The 2003 GNCC champ points out, “This trail has been ridden many times, and everybody who comes up the hill ends up on the left side [the right side as viewed in the photos looking back down the hill].” While it doesn’t appear all that rough in the photos, it’s certainly enough to keep you on your toes when you’re hitting it at speed.Hawk continues, “What I do—and what I noticed [teammates] Randy [Hawkins] and Jason [Raines] do—is actually slow down. Once we get through the [slight bend in the trail midway up], we slow down and hop up on the right side coming up the hill. It’s a lot smoother.”It’s slower at the bottom because you have to let off the gas and set yourself up. But when you get to the top of the hill, you’re going way faster because you’re missing 10 or 12 big chopped-out sections [by staying to the right, where] it’s smooth. In the long run you’re saving energy.”The biggest thing is to set it up early so you don’t get down in the rough stuff.”
A. WRONG: Here, Barry Hawk rides through the main part of the trail, as most guys normally would. It’s not a bad choice, but there’s a better one.B. RIGHT: What Hawk basically does is work the edges of the trail more. Although he has to slow down a bit to force the bike to change direction, it will pay off in the long run. As you can see here, he has already made what is normally a gentle bend into a sharper turn and is wheelying over some ruts to get to the smoother, little-used portion of trail.C. Now he’s on a small shelf of smooth ground and can accelerate hard up the rest of the hill instead of dealing with all the chop on the other, more-used side.