After the recent Internet ruckus over Grant Langston’s alleged tail-whipping of a slower female rider during an open practice, we figured it’d be a good time to find a sequence that shows off the technique he was using. You know…in the interest of educating both riders and road race magazine editors.
(And if you happened to miss the furor, just consider yourself lucky).
The finish line jump at this year’s Glen Helen received a whole lot of attention from the track designers. Instead of the tabletop configuration it normally enjoys, it was re-formed into a huge step-down jump with an extremely tall front half, which made it tough to hit at speed without over-jumping.
Here, Ricky Carmichael provides a textbook example of how advanced riders simultaneously brake and turn on the face of the jump to scrub speed and minimize their airtime. His bike is nearly horizontal by the time he hits the lip, which puts him on a whole lot lower arc than he’d be if he’d hit it straight on. You’ll also notice the rear wheel swinging around, even though he’s still headed forward.
This is obviously a technique employed by advanced riders, so use your head as to whether this is something that you want to try and add to your bag of tricks. Oh, and another thing…if they don’t already do it, lobby with your local tracks to run separate practices for pros and slower riders.