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TrailBoy Online

The lurch is one of the most functionally important moves in Trials, and is the basis for a whole variety of moves. I think it's also one of the most tricky moves to learn.

There are probably a good dozen ways to learn the lurch. One of the easiest and best that I learned is as follows. They key to adapting to learn to lurch is to practice stringing a few pedal stroke movements together without putting your front wheel down the ground. It looks a little funny, but doing this gives you a great feel for how the bike and your body is positioned, as well as giving you the timing for the brake modulation. Practice this motion, lifting from a stationary postion, then ratcheting through as many pedal stroke motions as you can, letting the front wheel drop a little each time, then pedaling again to lift it back up. Once you can do this easily, you're just a very small step away from pulling off a full blown lurch.

The real lurch is exactly the same as what you just did, except you add a little more body english and pull of the arms to get the rear wheel off the ground at the same time that you initiate the pedal stroke. This will just take a little bit of practice to figure out. The best way to start is to do one pedal stroke to lift the front wheel, then do another one, getting the rear off the ground. Just concentrate on doing one lurch for right now. Once you get used the feeling, try to string a few together. It's also important to learn how much pedal motion and bike motion is necessary to go a certain distance. Eventually, you'll know by feel exactly how much to do it, so that you can hit a target within an inch.

Another point to make here is that for distance there is a basic formula to follow. In general, the lower you let your front wheel drop before giving the main pedal kick, the farther you will go. This is rather obvious if you think about; if your front wheel is near the ground, all that pedal energy will be translated to forward motion. Conversely, if your front wheel is really high, you will mainly go up instead of forward. Just keep practicing, and eventually you will be able to stay on your rear wheel all day, making little adjustments to keep yourself upright.

There are a whole bunch of variations on the lurch, and you can probably come up with some yourself. Some of these include pulling off a big lurch directly from a standstill, pivoting from a standstill and lurching, and lurching around in a circle.