1. On the approach
The section we used for the sequence was a genuinely natural and unridden banking. As there was no line worn in from the flat plateau, some extra caution and forward thinking was needed. One of the biggest issues with regards to getting off a bank and onto a flatter section is carrying too much speed by the bottom. Therefore, your approach needs to be cautious, confident, balanced and probably slower than you think.
2. Square edge
Much like crossing roots or ditches, an approach that puts you into the crux at a perpendicular angle will make your life a lot easier. From this example, the entrance had to be squared off early to avoid any turning on the ledge. This straight-line approach will make you more stable on the drop by avoiding any off-camber. By hitting the bottom straight, everything from your body position to your balance will be positively affected.
3. Dropping in
As your bike rolls over the lip you need to move your weight towards the rear axle. Every move should be led from the hips with the aim of keeping your centre of gravity as low as possible. How far you move will depend on how steep the slope is, how fast you’re going or how much of a contrast the change in gradients is. In this example, the drop was sufficiently steep that the run-in had to be at walking pace — demanding full movement backwards over the ledge.
4. Nose dive
Now for the hardest part. With your bike on the steep bank and your weight back, you have to prepare for the harsh compression at the bottom. Dragging your back brake may be necessary to check your speed. However, to avoid driving yourself front wheel first into the ground, you’ll have to take your weight off the bars for the crucial fraction of a second. To do this ‘micro manual’, you’ll need to quickly release the brake and unweight the bars.
To transfer gracefully from the steep bank to the flat bottom with minimal impact, the un-weighting of the bars is crucial. The most common mistake made is to keep your weight fully back for the entire drop, making any further movement backwards impossible. Give yourself room to move by either stopping short of full movement on the slope or by moving forwards fractionally before the bottom. It’s just a manual really, but in an incredibly awkward location.