Destry Abbott EnduroCross Riding Tip—Hinging

Destry Abbott-recommended maneuver to stay low and maintain speed

“It’s basically like going up a hill,” Destry begins.Mark Kariya

While everyone seems to like Supercross-style sky shots, there are times when that’s simply not advisable. AMA EnduroCross course layouts, after all, are not like Supercross, and if you were to “send it” on some of these steep, peaked towers of dirt (some of which might have a log at the top), you’d get lots of hang time, but you’d also find yourself flat-landing or—worse—coming down on top of another obstacle or rider!

“Here, you’ll see my hips start transferring [weight] forward, just like you would going up a hill. As you go up a hill, you don’t want to be leaning back because then you’d be pulling on the handlebars, so I’m leaning forward going up.”Mark Kariya

In such instances, off-road legend Destry Abbott advises standing on the approach, chopping the throttle at the top, and letting the bike drop down the other side while your body acts like a hinge to allow that without interrupting the flow.

“As soon as I get to the top, I start pivoting my hips back.”Mark Kariya

An added note is that this is a perfect opportunity to remember to breathe. “The biggest thing, as I mentioned in my [EnduroCross] class, is breathing,” Abbott points out. “That’s off-road racing in general, just working on breathing. That’s something that I think a lot of people overlook is the breathing aspect, controlled breathing and things like that.”

“I’m soaking up [the bike’s upward momentum] with my legs [here], and now my butt’s almost touching that rear fender, my hips are pivoting back so I’m letting the bike dive underneath me.”Mark Kariya
“Now I’m letting the bike soak up [landing on the downslope].” Note his foot placement throughout the entire sequence: Destry has the balls of his feet on the pegs and his heels back and down—out of harm’s way and also helping to weight the rear of the bike. “The biggest thing is using those legs as a suspension device. The more you can get your toes back [on the pegs], then you have great pivoting points, which is your hips, knees, and ankles. I see a lot of guys riding up [near] their heels, but then all that force goes into your knees. As you get older, that’s going to be wear and tear, then you’re down to just two pivoting points.”Mark Kariya