How to survive the gnarliest obstacle in Enduro-X: the dreaded rock garden
There’s nothing easy about riding across a pile of rocks. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, the erratic action of having your wheels deflected in all directions can bring even the best riders down — especially under the pressure of racing. So here are a few points to help you ride through a rock pile more consistently, lap after lap.
PADDLE AND DAB
Unless you’re skilled enough to stand on the pegs, sitting down and paddling through by dabbing your feet is a safe but slow way to grind through a rock garden. It can also make you fumble the balance of the bike because you’re getting bucked around with every rock, which quickly turns the whole section into an energy-sapping bike wrestle. Anyhow, if you’re not confident enough to stand, then sit right back, feather the clutch and try to ski the front over the rocks with little wheelies as opposed to driving the wheel into them. This technique goes hand in hand with the following method.
Finding the straightest path through a rock garden is the best way to keep balanced, for the simple reason it’s harder to stay upright while turning across boulders. Remember, momentum is everything when it comes to staying balanced, so if you slow your momentum by turning you have more chance of tipping over. Ultimately, it’s your suspension that will dictate how well you can charge at a rock garden, so you need to actually commit and trust that the bike will track across rocks — providing you keep consistent drive. The main reason you fall over in the rocks is because you look down at a gnarly jagged rock, then hesitate on the throttle and stall. You need to override your natural instincts and keep the rear wheel driving. Only then will you discover that the bike will bump and grind over some pretty ugly sections; it’s just up to you to steer it out the other side. You’ll beat yourself up — and the bike — trying to master this but in Enduro-X that just comes with the territory. Enjoy.