Railing Turns

Most riders turn better in one direction than they do in the other. Just as we write or throw a ball better with one hand, the human body is normally more coordinated with one foot than the other. Learning to access both feet properly is the key to railing turns in both directions.

When coasting down a trail we’ll typically be in a neutral position with level feet. This means that we have an asymmetrical stance on the bike with a front foot and a back foot. In order to take the shortest route to outside foot pressure in a turn, this means that in one direction my outside foot will move down and back, and in the other direction my foot will move forward and down. For a left foot leading rider coasting down a trail, a left turn is a back foot turn and a right turn is a front foot turn. For a right foot forward rider a left turn is a front foot turn and a right turn is a back foot turn.

Most riders favor their back foot turn as it’s a bit easier to access since its right underneath us. In order to access your front foot turn well, it’s important to shift forward an inch or two on the bike to get proper pressure to the front foot. Think about creating some hip rotation in the direction you are turning as you move toward your front foot.

To practice this, simply go out and start making a series of turns in alternating directions on a slight hill. Be sure to return to neutral/level feet in between each turn and try not to forward or backward pedal. You will just be creating outside foot pressure – then returning to neutral – then creating pressure on the other foot – and returning to neutral. Once you have the ability to move from foot to foot, your riding will never be the same!