We’ve all seen photos of riders hitting a turn and sending a huge shower of dust or loam into the air. It’s definitely not the fastest way round a corner and if you try it on your local singletrack you’re asking for trouble [trail builders don’t like people wrecking their turns, and you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong end of a shovel Ed]. But there’s often a bit of ‘smoke and mirrors’ involved in bike photography, so maybe there’s a spot in your garden or your local woods that would work for the ultimate turn explosion shot?
Here are Andrew Neethling’s top tips for ‘blowing up’ berms…
Build a small bank of earth to practice on. Start with some little skids into it — sprint towards it, then, as you start to turn, with your inside foot down and outside foot up, lock the back wheel so that it slides into the bank. Try to spray some dirt up.
Now construct a complete berm. Instead of carving around the turn, aim to square it off, as in step 1, coming into the corner a bit more straight on and looking where you want to exit.
Once you’ve started the turn, tap the rear brake to get the wheel to start drifting. You may want to take your inside foot off the pedal in case you need to dab. Lean into the corner and use your hips to push the back wheel into the berm.
Keep looking at the exit. After you’ve ‘exploded’ a bit of dirt, release the brake and get your inside foot back on the pedal. This will help pull you around and out of the turn.
Once you’re confident with this technique, try sliding the back wheel in without braking (keep your weight over the front of the bike and flick the back out to break traction) and with both feet on the pedals. Start small and work your way up.