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 Post subject: Safe Riding #7 Balance Drills
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 4:42 pm 
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There are some age old commonly known drills that still are very useful: Slow trail riding and slow races, riding the clutch and brakes going as slow as you can; Dragging then locking the front wheel while continuing straight forward; Wheelies followed immediately by stoppies then wheelie again.

Tight Circles- Start by standing balanced on the pegs, and using a combination of clutch, throttle and brake control, ride in small circles at a slow walking pace. Don't put your feet down.

Lean the bike, not your body. Look into the turn. Twist your whole upper body into the turn too.

Jam most of your weight onto the outside peg. Push your outside leg into the tank shroud. The inside leg should be further back, by the seat.

Make the circles small as possible. Then do full-lock figure eights, at walking speed. Use the same body position as before. Keep your speed as constant as possible using the clutch. Use the rear brake to make the bike turn in tighter.

Wheelies with Clutch- Practice wheelies at slow speed, using good clutch and throttle control. In 2nd gear, standing, squeeze your knees against the side of the seat. Then use the clutch with smooth throttle to pop the front end up.

As the front rises, control it by touching the rear brake. Always keep your toe over the rear brake to avoid looping! Practice wheelies so you are consistent with holding them a short distance.

Approach an obstacle that you can easily ride across in 2nd gear, such as a small ditch or foot high bank. When you get near it slip the clutch and open the throttle to lift the front end enough to clear it. Get used to that by doing it a dozen or so times.

Then drop to first gear. Approach slowly, squeeze your legs in and pop the clutch to lift the front wheel from a near standstill. This teaches balance, body position, leg clamping, clutch control, and improves hand/eye coordination. It resembles the position you need starting into the whoops.

Other Balance Exercises
Practice standing, with one leg raised, eyes closed, several times a day. This is difficult at first but gets easier, and sharpens balance dramatically.

Balance can be improved dramatically with slow first gear tight woods riding. You should slow ride ultra tight trails as much as possible, either on the dirt bike, or mountain bike.

Mountain biking builds balance because it is slow and requires extreme balance. Learn to do a long wheelie. Learn how to do a track stand (balance completely still using brakes) on the bicycle.

Practice mountain bike wheelies: 2nd or 3rd gear sitting, pop it up, and get on the back brake and drag the brake while you smoothly pedal.

Do trials type riding on your MTB and dirt bike. Practice riding as slow as you can. It will make you a better rider!

These drills build balance and confidence, which are key to bike control. Balance from slow speed practice drills will make you a more precise, controlled rider.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:27 am 
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Bump to order/sticky these.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:22 am 
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It would be really cool if you could make these into a video series!! Wouldn't be too hard to do, it would just take some time.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:25 am 
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Matt Chester wrote:
It would be really cool if you could make these into a video series!! Wouldn't be too hard to do, it would just take some time.


Good idea :) Just give me a little time

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 Post subject: Re: Safe Riding #7 Balance Drills
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:40 pm 
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I tried the "Tight Circles" drill today and I still need to improve with it, but so far I feel more comfortable on the bike and I actually feel like I have more control. These are great instructions!

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 Post subject: Re: Safe Riding #7 Balance Drills
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:44 pm 
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Glad they are working for ya! they worked for me :D

Funny you should post in this thread that discusses the stoppie- wheelie-stoppie drill and riding with front tire locked up- I was just doing a bunch of those Sunday. Near vertical on the stoppies. :D Perhaps I shall get some video of it this weekend. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Safe Riding #7 Balance Drills
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Thanks Joe, Johnny B and MTF teach the same stuff its nice to read it. Now I have to invest more time, oh there is never enough time. Love this section! ::yippie::

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 Post subject: Re: Safe Riding #7 Balance Drills
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 11:03 pm 
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If you do make a video maybe I can help. I do photography and video production.


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 Post subject: Re: Safe Riding #7 Balance Drills
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 12:52 pm 
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If I still had the 310 or the 500, absolutely. But since they're both long gone and all I have now is the old 465, which is presently down, it is not looking too good! I guess we can do mountain bike videos! LOL

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