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  1. #1
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    the fundamentals of riding?

    So i was reading a 'technique' article the other day and it mentioned the fundamentals of cornering..

    http://www.imbikemag.com/issue6/?page=81

    Does anyone else think about cornering in this level of detail..or do you tend to just 'go with it'? its an interesting read and it has made me think maybe i don't put enough thought into the more 'obvious' riding fundamentals..

  2. #2
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    Technique makes a difference

    In my experience, weighting the outside pedal, body position and pointing the inside knee (tripod) can be the difference between washing out and carrying speed through the turn.

  3. #3
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    Good stuff. There's a lot of good insights in Simon Lawton and Lars Sterberg's "Fluidride Like a Pro" DVD too. Cornering is probably my biggest weakness as a guy with a high center of gravity but I appreciated learning from a 6'5" guy that a lot of it was about getting better fundamentals, and what, exactly, those fundamental movements were in each situation.

    Yes like a sports drill or learning a musical instrument, you have to break it down into manual elements at first until those motions become fluid.

  4. #4
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    Learning in this fashion is counter-intuitive

    Most mtb-ers throw a leg over a bike and figure the sport out on a trial-and-error basis. It presumes upon a simple view of bikes and dirt in the absence of institutional support. What you end up with is a self-selecting population of independent athletes who somehow survive. Not a great model for a more inclusive community but explains tough groups of riding buds who remain standing and supporting each other. Yet it keeps mtb a niche sport with little support from the general community. It fosters, not without a little vainglorious pride, them and us.

    As a developer of mtb participants, both at the rider and coaching level, I manage the engagement of talent inevitably creating groups who will come to terms with the idea that skills evoked by the sport are not necessarily unique to the individual. The charm of finding that people separate from each other using techniques they "discovered" on their own do things the same way creates interesting relationships in a moment of realization. This is one of the greatest events in this process: that first awareness that mtb can be understood in terms of principles and that it can be transmitted.

    This is a curious event for the solitary rider or a rider within a small group. It brings separate riders proximate to an awareness that we are connected. And the connection is not just by the love of riding in some popular kumbaya-sense. The connection exists in that when wheels hit dirt simple physics and principles of learning can embrace understanding. We realize that this connection underpins and communicates something essential. And this experience gives us an opportunity to concretize and generalize our experience.

    Our challenge is that, for better or worse, we have no extant institution to formulate and communicate these ideas. Historically we have had no mtb in PE classes, no Little League, Youth Soccer, Youth Hockey, Pop Warner Football, CYO Basketball-like organizations to instill the fundamentals of mtb the kids who are now us. Further, we have nothing like adult softball leagues for mtb or, even greater, the ambient expression of baseball broadcasts which pronounce the culture of the sport across the airwaves from March to October.

    Yet there is a need out there for community and information sharing and this site is an expression of that need. And this thread was born of that need.

    Just sayin......

  5. #5
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    I would LOVE to ride with you some time and have you make that speech while we're dodging through singletrack

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    Most mtb-ers throw a leg over a bike and figure the sport out on a trial-and-error basis. It presumes upon a simple view of bikes and dirt in the absence of institutional support. What you end up with is a self-selecting population of independent athletes who somehow survive. Not a great model for a more inclusive community but explains tough groups of riding buds who remain standing and supporting each other. Yet it keeps mtb a niche sport with little support from the general community. It fosters, not without a little vainglorious pride, them and us.

    As a developer of mtb participants, both at the rider and coaching level, I manage the engagement of talent inevitably creating groups who will come to terms with the idea that skills evoked by the sport are not necessarily unique to the individual. The charm of finding that people separate from each other using techniques they "discovered" on their own do things the same way creates interesting relationships in a moment of realization. This is one of the greatest events in this process: that first awareness that mtb can be understood in terms of principles and that it can be transmitted.

    This is a curious event for the solitary rider or a rider within a small group. It brings separate riders proximate to an awareness that we are connected. And the connection is not just by the love of riding in some popular kumbaya-sense. The connection exists in that when wheels hit dirt simple physics and principles of learning can embrace understanding. We realize that this connection underpins and communicates something essential. And this experience gives us an opportunity to concretize and generalize our experience.

    Our challenge is that, for better or worse, we have no extant institution to formulate and communicate these ideas. Historically we have had no mtb in PE classes, no Little League, Youth Soccer, Youth Hockey, Pop Warner Football, CYO Basketball-like organizations to instill the fundamentals of mtb the kids who are now us. Further, we have nothing like adult softball leagues for mtb or, even greater, the ambient expression of baseball broadcasts which pronounce the culture of the sport across the airwaves from March to October.

    Yet there is a need out there for community and information sharing and this site is an expression of that need. And this thread was born of that need.

    Just sayin......

  6. #6
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    the common connection between us as riders is called physics. good stuff for sure.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme
    the common connection between us as riders is called physics. good stuff for sure.
    Amen. Unfortunately I'm constantly surprised and appalled by the lack of understanding and misrepresentation of the laws of physics both here on this forum and on the trail. e.g. Any of the discussions of 29er vs 26er - enough to make Sir Issac roll over in his grave!!
    My other bike is a /7.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbaier
    Any of the discussions of 29er vs 26er - enough to make Sir Issac roll over in his grave!!
    He'd roll more smoothly on 29" wheels.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Piece of cake....

    Quote Originally Posted by TunicaTrails
    I would LOVE to ride with you some time and have you make that speech while we're dodging through singletrack
    and you got the short version.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    He'd roll more smoothly on 29" wheels.
    but he would corner worse

  11. #11
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    Decided to examine my cornering technique in light of this article. This morning I noted that I often corner at high speed with the pedals at 9-3, rather than 6-12. Made a concerted effort to set them as suggested in the how-to and whaddaya know - I felt much more stable lower on the bike which allowed me to go through smoother and faster.

    You can teach and old(ish) dog new tricks. Thanks for the tip! (Now I just need to break myself of this 20+ year habit...)
    My other bike is a /7.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbaier
    Decided to examine my cornering technique in light of this article. This morning I noted that I often corner at high speed with the pedals at 9-3, rather than 6-12. Made a concerted effort to set them as suggested in the how-to and whaddaya know - I felt much more stable lower on the bike which allowed me to go through smoother and faster.

    You can teach and old(ish) dog new tricks. Thanks for the tip! (Now I just need to break myself of this 20+ year habit...)
    interestingly this is exactly how i corner too, and you've actually helped me a lot as i rode yesterday and tried what you described here and it genuinely is far better. i was away for a few days but have gone back and read the article again and been trying some of the other techniques too and i feel far more 'solid' when riding yet with a better flow..kinda loving it and really glad i read it and got thinking about all this..

    p.s. awesome speech mike!!

  13. #13
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    The weighting of the outside pedal is huge, and it is amazing how few cyclists know that.
    Another aspect of cornering, almost never mentioned in cycling, is the late apex. Using the apex of the turn is often mentioned, but never a description of early or late apexes. I actually picked up an understanding of the late apex during an EMS emergency driving course taught by a race car driving instructor, and it translates well to on the bike.
    Anyhow here's a quick link to describe it, in terms of race car driving, but you get the idea:
    http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_cornering

    It'll help you turn with more traction, exit faster, and exit closer to the inside of the turn (which makes for great passing options when other riders are exiting way wide and slow).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat
    The weighting of the outside pedal is huge, and it is amazing how few cyclists know that.
    Another aspect of cornering, almost never mentioned in cycling, is the late apex. Using the apex of the turn is often mentioned, but never a description of early or late apexes. I actually picked up an understanding of the late apex during an EMS emergency driving course taught by a race car driving instructor, and it translates well to on the bike.
    Anyhow here's a quick link to describe it, in terms of race car driving, but you get the idea:
    http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_cornering

    It'll help you turn with more traction, exit faster, and exit closer to the inside of the turn (which makes for great passing options when other riders are exiting way wide and slow).

    depending on location you need to watch late apexing. lots of our race courses in the southwest are blown out horribly on the exits. if you late apex you just might find yourself in a world of hurt.

    i would say it is more key to identify features to use for traction. a tiny ridge in the corner that was caused by rainflow, or a rock that you can slam off of to change direction. just be careful as these features can change on race day due to other riders using them!

  15. #15
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    I'm a big dude and I ride big cranks. I'm deliberate in my technique because of it and having big cranks is actually an advantage in cornering if you dip the outside crank arm. Sometimes that's not possible in chainring-sparking rocks, but the 3 o'clock-9 o'clock stance is more stable with feet farther apart too.

    This is all covered in "Fluidride Like A Pro" in detail, they even talk about dipping your outside crank arm on a high-speed corner if you can't hang it there the entire time.

  16. #16
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    if you have ever ridden a moto on a dirt road with corners you find out fast how weighting down low makes things work. (after my face slammed the ground i learned not to sit on the seat but stand on the pegs!)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme
    if you have ever ridden a moto on a dirt road with corners you find out fast how weighting down low makes things work. (after my face slammed the ground i learned not to sit on the seat but stand on the pegs!)
    wow..well you cant argue with a bit of 'school of hard knocks' learnin' !!

  18. #18
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    Geez I just figured that was the only way to do a corner....My worst problem is continuing to pedal into the corner and scrapping a pedal...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixliston
    wow..well you cant argue with a bit of 'school of hard knocks' learnin' !!

    i did have a FF helmet on, but the impacts (yes there were more than one on this learning curve) were severe enough that i learned the lesson well.

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