Just curious, how many of you can dismount on either side of the bike and remount on either side? I'd like to learn how to do this since I would think this would be a HUGE advantage at cross races but dang, it's like relearning how to ride a bike.
For me, Drive-side dismount is pretty easy. Remount is hard.
However, it can be very useful for tight right-handers into and out of barriers. Can also be effective for blocking people in certain circumstances, if that's your thing.
Remounts can be very useful after a fall. It looks very inelegant to fall onto your right side, get up, push the bike in front of you and go to the left side to remount. I have seen several instances of this in Euro pro races. Sven Nys did it twice last year.
Right side remount is very useful for off-camber slopes as well.
That said, I haven't seen any elite racer who is a switch hitter, there are a few riders in CO that use right hand exclusively. And there are a couple of famous Belgian pros.
It's lots of fun to practice this, especially if there is a windy series of barriers. But if Sven Nys can't do it...
i feel so ashamed...for me drive side mount/dismounts are natural, non-drive is totally counter intuitive, and whilst I am forcing myself to learn I've already bruised my ribs trying...superman pose, saddle to chest.
anyone else have the same "problem" for what it's worth i ride switch/goofy snowboarding, skating and surfing...and apparently my brain wants to apply the same logic to cross
It's a parlor trick, but I love parlor tricks so I forced myself to learn it a few years ago. As mentioned, it can save you a half second or so after a crash if you wind up on the wrong side of the bike after a wreck, but I'll admit that I never do this under regular circumstances during a race. It's a lot harder when you're going full gas and you're eyes are rolling back in your head.
I try not to give myself a lot of options while I'm racing- I ride the hoods exclusively unless I'm sprinting, etc. to reduce extra movements and chances to screw up. Dismounting and remounting on my "wrong" side is for sure a movement that could make me slower.
It is fun to learn though, I used to snowboard a lot and I was never happy with a trick until I could do it regular and goofy footed so my brain is used to the feeling of learning stuff both ways.
It's definitely useful for places with an off-camber remount - trying to jump onto the bike from below it is pretty difficult.
That said, at my peak proficiency of drive-side dismount and remount, I found myself second-guessing my dismounts during one race. Granted, there were some other distractions preventing full focus, but the fact that I had spent the previous week focusing on that didn't help.
My logic is I would use it so infrequently I would have devote a lot of practice time to it midseason when the weather's bad and the hours are short. If you don't have it dialed are your really going to use it under race conditions? You'd look a lot more foolish screwing up your unnatural side remount than doing the whole push your bike in front of you dance. If had unlimited training time and had mastered more crucial skills like cornering at all speeds on and off camber etc. I would definitely learn how. At S.Seatac last year it would have really helped.
I voted that I can't. However, I spent about 10 minutes last year practicing my left side mounts (dismounts were easy). I got decent at them but never even considered trying that party trick in a race. Never felt hampered by not having that in my quiver either.
I always practice dismounting on the right side (mainly just test riding bikes at work all day) but rarely re-mounting. However, last year during a big bottle neck pile up (cant remember what race, maybe the Portland GP) I found myself on the right side of the bike. Before I knew it I was in the air & ironically thinking to myself "I have no idea how this is going to turn out". It wasnt pretty but I landed it & pedalled away. Might have even gained a few places too but who knows.
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