I recently rode the famed trails of Santa Cruz for the first time. Despite smashing down the lesser known fast chunky trails of Georgetown all winter, I wasn’t ready for the steep techy terrain of the famed coastal town. That’s not to say I didn’t have a great time or crashed or anything. Okay, I crashed once but it was on a mellow turn on a mostly flat trail. You know the kind of crash where you stand up, dust yourself off, and look at the offending section of trail like WTF?
Anyway, I got to thinking about some of the tips mentioned in a Seth’s Bike Hacks video about jumping over gnar to link sections of trail and ultimately descend faster. This advice and many of the other tips offered in the video come in handy when riding unfamiliar gnarly trails and trying to avoid coming out on a stretcher. They can also help you gain serious speed on your familiar local trails, and possibly see the new lines they have to offer now that your eyes are open.
Seth’s Top Tips For Gaining Speed
- Take any opportunity you can to follow someone faster than you. In a recent Singletrack Sampler video, a lot of you were blown away by how much faster I had gotten over the course of one summer. It’s probably because I spent my summer chasing enduro racers and worse yet, Canadians. Each time you chase a fast rider some of their speed will rub off on you.
- Ride downhill parks as often as possible. Take a moment to estimate how many feet of descending you did last season. Then consider you can do 10,000 feet in just a few hours at a bike park. How’s that for some practice?
- Session stuff. Sessioning, also known as dicking around, is when you find a feature on or off trail and ride it in as many ways as you can think of. Do this with friends and challenge each other. You’ll gain more bike control skills in an afternoon of sessioning than a whole week on the trails. And you’ll enjoy it, too. These skills will translate well to singletrack and give you an edge on sketchy lines.
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