Railing Corners, maintaining body position while braking for corner.

Interesting braking and cornering question asked by one of my students:

“Just a quick follow up question.  I have been having a problem getting out of position before cornering, primarily caused by hard braking (especially if there are rough terrain before the corner or if I come in too hot).  As I brake, my body gets behind the center and lower as well, and by the time I start entering the corner, I am out of the “attack” position.  My front wheel feels light, and it becomes difficult to get in the correct cornering body position.

If you have suggestions as to how to properly transition from braking into cornering (especially under hard braking), I would appreciate it.”

Interesting question, I have been working on the same issue, especially last weekend at Snowmass. The problem stems from getting back while we brake, getting low is good but we need to stay more centered so when we release the brakes and the bike accelerates we are centered and ready to attack the corner.  I was taught the old school, “get way back while you brake” which does help the rear brake a bit but actually hurts the effectiveness of the much more powerful front brake.  Getting back also puts me out of balance and makes it hard to corner correctly.  My entire focus at the last two races has been to stay centered as I brake, use A LOT of front brake and then let off and attack the corner. Believe me, the entrances to these corners are really rough and brake bumped, but you can still stay centered. When working with Greg Minnaar he really stresses this. It sounds scary but once you do it you realize two things: 1. you can brake in a much shorter distance with more control (less front wheel slide) 2. you are in a much better position to corner when you let off the brakes. This is another reason to practice the braking drills from the camp you took.

As always it comes down to doing drills to master skills then practicing with purpose and a focus on quality!

Create a railed corner (or two)!

This email made my day. 11 year olds rock!

I got this email after a fun but long day coaching in the rain.  All the way from New Zealand!  I am  stoked to be helping him and stoked for him to be so darn cool.

“Hi Gene

My name is Dino Rutten and i am 11 years old . I started downhill last year and rode my hardtail school bike in 4 competitions which was really challenging as i only had v brakes. Mum said i had to do the season on my old bike to see if i was keen so i rode really hard and for xmas i got a second hand softail a marin quake 7.2 2008 which i love. I have just done the Raboplus series and came 6th in the under 15s at the Nationals so I cant wait for next season. We dont have a downhill club here so my mum has just started one called Gravity downhill club and she has just got us some land to build tracks in, its really cool. There are about 12 boys some big like 19 who have joined up and now we need a coach. So your riding tips is really helping me  to be a good rider. I have lots of pictures of Greg Minnaar on my bedroom wall and i think he could nail Sam Hill any day.

Thank you

How cool is that!  The kid’s hero is Greg Minnaar!  A much better role model than my hero when I was Dino’s age (Evel Knievel) and not some rugby player or soccer player.  Dino you are the coolest 11 year old I haven’t met (which makes you the coolest 11 year old in the world as I don’t know any 11 year old kids)