Do you remember learning how to tackle obstacles in your basic rider training course? Granted, it was probably in a nice, relatively quiet parking lot somewhere, so you could really concentrate on what you were doing. RIDE Adventures touring company founder Eric Lange wants to help you master those obstacle-climbing skills on all kinds of terrain, which is why he made this video. 

Possibly the most important thing you can do is get yourself acquainted with the bike you’re riding ahead of time. Now, if it’s your bike, and you already know it well, that’s probably not an issue. You’re probably already acquainted with important stuff like what the suspension travel is like, whether you have a good skid plate protecting your engine, and how it reacts when you pull certain maneuvers.  

However, if you don’t know the bike you’re riding that well, you need to practice and get to know it as soon as possible. Find out what happens when you stand up on the pegs and bounce it, and how it feels. What happens when you send power to the back wheel and lift up the front? How comfortable do you feel, and how well can you control what you’re doing with that bike?  

Does the bike have traction control? If so, you’ll want to switch it off before you try to do obstacle crossing off-road. Is the ground soft? Are you going to sink in slightly if you dig that back wheel in with power? What’s the size ratio between the current obstacle and your front wheel? Also, what’s beyond the obstacle you’re crossing, and will you need to stop short relatively soon after you cross over it?  

All these things can affect how you’re going to approach getting over that obstacle. In some cases, you may opt to go around it—or, if you happen to carry a chainsaw on your adventures, just parking for a minute and moving the obstacle out of your way.  

There’s a lot to consider, and every situation is going to be different. However, in every circumstance, the single best thing you can do is get to know the bike you’re riding extremely well in advance. That way, you’ll have a better mental picture of how to approach obstacles—or if you should just go around them instead.  

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