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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever taught themselves to ride Goofy (right foot forward) when their natural inclination is regular (left foot forward)??

Reason I ask, is... I'm having some right knee issues and I find in regular setup my right knee is in a weaker position (or so it feels).

When I switch to Goofy, any right knee pain vanishes.

O/C I could end up wearing out the left knee... but, it's taken my first 7 years of riding to get any real knee issues.

I'm thinking if I teach myself how to do ride the gnar, hit drops (to start with) and maybe even jump, with right foot forward - I'll give my right knee a break (knocks on wood).

FYI - just a minor knee strain, with pain/discomfort located behind knee cap. It's been 2 weeks since I sent a 4-5 ft drop a little far and felt a wee twinge in the right knee.

Did a ride day before yesterday and knee felt good... to start with, during the last 5-10 mins of ride it started to twinge for medium/larger bumps.

When I tried right foot forward, it felt totally weird... but, the twinge i.e. pain subsided.

Just wondering if others have taught themselves to ride Goofy, coming from regular & how long it took to feel more natural.

Anyhow, I'm gonna be giving it a crack (knocks on wood, again) and see how it goes

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I started practicing with the ‘wrong’ foot forward on rides with low consequences. Much more comfortable swapping between feet positions now after doing this for a year.


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I ride switchfoot. Always have. Are you on flats or clips? A change in foot or cleat position for or aft may help.
 

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Interesting you ask. I didn’t even know this was a thing until i listened to a podcast “ask a cycling coach episode 18x?”

So i ride switch a lot depending what is best for the turn. Front foot in outside of turn. Not all the time, but i definitely focus on it a lit more and practice opposite foot descending.


For everyone polled on the podcast, their lead foot was the same as their snowboard/skateboard lead foot i think.


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I’ve always ridden normal as a right hand person with left foot forward. However recently after purchasing a new geometry lower bottom bracket bike I switch foot depending on the terrain and situation in order to not pedal strike. The more I do it the easier and the more comfortable I get with it.
 

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I’ve been a goofyfoot surfer for 40 years but never knew the term applied to mountain biking.

I’ll have to try to take note on my next ride which way I do it on the bike.


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On any type of board I am regular foot and struggle riding switch except slightly easier when kiting.

On a bike I can ride either way no problem, it usually depends on the camber of the terrain.
 

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I’ve been a goofyfoot surfer for 40 years but never knew the term applied to mountain biking.
It's generally not used.

But it's widely known and accepted that everyone has a preference. Skills coaches broadly instruct practicing with either foot forward, because there ARE occasions where you need to lead with a different foot because of the terrain or a funky obstacle or fatigue or whatever.
 

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I ride left foot forward when I skateboard or snowboard (not that I hardly ever do either I’d those) but ride bikes with right foot forward.

I’m right handed, fwiw.

Until this thread I didn’t know which foot forward was “goofy”, even though I knew people had dominant/non-dominant feet. Now I know 👍.

I’ve never tried switching, but I have tried to practice cornering with my non dominant foot forward. Now that I think about it, I do it subconsciously on some turns at my local trail system.

I don’t think I could ride skinnies, or hit jumps with the “wrong” foot forward though. It is a good idea to start practicing that more though.
 

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Even in the 90's, Race Face made a 2/3rds bash guard that you oriented depending on your dominant foot. I can fakie snowboarding and skating but I'm strictly regularfoot surfing. Oddly, I'm totally ambi with my hands. I can do anything with either and use the hand that's closer for the task. Writing, hammering a nail. Whatever. If I injure either hand or wrist I'm equally handicapped until healed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all for replies.

I too switch feet, particularly on berms, flat turns, rolling terrain.

But, when it gets to the nitty gritty, I default to left foot forward and right foot back.

I'm guessing this has taken it's toll on my rear/right knee i.e. it's in a weaker position than the front/left knee.

I'll conduct some experiments and see what occurs.

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I was a competitive swimmer for 7 years. I had a coach who made me practice swimming left handed. After a few weeks, I could swim ambidextrous (I could breathe on either side depending on how I felt). Learning to pedal goofy foot was much easier than learning to swim ambidextrous. Now I alternate feet depending on which way I'm turning. For starting a wheelie, I still have to use my strong leg.
 

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... For starting a wheelie, I still have to use my strong leg.
I think thats why I start right foot forward. I was a competitive soccer player in my youth, and rode bikes around the neighborhood like most people. However, I spent a fair bit of time practicing wheelies/etc (more than just "riding around" is all). At that age, I was VERY heavily right footed, and as a side effect of that trait, my right leg was much, much stronger (I have very prominent effects of Osgood Schlatter disease on my right knee, easily 3-4x more noticable than the photo in the wikipedia page I just linked to). So I think I defaulted to leading with the stronger leg for wheelie practice, and it just stuck.

I high school and later I would become mostly ambidextrous with my feet, and the leg strength balanced out (beneficial for different types of curves you'd strike onto the ball, as well as being able to more easily strike the ball while sprinting). But at that point I wasn't riding bikes as much.
 

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I am most comfortable with my left foot forward but tend to switch to my right foot when I'm tired or of the other side needs a break. Good to have the ability to ride either way!

-DS
 

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Like Celswick, I surfed for many years. I tried to learn to switchfoot when longboarding and, even though I could pull it off, it never felt natural. Snowboarding...same thing.
I surf goofy and, now that I am thinking about it, am right foot forward on my bike.
I would be careful in dicy situations. Muscle memory is a weird thing.
 

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I am historically right-footed, less so these days. About 7 years ago, I tore my right quad and it took a long time to heal. In the meantime, I began leading with my left foot when I needed a burst of power e.g. wheelies, pedal kicks, etc. Over time, I noticed that I would lead with the foot that was most convenient. So, I think it is possible to learn riding effectively switch footed.

To this day, I can just as easily ride a wheelie leading with my left or right foot. I don't think about it, it is just automatic.
 

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I typically ride left foot forward too but I trained myself to ride switch. It is very awkward and the bike behaves a little differently than what your brain tells you it should be doing. I tried just learning on easier downhills and working my way up but that wasn't cutting it for me. I had to start with manuals and work up to bunny hops riding switch foot. After that the rest was easy.

I have some right knee issues too. Took me a while to track down but it was weak glutes (maximus and medius) along with scar tissue from an old injury. Might want to see if your knee issues aren't being caused by something else to fix the root of the issue but learn to ride switch in the mean time.
 

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Anyone ever taught themselves to ride Goofy (right foot forward) when their natural inclination is regular (left foot forward)??

Reason I ask, is... I'm having some right knee issues and I find in regular setup my right knee is in a weaker position (or so it feels).

When I switch to Goofy, any right knee pain vanishes.

O/C I could end up wearing out the left knee... but, it's taken my first 7 years of riding to get any real knee issues.

I'm thinking if I teach myself how to do ride the gnar, hit drops (to start with) and maybe even jump, with right foot forward - I'll give my right knee a break (knocks on wood).

FYI - just a minor knee strain, with pain/discomfort located behind knee cap. It's been 2 weeks since I sent a 4-5 ft drop a little far and felt a wee twinge in the right knee.

Did a ride day before yesterday and knee felt good... to start with, during the last 5-10 mins of ride it started to twinge for medium/larger bumps.

When I tried right foot forward, it felt totally weird... but, the twinge i.e. pain subsided.

Just wondering if others have taught themselves to ride Goofy, coming from regular & how long it took to feel more natural.

Anyhow, I'm gonna be giving it a crack (knocks on wood, again) and see how it goes

Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
Switch hitter does a bloke wonders. To be able to do correct foot forward without thinking is required in trials. It takes time to make the foot forward autonomous but is awesome once it is. Chocolate foot gets us in trouble too often.
 

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I think thats why I start right foot forward. I was a competitive soccer player in my youth, and rode bikes around the neighborhood like most people. However, I spent a fair bit of time practicing wheelies/etc (more than just "riding around" is all). At that age, I was VERY heavily right footed, and as a side effect of that trait, my right leg was much, much stronger (I have very prominent effects of Osgood Schlatter disease on my right knee, easily 3-4x more noticable than the photo in the wikipedia page I just linked to). So I think I defaulted to leading with the stronger leg for wheelie practice, and it just stuck.

I high school and later I would become mostly ambidextrous with my feet, and the leg strength balanced out (beneficial for different types of curves you'd strike onto the ball, as well as being able to more easily strike the ball while sprinting). But at that point I wasn't riding bikes as much.
Interesting. I also played soccer competitively. I had some patellar ligament issues related to muscle strength imbalance, but these didn't show up until later in high school. I have been the same height since 6th grade, so I guess I was able to escape issues with Osgood Schlatter disease because I finished growing so early. But I still get soreness in my knees sometimes. It's usually related to weather changes (big jumps or drops in barometric pressure, almost invariably, will do it) and also big changes in exercise intensity/volume. Slow build ups will avoid those issues, it seems.

It takes a LOT of pounding with my dominant foot forward (left, marginally) to make me sore enough to need to switch. But, doing that a couple times is one of the things that convinced me to start switching things up and working to get more comfortable right foot forward. I'm also more likely to feel soreness in the soles of my feet before my knees from favoring one foot forward in rough terrain.

I am fairly ambidextrous in most ways. The one thing that I am definitely right hand dominant on is writing. A lot of other things I can switch up, even though I might still feel more comfortable with my right. I can switch my feet even more comfortably. Many years ago, I sustained a nagging injury to the big toenail on my right foot playing soccer. Split right down the middle, fell off, grew back ingrown, and then I had to have a procedure done to deal with it. I still played soccer through all of that, but I was forced to favor my left foot for a very long time. I seem to have more power with my right foot, but better accuracy with my left.
 
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