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

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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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