosing a line up a hill, always look for the option that will allow you to maintain traction and momentum. They are the two things that keep you moving forward. So smooth is good, though sometimes it’s not an option – so go with the best you can get. Try to stay out of big ruts that you may end up trapped in; look to cross over them rather than stay in them. If there’s a big ledge you need to make it over, check if there’s anything you can use to jump off or just help the bike make it over. Just remember: traction and momentum.
Standing is the way to go here – try as hard as possible to avoid dropping to the seat and paddling. By remaining in the standing position you keep your centre of gravity lower and it allows you to keep your weight forward on the bike to avoid wheeling. If you do need to sit down for whatever reason, try to get back up on the pegs ASAP.
You need clutch and throttle control to conquer technical hills – simple as that. Traction and momentum can be maintained through almost anything with a good combination of throttle and clutch use, so get used to riding your bike with one or two fingers over the clutch lever as much as possible. If the bike breaks into wheel spin, control it by slipping the clutch slightly. If the hill gets steeper and offers good traction, avoid stalling by slipping the clutch and keeping the rpms up. It’s a balancing act that needs to be worked on and practised but it makes all the difference.
If you lose drive and are coming to a halt on a steep uphill, the first thing to do is shift your weight to the left so you can put your left leg down to hold the bike up. This is important as you need to apply rear brake with your right foot to stop the bike from rocketing down the hill backwards with you as a passenger. Keep the bike leaned over to the left while controlling the bike’s movement with the rear brake, turn the handlebars and slowly let it roll backwards until you’re sideways on the hill. Once you’re at that point, turn the bars to the right and roll back down the hill for another attempt.