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No-Handers, still a great trick

 Hello beautiful people. I promise this is still a mountain biking blog. I won't force my fiction writing on you very often.  I have a lot of stories that I start and then they just fizzle out. So I though if I posted the first chapters on here I would have to commit to finishing it. 

Since I spent my weekend mornings writing, and not hiking into the woods for trail maintenance, I'm very out of shape. Mountain biking is sort of like a deal with the devil. It will keep you healthy and happy, but the catch is you can never stop. Any time I break from mountain biking physical fitness, the years come flooding in and I begin to feel my actual age.

 I'm trying to get back at it. The smart thing to do would be to start with a strong cardio base and work from there introducing new challenges. Instead I wanted to make sure I could still dirt jump and do wheelies. Each new year I worry if I've lost any dirt jumping tricks. So I'm always happy to throw the first no-hander of the year.

This year it was at Erie Singletrack. We had made several runs and it was quite windy. Then as the sun sank to the horizon the wind quit. Aki was dropping in right behind me and a few people were hanging out at the top. I knew it was time. I'm telling you it is such a great feeling to be approaching a jump and confidently tell yourself, I'm going to pinch the seat with my knees then take both hands off and swing them way out to the side.

I bet Brandon Semenuk has his own version of that thought process. Except his is more like, I'm going to pull hard to initiate the backflip, then do a tailwhip clockwise, after that one, I'll stop the rotation and tailwhip counterclockwise, by then the flip will be completed and I can still toss in an bar spin.

Whips are cool, tabletops are cool. But I promise they are a dead end to your trick bag if they are all a dirt jumper focuses on. Taking off your hands or feet are the first step to all the bigger tricks. You can't bar spin with out no-handers. You can't tailwhip without no-footers.

Do yourself a favor make '24 the year you learn a pinch no-hander. I say pinch-no because they are easier than tuck-no. Pinch is only two ingredients, 1 pinch the seat, 2 no-hands. A tuck is three ingredients, 1 pull bike up, 2 tuck into your chest 3 no-hands.

If a trick has less ingredients it;s easier to make it a go-to trick. Also the pinch allows more room for variations. Happy '24 everyone let's ride!


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