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How Am I Supposed To Stay On This Narrow Trail?

March 19, 2014
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Q: I’m 64 years old, and my eye/hand coordination may not be the best, but I ain’t dead yet. I always have a hard time running a straight line when confined to a narrow track such as a gully or jeep-tire rut. Is there any training or secret technique to stay straight?
?Nelson, who doesn’t like bush-whacking

A: What really helps is to force yourself to look farther down the trail. This may require lifting your helmet visor or even removing it. You don’t want to look into the rut. Look where you want the bike to be, not where the wheel is rolling. It takes practice, and even seasoned professionals comment on how they need to look further down the trail. Pick a section on every ride and practice looking further down the trail. Keep adding sections to practice on, and soon it will become second nature.

Next, concentrate on relaxing your arms and be sure to keep a good bend in your elbows. We sit more upright as we get older, and that works against us. Try to lower your torso. Trust us, you think you are about to kiss the stem when really you are still 8 inches away from it. Really bend over.

Finally, slightly wider handlebars might slow things down a bit if all else fails.

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