THE WALL OF DEATH
So, I was reading my fan mail the other day and this particular letter made me realize that it's about time I stepped it up a notch and got into something a bit more extreme. “Dear Rod” it started.” I am so proud that at 50 you have finally found a job and have left home and are starting to look after your self , cook hot meals and wash regularly…” hang on, that ones from my mum. Ok, so I’m busted, and that’s the only letter I have got in years, but when I fantasize about getting fanmail, this is the sort of letter I get….”Dear Rodfather, you are such an awesome rider and I have learnt so much from your informative and stylish demos on how to ride like a God on any trail. I have become a great rider thanks to you, and now I want to put it all together and wow my mates with some rad trail move that kicks some serious butt. Can you help? Your fan forever…”
Ok, you get what I mean, so here’s one of my favourites …..THE WALL RIDE.
Why ride the wall? … ‘cause it’s there fool, that’s why!
First we have to find a suitable wall. Vertical is the raddest, but thank God these are very rare when out trail riding, so lets stick to a nice and easy gentle slope to begin with. It needs to have a reasonable transition so you can glide up the wall without getting bounced all over the place. Straight walls are ok but an inward (concave) curve gives you some centrifugal force which will hold you in against the surface. The actual wall surface can be anything really, as it is just trail riding but on a lean, just think of it as a massive berm. This is all easy, it’s the exit that will scare the hell out of you. Obviously a smooth transiton back down will make things very easy, but anything goes as this is the point where you can wow your pals by pulling a manual and jumping off the wall to land both wheels back on the trail.
There are two things you need to remember;
1, try to keep your head vertical so you can hold your line
2, get your bike as close to a right angle against the wall so you don’t wash out.
You need to be relaxed and balanced on the bike on approach, soak up the transition then get the bike leant over and head upright. Throwing in some rad moto style arm positioning will get your upper body where you need it, lower arm straightish and upper elbow up, hey looks great for photos too, and remember to keep your pedals level.
Now when you come back to earth there is a possibility that you'll go nose heavy back onto the trail and smash yourself to bits so now is a good time to lean back and pull up on the bars and glide back to earth in a stylish little manual. Easy. You'll will be pointing off to the side of the trail/cliff/river/motorway etc, so will need to throw in a quick turn back towards the wall ( a rear brake tap and skid will bring the back around quick smart).
So there you have it. Go find a suitable WALL OF DEATH and give your riding buddies a fright. (or a laugh!)
Rod “off the wall” Bardsley.