Guide it! Point the front wheel in the desired direction (
countersteering toward the end of the puddle/rut), keeping it about
6–8 inches away from the edge. Not enough countersteering
will result in you spinning around and spearing off into the
adjacent trees. Keep the bike pretty much upright to gain
maximum frame-rail clearance and avoid hitting the outer
edge of the deep rut. Lean your upper body away from the
puddle to counteract the force of the rear wheel (as it grinds
along the edge of the submerged rut) that wants to throw you
the other direction for a spectacular faceplant into the puddle.
Still dry! Speed and momentum are your friends here. The
faster you go, the easier it becomes to grind it, as long as you
execute the necessary techniques correctly. If you go slowly
doing the grinding action, you will usually still get wedged and
stuck in the rut. By keeping the front wheel up and out of the
water, you will keep the splash behind you. You will stay dry
and clean for the next portion of the trail, plus you will look
like a real superstar!
Additional image showing what happens if you don’t execute
either of these techniques—#11 and #12.
Both of these specific skills should be practiced in an open
environment where you can push your limits. Then it is just a
matter of applying the necessary skills (and executing them
at a high level) to these more advanced trail situations where
there is less margin for error and there are much bigger consequences if you get it wrong.
For more information about
Shane Watts and the Dirt Wise
Academy of Off-Road Riding
Schools and Instructional DVDs,
check out www.shanewatts.com.