Short, Deep Ruts - Riding Tips

Shallow water crossings with steep clay banks are routine in GNCC and Hare Scrambles racing. None of the pros slam through a section like this, since risking hidden hazards, fouled vision and compromised gloves aren't worth the milliseconds saved. The problem is that steep banks attacked at slow speed rut up deeply, and the ruts frequently have roots or rocks with zero traction in the bottom. Multi-time National Hare Scrambles champion Jason Raines explains what he does to avoid getting stuck in these tricky ruts.

1 Raines has slowed and evaluated the rutted bank, but is committed to the line. He is loading the front end with the front brake and has the clutch in, preparing to accelerate and use all the traction that he can find in the mud to build momentum for the tricky rut and to make sure that he wheelies all the way through it.2 This rut is deeper than the footpegs, so there is no way to simply ride through it. Approach the rut using the clutch and throttle to keep the engine right between stalling and spinning, and keep weight on the rear wheel. That gets the front end up and carries the front wheel all the way through the rut, so the pegs clear.

3 If you attempt to ride through with the front wheel in the rut, the footpegs will hang up and lift the rear wheel off the ground and you will be stuck. It ruins the rut for the riders behind you if you attempt to paddle and roost through. You are stuck, and the only option is lifting the bike out. If you paddle, keep your butt on the seat and make sure that you don't lift your weight off the bike.Visit for more information on Jason's training and riding schools and camps.