Ninja Mountain Bike Performance - Skills Clinics, MTB Jump Ramps and Bike Stands

Have you ever been riding down the trail, turned your front wheel to avoid a large rock and then BUMP, your back wheel hits that same darn rock you were trying to avoid?  As you’ve likely figured out, the back wheel doesn’t follow the same path as your front wheel when turning.  The Solution? Introducing the Rock Dodge!

The Rock Dodge is a sharp, short turn used for avoiding a rock, sharp stick, pesky squirrel or other small obstacles you might encounter on the trail.

When done successfully,  your front wheel will pass on one side of the obstacle and your back wheel will pass on the other side.   The obstacle passes under your down-tube between your tires. You ride away without losing momentum, puncturing a tire or squashing a critter.

This is a low-speed skill and is most often used while climbing singletrack.  Mastering the rock dodge will allow you to hone in on precise movements, keep you in full control of your bike, and make technical climbing that much easier. We can all use a little love on the climbs, am I right?

1. Start Flat

The best place to practice this skills is on a flat, relatively open area.

2. Identify Obstacle

Determine which obstacle you’re going to rock dodge – we recommend starting with something small.  Be sure to look past the obstacle to make sure your exit is inline with the direction you intend to ride.

3. Aim For It

Ride right toward the obstacle — get close!

4. Wait For it

Right as your front wheel passes the obstacle, quickly and sharply turn your front wheel around it and quickly and then back towards the direction you’d like to continue riding.

5. Smooth

After your complete your rock dodge, make sure to get your eyes back up and ready for whatever’s next on the trail.

6. Practice!

Once you get proficient on flat ground, progress to an up-sloping area then eventually to a climbing, technical single track.  Try rock dodging larger obstacles or multiple obstacles in a row.

Happy Dodging!

2 Responses

  1. I believe that step 4 should start with:
    Right as your front wheel passes the obstacle
    not “as your back wheel passes”.

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Fundamentals Trail Application - Women's Only

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • Rock / Log Step-Ups 
  • Pedal Assisted Front Wheel Lifts
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for maximum flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Navigating Trail Obstacles
  • Switchbacks – Optimal Line Choice
  • Ratcheting application – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Braking for Speed 
  • Shifting – Timing + Technique on Technical Terrain
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails 
  • Berms 
  • Water crossings 
  • Roots 

The Schedule*

  • 1:15-1:30pm Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.