# MTB insight: pulling a wrist made me ride better.

Posted on April 25, 2018

In February of all months, I’ve picked up cycling. In this post, I want to jot some insights I’ve got about using a hardtail MTB bicycle in the Winter versus dry Spring conditions and where do I plan going from here.

## Cross-country hardtail as the first bicycle

First of all, I want to say that I have opted for a decent cross-country hardtail for the following reason: it does everything. You can ride it in the Northern European winter and have a firm grip, you can change tires and pump them up for a decent speed in the city. As a sidenote – I haven’t done that yet, being fine with the speed I have on the streets (I rarely ride on the road these days). Despite what full-suspension elitists say, you can and should take it to a trail for some downhill experience. Didn’t get a chance to do that yet, but the better I get at riding this particular bicycle, the more enthusiastic I feel about flying with it to a less flat country with it to test it on a beginner-level trail. Actually, even in the countries like Latvia that are super-flat there are some MTB trails in locations like Sigulda, so I might not even have to take a plane. And, of course, that sort of bicycle delivers the full joy of riding over obstacles in a forest as well as down the stairs in the urban environment.

## Seeking challenges and learning

Now why am I jotting this post? I want to share the most important revelation I had while learning how to ride aggressively in dry terrains. Of course, in the winter just getting from point A to point B over snow, ice and semi-frozen puddles is fun and challenging enough. Breaking and turning while being seated in the seddle positioned at a road bicycle height is fun, you learn how to drift and how to control your trajectory on slippery surfaces without moving your body around too much. As the ground gets drier, drifting becomes more and more entertainment without any purpose and a desire for new challenges arise. To me the challenges are:

• Getting on and off features that are too much for front suspension
• Taking the most cramped lines (in preparation for the inevitable trees in the middle of trails)
• Keeping balance at slow speeds
• Making reflex angle turns (an angle $a$ is called reflex if it’s $\pi < a < 2\pi$)