Recently I have noticed the following. When doing extremely tight turns e.g. 90 degree trail turn, I tend to:
- Get out of my high saddle, position in front of it and low over the top tube
- Stick the inside foot out, a couple of inches over the ground (easier on concrete, because it is smooth).
I have always thought of cornering as a trade-off between speed and safety. So doing the above, I feel safer, and am thus able to pass at a little more than walking speed.
One of two things can happen:
- Because my center of gravity is now lower, the bike is tilted, and virtually all my weight is on the outside pedal, I make the turn.
- Because I have entered the turn at too high speed, one or both tires begin slipping. I "fall" onto my foot, stepping firmly. As now all my weight is on the foot, I can "pick up" the bike and swing it around me in a crazy tight turn, then jump on it, while still moving.
- When is this appropriate technique and when would it be disaster?
- What is the correct procedure for executing a planned foot plant?
After I tried this on the trail a couple of times, my opinion is that planting foot is very different on smooth pavement and in rough terrain.
On smooth, but slippery pavement/ice, I can plant the foot momentarily, knowing that I will fall/slide out. The resulting acrobatic maneuver seems to increase the maximum possible speed in situations where no other technique would be appropriate.
It's a pity that I don't have a picture of the place this thing is helping me. Basically, it is a part of my commute, and is a steep-ish ramp, with two 90 degree turns, which in winter is wet, snowy or icy. As I need to stay upright, this technique is pretty much all that can be done on those corners.
On the other hand, planting a foot while going down the trail is radically different. This is because on smooth surface, on can put their foot out, parallel to the ground, and very close to it, so as to anticipate slide-off. On an off-road terrain this is not possible and dabbing seems to be confined to "free get out of jail" functionality when you realize the "oh shit!".
Thanks Tyler Jandreau and Aaron!