Line choice is a critical skill for off road riding. My first choice in lines is usually “smooth.” It’s imperative for riders to look ahead, evaluate terrain options, and choose the best line. It’s also imperative for riders to “manage the front end.” Even in difficult terrain, if the front end is balanced and on track, the back end will usually follow. I frequently see riders simply following the main line. Often, just a couple inches to the side, is a smoother, better line.
In this video I approach a small 10″ drop off. Looking ahead I see sizable loose rocks. In slow motion you will see me ride slightly to the right, keeping the edge of the tire in contact with the rock while riding gently down. This allows me to navigate the front wheel back and forth avoiding loose rocks. Slow motion is running at 30% of speed. Great line choice is complimented with good balance and quick reflexes.
And yes, some might just blast straight through this section careening over and bouncing off rocks. But, no matter how good and strong a rider is, eventually poor line choice results in a crash.
To learn more about this, check out my blog post “Line Choice is Critical to Off Road Riding.”