Hillclimbs are tough enough to ride, but when you encounter one with exposed roots then you can have a real problem, especially when the roots are slippery. 2009 GNCC champ Paul Whibley gives us his strategy for attacking hills with nasty roots.
1. “As I come up on the section I scan for possible lines. I know that the line closest to the tree with the roots is usually the best, so that’s the way I go.”
2. “Although the roots at the base of the tree are much bigger, there are fewer of them and they are at more consistent angles, which makes them easier to get over than if you stray farther away. As you approach the roots you want to give a burst of throttle to lift the front wheel so it clears the roots.”
3. “Then you roll off the throttle and get light on the bike as the rear wheel approaches, so you coast over them because any power to the rear wheel at that point can cause it to spin.”
4. “Once clear of the roots [a fraction of a second later than this photo shows, after momentum gets the rear tire over this final, angled root] get back on the gas and haul butt!”