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16.  Look ahead: when I’m riding I like to look at least 40 feet ahead on the trail. This allows me to see what’s coming up and prepare myself; while looking ahead I can still see what’s directly in front, but if I’m looking down at my front wheel I’m going to get surprised by trail features and probably wipe out a lot.

17. Know how to eject: even if you do all of the above, you’re still going to wipe out from time to time. Knowing how to eject can save your hide. One great way to eject is something our lead instructor Johanna calls the ‘North Shore eject’, where you lift your leg over the top tube and jump off to one side of the bike (this is especially effective when you’re riding obstacles that are off the ground).

18.  Take a mountain bike skills course: there are dozens of great mountain bike skills camp providers around the world. You’ll be amazed at how a day or two of instruction with a great instructor can improve your riding and help you build confidence.

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