I will be going to Philly sometime in the next few weeks to ride at the ESPN X Games skatepark. The attached picture shows a particular set of ramps at the facility and I was hoping to get some opinions from you guys as to how doable you think a certain line that I’d like to attempt is… on my Coker, of course.
First I’ll tell you what I’d like to do and then I’ll tell you the challenges I see in being able to pull it off.
Here’s what I’d like to do:
Ride up the first ramp (on the left side of the picture) to nearly the top.
Curve my turn such that I am parallel to the catwalk next to the first ramp, but slightly above it, and
Bank the Coker as I ride across the ramp so that it is leaned over a tad more than perpendicular to the ramp, and then
Plow over the ledge (where the ramp meets the catwalk) and ride up onto and across the catwalk, and then finally
Drop off the other side of the catwalk and ride down the ramp on the other side back to the ground.
Impediments and/or Challenges to Pulling it Off:
My left Pedal hitting the ledge. Ideally I’d like my left pedal to be down low and my right pedal to be up high when I’m ready to plow up onto the catwalk… but that will most likely be luck, unless somehow I try and calculate my exact line and pedal revolutions in advance, but I’m hoping that I won’t have to do that. Sufficient lean should enable me to clear my left pedal from hitting the wall… but it leads to my next problem, which is…
Plowing over the ledge. The ledge gets higher the further down the ramp I hit it, so I’ll want to hit it as high as I can… but it seems like it will be really awkward to plow over that ledge WITH the amount of lean required to clear my left pedal from the wall. Normally I ride up stairs or over obstacles with my wheel standing totally upright… what’s going to happen when I try and ride over that ledge with my wheel beeing leaned over a bit and being far from upright? Will I still be able to get up onto the catwalk?
Obviosly there are many other challenges to pulling if off, but the above two are my greatest concerns. What do you think?
I am sure if you went at it at an angle and got some speed it could be done. You might have to hop to the side a bit or forward to manage the catwalk. But the transfer down should be fairly easy, and speed/steep angles should be no problem for you.
when are you coming to philly? i would seriously like to go with you if you go to that place. i would pay any costs required etc., so pm me or rather respond to this post to say when youre coming and what we will be doing.
Thanks for your encouragement… but I can’t envision doing any hopping while I’m on that ramp with the speed/lean required. I have a feeling it’s going to be quite tricky, but you never know until you try! It is possible, though unlikely, that it will less difficult than I envision. If I do manage to pull it off, it’ll be a huge rush, though!
It would be really great to meet you there (or pick you up on the way if you need a ride)! The only cost you would have would be the admission fee they charge you to get in and ride. I haven’t set a definitive date as to when I’m going, but I’m ordering my Airfoil wheelset this week and I should have it by next week, so I could be going as early as the weekend after next… or even a weekday (I’ll have to check their schedule of sessions once my uni is all ready to go). As far as what we’ll be doing… I’ll be attempting the line I mentioned above (the topic of this post), blasting up and down ramps, launching off jumps, riding the mini half pipes, and attempting a variety of tricks (and possibly a rail or two). I would assume you’ll either be doing much the same or some cool trials stuff.
Thanks again, Catboy… your comments (and similar comments from some of the other guys on the forum) are a HUGE inspiration for me to keep at it and keep progressing! I hope to get lots of pics and video to post.
how far (high) is that ledge/catwalk from the other ramp. if its more than a foot or 18 inches i’m not sure you can do it. No offense, you’re awesome, but i’m just not sure that’s a doable move. riding up and getting on the lower ledge/top of ramp on the right and hopping and/or pedal grabbing onto the catwalk might be a makeable line. but hey, i’m not exactly sure of dimensions nor your abilities, prove me wrong. and shoot some awesome video.
I know you can do it. Another thinkg I’d like to see you try is hopping/riding up to the coping parallel to it, then twisting 90 degrees and rolling over the edge and down (wheel on the ramp the whole time). What do you think? Seems to me that that would be the best way to drop a ramp on a coker…then maybe you could work your way up to small halfpipes?
I don’t think you asked the right question. The question should have been “How many tries do you think it will take before I make this line?”
With my experience plus your guts, I think I could get it in 10 tries or less. But then it might be too easy. 50 tries will make it more fun.
You will have to have a lean when you hit the catwalk. But if your momentum exceeds the lean, you can come up to a straight balance after you get up there. Simple as that (plus a few tries).
Now put away the pictures and give your brain a rest. Wait for you and your Coker to get to the ramps to fry your brain more on this. Meanwhile, why not go out and ride some dirt trails? That’s a great way to develop more flexibility and ability to deal with changing conditions.
And it’s better than fantasizing about some photos.
Man, as one who has seen you ride in person, I have no doubt that you will conquer those ramps in no time!
You don’t ride the coker, you fly with the coker! Go for it!
Cheers, and good luck!
Steve (Dogbowl) (I was at the last meeting of the NYUC with my daughter Sophie–we’re rooting for ya!)
At the point where I hope to smack the ledge, it looks like it’s maybe only 6 – 8 inches high, which wouldn’t be any problem if I were hitting it upright… but I think it could be tougher hitting it with the wheel leaned over (although some of the other guys don’t seem to think it should be too much of a problem… so maybe It’ll be easier than I think) . I am intending to get up on to the catwalk just to the right of the first straight ramp (the catwalk is on top of the quarter pipe ramp in the middle of the two straight ramps), NOT the ledge on the very top! I hope I can do it. I intend to get some video of my attempts.
Thanks for your vote of confidence, Andrew! I really like your idea about dropping into the ramp in the middle (if I understood you correctly), but here are the issues I’ll have:
I don’t really have much experience dropping into ramps like that… but I did try it a few times on a ramp that was probably half the size of the one pictured and I bent my cranks pretty good on my last attempt (probably the third try). I tried to follow the technique I saw of someone who had posted some video of himself riding a halfpipe on a 20” (I can try to find the link if you want). He hopped on the edge and then dropped in and it looked like he kind of slid down the vertical section and then pedaled the rest of the way down. When I tried it (possibly incorrectly), I bent my stock cranks. The next upgraded pair of cranks that I got from uni.com got bent at Rays… so I think I need some heavy duty cranks for these sorts of things. Any suggestions ( I like 150’s)? Perhaps your idea of simply trying to roll the whole way down by pedaling right over the ledge would be easier and less abusive on my cranks. Have you dropped down ramps like these before? I would also like to get some advice from you regarding long flights of stairs using brakes, but I’ll save that for another post.
Since I would really love to be able to drop into quarter pipes and hafpipes on my Coker (and possibly even progress to riding small halfpipes, like you mentioned), do you have any suggestions as to the best technique to use to drop in? Since I have to fly helicopters every day for my livelihood, I need to learn new things that have a decent potential for injury in such a way where I minimize the chances for injury as much as I can during the learning curve. Do you think I should learn things like this on a smaller uni first, and then try it on my Coker… or just try them on my Coker right from the start, just start out on smaller ramps initially (with better cranks)?
Thanks for your help!
Thanks for your vote of confidence, John… but I just seem to think it’s going to be quite tricky. I hope I’m 100% wrong and you and Andrew Carter are correct and I nail it rather quickly. I’d be psyched to nail it within 10 tries, but then again if it takes 50 tries it probably means it’s a lot more challenging than you thought (and a lot closer to the level of difficulty that I had anticipated) and therefore if I nail it on my 50th try, I’ll probably be more psyched than if I got it in 10! I hope your prediction about my momentum re/lean is accurate… that’s what I’m counting on! I’m not too worried about straightening up once I get up on the catwalk… I’m mostly just concerned that the lean required to clear my left pedal will make it quite awkward when I hit the (possibly 8” ledge or a bit more) to get up on the catwalk. I don’t know how much of a factor it will be, but like you said… at this point I’ll just wait till I get there to find out! Oh, by the way… I don’t fantasize about the pictures instead of riding – I fantasize about the pictures in addition to riding! Not a lot of dirt trails here in the City (maybe Central Park… I’ll have to check it out), but I do intend to do a bunch of dirt trail riding when I go out to LI to visit my parents. I’d also like to a lot of riding down large, steep hills… traversing down them on my Coker similar to the way a skier traverses down a mountain. If I can get good at that, I’d like to bring my Coker to a ski mountain in the summer time and ride down the ski trails. I went to my parents’ house tonight and was eager to test my concept… so I went to that elementary school down the block where we used to ride together and tried traversing down the steepest section of the hill in the back. I was able to do decently, but not as good as I had expected because I didn’t have much traction on the wet grass… plus there were goose droppings all over the place which I tried to avoid. I think I’ll have much better luck when the grass is dry! I did manage to traverse down successfully twice without falling, though, out of about seven attempts. My tire left dirt burns where I carved turns into the wet grass. The transition from one direction to the other direction was pretty hairy on the wet grass and steep hill. If you ski, you know the transition you make when you turn and your downhill ski changes… that same transition on a steep hill on a Coker was really cool! Meanwhile the urban environment of NYC is providing me with plenty of enjoyable and challenging places to ride. I recently rode my Coker on a highway divider near an exit off FDR Drive on the east side of Manhattan. Some bikers on the adjacent bike path really flipped out when they saw me!
I would guess that you are probably correct… I, too, think I will need about a 45 degree angle. I will be attempting it as you describe (from the left and above). I don’t think I’m up to hopping off the very top onto the Catwalk on my Coker just yet. Perhaps one of you guys could do that on your smaller wheel uni’s, though! I’d love to see that. As far as gaping… I think it would be impossible to gap across the ramp to the catwalk on the other side on a Coker. I’d love to see someone cross that gap on a smaller wheel uni, though, if that is even possible.
Wow… thanks a lot of your vote of confidence and your encouragement! It was great chatting with you and your daughter at the last meeting. It’s great to see families (like you and your daughter) enjoying the sport together and I hope to see you guys some more at future meetings before you go back to France this summer. And since we’re neighbors, I’d enjoy riding with you anytime when we both have the time (and decent) weather to pull it off. Since I ride pretty fast on my Coker, I’d probably ride my giraffe or a smaller uni. I’d like to get a trials uni at some point (hopefully before the summer) and learn how to do some trials stuff. Thanks again for your encouragement!
i thought you meant the catwalk on the very top. d’oh. now that you’ve explained yourself i know you can do it. Just a matter of not hurting yourself on the first few tries…but good luck and bring back some sweet video.
I think we are thinking of the same technique of dropping in, which involves rolling over the coping and not hopping from it. I reckon it’d be a good idea to stick to the coker for learning these things because you’re obviously very comfortable with it…maybe just try it on a smaller ramp rather than a smaller uni. I think a 20" for example is so different to a coker that it won’t really help you if you practise with one first.
As for stairs with brakes, I’ve never tried it. I’ve always down them on my 20" which gives me enough torque to control my speed. I guess the only thing I can suggest is that you make sure you have a very firm grip on the seat handle and probably only one finger on the brake lever because if you can’t control the seat position with your hand, then all that extra stability offered by a brake is being wasted.