Mountain Bike Monday – See Not the Obstacle, but the Way Around


If you look at that big ol' rut on the right, that's exactly where you'll go. Focus on that sliver of rideable trail dead-center.

Welcome to  Mountain Bike Monday at WanderingJustin.com! In each Mountain Bike Monday, I offer some mountain biking wisdom. Sometimes, you’ll get a gear review. Other times, a handy riding tip or three. If you have a question for Mountain Bike Monday, send it to wandering.justins@gmail.com.

It’s been nearly 10 years since I took my wife on her first mountain bike ride. On that first ride, she lasted a few miles before getting pitched over the handlebars. She explained that there was a big rock in front of her, and she was looking at it as she tried to get around it.

Looking at it, I told her, was her mistake. She should’ve looked around it.

“Why didn’t you tell me that before?” she retorted.

I have an excuse – it’s such an ingrained mountain biking practice that I totally took it for granted.

I know better now. It’s the first thing I tell every new rider when they strap a helmet to their noggin. Before shifting, before braking, before hydrating – there is looking where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.

Don’t see the cactus: See the way around the cactus.

It’s the simplest mountain bike technique tip I can give you. But it might also be the most profound.

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