Have you ever ridden through a rock garden on your mountain bike? These natural obstacle courses are equally thrilling and intimidating. With uneven surfaces and challenging terrain to build your skills and confidence. Follow these steps to handle the rocky trails.

1. Utilize Your Suspension

Your suspension plays a major role in navigating rocky terrain. Set it up to conform to uneven surfaces and effectively absorb rock shocks. Use both the front and rear suspensions, if you have them, to smooth out the ride.

2. Adjust Your Tire Pressure

It’s best to adjust your tire pressure to suit the demands of the rock garden. Slightly lower pressure offers better traction and shock absorption. Experiment with different pressures to find the right amount of grip and avoid pinch flats.

3. Choose the Right Path

Fully assess the rock garden before you go through it. Look for a path that avoids the most jagged and challenging rocks. One that’s smooth, or close to it, will give you more momentum and control over your bike.

4. Keep Your Momentum

Speed is your friend when going through a rock garden. You need to keep a steady pace to roll over it smoothly. Be strategic with your momentum, especially on uphill sections. You need sudden boosts to get through the challenging parts.

5. Distribute Your Weight

Keep your body centered over your bike with your weight evenly distributed over both wheels. Shift your weight forward on climbs and back slightly on the downhills. This will help you maintain traction and control.

6. Loosen Your Grip

Relax your grip on the handlebars to let your bike move freely beneath you. If you tense up, you might lose control and crash. Let your arms absorb shocks while keeping your upper body fluid so it can adapt to the terrain.

7. Always Look Ahead

Your eyes should be focused on the trail ahead at all times. Keep looking for smooth paths to plan your route around the rock garden. Be ready to anticipate obstacles, make split-second decisions, and maintain a steady line.

8. Practice Technical Skills

Improve your technical skills on tame trails before tackling rock gardens. Practice your balance, control, and quick maneuvers. Gradually increase the difficulty of the trails as you get more comfortable in your abilities.

9. Watch Out for Pedal Strikes

Pedal strikes are more common in rocky areas. Most commonly on uphill sections. Time your pedal strokes to avoid hitting the pedals on the rocks. If the strikes are a frequent problem with your bike, try using shorter cranks.

10. Know When to Walk

It’s okay to get off your bike and walk it through rocky areas. You don’t want to go beyond your skill level or put yourself in a dangerous situation. Evaluate the difficulty of each section and put your safety first.

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