3 Ways To Master Rock Gardens On Your Mountain Bike

– [Blake] Oh no. Rock gardens. My least
favourite terrain to ride. But I have three tips that will help you get through a rock garden safely and hopefully make it more fun for you. It’s all well and good
riding a trail blind through a rock garden, but
if your confidence is low, it’s always good to get off your bike and walk it, before
rushing in to the deep end. Right, walking a trail is a
perfect way to spot lines. Already, I can see two lines, an advanced line and a smoother line. When you hit this advanced line, look, there’s a wheel sized hole, that will swallow your
front wheel and game over. With this line, you come
in, you approach it slower, but it gives you a smoother
route through the rock garden and you can avoid all of this nasty stuff. For the more advanced route,
my natural instincts was to hop that gap and it made
it a lot more smoother. For the smoother line, I
just redirected my line, came in slower, but when I was
on it, it was way smoother. Here’s another great example
about walking the trail. Behind us, you can see on the left, there’s a great straight
run, and on the right, there’s a mound, that looks
like it’s a blind drop. But if we walk it, you can see, that on the other side,
it’s a natural roller. Now if you didn’t walk the trail, you wouldn’t see that it’s a roller. Tip number two, speed. Sounds weird and crazy, but it’s key when it comes to rock garden. You want to have speed to
flow and float through it, and get through it quicker. When you ride it slow
(laughs) This is where it gets horrible. You get to feel every single little bump, rock, drop, everything. Let me demonstrate. Uh oh. Oh my. Literally wants to
throw you over the bars, all these horrible bumps. Right. Right in this section is speed. Watch how smooth it is. Speed is key. (laughs) Woo! So you’ve walked it, you’ve ridden it. Now for tip number
three, is to session it. The more you ride it, the
better your line will get, the faster you’ll get. You’ll start to see hop lines,
you can start to transfer and you’ll get more
relaxed and you can get faster through it, because
my first time I did this, I was so stiff, I didn’t
know what was coming. Oh.. My.. I was bouncing, hitting every rock. Oh, blimey, this is nasty. Second time I hit it, I
got a little bit more flow, got used to it. Alright, I remember this bit. Jump. There you go. The third time, I was flat out. I knew my line. There you go. Oh, way faster. Woah, so that’s my three tips and how to make rock garden super fun. If you want to see more about
rock gardens, click up here, and if you want to watch Neko Mullaly ride through rocks, click here. If you love what I’m
wearing, my race jumper, click the shop. If you want to see more
of me, click this logo. Thumbs up.


  1. Would I be able to use a downhill fork on my straight tube hard tail? Yes I understand this could be crazy but I want to know if it would ruin my climbing ability

  2. Would a few thousand bricks count as a temporary Rock Garden?.. If so.. The Gnarliest would be when I took a hardtail Dawes XC bike (100mm fork travel) through a demolition site in Bournemouth. Entered site at a good speed, monster slide in the mud produced instant grin. Saw a line up a pile of bricks with a few broken concrete slabs on it.. Decided to go for it, Stomped up a bit of speed & made it over 2 large piles of bricks but a perfect 'wheeltrap' on the last (and smallest) pile sent me OTB.. Getting over a heap of smashed up bricks that move as you ride them is pretty sketchy! Landing on broken bricks is not so great.. I Cleaned it on my second run with a classic bunnyhop over the wheel grabbing hole & went to get a more suitable bike. Returned later on MTB to find a large digger parked on 'my line'. Had some fun finding rideable lines round the digger until a grumpy security guy waved a lump of wood at me & requested that I go elsewhere.. Was Gnarly fun while it lasted & I still got a couple of scars to remind me not to ride loose bricks again without decent pads 🙂

  3. Solid. I agree 100% on the speed factor! That's the HARDEST part of rock gardens when you're already scared to go down them.

    I can't really think of the "hardest" I've done. But the hardest type are narrow single track that's curving around a large feature with a cliff on the other side. Almost makes it impossible to hit at speed for fear of injury. Those seem to be everywhere here in Colorado and they are my bane!

  4. I drove a rocky trail in Riva del Garda completely alone. It was the greatest and hardest thing ever.
    But I can tell everyone: Speed, even when you are riding blind, is the key to get through and have fun

  5. 0:29 Blake did not just lay the bike on the drive side :O Hasn´t he ridden the unridden rules about mountainbiking 😉 ?

  6. theres about one hundred trails in the forest here with some crazy rock gardens and I ride them on a dirt jump bike , 80mm in the front and a back brake keep it interesting.. rocks, bumps and drops are the fun bits for me though. I live in Cumberland BC, you should check out the trail map then come here for a vacation haha its top notch trails. I cant think of a particular rocky spot alone but theres many videos on here.

  7. Gnarliest rock garden…….Moab Utah, The Whole Enchilada, it's a 20 mile long F'n rock garden with a few smooth bits tossed in here and there……can't wait to get back!!!

  8. Dear GMBN,

    I have some suggestions for you in order to keep and increase number of viewers because lately your videos became borring (no offence). Why don't you make some reviews on tires like slicks for the city ride (Cheap – Expensive) and compare the price to value ratio, because most of us rides on the asphalt too not only in the woods, also make some reviews on aluminium wheels because not everyone has money to buy a set of overpriced carbon wheels? Also, you could find some vintage 26 inch mtb and upgrade it – in order to see how much weight can be chipped off, how it performs comparing to these new bikes, and durability test, how many abuse it can handle because 26 ers are not dead as you say, nor the triple cranks!

    You are being watched from people around the world and economy standard is not the same everywhere but it seems you don't understand that.
    It would be much nicer to see some reviews on tires, complete groupsets comparison from like Tourney to XTR, frames (Steel, Aluminium, Carbon, etc), different wheelsets – from new to used (Aluminium, Carbon), so you can give us advice what is good enough to be used by us who don''t have to spend a fortune on a bike.

    You have to make your posts more interesting, otherwise people will find it borring and find another channel to watch what they want / need.


  9. Hi GMBN
    Just thought of a video that you could do. How to ride steep rocky climbs. I don't think you have done that before.

  10. Hey GMBN, thanks for the subtitles, you made the video more enjoyable for me! I would apreciate if you do subtitles for the next videos to come. And Blake, you're awesome!

  11. Is it just me or is the #gmbn channel getting kind of regurgitated? It's feeling less interesting to me. Anyone else feel this way? Still love the Dirt Shed Show though!

  12. Cool video. I liked how you showed and told us about your progression through the sections. I think most believe that professional riders can just do it all first run.

  13. a huge tip is to relax and not tense up. maintain control, yet use your arms and legs as though they're additional suspension, and let your bike take the beating. speed is key though

  14. #AskGMBN Has Blake done videos like these before he joined GMBN? He feels so natural front of camera. A great addition to the team.

  15. You hammed the slow run up you big drama queen. With the seat low almost any tech section can be ridden down with a little skill, even two and a half foot step shaped drops. I know. I've done it.

  16. Can you do a video on navigating rock gardens with flat pitches or even climbing rock gardens uphill? This seems to be much more challenging than the downhill sections as you obviously don't have the "speed as your friend" mentioned in this video

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