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Question-How do you approach and overcome a steep uphill with many roots, and/or rocks?
Answer-Rider Justin Soule’ says I first pick my line at the bottom of the hill and commit to it. You don’t have a ton of time to scan the hill for every detail, I just take a quick look and see if I can see any obvious hazards that stand out (boulders, trees, big bushes ect.) and then I commit to a line clear of those hazards and react and rely on my bike skills to conquer whatever obstacles may come up that I didn’t see from my scan at the bottom.
I try to stay loose in the upper and lower body but try to keep a strong core when going up a technical hill. That way you can let the bike react a little more underneath you and use body English to whip it back into shape.
I always start a hill in a gear where I have a safety net of gears to shift down into as the bike starts to bog under power in the middle. Say starting the hill in 4th and by the time you get to the top you may be in 2nd. Momentum is always your friend with a hill, you want to keep the wheels on the ground so the tires are tracking and propelling you forward.
As far as body positioning, I try to stay in a forward to neutral position to keep weight on the front end of the bike to keep the bike from wheeling. If the bike does start to wheelie, do not chop the throttle but feather the clutch to control it. If you chop the throttle completely, you will lose all your momentum and end up getting stuck.
The goal is get to the top. Whether it looks pretty or a little out of control. There are no style points awarded. Just find a way up there.