Pro Riding Tips with Randy Hawkins - Dirt Rider Magazine

This is a typical stream crossing that could be found on any trail in the country. As Hawkins approaches, he notes some clues and makes a judgment call.Here is what he takes in at a glance: It isn't a wide stream bed, so the crossing isn't flat but has a semi-steep bank on the far side that is littered with large, jagged rocks. Some are buried and immovable, while others are loose. Also, the approach is downhill with loose rocks. The water is muddy, so the bottom is hidden, but with rocks on both banks, he assumes they are down there, too."You want to wheelie across a creek with a rocky bottom and a rocky bank on the other side. Try to carry the front tire above the water all the way across," Hawkins advises. "A downhill approach already loads the front wheel, so deflecting off a hidden, wet rock is a bad plan. The downhill approach makes it hard to loft the front end, so you'll have to try a little harder; but you don't want a high wheelie, since that will allow more room for mistakes."Try to pick a spot on the other side where the rocks are the smallest. While you are in the water, try to keep the throttle steady to maintain traction. Think of it like this: You tip-toe through a creek on foot when you want to be careful and not get wet, so 'tip-toe' through on the bike. You don't want to slam in like a raging bull. Judge your approach, loft the front wheel, pick your spot on the far bank and use steady throttle. Keeping the front wheel just above the water makes the suspension less bouncy when you hit the rocks on the other side. And don't forget to watch those toes!"