Thursday, November 13, 2014
The Rainy Cyclocross Season Is Coming Quick - Master the Mud
Ride partners will appreciate it if you ride with fenders when it's muddy. Besides keeping the spray out of their eyes, fenders will keep it out of your peepers and off your clothes, too. Best, they'll keep the muck off the bike, somewhat reducing cleaning time and limiting the wear and tear on the finish. We can show you some fenders suited to the mud.
Don't Muddle The Puddle
When riding in muddy conditions be careful at puddles. It may seem fun to blast through, but it's never a good idea because you can't be sure what's at the bottom. If there's a hole there, you'll end up doing a sweet Superman imitation and sail over the bars when your front wheel gets stopped cold. This will entertain your ride partners immensely but it can be quite painful and could wreck the fork and frame if you're really unlucky.
Our recommendation? Slow way down and try to skirt the edges of puddles so you know you're passing over solid ground.
If you're coming into a muddy section that's only a yard or so across, but still looks like it could cause a loss of control, try this technique (this requires being able to lift the front wheel; if you don't know how, learn before trying this move): as you approach the bog, lift the front wheel and hold it up, until it's over dry ground. If you do this correctly, the front wheel will miss the mud altogether and the rear wheel will cruise through the muck. Because your front wheel is airborne as you cross the goo, there's no chance of getting the front end stuck and getting launched.
Ride It Out
Another important mud maneuver is hanging on a little longer when things seem out of control. Often, if you can just ride out the initial unsteadiness you feel, the bike will regain control on its own. It helps to stay off the brakes and remain relaxed.
Dodge The Danger
Keep in mind that no one is forcing you to ride through the mud. If it looks risky, the best bet may be to get off and walk around the muddy section. There's nothing wrong with that and you'll have the last laugh should one of your buds bury their front wheel and auger in!
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Hello, I am Brantley Smith and have been riding road and mountain bikes since the mid 90's. I previously worked here at Ride-A-Bike from mid-97 to mid-2000 doing repairs and other duties around the shop. I attended Wester Carolina University and graduated in 2004 with a computer information systems degree. Add my Google profile to your circles.