H+I TV Skills + Training

How to master a river crossing with a mountain bike

River Crossing with your mountain bike and the MTB Minute
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How to master a river crossing


How to cross a river with your mountain bike

In this instalment of #MTBminute we’re getting our feet wet and learning how to master a river crossing.

You know the feeling; you’re riding an amazing piece of trail with your friends and as you come round the corner you have to slam on the brakes as the trail comes to an abrupt halt. Stopping you dead in your tracks is a large river, what do you do? Turn tail and run? Or cross safely to the other side to carry on enjoying your ride?

Having the knowledge of how to cross a river safely is essential skill for any self-respecting mountain biker and in this edition of #MTBminute, H+I Adventures lead Scottish guide Chris Gibbs shows you they key stages of how to tackle a river crossing with your mountain bike – without getting swept away!

10 easy steps to mastering a river crossing with an MTB

  1. First, assess whether it is rideable or too dangerous to cross at all
  2. Decide where you are going to cross, but be 100% sure of your decision
  3. Check the entry and exit locations, then confirm your decision to cross here
  4. Take note of any downstream hazards, should things not go to plan
  5. Never carry the bike, it makes you very top heavy and liable to slip and fall
  6. Choose either bike up-stream or down-stream method, whichever feels the most stable and secure as you start crossing
  7. Face your body slightly upstream into the flow of water
  8. Use the brake and saddle to stable your body and give you full control over the bike
  9. Don’t remove your shoes – wet feet you can deal with, a cut to your foot is another thing entirely!
  10. Take deliberate and secure foot placements with every step, don’t rush

Tick, tick, tick, tick…

What can you learn in a minute? Well, quite a lot as it turns out…

From checking your MTB to bleeding a Shimano brake, in the #MTBminute we take on some of the most pressing questions around your mountain bike life and attempt to show you the key stages in just 60 seconds!

Using decades of collective guiding, riding and mechanical experience we’ve carefully created each minute-long video to give easy-to-follow, practical tips that will instantly demystify skills and techniques. They might still take a lifetime to master but with the #MTBminute at least you’ll be off to a solid start.

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