Learning how to balance on your bike will come in very handy while you’re out on the trail. One of the things that helped me get this skill down was riding my fixed gear bike. As I would wait at a stop light during my commutes to work, I’d do a track stand. The cool thing about a fixed gear is that you can pedal backwards. While I wait for the light to change, I simply get off my saddle, use my pedals to either pedal very slightly forward or backwards. The biggest factor in balancing is moving your weight side to side. Yes the front wheel will help, but once you start practicing balancing, you’ll notice your hips/butt and shoulders move side to side…kinda like a trials rider.
Just watch Trials Rider Ryan Leech in this video.
Here’s a picture of me from last weeks Santiago Oaks ride. You’ll see that my shoulders and hips are compensating for my weight. This was a drop that basically didn’t give you room to have a running start. I had to get on my bike, clip in and roll all within a foot.
Balancing will also help your descending skills. While you’re going down a rock garden, you’ll be moving your weight in all directions in order for you to not fall over.
It’s true that this tech tip isn’t necessarily a mechanical thing you do on how to fix bikes. But this tech tip will help you learn how to handle more technical trails that you’ll be riding. So get out there and start practicing track stands on your bike. The longer you can do it, the better…just like sex. 🙂