Intro by Justin Wages
Sessioning. That word brings back nostalgic memories of my youth spent riding my skateboard on some obstacle for hours and hours until I could clear it or land that backside 180 late flip like a boss. Those hours spent sessioning are a part of life for skaters and BMX riders but it’s not something I see as much on the trail. I do notice my enduro and downhill racer friends regularly sessioning tough sections of a course but they are in competition and need every edge they can get. So why should us normal Joe riders be interested in sessioning? The simplest reason is because it will make us better riders.
Often times we get accustomed to a particular line through a rock/root garden and then we choose that line over and over until it becomes habit. What happens when that line changes due to erosion? Ohh my god freak out time! By sessioning a handful of different and difficult trail sections we not only learn how to ride those particular sections well but they teach us how to handle our bikes in a variety of conditions.
Let’s say, for example, there is a large and ruthless rock garden full of baby head boulders, ruts, and flat spots. There could be 3 or more decent line choices available to you and each one will require different techniques or combination of techniques to complete the line. If you choose to do only 1 line every time you ride that trail then you are limiting your potential growth by not using the techniques needed for the other 2 lines and turning those actions into muscle memory.
You may use a wide variety of techniques to get through other rough sections on that trail but because each rocky or rooty section is unique you have many more opportunities to enhance your skills and build your confidence. Those attributes really come in handy when riding blind (new trails) at high speed or when trail conditions change suddenly by nature, human design or because some bum is standing in the middle of the trail taking Instagram pictures. P.S. Don’t be that guy/girl. On that note, be courteous to other riders while you are sessioning. Listen and watch for riders coming down the hill so you can be out of the way by the time they reach you.