Trail Riding Tip: 5 Tips For Tackling Creek Beds

Loose surfaces, slick rocks and water-filled holes; creek beds can be tricky.




Constantly scan the upcoming terrain and keep your vision looking well ahead. Quite often getting stuck in a hole is only the difference of a few centimetres; if you are looking ahead you will see the obstacles with enough time to deal with them.


If you keep your vision up this will be easier; the more time you have to scan the terrain and make a decision the better that decision will most likely be. Look for lines that will offer the most traction, try to stay low in the creek bed. If you attempt to ride up on the rocks you will just most likely slide off them and back in anyway. Try to avoid anything covered in green – there isn’t much you can do to deal with that slick stuff. Keep a watchful eye out for deep holes; quite often there can be a puddle that looks just like the rest but will swallow a front wheel – avoid these too.


You need to stay loose on the bike through this stuff. The bike is going to move around much more than usual and in different directions. Avoid the temptation to put your foot down every time there is a sudden movement, as it will only slow your momentum and cause you to stop. It may take some time but the more relaxed you are the easier it is.


To ride this terrain successfully you need to use the clutch. At times you will need to go slower than first gear will be able to provide, so slipping the clutch will allow this to happen. The clutch also works as a manual traction control system; if you are good with it you can avoid excessive wheelspin, which is what you want to avoid. If you light up the rear wheel you will just slide out on a rock or dig a hole in the creek bed and get stuck.


Do what you can to stay up on the foot pegs; you’ll have a better field of vision and it’s much easier to move with the bike and stay loose. You will also be less tempted to stab your foot on the ground with every small movement the bike makes.