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Thursday, March 11, 2010

PUWWA 2010; The 90 degree Turn!

Lisa's team with Phoenix in single lead, on the turn around loop

April's team

Jenny's team

First of the 90 degree turn series of photos. Leaning way to the right or into the turn

Wonderful shot of me as I brace for the potential impact with the tree on the opposite side of the trail.

Still bracing but no impact! Wonderful execution by Lisa!

The wheel dogs do their job and straighten the sled out to head down the trail.

The looks on our faces say it all....

The 90 degree turn is the biggest challenge for our new mushers and they did beautifully. The technique sounds fairly simple, however executing it can be a challenge.

The idea is to go into the turn slowly with your foot on the drag pad. As the point dogs(dogs behind the leaders) enter the turn and pass the tree on the corner, you quickly remove your foot from the drag pad, squat down, thus lowering your center of gravity and lean. A "crack the whip" effect happens and you are safely brought back on course by your burly wheel dogs as you then quickly place your foot back on the drag pad to slow them down. What happens, however, is your gut instinct tells you to keep your foot on the brake as you enter the turn so it can be taken slower and so that you don't hit the tree at the corner. This action however, will provide you with the opposite effect and you will run directly into the tree unless you allow the dogs to take you around the tree without resistance.

Since I managed to catch a few participants off guard (Lisa) and posted some very candid photos, I thought I had better then post a few of myself as I was the passenger in Lisa's sled going around that 90 degree turn.

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