Have you ever experienced being pinned between the gutter and a car and there’s an obstacle in front of you? It may be a stone, bump, pothole, puddle, wet leaves, or anything blocking your way. You cannot change road position in order to avoid the obstacle. It is in this situation that you use the rock dodge technique.
If you cycle over those hazards (particularly when they are more than one inch high) your tires can be squashed against your rims. This can damage your rims and blow out your tubes.
What is the rock dodge technique?
The rock dodge technique is a bicycle emergency maneuver that allows you to avoid hazard without the need to change your road position. This is a basic skill that every cyclist must learn as it can be life-saving.
How does the rock dodge technique work?
Keep in mind that with this technique, the front wheel is more important that the rear wheel. This is because you steer with the front wheel. Performing this maneuver is pretty simple. Just before you hit the obstacle that’s on your way, jerk or steer the front wheel around it and back. For example, there is a rock on your way. Just before you reach it, quickly steer left (or right) then right (or left) to correct your balance, then straight again. Because you quickly correct your balance, your body wouldn’t have time to follow the weave of your bicycle. You continue riding in an almost-straight line as you get around the hazard smoothly.
Looking ahead is essential to execute this maneuver correctly. You have to look ahead for you to identify the obstacle and note how far or how near you are from it. This will give you time to prepare for the hazard. Concentrate on cycling on a straight line while moving your bike around the hazard.
Your Body and Rear Wheel
Maintain a straight riding position while your bike moves around the hazard. While performing this technique, you can stand up on your pedal to help you maneuver your bike properly. If you know that you would hit the obstacle with your rear wheel, you should unweigh your rear wheel. To do so, simply lift your weight off your bike seat. Lean forward just a tad to get your rear wheel around or over the obstacle.
Ideally, you shouldn’t hit the obstacle with either wheel. Practice the rock dodge technique so you can use it correctly.