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Riding Rock Gardens | Intermediate MTB Skill Guide with Leigh Donovan

Tackling rock gardens can be pretty intimidating. But, when you are taking tips from a downhill mountain bike world champion, finding the confidence necessary becomes a little easier. Use Leigh’s 3-point system of WALKING the trail, FINDING the line (or path with the most traction/least resistance) and RIDING the line to navigate rock gardens:

  1. When riding rock gardens, momentum is your friend. Lower your center of gravity by getting low on the bike, but allow the bike to move freely underneath you so you can be ready for anything.
  2. Ride with level pedals and place your weight into the heels of your feet. This will help stabilize you on the bike and prevent your body weight from moving forward.
  3. Maintain a relaxed and active upper body to absorb impact and guide your bike.
  4. Use the trail scanning technique to read the trail, but make sure you do not stay focused on the “now” for too long! Keep your gaze up to what is coming “next” to ensure you stay on course and ready for the next obstacle.
  5. Try to keep your bike moving forward by keeping your body weight centered and maintaining momentum by absorbing impacts with arms and legs. This will ensure your bike skips over rocks instead of falling into the holes between them.

Want to learn the basics? Click below for Leigh's beginner mountain biking tips! 

MTB 101

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