Bikeskills’ Greg Minnaar flashes by on his way to another win in the 2010 UCI World Cup Series. Greg has been very consistent this year with first, third, and first place finishes in the still-early World Cup Series. What might be mountain biking’s most spectacular event is also the sports’ most skill-intensive. Read on to learn the basics from the very best, Greg Minnaar.
Familiar Territory for Three Time World Champion, Greg Minnaar: First Place!
Greg Started the 2010 off right with a win in Maribor Slovenia. And while a equipment problem at the second World Cup at Fort Williams cost Greg the win, he still ended up on the podium in third place as well as racking up additional points with his top qualifying time.
So What Can the Average Mountain Biker Learn From a World Champion Racer? A Lot!
You might not think that flying down a slippery root and rock infested (and wow was this year’s Maribor course all that…) has much to do with the average mountain bike ride, but you’d be wrong!
Truth is, the basics of mountain biking are just that: basic to any and all mountain biking. The big difference between Greg’s all-out effort in incredibly demanding terrain and conditions and mainstream riding is that’s it’s Greg’s job. But like you and me, Greg neither wants to, nor can afford to, get hurt. So more than anything else, having good skills helps you become, a safer rider. Who better to learn than from than a world champion?
And as Greg will tell you, the greater your skills, the more you’re going to enjoy your riding. So take a few minutes and watch Greg in the video above. Pay close attention as he goes over the basics, including:
If you aren’t sure about a technical challenge or terrain ahead, stop and get off your bike and walk
Remember that when the trail starts pointing down you’ll need to get down and get back on your bike to maintain a low, rearward weight bias
Be prepared for the unexpected – especially when you’re riding new terrain or trails
Avoid the tendancy to look straight down – especially as your speed increases. The faster you go, the further ahead you need to look in order to have to react
Anticipate and brake early: late braking can result in entering a turn or terrain challenge with too much speed, or worse, losing control
Be in a strong body position: be prepared to resist and absorb forces
Remember to scan the trail side-to side: trail hazards and alternative lines aren’t just ahead of you
Rutted, off-camber and other tough turns present an even greater challenge when descending than climbing or flat and level: be ready for them
Downhill sections and downhill riding is a lot of fun but it’s also demanding and can be dangerous. Be careful, realistic about your skills, make sure your bike is appropriate and in good working condition, and wear the proper protection for the level of terrain challenges you could face.