As I mentioned last week, another reason to learn to coast with either foot forward is for cornering.
When you’re cornering, especially at speed, you lean the bike to the inside of the corner, right? As you do this, your inside pedal gets closer to the ground, and the outside one gets farther away. So if you keep your inside foot down, you’re likely to catch it on the ground. On the other hand, dropping your outside foot keeps it safely out of the way of roots and the ground. It also pushes your weight into the ground and keeps you better centered over the bike. Your tires get better traction and you can lean the bike over farther with less worry of sliding out.
What you’ll find as you experiment with this is that the faster you are going, the more you drop your outside foot. At slower speeds, your pedals can be closer to parallel because you aren’t leaning the bike as far. You also don’t have to worry as much about your tires sliding out because you aren’t moving as fast. But, when the corner is loose and/or you’re taking it at speed or if you have a really nice berm it helps to keep your outside pedal down.
Experiment with it. Try dropping the outside foot different amounts at different speeds and see what works for you. Just make sure not to catch your inside foot on anything and if you have alternating turns make sure that you alternate which foot is down (it should always be the outside one). Just don’t catch your pedal on anything as you’re switching. Let me know how it goes!