Step 1: lean the bike

If you are right-leg dominant, you’ve probably noticed that left turns are easier. When you’re first learning this technique focus on left turns. As you master left turns, some of that knowledge will transfer across your body, and you’ll be ready for right turns.

Approach the turn in your low ready position. The lower you are, the more arm range you have, and the more tightly you can turn. In real life you haven’t memorized every turn, and you don’t know how low you need to be.

As a safe habit, get low. Even lower.

Extend your right foot to the 6 o’clock position. Put all of your weight on this foot before you initiate the turn. This helps you focus on leaning the bars.

Check your balance. Are your hands weightless? Can you wiggle your fingers?

Create a lean angle by pushing the inside grip (left grip for a left turn) down into the turn.

Your grips follow an arc around the bottom of your front tire. Push gently and smoothly right along that arc.

In this animated gif, the hips stay on top of the foot while the hands lean the bike.

Tea party fingers!

Don’t move your butt with the seat! Stay balanced on your right foot, with a clean line of force from your right hip (your should feel your glute working) to the pedal.

Butts don’t go on seats; they go on feets!

In this video, notice:

1) Rider looks through the turn.

2) Hands are very light. Like a tea party.

3) The left hand pushes into the turn.

4) The bike changes direction. Boom!

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Notice how the bike turns. So cool. So sweet!

Play with getting lower, leaning more and turning tighter. Soon you’ll realize those “impossible” switchbacks are just a matter of geometry.

Low. Balanced. Make angles.

This video gives an overview of Step 1.

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