Why you should learn to Manual

The manual, also known as the front wheel lift, is one of the most fundamental skills in mountain biking. It’s the gateway to many other skills but even before you’ve got that far, it can actually help reduce arm fatigue!

Think about it – if you manual over a root, or a series of roots, rocks, down steps, anything you can, you’re giving your arms a momentary rest and allowing the much bigger muscles of your legs to deal with the rough stuff. All those momentary rests will soon add up, leaving you feeling a little fresher and also way radder because of all the manualling you’ve been doing. Sounds pretty good eh!

If that’s not enough to persuade you, what about this: once you can lift your front wheel up using the correct technique, you can step your game up almost immediately by successfully learning to do drop-offs. For both manualling over things on the trail and for doing drop-offs, you don’t need to be able to cruise along on the back wheel for many many metres, you simply need to be able to raise the front wheel using the technique described in the video above.

Be sure to let me know how you get on by leaving a comment on the video!

Until next time.

Welcome to YouTube!

You may or may not have heard that I decided to create a YouTube channel. Every other Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be doing it at the moment what with lockdown, but luckily my name’s Emily so that should help me stand out from the crowd a little bit.

What’s it all about? It’s about trying to help others get better on their bikes. I go into more detail in this video:


If like me, you find YouTube full of people waffling on for 10 minutes when they could have wrapped it up in about 3, you are going to like my channel!

I endeavour only to include what is actually relevant, allowing you to take just a few minutes of your time to find out how to do something, and then head out to try it. You can even refer back to it whilst you’re out, using the YouTube app on your phone. One of the ideas behind keeping the tutorials as short and as to-the-point as possible is to enable you to do just that.

I’ll be covering subjects such as
– Cornering
– Braking to go faster
– Jumping
– Doing drop-offs
– Riding switchbacks
– Riding steeps
to name just a few.

There’ll be a smattering of more theoretical mechanical/technical type videos too, but please comment on any of the videos to let me know what you’d like to see next!

If you like what you’ve read and/or seen so far, you can subscribe by hitting this subscribe link HERE right now!

I had originally planned to kick off in mid-April with this, which coincided with not being allowed to actually go bike riding here in France thanks to the Covid-19 crisis. So far, I’ve done a few garden-based videos, but will wait now until 11th May (a mere 6 days away at the time of writing) because I want to produce more relevant and useful stuff than random bits in the garden (although I could do a video on how to endo-180-off of 2 pallets/a wall if you want!).

If you’ve just become a subscriber, thank you very much, and see you out there!



We’re in Singletrack Mag!

Remember those three really long blog entries I did about our trip to the Queyras Regional Park? Well, here’s a much shorter version written by a pro! If you’re a Singletrack premium subscriber, there’s every chance you’ve seen it already, but if not here are the pages in image form… sorry for the very low-tech solution, anyone know how to embed pdf files?? Click to enlarge and read away 🙂 Drop us a line if you would like the pdf copy.