OFF-ROAD HOW TO RIDE
PRO RIDE: GOING UP!
RODNEY SMITH’S HILL TACTICS
Just because Rodney Smith is a five-time GNCC champion, multi-time ISDE gold medalist, five-time
Reliability Trials champion and two-time National Hare
Scrambles champion, it doesn’t mean that he’s got
dirt bike magic. He works at riding and uses his head,
his eyes and a roving grasp of the elements around
him. Here’s his take on a fairly vertical ascent that had
a nice rut meandering through it.
On rutted or rocky uphills you want to be sure and look
ahead to pick a good line, and, just as critical, you don’t want
to hesitate! Your biggest friend in navigating technical and
obstacle-painted hills is momentum. I like to be in a taller gear
and use the clutch and throttle as traction control. I always
try and hit every hill with decent speed, since you can always
slow down, but gaining momentum from a standstill on a vertical face is nearly impossible.