“Scanning” or reading the trail is something mountain bikers naturally do. It involves keeping an eye out on the upcoming terrain and planning a path to go around it. The way one scans a trail can dramatically improve the quality of a mountain bike ride.
As a general rule the rider should be looking approximately 30 to 60 feet (10 to 20 meters) ahead of the bike’s front tire. This offers more time to prepare for potential obstacles. After selecting a negotiable trail in the terrain up ahead, the rider should take note of any rocks, roots, or other obstructions to minimize stumbling. However, focusing too long on the obstruction makes it more likely that it will be hit. The rider leads the bike with the eyes, so effective scanning includes looking ahead, picking a trail, and focusing on the desired path, which will ultimately lead to a more enjoyable ride.
About the Author:
Keefe Gorman is an outdoor sporting enthusiast who has been mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking, skiing, golfing, playing tennis, and motorcycling since college. Today he is a member of New York’s Song Mountain Race Club.
Michael Keefe Gorman, a broker with Merrill Lynch, serves a geographically diverse group of individual investors, businesses, and non-profits from his office in Ithaca, New York.
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