Grinding is our second Advanced fundamental skill, and just like precise wheel placement which we discussed last month, we use this skill to avoid and conquer so many nasty trail obstacles such as long, deep ruts. This skill is also a big help in us being able to maintain control and forward motion of the bike if you or the bike get off balance. It is preferable to do this skill while in the standing position for increased upper body movement to help maintain control and balance. You should also practice this skill in the seated position as there will some times on the trail that you will only be able to be in this position while grinding.
Start off with trying this skill on a dirt bank/ledge or railroad ties with your front wheel up on the high side and the rear wheel sliding/grinding along the lower edge of the obstacle. Take it easy but you do need to have an adequate amount of speed to make performing this skill possible by making it a little easier for that wheel rear to actually slip along the edge. To control the bike you need to adjust not only your body position for balance but also the throttle position and steering so as to keep your bike sliding at the appropriate angle. Too much throttle and not enough counter steering will result in sliding out. Not enough throttle and too much counter steering could end up in a trip over the hangers from a highside crash. You also need to be very precise with your wheel placement to master this fundamental skill.
We give instruction and show actual demonstrations of this in Volume 1 of our new series of Advanced Instructional DVDs, that is now on sale through our on-line store. You can view some examples of this skill in the promo teaser for Volume 1 at http://www.shanewatts.com Make sure you check it out!
Learn the “Why” behind the “What” in this new series of “Dirt Wise with Shane Watts” Advanced Instructional DVDs. Volume 1 covers and in depth analysis of techniques required to conquer Mud, Sand, and Rough Ground conditions you will find out on the trail. Other topics included in the DVD are segments on bike and suspension set-up, along with other essentials to prepare yourself for these nasty conditions. Available from www.shanewatts.com for $24.95. Get free shipping and a signed poster if ordered before March 15.