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Over the bars

09:37 1st June 2005 by Bikemagic
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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.