Dear Dr. Know-It-All,
I know you have answered this question before, but I really have trouble with drops on the trail that are rocky and wet. I panic and usually walk my bike down. I want to do them like Cody Webb and all the other extreme guys. What’s the secret?
Bulldog Doug
via [email protected]

First off, Bulldog, it’s Mister Know-It-All, as I have yet to get even my PhD. Second, there is no harm in being attentive and restrained when inhospitable terrain breeds uncontrolled anxiety. Remember, you won’t win a cheeseburger for a brave attempt, and it puts untold pressure on your riding partners should you wad and get hurt. Start small. Find obstacles with a good run-out so you can relax. Always start as slow as possible (as you can always pick up speed). Stand up, body back, arms and torso relaxed. Release your stranglehold on the brakes so the tires will roll over the obstacle, the suspension will unbind, and with your proper body alignment you will manage the machine’s balance, control and speed. A light rear brake is preferred; steer clear of any obsession with the front brake. You want the fork extended and able to absorb impacts and the run-out. Now, good luck; we’re all counting on you!

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