Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Nicely Executed Turn

The Downslope of the Switchback
(the old door is gone now and there is only one pallet left)

One of the things I love about mountain biking is the feeling of complete control in challenging terrain. The other day I executed a beautiful turn on the Merlin. It went something like this: I entered the Fausto Trail, while leaning slightly back off the saddle. I bleed off some speed, line up the bike to the high outside edge of the switchback, enter the curve by leaning right while slightly turning the front wheel. When exiting the switchback, I aim for a point down the hill towards the right side of the trail (because on the left is a steep drop). My angle puts me in a position where I am going to miss the wooden pallet (a make-do water bar). I lean a bit more to the right, twisting the front wheel simutaniously and the Merlin's rigid fork tracks perfectly. I nail the groove between the pallet and the cut bank and now it is smooth sailing down the steep, slippery, and gravelly slope. I tap the brakes a bit to control my speed. My CG* is aft of the saddle, but my upper legs are in contact with the seat so I can make quick, minute adjustments as I descend. I keep the bike from slidding off the trail because on both sides are guaiatoto plants; the plant from hell! Once past the guaiatotos, and on the flats, I relax a bit. This trail is fun but too short.

*center of gravity

1 comment:

SS:Mtn Biker said...

These are the moments that just seem....right!