The Library of All Knowledge

The Adventure Bike Riding School

So you've reached the end of the pavement. End of the world? Heck no, it's the start of the adventure.

First off prepare to attack...

The Attack Position

This is straight from the book of harcore off road racing. Simply stand up on your pegs. Simple, isn't it?

Really you should be standing up with the balls of your feet (the part behind the toes) on the footpegs. This way if you clip something, you foot will be kicked off and not get wrapped around the footpeg. Getting wrapped hurts even with MX boots on. If you need to shift or brake, then feel free to move your foot. This also allows your ankle to be part of the suspension. Mind you it's a killer on the calf muscles. So I would save it for the real rough stuff if your not used to it.

Next bend your knees. This makes them another part of the suspension. This can also kill the thighs, so slightly bent is OK for a regular gravel road, with a bit more bend on the single track. Also you can grap the bike with your knees to help support the upper body and keep you on the bike in whoops (wavey) sections.

Your torso should be forward. On a dirtbike, you should be able to look down at the rim of the numberplate. But really you should be focusing on a spot at least 50ft in front of the bike.

Your arms should be bent with your elbows up. This allows your chest muscles help with the arms in controlling the bike. Handlebar setup here is very helpful. Loosen the bars and roll them out of the way. Then assume the position and roll the bars until they meet your hands. Tighten the bars and adjust the controls. Having the bars set will ease transition between sitting and standing. Counter-steering works by pushing down on the bars on the side you want to turn in. Also keep two fingers on the clutch and brake, ready to use at anytime.

Now when you do this, keep limber. Why you may ask? The reason is that the attack position's secret is being dynamic. Firstly it's keeps you seperate from the bike so that the impacts it takes, are not transmitted to you. Also it lets your body weight assist in control of the bike. When you ride downhill, you shift your weight back. Uphills require you shift your weight forward. Turns are best done with the body centered over your bike. All this requires a dynamic base.

Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.