Eastern Dirt Article: Creek Crossing

Step 1. Line yourself up as straight as possible, this will eliminate your front or back wheel washing away when you are going up the other side of the bank. Make sure you are in a gear which can pull you through the mud and enable you to get the front wheel into the air. (Because this was a short run up, I was in 2nd). Size up the bank and essentially spot the target point where you would like your front wheel to land, in most cases the further up the other bank the better. Here you can see I am gripping the bike with my knees and legs and have started accelerating to get the front wheel off the ground to carry it across the mud.

Step 2. In this shot I am fully committed and leaning slightly back to make sure that my rear wheel is going to stay on the ground and basically run through the water, this will also keep my front wheel in the air. At this point you want to have a consistent acceleration and be prepared for the bike to move underneath you slightly.

Step 3. Here you can see the rear wheel is still on the ground, the front wheel is only slightly higher than its initial position and I am moving my body weight forward preparing for the impact. At this stage you want your knees slightly bent ready to absorb the impact with your body in a forward/neutral position, ready to react once you have front wheel back on the ground.

Step 4. Once you have made impact with the bank remain standing and maintain your acceleration, with your forward momentum and the rebound from the suspension you should pop up and be reasonably close to the top of the bank, maintain the steady acceleration as this will make sure you keep constant traction up the bank. Remember, each crossing is going to be different than the last, be creative, confident and smart and you will be through them in no time.

Some keys to remember:

Keep the front wheel up
Consistent throttle
Brace yourself for the impact
Acceleration once you have made contact