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Ruts, Gullies and Channels....
#1
Guys Im struggling with a certain aspect of my riding.

As many of you know BBH's downhill sections are littered with channels/gullies of chalk/clay which has been created by the natural flow of the water down the hills.

Im reaching a mental block when approaching these at speed DH, as the wet chalk and clay is going to kill me.

I did take a nasty wipeout before xmas on them, and ever since, been struggling to get to terms on how to tackle them.

Im following the natural flat/bermed lines of the hill but at certain points you have to traverse or ride in them to continue - most are now too deep to ride in.

Im hoping some investmet into the Bonty Mud-X's will give me some more confidence in grip to hit them harder - but its now become a bit of a mental barrier.

Any suggestions?

My only thought currently is to get back up there, pad up, and man up!
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#2
I always seem to find myself floundering in a bloody rut at some point on every ride! No matter how much i tell myself to not go in there, i just have to look at it and i'm in, and then i find it hard to ride it in a perfectly streight line and keep bouncing off the sides till i grind to a hault >Sad  So my advice would be, don't look at them, look only where you intend to go and pretend the rut dosn't exist Wink
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#3
as per your last sentance, plus go up there with some flat pedals in your camelbak, put them on, lower the saddle right down and session a DH you find tricky. As with any obstable, roots whatever, hitting them at 90 degrees is always best, unweight the front or lift it as in 95% of cases the back will follow even if you need to correct the slide, you will only have a full on off due to a rear wheel slide if going across a very steep camber

The faster you hit things the easier it is as you fly over them with less chance of being caught up. Roots for example are massively easier with speed instead of crashing through them one at a time but of course to get to this easier point you have to ride quicker which is not easy when they are causing you issues as going faster feels like the last thing you want to do
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#4
Yes Andy, all ruts have some kind of secret energy force that just drags you into them and once you are in them you are stuffed as trying to ride out will normally result in the front losing grip like a comedy moment I had recently going straight down a hill but with the bars turned 45 degrees, hopping out is the only option but again risky.
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#5
My mates seem to clear it fine, but this one particular hill is catching me out, and as its the last DH before the end, I always want to make it a good'un.

The natural camber of the trail takes you towards the gullies, maybe my extra grip will keep me out of them with some new tyres.
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#6
Stand by the side of the trail then and let them ride past, note their lines, body position on the bike then ask them if and where they are braking etc and have one of them watch you as you attempt it. Repeating a DH section a few times is the best way to learn. No point doing it just once in a ride if you are having trouble.
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#7
The thing is, the flatter terrain outside of the gullies at at what seems 45 degrees (probably much less!) towards the gully.

So natural slip/camber draws you towards them - and as you say, once in, then you've scrubbed any speed youve got and its then much harder as you are now too slow.

Speed is the answer I agree, but its almost impossible to tackle a gully at an acute angle as you are essentially following it down the hill (and its not wide enough to get a run into it)

I will get the new tyres, and pad up I think and tackle it FASTER - My mental block is making me brake, I need to attack it and see where I land!
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#8
I seem to recall you wear contacts? Do you wear wrap around normal glasses with them? If so try wearing normal prescription glasses like I do. When I get over 15mph or so, the wind makes my eyes stream with water so I cant see much and therefore dont get phased out by obstacles and have no choice but to ride over them heh.
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#9
I do wear contacts but either wear no glasses, or simple wraparound protective glasses.

I dont usually have streaming eye issues tbh, only wear the glasses for obvious protection from mud/stone flicks.

The only issues I get with contacts and no glasses is dry contacts at the end of a ride! - bugger to get out!  Tongue
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#10
I've struggled in the past with some of the ruts around BBH and i wouldn't mind betting i know the particular bit you're talking about.  I found taking it a bit faster each time helped gradually increase my confidence.  It's not a nice feeling if you drop into a deep rut and are bouncing off the sides of it so as much as possible i try to keep out of them only dropping in as a last resort.  Picking a good line is crucial for this so the more you ride that section the better you'll get at it.

Confidence in your tyres and kit is also important.
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