There is absolutely nothing that’s more of a momentum killer than a slippery root on a climb you just can’t get over. One minute you’re peacefully ascending and the next minute your rear wheel is spinning, your bike slips sideways and before you know it you’re off the bike or even worse – on the ground! For novice and intermediate riders, the challenge is huge and at times it seems no matter what you do, it can just seem impossible to get safely to the other side of the offending root.

Unfortunately, quite often the outcome is the root will “disappear” from the climb under the cover of darkness. However, the reality is that the skills developed in this situation cross over to so many other climbing techniques when it comes to tricky obstacles such as ledges, logs, roll overs and just about anything else that will get in the way of you getting to the top of a climb, so it really is a skill worth mastering. Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1 – Slow down and set up

As you approach the root, take the time to slow down, take a break, take a good look at what’s coming up and use the approach to pick the right gear and line. What you are looking for is the patches of dirt before and after the root which you will need to aim for as this will be the only place you will get any traction. Pick your line, take a deep breath and get ready.