Most people tend to follow the trail in front of them, but that may not be the best option. Conditions can change so dramatically that the primary path often becomes degraded, in which case it’s faster and perhaps safer to avoid it.Here, Hawkins chooses to ride alongside a rut, which used to be the main trail everyone rode. But if he dropped into the rut now, he’d have a much more difficult time, what with the root across it as well as small rocks. “If you look, you might not think there’s enough room, but you [really] have enough room to skinny through there [between the rut and something beside it like a tree],” Hawkins begins. “You don’t have to worry about going too fast because this is not a fast section. The object is to get through it as smoothly and as easily as possible and [expending] the least amount of energy, then make up your time on a flat section, where you can go fast.” A key point to remember is to look at the smoother ground beside the rut; if you stare at the rut, you’re almost guaranteed to end up in it.