A few weeks back we showed you how to perform the perfect cyclocross dismount. Now it’s time to dive into carrying your bike and then the all important remount. Here are some tips and tricks that will help assure the process is smooth and efficient. If you’re more of a visual learner, start by checking out this video from our friends at the Global Cycling Network.
We’ll start with carrying your bike, and for now stick to the less involved “suitcase” method, which is perfect for short runs, say a small flight of steps or a quick barrier section. (We’ll dive into shouldering for longer runs in a future post.)
First up, lift your bike straight up, don’t swing it out to the side. If you carry it out to the side, you’re more likely to set it down at an angle, which will make a smooth remount more difficult and could result in a bouncing bike — and a dropped chain. Also make sure you lift your bike high enough to clear the obstacle. Otherwise… well you know what will happen. When it’s time to set your bike down, do it gently and even try pushing down on your bike a little. This, too, will help assure you’re not attempting to jump onto a bouncing bike.
Now it’s time to get back on. The first thing to think about is when to initiate the remount. On a flat surface you’ll want to get back on as soon as possible in order to maintain momentum and start ramping up speed. But if for instance a set of barriers gives way to a steep incline, wait to start your remount until the track levels off. Trying to remount when the course is still steep could result in stall out where you have to get back off your bike. Better to keep running a few more steps and then jump on. It’s little subtleties such as this that make pre-riding the course critical. That way you can experiment without consequences and find out what works best for you.
Once you’ve settled on a remount location, place both hands on your handlebar hoods or tops, whichever you’re most comfortable with, though most people chose the hoods. (But again, experiment to find the best method for you.) Also make sure you’re on the non-drive side of the bike, as it’s always best to not go jumping around near your chainrings.
Now, jump with your left foot while simultaneously swinging your right leg up and over the back of your bike and saddle (Watch the video above to get a good look at what this should look like.). The idea is to gently land the inside of your right thigh on the saddle, then slide the rest of the way into place. That means don’t jump too high, just enough to get up and over. When done right it will feel like you are jumping forward as well as across.
Now it’s time to find your pedals. Ideally they’ll be in the same position they were when you dismounted, the right pedal at noon, the left at 6 o’clock. Find the right pedal first, clipping in and driving forward at the same time. Then reach for your left pedal as it rotates up toward your left foot.
Through all this, remember that remounting is a skill that will not come overnight, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t get it right away and don’t be afraid to practice. One simple drill is to never mount your bike when it’s stationary. Instead, put in a couple of steps and then hop on to get the felling of preserving momentum, which of course is what it’s all about.
Once you get comfortable with the standard remount, try adding a drive-side remount to your repertoire. That way if you end up off your bike and on the wrong side, say after a crash, you wont have to run around to the non-drive side to get back on.