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How To Get On & Off A Moving Cyclocross Bike | Emma Does Cyclo-Cross Episode 2

How To Get On & Off A Moving Cyclocross Bike | Emma Does Cyclo-Cross Episode 2


– If you know anything about cyclocross, I’m sure you will know that
from time to time in a race you will need to get off your
bike, pick it up, and run. Emma, what are you wearing? – [Emma] Well, it’s all this jumping on and off the bikes thing,
it’s making me nervous. It just looks a bit dangerous, so I thought I’d come protected. – Seriously, you will be absolutely fine. Although, I’m not entirely
sure that if you did have any issues, that you’ve necessarily protected quite the right places. But anyway, in this
video, Emma is gonna learn how to get off a moving bike, pick it up, run with it, and then jump back on. (intense boomy sound effect) Cyclocross is all about momentum. It’s hard-won, and so you need to try and conserve it as much as possible. And the very nature of riding off road means that there are gonna be times when you are either quicker to get off and run, or you simply can’t ride the bike at all. So whilst we’re thinking about momentum, the trick is to actually get off the bike before you start to slow down,
i.e, dismount a moving bike, and then, similarly,
when you finish running, if you get back on the bike,
you do that moving as well, so again you conserve
that hard-won momentum. You should be absolutely
fine, Emma, because you have, of course, your background
in triathlon and duathlon. – [Emma] Yeah, well you
say that, but actually, in duathlon for example,
I was fine at running, and fine at riding, but the getting on and off the bike bit, I sucked at it. Basically I like to approach my bike like one might approach a skittish horse. Slowly, and carefully, and with respect, not just kind of leap onto it willy nilly. It just looks painful to be honest. – Well, firstly your bike
will appreciate that approach, but no, it’s not painful because there’s actually a really
clear, precise technique. And so once you learn that
and get your head around it, you’ll find that there isn’t really all that much risk of any
kind of injury at all. Where you practice is important, so we are on this really
nice, soft forest path. Grass would do well as well. Nice and flat so you don’t have to worry about picking up too much speed. This is gonna be the place, Emma, where you totally nail
getting on and off the bike. So we need to approach the obstacle at less than a fast running pace,
so a comfortable running pace because obviously, otherwise,
you hit the ground… – [Emma] Too fast. – Exactly.
– That sounds bad. – But for learning, we
can go slower than that. You just wanna be slightly
above walking pace, because then you’ve got a bit
more stability on the bike. You feel a bit more comfortable. Then what we need to do
is put our left pedal in the six o’clock position. Now most people will get off the bike on the left hand side. It’s a good idea simply because the drive train is on the other side, so there’s less to get caught
up in when you’re running, and also when you pick up the bike, you don’t have that
resting against your back. So with our weight on our left leg, the pedal at six o’clock, we’re then gonna need to unclip our right foot and swing the right leg round the back. – [Emma] That’s where I start
getting worried, but yeah. – Well, no, don’t, because you’ll be okay. Hands on the brake hoods. If they’re on the drops
you’ll probably find you’re a little bit too low down. On the hoods you can kind of be nice and upright and controlled. On the tops, you’ve
obviously got no brakes anywhere near it, and so you have no way of adjusting your speeds to running pace. But you can be quite stable,
because you’ve also got the saddle resting against
your right thigh there. The next step is you take
your right hand off the lever and you grab hold of the top tube. It keeps the bike under nice control, and it also means that when we get off we can just pick it straight up, so it’s definitely quicker. You can actually put quite a bit of weight through that right
hand, so you’re not just resting it all on your arms and your foot. You can unweight that foot. Then, are you ready? You click out and you start running. Give it a go. – [Emma] What could possibly go wrong? – Nothing can go wrong. Come on, Emma. Looking good, looking good. – [Emma] Is this too fast? – No, perfect, perfect. That’s it. – [Emma] Oh, I didn’t do the hand. – Well, no, that was a good start. That was a proper good start. – [Emma] Probably don’t need to slow down. That’s kind of not the point, isn’t it? – You did start to slow
down at the end there, but I thought you were
gonna crash into me, so I was quite pleased in a way. It’s just a case of practicing, when you get a bit more comfortable in that position of being on one foot. – [Emma] Oh, it’s not bad,
I mean, I didn’t die, so… – No, no, absolutely not. – [Emma] Don’t worry,
I won’t crash into you because you look like the least comfy place to land, to be honest. – I’m quite pointy. – [Emma] Right, I’m gonna try again. I have confidence now. I almost did it. – Okay, nice, looking good. Yeah, perfect. (beep) – [Emma] Yeah, that was kind of closer to nature than I wanted to get. What went wrong there? Balance. – I think you just lost
your balance a little bit. Remember you can still
steer to keep your balance. So I think at this point you just, I think you panicked a little bit because you knew you couldn’t
get that right foot down, and then you went, whereas actually, if you’d steered instead of leaning… Would it be helpful to just
practice scooting with the bike? – [Emma] Yeah. – So what I mean is, literally like, you’ve got your foot on the pedal, and you kind of start. (short vocalized heroic melody) Because then you can kind
of steer a little bit. Nice. Having your hand on the top tube is probably, is fair to
say, the next step on. So it’s a fairly quick
maneuver for you then to take one hand off the bars
and pick up the top tube. Keep your hands on the bars, I reckon. – [Emma] Yeah, I think
the hands on bars is me. I just don’t feel like I’ve got the balance to do one hand and one foot while that hand is transitioning
from here to there. I just don’t, I think it’s
beyond my balance capability. – You will definitely be able to get it, but it probably is something
that you need to practice. So, no, it’s fine. In the short term it’s
not a problem at all. Yeah, both hands on the
bars is totally cool. So let’s skip the top tube bit. The next point, I’m
gonna bring our obstacle back in front of us,
because we obviously need to get off for something, so
we’ll talk timing now, okay? You basically want to be on
your bike as much as possible, because it’s basically
more energy efficient to be freewheeling than
it is to be running, which means getting off as close to the obstacle as you feel comfortable. So when you watch the pros do it, they leave it really late. I’d give yourself a little
bit of grace period, particularly because you’re
holding the handlebars, and so you’re gonna need
obviously to then take that hand, put it on the top tube,
and then pick up the bike. – [Emma] Almost. Uh, oh, my brakes, I’m leaving, oh (beep). – Just, uh, yeah. Yeah, brilliant. – [Emma] More like a hippo than a… Presumably if you leave
it too late and you’re still dismounting when you
encounter the obstacle, that is not optimal. – No, it’s fair to say
that would be sub-optimal. In most instances, you will
probably be off the bike for maybe five meters or so,
in which case you’d pick it up by the top tube, and then run. You never want to push
a cross bike, ideally. If you’re going for any longer, and you’re running up a hill, for example, then you want to think about
putting it on your shoulder. My frame’s a lot bigger than yours, so I can actually lift it quite easily. – [Emma] That looks neat. – Yeah, because it’s
quite a spacious frame. So the actual getting it on your shoulder might require a modification
of the technique, but you can always tell a crossrider by the way they hold their bike, because rather than leaving it like this with the saddle in your helmet and the front wheel near the floor and running around like that, you have it much more neatly… – [Emma] That does look neat, yeah. – Now you’re looking good. So you got your hand round the head tube. That’s really good
because it keeps the bike nice and firmly up there at the front. It keep your back wheel
way off the ground, and also, when you’re in a
race, and you got rivals, you can now control the back of the bike, and you can actually hit them
in the face, or block them. – [Emma] Sneaky. – Yeah, no, don’t do that. Nice. You have very nearly graduated from jumping on and off school for cyclocross. You’ve totally nailed it so far. This one probably, if
you’ll pardon the pun, is the biggest hurdle. First thing to talk about is the fact that we’re not trying to do the high jump here. We’re not trying to set
any records for altitude. – [Emma] That’s good because
I’m rubbish at high jump. – Okay, well you only have to jump. as high as you need to jump. And then the second thing
really, is that actually the process is in fact less about jumping and more about speeding up the process that you do every time
you get on your bike. So swinging your leg over and
just jumping in the saddle. That is what you’re doing. You’re just doing it at speed, okay? So no jumping, that’s when
there’s a recipe for disaster. We simply are looking
to learn that technique whilst on the move. So hopefully that sort of reduces the fear factor a little bit. – [Emma] The reason it
worries me is because I feel like my saddle is quite high compared to my leg length, so I feel like if I don’t jump high enough,
that it’s going to be worse than jumping too high. And see, when I get on a bike, I normally do pedals first because I can’t quite sit on the saddle. – No, but then that’s where the little kind of hop comes in, and
then you just go, oh yeah. – [Emma] And a bit of
coordination (mumbles). – Yeah, it’s like – [Emma] Oh dear. – No, you’ll be fine. Okay, you ready? – [Emma] Yeah, you show me how. – Okay, right, first
of all, start up front. We hold the handlebars either
on the hoods or the tops. We learned last year that Sven Nys has one hand on the brake
and one hand on the top, so you could do it like him, and he’s the greatest of all time. Then, this is the bit that I think a lot of people don’t necessarily learn, is you push the bike
forward, because that means that your leg, your right leg
doesn’t have to come as far, because it’s only traveling
over the back wheel. You can probably push it
even further in front of you. Maybe not quite that far. (laughter) Like that. And then, and we can do
this from stationary, we’re looking to jump just high enough so that we land on, like
your inner thigh basically, so don’t try and land
on your bum, or worse. You wanna land on your thigh,
and then your momentum, because you’re kind of jumping across the bike as well as forward, is gonna carry you nicely into the saddle. So maybe try on the tops so
you’re having to reach less far. – [Emma] Ooh, I never ride on tops though. – No, but you don’t have to
ride, you just have to get on, and then immediately you
can be back like that. And we don’t even have to
be running to start with. You push the bike forward in front of you, and then kind of jump after it, okay? – [Emma] (beep). – Think of it more in terms
of one diagonal motion as opposed to two separate motions. – [Emma] The two vectors combining, right. – Hey, there we go. That was cool. Now, all it is a case of is just adding a little bit more velocity. So to start with, maybe kind of leaping forward with a bit more gusto. And, gusto. (Emma laughs) I don’t think it’s
reasonable to expect anyone to learn it in an hour, or
two hours, or an afternoon, but by practicing these basic principles over and over again, then
you’ll totally nail it. You’ve got the technique,
it’s just a case of you kind of practice it, like, you know, even the top
crossriders will be practicing these techniques, yeah, you know, like just on the bikes, in
training, in the woods, they’ll be practicing getting on and off. – [Emma] So you’re saying
I have to practice. – I think so, and then we’ll
probably discover that, like just about every
other form of cycling, you’ll totally nail it,
you’ll become national champ, and then the rest is history. – [Emma] I’m a bit tired. It’s been a long afternoon
of falling off (beep). – If you want to see the beginner skills, which Emma mastered, previous video, then you can get through to
that one just down there. And otherwise, please give
this a quick big thumbs up. – [Emma] And don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down here.

100 comments on “How To Get On & Off A Moving Cyclocross Bike | Emma Does Cyclo-Cross Episode 2

  1. Si, the technique that would have kept Emma upright during her first dismount would have been to unclip that left foot a full pedal stroke earlier, riding on the unclipped ball of the left foot at the 6 o’clock position, then as you demonstrate, unclip the right, swing the leg over and dismount. The unclip as you hop off the pedal method works, but not always, and when it doesn’t it’s a disaster.

  2. Ahh where was this video last week when I landed tailbone first on the nose of my saddle!? This is so much more clear than watching Sven Nys explain it.

  3. Great job, Emma! Practice makes perfect. You should consider doing a collab video with GMBN about understanding line choice through gnarly terrain. No one knows dirt better than the boys at the Dirt Shed. The skills you learn on a mountain bike during climbs and descents really enhance your road/gravel/cx rides on how to really handle your bike and planning ahead. I became a better road cyclist because of mountain biking. Get on an XC hardtail and get dirty!

  4. This is a much improved video over the equivalent older one with Matt Stephens being schooled in 'cross. The breakdown of things to do in a dismount or remount is much better defined, and consequently easier for newbies. Good work Si, Emma, and GCN.

    Now to actually practice these…

  5. I have been watching you guys for years. I have always found your cross videos interesting and encouraging. This is year is the best yet. You have me itching to try cross.

    Keep it up! Even if it does cause my divorce. Serious, just kidding about the divorce part, she'll just kill me.

  6. And with that sneaky bit of wheels hitting others' faces, the Top 10 Devious Ways To Beat Your Mates needs a cyclocross edition.

    Get Matt as a special guest, and have Si, Lasty and Emma complete the quartet of trail mayhem.

  7. I feel like this is intuitive my very first cyclocross race I didn't know you needed to run with your bike up stairs and when I can around a corner at speed I simply hopped off my bike ran up the stairs with it and jumped on just like Si showed it was quite the surprise but very easy

  8. Great video again, slightly more successful than teaching Matt how to ride CX!  Particularly loved the little grin at 11:13 when Emma nailed the remount…… and Si's cry at 10:58 when I think his plums got in the way of his saddle!! 😮

  9. This is a classic difficulty…. having a tall person trying to explain to a shorter person how to approach cycling. The techniques are not the same. These features do not scale down 1:1.

  10. There is little risk of injury, but get it wrong and there is a good chance of making a fool of yourself! At one of my earlier races, I unclipped, swung my leg over, tried to run and promptly face planted into the sand pit I was trying to cross! It turned out my left pedal was so full of mud that it wouldn't release! And all this was done right in front of the commentator, so obviously got broadcast across the whole site!

    I also saw a comedy failed remount by a sponsored rider at the Nationals a year or so ago. A steep muddy descent after a short run, the rider remounted, but skidded off the pedals as they tried to clip in, slid down onto the top tube, and then had to try and steer the bike through the pronounced ruts with both legs spread wide like out-riggers.

    I think largely because you know cross crashes don't generally result in injury, you can often appreciate the comedy of them!

  11. 4:25 what on earth has Simon got in his pants? I'm not a cyclist, so excuse my ignorance. Is he carrying a spare helmet in there or what? surely he doesn't need that much padding right in that spot?

  12. So much deja vu. I miss Matt. That’s not saying I don’t like Emma, she is awesome and will be better than Matt @ CX. That’s an understatement.

  13. I always struggle with the re-mount. I tend to hesitate when I go to hop back on. I haven't been thinking about pushing the bike forward so I'll try that combined with a bit more practice.

  14. Great video, but dare I blaspheme and ask if CX racers missing a trick from triathletes? Triathletes dismount with the right leg in front of (and across) the left leg instead of behind the left leg. This means the right foot is planted earlier in the run cycle, enabling dismounts at higher speeds. Noted that triathletes are not clipped in at this point , but providing the clip tension is not too strong it is also possible for CX. Maybe not that critical, but in a world of marginal gains, it might mean carrying a little more momentum ?? I'd appreciate thoughts of more experienced CXers.

  15. Okay, got the message. Next time in the woods, I will try this getting on and off the moving bike thingie. If I get on the non-yet-moving bike to begin with. Because first it's onion tartes with new wine. O_o.

  16. Awesome video, and its great to see someone who is one of the best in the world at something (Emma, not Si) learn something new.

    Also, the height difference means those hurdles are a fair bit bigger for Emma!

    Also, also, still looking forward to seeing Emma on GMBN. get some baggies on!

  17. "Pick up your bike and run with it" np I will send you my 14.2 kg alloy ( indestructible) road bike with 32c tires and watch you attempt to run with it lol. This channel is the best , best videos and very good information.

  18. I remember watching the cross videos with Matt 4 years ago and they helped me when I was beginning. For anyone getting into it now, my advice is to find f your local race and enter it! Everyone is very friendly and you get such a variety of riders that you won't feel like an odd one out. Also, it's the best way to learn! Just do it

  19. Thanks Emma for being the ego-less newby who is helping us learn step by step, how many champions do you see who are that selfless (ps love the least comfortable place to land… he is a not very padded at all 🙂)

  20. I'm only a punter but for dismounting i find getting a good contact between the seat and your right hip prior to moving your right hand from the right hood to the top tube gives you three contact points with the bike and much more stability??

  21. Awesome video. Question about the type of cleats. Would you recommend using multi release or single release to train for cyclocross? Do most cross cyclist uses single or multi release cleats?

  22. Cheers to Emma for letting us watch her learn. As someone considerably less accomplished than her I find it embarrassing and irritating to have some watch me learn and especially struggle. Many, many years ago I came from the velodrome and had to learn very similar techniques to race in IU Little 500. I spent many hours of bruising practice including a particularly painful crash on a sandstone track in Texas before I mastered it. But then I was golden and felt totally comfortable. If I can do it in months, Emma can do it in weeks. Wish I’d had Si as a teacher back then. Thanks GCN.

  23. Recently did some mountain biking and road riding with a friend for the first time. He does tons of racing, including cyclocross. He's recommended that I give it a go, so these Emma Does Cyclocross episodes are very timely and helpful and motivating. Thanks!

  24. Many clinics over here (in the US) teach being clipped out on the left side first, especially for those just learning 'cross. It makes it so that you can't really mess up approaching a barrier or running section and do something embarrassing or spectacular if you panic and can't clip out. You can ride on the arch of your foot for a few pedal strokes and ensure you'll always get out doing this slight change in procedure.

  25. I taught myself the basics for cyclocross watching your original series a few years ago. I of course used my mountain bike but the same skills applied. It was a bunch of fun and I got better at it the more I had fun!

  26. The dismount… Well, that was something we all did as kids (at least where I grew up). Of course we weren't clipped-in and were agile with zero fear. Perhaps due to the fact we were on ours for hours every day.

    I am enjoying this series immensely. Thanks to Si and Emma.

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