Practice Balancing on a Mountain Bike

“Balance is perhaps the most fundamental skill in mountain biking,” says Hans. “Learning it is essential for low-speed technical situations.” Here are a few basic exercises you should be able to do.

1. Locate an extremely slight slope, point the nose of your bike downhill, and roll along as slowly as possible.

2. Find a long painted line on a flat surface, and slowly trace the line with your tires.

3. Practice a figure eight, rolling in a continually tighter and slower formation.

4. Pedal carefully along the length of a low curb or beam.

“The trick is to concentrate on where you want to go, not where you don’t,” advises Hans. “If you look over the edge of a drop, you’ll end up there. It helps me if I look three to five feet ahead of where I am.”