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How do I navigate steep pitches?

An expression that I really like is “when it gets steep, put your belly on the seat.” What this means is that when the pitch gets very steep, shift your weight backwards, up and over the saddle and lay your upper body on the saddle. While you do not necessarily have to make contact with the saddle, the body position and weight distribution will help to balance you and your bike as the terrain pitches. Your weight will remain more evenly distributed over both wheels which will offset the forces of gravity that have the potential to pop your front wheel up while climbing, or throw you over the handlebars when descending. Body weight and body positioning is very important when mountain biking, as gravity becomes an crucial component of cycling. Working with gravity, instead of against it, will optimize your ability to navigate tricky terrain.

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