Pro Riding Tip—Climbing Hills With a Rut in the Middle

How to not get stuck in a rut while riding a dirt bike.

Climbing hills with a rut in the middle can sometimes cause problems. The rut can grab your wheels and slow your momentum. Nick Fahringer suggests zigzagging across the ruts to avoid getting bogged down. The hard enduro ace shows and explains how in the following photos. Be sure to get out and practice this technique before a race so you are proficient at it should the situation arise during a competition.

“On this particular hill climb, there is a rut where previous traffic has gone. If you ride in the rut, you are relegated to some type of rigid approach where you’ve got to keep your bike upright enough so the footpegs will clear the edges of the rut. At that point, you are stuck with going where the rut takes you.”Shan Moore
“The rut usually has square edges, roots, and rocks. At some point, you usually have to take your feet off the pegs, so your weight transfers to your boots and not your bike. At that point, you lose momentum and direction, and you usually end up paddling up the rest of the hill.”Shan Moore
“What you want to do is look ahead, weight the pegs, and load the flywheel by revving the bike while the clutch is pulled in. That way you can slowly dole out power with the clutch with a flick of the finger. That way you can slip the clutch to control your speed. I like to carry my momentum in an arching path that carries me from one side of the rut to the other.”Shan Moore
“At the bottom of the hill, I start just to the outside of the rut and carry my momentum across the rut to the other side. At that point, I look ahead and I see that the rut gets deeper and steeper, and it has rocks. So I shift my weight to the other side of the bike and turn it across the rut to the opposite side with a little throttle, release of the clutch, and a slight wheelie.”Shan Moore
“Notice I am keeping my knees bent and my weight way up off of the seat, staying in the attack position centered over the bike. Not so far forward that I lose rear wheel traction and not so far back that I am causing the bike to wheelie because I need to steer it.”Shan Moore
From there, I just continue to zigzag up the rut until I am at the top.”Shan Moore