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MTB Race with river crossings - technique advice please.

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MTB Race with river crossings - technique advice please.

21 Jan 2016 02:12

I've entered a MTB race in March.

57kms and around 2000m of elevation gain (3 climbs)
The course description details at least 2 river crossings!

I've raced mtb before, but never had to cross any rivers - can any one help me out with techniques for "shouldering" the bike and getting through the river? - will be summer with low water levels (hopefully) and I expect the water to be below hip height.
Watched a few YT clips and there seems to be a variety of approaches....with low levels, lifting the whole bike up above the head and wading through seems effective.

No, I can't ride the course before hand as it's on private land and only opened up once a year for this race.

Thanks if you can help me out.

Cheers.
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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Re: MTB Race with river crossings - technique advice please.

27 Jan 2016 22:08

I have seen a couple of different methods for wheel deep and above water.
1) Get yourself up to warp speed, and get your weight well back as you hit the water. As your bike comes to a sudden stop in the deep water, launch yourself over the bars like superman and do a belly-flop.
2) Get yourself up to warp speed as above, but instead of riding into the water with your weight over the back wheel, boost off a lip and land the bike mid-stream. Let your feet slide forward off the pedals, and slam your gonads into the stem. Curl up in the foetal position, and allow bystanders to retrieve your bike and assist you out of the water [this may be technically against race rules, but it's likely officials will be wincing and looking away at this point].

Both 1) and 2) are sure fire ways of making it into the highlights reel for the race, but for some reason nobody wants to be Mr Number 2.
dsut4392
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28 Jan 2016 01:37

Im not quite sure what to say.......

I dont do warp speed anymore.......the mind is willing, but the body (legs) most certainly are not

thanks for the explanation of what not to do......but I kinda had that one figured.
Last edited by JackRabbitSlims on 14 Jun 2016 05:29, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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28 Jan 2016 16:02

What's the bike? Some full suss bikes don't really lend themselves to being shouldered. Will the water be fast moving? What's the river bed like? I think the main worry with over the head is it moves your centre of gravity up and can make you more likely to slip and fall if it's a load of greasy rocks on the bed.
Vincenzo Nibali:
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User avatar King Boonen
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Re:

29 Jan 2016 05:20

King Boonen wrote:What's the bike? Some full suss bikes don't really lend themselves to being shouldered. Will the water be fast moving? What's the river bed like? I think the main worry with over the head is it moves your centre of gravity up and can make you more likely to slip and fall if it's a load of greasy rocks on the bed.


Bike is a Scott Spark - Full Sus.

Hard to give accurate description of the river crossings as its in mid-March and we can't ride the course before hand.

Right now it's summer, the river levels are low and not fast moving.....we have a drought here most summers and when it rains, the water just runs off the bone dry land and fills the rivers quick....increasing volume and speed.

I won't be riding alone, so I'll just do what the others do (sheep mentality.....this is NZ :D )
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Re:

04 Feb 2016 01:27

JackRabbitSlims wrote:Im not quite sure what to say.......

I dont do warp speed anymore.......the mind is willing, buy the body (legs) most certainly are not

thanks for the explanation of what not to do......but I kinda had that one figured.



Rivers and streams are exclusively found at the bottom of downhills, so you should be able to get a bit of speed:)

If you're after serious suggestions, most of them are more obvious than my flippant ones in the previous post:

- If it's rideable, you will probably be faster riding it unless the bottom is sandy and the stream wide. Less chance of a twisted ankle also.
- If it's not rideable, you'll be faster if you carry your bike holding it above the water level.
- Watch where the guys in front of you go, and what happens to them (baa:))
- If the water is below mid-thigh, run through it high-stepping (watch how the ironman competitors run through the surf near the shore)

One which may be less obvious is that if shouldering your bike (whether because your arms are too weak to lift it overhead, or that you're struggling to balance in fast water/rocky stream bed), the rule of shouldering from the non-drive side doesn't necessarily apply. If there is any danger in crossing the stream, it is much safer to carry the bike on the downstream side, so that the current won't be pushing it into you and knocking you over.
dsut4392
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Re: MTB Race with river crossings - technique advice please.

13 Jun 2016 20:36

Can you Manual?
User avatar Boeing
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Re: MTB Race with river crossings - technique advice please.

14 Jun 2016 05:35

Boeing wrote:Can you Manual?


Across a river??........No, I cannot.

I'd love to see someone try though.

1st River was hip height for 35m
2nd River was chest height roughly the same distance across.
Both times I just held the bike above my head and waded across very slowly....the river bottom as very uneven and slippery.
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