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climbing out of a rut

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What's the best way to climb out of a rut that you are in, and something is coming up or you need to change and not follow the rut?

I don't have any pics handy, but often I find that on a trail, there will be a deep (1-3') naturally formed v-shaped drainage rut that runs down the trail, often with boulders in the bottom of the V. The sides of the rut are steep, and hard packed decomposed granite or other dried clay type material. The trail on the top of either sid of the rut is usually also not flat, but slopes upward and may be very narrow. I often try to run there, and end up getting down in the rut. The trail is usually steep up or downhill, and lined on both sides with unridable bushes, or falls off/shear wall up type thing.

The problem is when things are moving fast, and I need to get out of the rut, I can get the front to climb out, but the back slides along the rut unpredictably, or falls back in due to lack of traction.

What's the best tehnique for riding these ruts?

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In most cases, I usually ride the rut out til the end. If you need to get out due to change in trail - or something else, you'll need to stop and literally exit at 90 degrees or otherwise, trying to ride slowly out will result in rear wheel dropping back down. This is for those deep rain ruts you described.

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I'm about the same as MX813...

I'll ride high and quick to stay out of the rut in the first place, but once I'm in I just ride it through.

Suppose on the off times that I have to get out...

I'll straddle the bike with my feet on either side of the channel and pop the front wheel out with the throttle and clutch. Then if I can't get the rear out by riding it, I'll just lift it out.

Seems more often than not, if it's that tough to stay out of in the first place... I'll be back in the channel soon enough with a bunch of wasted effort/time with nothing to show for it.

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There is a technique you can use depending on the depth of the rut and that's the good old bounce. (you can use clutch as well but it's not as easy)

while maintaining speed not accelerating, look at where you want to be (your head will make the finer body muscles move to make the bike turn - it's weird to hear but were you look is where you go)

bounce the suspension and on it's way up blip the throttle and let the rear wheel climb up and out and into the next line/rut - this is a very tricky manoeuvre and will not work in all situations, however after a while/falls you will be able to employ this method quite successfully.

Without a picture it's quite difficult to know if the advice I'm giving you will even work.

NOTE: When you blip the throttle, I'm not talking 12 o clock just up and out, but the rear wheel needs to exit the rut first before coming back down - so it needs to be smooth like dancing with your girl, at first you stand all over her toes then it comes together and poetry in motion.

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Thanks, guys. I appreciate your suggestions. I will think about what you said and try to practice next time out.

<<while maintaining speed not accelerating, look at where you want to be (your head will make the finer body muscles move to make the bike turn - it's weird to hear but were you look is where you go) >>

Yeah, chillwabbit, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I repeat over and over to myself "look where you want to go", "look far ahead", and "speed is your friend". The last one is to overcome the results of the natural tendancy to only assess, in your mind, a short distance ahead.

Thanks again.

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First, when in a rut make sure you are standing up on the bike (better balance and less tendency to want to steer out of it unintentionally), to exit the rut blip the throttle to unload the front and use body english to steer the front up and out of the rut. Then immediately ease up on the throttle, shift weight forward and let the rear tire ride out of the rut without excess throttle (too much throttle will cause the rear to track alone the rut).

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We get those same ruts on hills where I ride. In my opinion, the best approach is to avoid staying in the rut for any length of time in the first place.

Many times, both sides of the trail are sloped toward the rut so it is difficult to stay out of the rut if you pick one side and try to stay there. What I find effective, is to start on one side of the rut then when you can't hold it there any longer, look for the best place to cross the rut. Ride on that side as long as you can hold it then look for another good place to cross and repeat. Your path up or down the hill will be a weaving pattern back and forth across the rut in large sweeping motions.

It is a similar concept to the circus motorcycle riders that ride inside a cylinder or a ball. You are using centrifugal force to hold you on the side of a sloped surface that you otherwise would slide off of.

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