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Why Scanning The Trail Ahead Is So Important When Riding Your Mountain Bike

When mountain biking, anticipation keeps you rolling faster. Don’t just focus on the dirt patch in front of your tire, instead look ahead for obstacles along the trail.

Speed Dependent

Just like driving a car, the faster you go, the farther ahead you should scan for changes. For example, if you see a climb ahead, shift down before you get to the base of the ascent. In general, you should look as far ahead as possible. Your visual instincts tend to adjust automatically on their own. If you only look directly in front of your tire, you’re sure to get surprised by a log or rock in your path.

Check In Turns

Another neat trick is to look past turns. When entering a turn, look into and beyond the turn exit. If you can see past the trees, you might spot something sooner and adjust faster.

Downhill & Jumping

When descending, keep your eyes focused well ahead. If you get hypnotized by your front tire, you might wake up in the emergency room. When jumping or launching off a ledge, focus on your landing spot, not the takeoff point.

Golden Rule

If you focus on obstacles or the trail edge, you’ll end up in the woods. Train your eye to look where you want to go. This is especially useful when you have to squeeze between tight trees. So go for the open space.

Where your eyes go, the bike follows.

Happy trails!

So keep in touch and get out on the trails.

About The Author

Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia…discover the shortcuts to mountain biking for beginners and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.

Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.

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