Tips: Rock Gardens
Yes, a new feature on the Red Biogen Route that needs a few tips to conquer it successfully:
- The basics: Here we go again; Look where you go! (I think every tips section starts with this reminder however, when you look at the tyre marks on the trails you can see that a lot of crashes could have been avoided just by the “look where you want to go” basics). Look further ahead and see where the rocky path is taking you and try to spot the smoothest line. Try to stay roughly in the middle. If you deviate to the side you may bounce off the rock garden and get stuck in the soft sand.
- Stay loose: Yes it will be a bumpy ride but if you stand up in the attack position, stay loose and let the bike move underneath you by using your arms and legs as shock absorbers, it’s a lot easier to control your bike and keep your line. If you are too static and/or sitting down, you will bounce off – guaranteed. Stay active on the bike, move around and help your bike roll over the bigger rocks – almost like bunny hopping.
- Momentum: Speed is your friend. The bumps will scrub off some speed and speed is what you need to let your bike roll over those rocks. If you go too slow, you will get stuck at the first bigger rock. The faster you go (without loosing control) the more rocks you skip and bump over, the easier it gets. Running pace is the minimum.
- Pedalling: You approach this rock garden with a bit of speed from that small hill earlier, but if you need to pedal; use a big gear. Pushing a bigger gear helps you to pedal when standing.
- Practice: If it’s your first time riding a rock garden, it can be intimidating. Don’t be put off if you don’t make it all the way the first time. Focus on the section that you completed, see where you went wrong and why. Push the reset button, learn from your mistakes and start again.
- Bonus tip: A full suspension bike sure makes it easier but rock gardens are definitely ridable on a hard tail too however, I would not recommend a gravel bike. Clipless pedals are a great help to keep your feet on the pedals and make sure that your tyres are not too hard otherwise you will bounce everywhere – except for where you want to go.