Mountain Bike!: A Manual of Beginning and Advance Technique
Ultimate mountain bike tutorial
A few weeks ago while rushing down a trail on my bike I wiped-out and broke a rib. I wished I had read this book earlier. Its completely hand-drawn tutorial of mountain bike techniques and skills would have cured my mistake. Each page is hand drawn, full of humor, packed with experience, and conveys memorable lessons. Author Nealy’s hilarious one page cartoons are more effective in teaching crucial things than either text or video. Although it was written — I mean drawn — in 1992 it’s still amazingly valid. The bikes have changed but the skills and challenges are the same. It’s a really great how-to.
Before you begin a self-training session RELAX, this ain't Wall Street. You can't lose riding a mountain bike. If you are working on a technique and you fail two or three times in a row, STOP!! Do something else and try again later. This is called "Training To Failure" (positive progressive training; pushing the envelope). If you push a training session beyond three successive failures you are "Training To Fail" (negative regressive training; more pain than fun). As you become more adept at self-teaching and pushing yourself appropriately you'll be able to discern where good (beneficial) training ends and bad (regressive) traning begins. [Hint: lack of fun marks the spot.]
Cone of Movement - The amount of lean a rider can exert on his/her bike is determined by the focus of his/her stance: in a seated position, the cone of movement is focused on the seat [fig. 1] and is relatively small. The greater the obstacle, the larger the cone of movement must be to surmount it. [fig 2.]
From a standing position the cone of movement is huge compared to sitting. This gives the rider an exponentially greater number of options in terms of leans, weight shifts and control.
On level or down-sloping trails you can keep your pedals and cranks clear of ground clutter by keeping your cranks more or less level and pumping the pedals up and down.
Another excellent reason to hang onto your bike in any fall is a loose bike's proclivity to become a very gnarly projectile during a wipe-out!