Hone your skills: on the daily commute
Spice up your ride from the station, to the office, or just popping to the shops: with three of the best skills tips you can learn anywhere. Commuting can get pretty samey, so try practicing your mtb technique – you’ll ride better the next time you head off-road too.
That commute time is an untapped resource waiting to be put to good use. Even if you’re commuting just ten minutes a day that’s nearly an hour of skills training each week. The biggest trick is to lose your inhibitions — yes doing a wheelie in the street is probably something you last did as a kid, but why should the youth get all the fun?! Give these skills a go.
Check out the latest issue of mbr for the complete tarmac skills guide.
Pick a feature and aim to ride along a curb until you reach it. It builds balance and control. Try different things, like sat down, standing up, looking ahead and looking down to see what works best. Make it really hard by adding a curb with a corner in.
On the trails: the curb crawl helps with really techie trail where you need low-speed control.
The bunny hop is a great skill to have and it’s actually dead simple to learn too, and easily mastered on tarmac. On the street just try hopping up curbs or over a crisp packet (avoid dog eggs, the risk/reward ratio is all wrong).
On the trail: clear a hole, a fallen tree or a nasty root, or prejump into chutes and bombholes.
Get good at stoppies by shifting your weight forward on the bike, and dabbing a bit of front break. Build up to it though, so you don’t overshoot. For an extra challenge try pulling a stoppie and allowing the rear wheel to pass off the side of a curb, then pick up to front and hop it off the curb to land both wheels at the same time on the road.
On the trail: The stoppie builds good bike control, and helps learn perfect braking control. You can also use it to get round really tight switchbacks.
Want more skills tips? Learn from the master, former world champ Steve Peat.