Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Off-road riders encounter countless obstacles on the trail. Some are easy to plow through, maneuver around, or wheelie over, but others require a bit more finesse. When confronted with a rut, most riders opt to ride the top, avoiding the sand and dirt lurking below. The same goes for off-camber hills. With the gradient and gravity pushing us to the trail’s edge, we prefer to take the high ground.
While that course of action is ideal, conditions on the trail rarely are. Whether skill level or circumstances lead to trouble, we have to be prepared for the worst situation. Though some of us can pull off the maneuver with body position, many of us will (reluctantly) let the rear fall into the ditch.
When our wheels go out of line, many riders tend to panic. The sensation is foreign. The bike doesn’t feel under our control. Rather than dealing with the consequence on the trail, YouTuber and off-road instructor Bret Tkacs believes that practice makes perfect. A lot can be accomplished in an empty parking lot, or in this case, an open field, and Tkacs shows us just how to get ourselves out of a sticky situation before ever getting into it.
Using a suitably sized tree log, Tkacs demonstrates how one can simulate riding with misaligned wheels. The drill looks deceivingly easy. Let’s face it, most of the things that Tkacs pulls off on an adventure bike do, but he brings along novice riders to show us the pitfalls of the exercise itself. From riding over the log to losing balance to planting one’s foot, there’s no shortage of errors one can commit.
However, with proper throttle application, clutch control, and body positioning, most riders can get down movement in no time. Of course, like any technique, grinding your way out of trouble requires practice. So, find yourself an open field, a disregarded log, and get ready to take on the countless obstacle on the trail.