Riding techniques: when you have no choice


Jun 21, 2001
I arranged to meet a local rider who races 200cc expert class on the 4th to ride a mountain trail he knew about. I had never been there. On the phone he called it a 'gnarly' place..

Now I know people post riding technique questions on this forum all the time, but all the forums and all the questions couldnt have prepared a person for a trail as nightmarish as this! Lets just say that a trials bike would have been better suited to it than my CR250. But with a steep drop off to one side and a rock and tree root strewn trail width (if you could call it that) of about 10 inches, turning back wasnt an option. Not that I wanted to! It was hell, but I learned a lot by doing it.

My question is a general one, but its: have any of you gone on rides or had experiences that made riding advice seem 'laughable' while you were on the trail?? For example, when we got to the top I asked the third person in our group (40 and over class expert enduro) what his leg technique was and he said, 'whatever it takes- sometimes I'm dog paddling with both legs, sometimes.. etc.etc. ..you just do what ever it takes'.
Survival mode :scream:


Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
Gnarly technical trails are a blast. Very few riders can go through really tough sections carrying a lot of speed, so the riding becomes more for survival than style. Even in the latest issue of Dirt Rider magazine, there's an article with Randy Hawkins talking about dabs (controlled foot plants) when riding.

The optimal riding style is to be standing with your feet on the pegs always searching for the smoothest line. However when the trail gets rough there's no shame in dropping your butt to the seat and paddling you way though. That's where practicing the tough stuff comes in handy.


Master of None
Jul 31, 2000
go with what you know.

In a situation such as that, when you're tired, bleeding, and hoping for death just go with what you know. The optimal position (as said before) is to be standing. However if you're tired sitting is good, weighting the pegs and leaning your body to help steer around obstacles. I seriously doubt that any rider finishes the moose run without paddling a little bit :)
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