During my first ride on the new ‘cross bike down at the local park, I was doing my best to replicate what I would do on a motorcycle: flying around the turns, sliding the rear-end and trail braking really hard into the turns. As my confidence in my new steed increased, I was really starting to rail some of the switchback corners and just as I released the brakes the front tire dropped into a hole, I instantly stomp the pedal down…. Nothing, my center of gravity is off and the rear tire spins out and I go over the handlebars.

You can never be scared to try new things.

“Don’t touch that,” my girlfriend says as I am about to move her saddle about 5 millimeters in I-don’t-know-what direction.

In motorcycling, your suspension and geometry settings are the key to setting up the bike. With bicycles, cyclists feel that some witch doctor put everything on the bike with a chant and a magic wrench. People think, No, don’t you dare move it or the magic will be gone!

You have been riding bikes for a long time. Maybe you have that one knee that bothers you. Or it could even be how you apply power to the pedals out of a corner. Changing your position and experimenting during rides rides is a way to discover new speeds, new potential. This is how it always starts.

When I crashed on that ‘cross ride, adjustments had to be made. I pulled out the wrench and promptly moved the seat back 20mm. Let’s be clear: I am a fan of what works! I am not a fan of the witch doctor.

Back on the bike, and this time I chuck that thing into the corner even harder, the front digs in and I stomp the pedals even harder with my new setback position, no crashing. With newfound confidence, I start hucking it into sweepers and off-cambers, just having a blast.

With my girlfriend’s saddle, I moved it. She didn’t like it, but we will try the new position and ultimately see how it works/ does not work. You can always put it back exactly the same.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. You might learn something.

Robert Jensen | The Bounty Hunter | Wednesday, June 10th, 2015