Over the bars

Bikemagic Bikemagic

There are many “special moves” in the world of mountain biking, but most of them are concerned with the dull old business of keeping things rubber-side down. The second round of the 2005 Merida MTB-Marathon at Rhayader, Mid-Wales, provided an opportunity for riders to explore a whole new range of techniques. A particular stretch of moorland trail was largely benign in appearance, but deftly concealed in its dry dips and folds were a variety of excitingly deep and boggy holes. And between them, the riders found a fantastic range of ways to completely fail to succesfully negotiate them. It’s not so much “body English”, more “body Gibberish”…

The Somersault

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The point of no return – it’s decision time

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Going for the Somersault? Get that head down, chin on chest

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And follow through to land flat on your back

Going Down With The Ship

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This is an easy one – the trick is to reach the point of no return and do absolutely nothing about it

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Just stay clipped in, keep hold of the bars and follow the bike

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For full effect, you should come to rest with both hands on the grips and both feet on the pedals. Not a bad effort, though

Tuck And Roll

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This judo-inspired move takes a bit of thought, so ideally you’ll manage a brief pause at the balance point

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Let go of the bars and throw one arm or the other across your body

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Follow through with your hips and torso to land on your shoulder. Textbook

Running Away

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Running Away is definitely an expert-level move. The instant the point of no return is reached, you need to be clipped out and springing off your hands

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Cleanly vault the bars (tripping over them is a common learner’s mistake) and start running

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Come to a controlled halt on your feet. For extra points, smile at the camera

The Classic Spontaneous Frontal Aerial Dismount

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Here’s Bikemagic’s very own David Arthur, approaching the hazard at a fair old clip and looking good – line spotted, weight back…

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He’s planned ahead well, but the bog is deeper than it looks and the bike’s stopped moving

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Unfortunately, those pesky laws of physics mean that Dave hasn’t. You can almost smell the inertia

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The point of no return passes in an instant, but Dave’s spotted his landing

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With laser-guided accuracy, he hits his chosen spot. Now would be a good time to unclip, though

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“I think I’ll just lie here for a moment…”

(Sorry Dave, but you’ve got to admit that that’s a classic ;-) )

Appetite thoroughly whetted? We’ve got over 2,000 pictures from Rhayader from BM event photograper Jonathan Ryan.

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