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Benefits of cycling

5 MTB Balance Challenges To Master | Mountain Bike Skills

– Right balance, without balance you wouldn’t be able to ride your bike. It’s the first thing you learn. Here’s five essential skill tips on how to increase your balance out there. All you need is a car park,
just like the one behind me. I’m gonna kick it off,
number one, trackstand. – Yes the trackstand, it’s the first thing I start to do when I get on my
bike is start to trackstand. And the great thing about this you want to be able to do it anywhere. It’s good, because when I’m
climbing up a steep climb, I’m using the trackstand when
I get to a technical section in the trail, and it’s slow. I’m using the trackstand. The other thing is when
you’re at the top of a decent. I trackstand, look at my
line, and then I roll in. But, if you’re struggling with it, best thing is to find a bank. Right, you want to find yourself a nice mellow bank, nothing too steep. You want to face up the bank. You want to have your bars
a little bit kinked as well. Because having them
straight is really hard. Trust me, it kinda doesn’t work. So a little kink to the bars like that. And the nature of this bank, is your bike’s gonna
naturally move backwards, so when it moves back
you’re applying pressure to your front pedal. On your foot just like that as a brake. You’re gonna use your
brakes as well a little bit, but you’re gonna find yourself rocking, but that’s you trying to get balance. So you are naturally gonna move back and forth, back and forth. If you’re struggling to find your balance, I find myself staring at
something on the floor to help me get my concentration levels up. But when you get used to that, you can start looking around. Right, the banks a great
place to hone in that skill of doing the trackstand, but try and do it on the flat ground. You’ll find yourself
using your brakes a lot. You’re kind of leaning
forward into your brakes so you’ve got somewhere to balance. But if you find yourself losing balance, move forward and start again, reset. Try both sides, you go
this side or this side, and you’re using that rocking
motion to keep balance. But when you get super comfortable, maybe you can take off your hand. Look at that, or maybe? Maybe two hands? Whoa no. Right, number two, this
ones a pretty cool one. Dotty told me about this and he taught me how to do it as well. And it’s fun because you’re
learning your balancing skills, and challenging mates
on how low you can go. And what I mean is, all
you need is one of these. Place your water bottle on the floor. Have your saddle quite low and then ride up to your water bottle, lean over, pick it up, and
put it back in your cage. Easy, right? That was super easy. So now to make even more harder, lift your saddle up, just a little bit. I’m gonna go that much. You’re gonna have to stretch a lot lower. So that’s getting quite low. Let’s make it harder. Right now my saddles super high up. Now I’m gonna come in, not
too fast, grab it, put it in. That was too easy. Okay now that’s getting too easy. I’m kind of losing my
balance a little bit, but I’m gonna make it harder, and I’m gonna lay my bottle
flat on the ground like that. Right, my saddle is at full height. Now I’m gonna try and bend
down and pick up my bottle. This quite, yeah. Oh no, it’s quite hard. I’m not embarrassed just yet. (laughing)
Yes. You see what I did there. I’m using my balance, but
I’m counterweighting myself with my other leg. So this foot came off the pedal, and I kind of seesawed
down and picked it up. But it’s all about balance. You’re moving your body
weight around your bike. It kind of gets you a bit
more comfortable on your bike. Okay, now you’ve picked it up. Now you gotta put it back down. But you don’t want to just drop it down. You want to put it down like
a nice full cup of hot tea on your table and you
don’t want to spill it. So you want to place it down
gently so it doesn’t fall over. But to make it even more interesting, I still have little bit
of water in this bottle and that’s kind of giving it
a little bit of a, bit stable. Now a little bit windy. It’s quite light, and I’m
gonna try and place it. Look at that, I’m gonna try and place it without letting it fall. I’m gonna challenge myself
and I’m gonna put it down with my left hand. (laughing)
Mixing it up a bit. And I’m not really used to
my left hand side really. You always have a preference
to what side you like to turn, or what side you like to balance on. My strong side is my right side. My weak side is my left side. Ahhh, see it’s a challenge. If you had your friends around, this should be a cool challenge, eh? You’d be laughing. Who does it first? Oh look at the trackstand
going in there, yes! It’s surprising how fun it is
just having a water bottle, placing it back down
either side of your bike. I find myself, my left side I need a little bit more work with my balance. Now, that brings me on to number four. Right, this is the quickest
way to look super weird in the car park, but it’s gonna help you. ‘Cause I’ve seen a lot of people out there are quite stiff when riding their bike. They don’t understand how far they can go whilst moving on their bike. So this is all about the
four quadrants of your bike, left and right, forward and backwards. What you want to do is not go too fast. You want to go slow and you want to see how
far you can lean back. How far you want to lean
forward, and left and right. So slow speed back,
forward, back, forward. So you want to try and get your body into some extreme positions. You find yourself using
that trackstand as well when moving around in slow speeds. Right, so after being super
weird in the car park. All the eyes are on you,
but the jokes on them, because you’re gonna be
super balanced out there. And it’s weird, ’cause
you’re gonna find yourself in some weird body positions. Not necessarily having your body weight in the right areas when
you’re doing the trackstand. Pretty cool, this brings
me onto number five. Right, I’ve got some sticks. Rocks will do, tins will
do, anything will do. Any obstacles would do but
it has to be quite small. What I’m gonna do is place this down. This is all about slow speed
control whilst turning. What you’ll find is my front
wheel is gonna come ’round. I’ll turn ’round on my front
wheel as sharp as I can, and what I’m gonna see is my rear wheel is gonna come on the inside. So I’m coming in with
a small bit of speed. I’m going into that slow speed,
turning as sharp as I can, and splitting my wheels. But that’s super basic, and that’s just me showing you exactly how the
split wheel technique works. I’m gonna make it harder for myself. Just gonna place one there, one there. That’s quite a scary one. One there like that. So my aim is not to hit
the sticks with my wheels. So I’m gonna go wide with the front. So it compensates with the rear. You see using that trackstand
technique to get ’round. Get round that. It’s quite hard. So you’re using that trackstand. You’re moving your body
weight slightly forward. I’m going quite big with
the front arc with the turn, and then to bring it through and just snake through quietly and slowly. Right if you find that this
is just a little bit too easy then just make the gaps
a little bit smaller. And likewise if it’s too hard, make the gaps a little bit bigger. But once you’ve mastered
that and you’ve had fun and your mates and your
friends have gone through. Make a different course. So I’m gonna leave that
as my turning point, and what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna make a real
close corner like this. So I’ve made my course, there
is a massive cliff there, and I don’t want to touch those sticks, and I don’t want to
touch this stick either. ‘Cause if I touch it,
it’s like a loaded bomb. It’s gonna blow me up so
I don’t want to touch it. (laughing)
Well I nearly fell over then. That is quite tight. This is a great way to practise those slow speed cornering skills, but it’s always good to
practise going the other way. So I’ve built that one over there. This is a figure of eight,
so I’m gonna go left here, and then I’m gonna go right on that one. Then you mix it up, you
can go left on that one and right on this one, ’cause
each corner is different. Now this is a challenge. So there you go five
awesome ways to increase your balancing skills out
there by just using a car park. The trackstand is definitely one that you’re gonna be using
out there on the trail. Especially when you come
to a sticky situation, you’re gonna end up in that trackstand. Picking up the bottle
and putting it back down. Now that’s a great way
to challenge yourself and your buddies out there. And then moving your body weight from extreme positions on your bike, just to get a little bit more comfortable on where you can place your body weight and try and balance it out as well. And then my favourite,
the course challenge. I love doing this. I actually really do like doing this, especially when you’re
out there on the trail going through trees and seeing
if you can split your wheels, and going as super slow as possible. I love doing it. But if you love this video
definitely give it a thumbs up. If it helped you, smash that globe if you haven’t subscribed already and you want to learn anything else, click this video, basic skills. Let me know what else you want to learn, down in the comments below. And I’ll see you at the next one.

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