“BE AGGRESSIVE AND HAVE YOUR WEIGHT ON THE BARS, BECAUSE THE HARDER AND ROUGHER THE TRAIL GETS, THE STRONGER YOU HAVE TO BE TO STAY IN CONTROL”
LES GETS BIKE SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR TOM LEBRETON OFFERS THREE WAYS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER DOWN-HILLER
OPEN HANDS DRILL
Before you start your ride, get your upper body activated by doing some turns on flat ground, leaning your bike into them but only resting your palms on the bars, forcing you to load up the bars for more control.
MASTER THE MANUAL
Getting your front wheel off the deck, in a ‘manual’, is an essential mountain bike survival skill – but it’s not a wheelie! Get out of the saddle, drop your hips straight down, then push them straight back, making an ‘L’ shape. Your front wheel should lift up without you hauling on the bars. Keep your finger over the back brake and feather or grab to stop you looping backwards.
LEAN YOUR BIKE
Whenever you go into a banked turn (berm), really lean your bike over – you should even feel your crossbar touching your lower leg. This will allow you to get lower and carry more momentum through the berm.