Riding Technique For EnduroCross - Loose Rock Garden

Off-road riding tips from Cody Webb

This article was originally published in the January 2018 issue of Dirt Rider.

An EnduroCross race just wouldn’t be the same without the rock garden. We’ve seen some incredibly tough boulder fields laid out on the courses over the years, and many times the race can be won or lost in this difficult part of the racetrack. During a visit to FMF KTM Red Bull Racing’s Cody Webb’s personal EnduroCross track in Northern California, we asked the three-time AMA EnduroCross champion and recently crowned SuperEnduro World Champion to tell us how he blazes through the rocks with incredible speed and finesse each and every lap. Webb grew up competing in mototrials events and was even crowned the 2010 MotoTrials National Champion, so rocks are an obstacle he knows very well. Check out the tips below to find out the best and most effective ways to get through the rocks as quickly and easily as possible.

Step 1: Keep the front end light. People think I'm in the attack mode, but I'm definitely hanging off the back of the bike. My toes are up, and that's because I'm weighting the back of the pegs so I've got all the pressure on the rear tire. Most of my weight's on the pegs. I'm not pushing on the grips. I'm just using a push-and-pull effect to keep it stable.Jeff Allen
Step 2: I was thinking about this—my heels are so far back and down if they catch it's possibly going to pull my leg off the bike. That's one reason why I say on the high line, not in the cracks, because I dig my heels down. Surprisingly I've never caught my heel on a rock.Jeff Allen
Step 3: I've got a lot of pressure on the rear tire. You see how my heels are digging in? And I'm doing a little wheelie because there's a hole or something probably. I'm definitely squeezing with my boots at the area right above my ankles, but I never try to grip too much in the rocks; you have to let the bike dance a little bit sometimes underneath you.Jeff Allen
Step 4: I'm never wide open in the rocks unless I've got a good momentum and I'm at the exit of them. I come in and I'm gentle off the bat so I get a good drive and make my way through. I don't use the brakes. I don't want anything to slow me down, and you don't want to pull the front brake in because it can grab on a rock and unsettle you.Jeff Allen
Step 5: I'm using my feet a little bit to change and unweight off rocks if I want to change my line. And I'll move with the front too sometimes, but, for example, in this rock section the rocks move so much it's really hard to keep a straight line because if you try and use your front end to hit a different line you'll push a rock out and it'll mess you up.Jeff Allen
Step 6: In the rock sections you're definitely not looking as far ahead as you would in other scenarios. I try and just avoid all holes so I'm looking for the bigger rocks that I want to hit with the front end that I know will keep me out of trouble. Focus on the front end and the rear end should follow.Jeff Allen

Tip: Keep the front end light and your feet on the pegs. If you dab or end up sitting down it's really difficult to build your momentum again. If you get hung up in the rocks it's crucial that you at least try to keep one foot on the peg at all times, and it's really helpful to, as you dab, weight that peg and keep pushing along to keep momentum going. If I sit down I'll put weight on the seat to get out of something, but I always try to stand up again as soon as possible because I'm in more control standing. If you're sitting down it's just a direct line of travel through your butt and through your back and you're just working against yourself. Sure, you're getting a lot of traction, but you're not working with the bike. It'll be hitting you and it's out of sync and not balanced. And if you have a foot on the peg and you're pushing, that kind of lets the bike do its thing and crawl through like a caterpillar [laughs].