Trek Mountain Bikes - Riding a Tour

If you are in the market for a new bike - or even for your first bike, you definitely need to check out Trek Mountain Bikes. Trek Mountain Bikes have been around since the beginning of mountain bike time, and they aren't going anywhere soon - except maybe to the next challenging trail!

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Better Skiing Technique The Parrallel Turn

The Parallel Turn or Christie is the final turn that most beginners learn in ski schools. Although not used a great deal by people who have discovered the Bog Standard Stem Christie and stuck to it, it is nevertheless excellent grounding for more advanced technique. Its simple difference to the aforementioned turn is that there is no stem.

The skis are parallel all the time and are unweighted by a slow down and up slow motion.There are three preliminary exercises. The first is the parallel traverse with the skis alternating between flat running with the skier standing upright, and slight angulation into the slope to put the skis on their edges. This is quite difficult for a beginner, but gives him the feel of the snow sliding under the skis as he goes both sideways and forwards with the flat running, and a basic feel of edging when he angulates.

If the edging is too difficult it can be overlooked at this stage.The second exercise is the christie stop, which involves a slow straight run down the fall line. The skier angulates directly over the skis as he goes down to put the pole in, and comes up around the pole. The pole plant, which is important, goes in between the front of his boot and the tip of the ski, thereby encouraging him to get his weight forward at the start of the turn. As he turns across the fall line the skis brake by side slipping on the snow. Plenty of weight is kept on the lower ski.

This should also be practised on the other traverse.The last exercise is alternate pole plants while stationary. The pole plant is crucial; it makes the skier go down and come up in order to unweight the skis. Some teachers also try to make their pupils jump the backs of the skis off the ground as they come up. It is quite energetic and hopefully does not last for longer than an initial exercise.The parallel turn can now be tried on the move, going down to plant the pole, up and round it, and then down to plant the other pole to prepare for the next turn.

A few turns should be linked together to provide a basic rhythm. The major fault is not weighting the lower ski enough at the end of the turn, as most pupils tend to lean too much towards the pole plant and somehow stay there. This should be discouraged!.

There is also a tendency for the upper body to remain square over the skis. I don't consider this worth correcting until a skier begins to turn his upper body into the slope, although there are gurus, especially in Austria, who still advocate a definite upper body facing down the hill position even when the basic parallel is interspersed with quite long traverses. It is worth encouraging a skier to keep his uphill ski a few centimetres in front of his downhill ski on a traverse as this does discourage the upper body from turning inwards.This rounds off the early learning process. Hopefully it has reminded you what it was like at the start, and given you some idea of what you are doing now.

By analyzing the basic movements learnt by a beginner, you will be well briefed for what follows in other articles.

.Simon Dewhurst has taught downhill skiing in North America, Scandinavia and the European Alps for 35 years. He currently runs a ski chalet agency in the French Alps.

His book "Secrets of Better Skiing" can be found at If you have any comments about the above article, he will be happy to answer them.

By: Simon Dewhurst

Mountain Biking

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