Novice blogger that I am, I was chatting with a friend and trying to figure out what to write about, when he suggested that I write a little about tackling different scenarios when out riding. Welcome, Trail Tips! (Thanks Ross!)
There are a few different ways to tackle muddy sections (or muddy days) but what we are looking for here is control.
Line Selection: If at all possible, choose a line that takes you around the muddy section. Not only is this usually the easier path, but it also leaves less ruts on the trail – which means less work for whoever is maintaining the trail.
If you have to ride through, make sure you’re looking ahead to spot the difficult parts. Less water usually means an easier line.
Gears and Braking: The first things that you’ll probably want to do are gear down and slow down. You don’t want to be in such a low gear that you just spin your tires, but if you are in too high of a gear then you’ll just get stuck and fall over. As with anything in biking, practice is key. You want to go for a nice smooth cadence, that allows you to get across the mud with the least amount of pedal strokes possible.
Body Position and Balance: Getting through mud is usually easiest done when sitting down. If you plan to ignore the whole control bit and just careen right through the mud at speed, remember that you will slow down when you hit it, so move your body weight back.
If you have any other questions or think I forgot something, please comment!