Learning to Jump

I came back from the NUC inspired to improve my skills. My highest priority is
to become able to jump–especially jump forward. I got a lot of good advice at
North Bend. I’ve tried to put this advice together into component pieces. I find
I learn most quickly when I can isolate the individual skills.

  1. Make sure your feet are parallel to the ground.
  2. Find whether you are more comfortable with your left foot in front or your
    right foot. Begin by using the more comfortable position.
  3. Use a block behind your wheel, so that you begin in your comfortable
    position.
  4. Hop forward 3 or 4 times.
  5. Move to hopping 3 or 4 times, then transitioning to pedalling.
  6. Begin by pedalling, then transition to hopping, then back.
  7. Put obstacles in your path and jump onto/over them.
  8. Make the obstacles higher.

Is this how others have learned? Would you change what I am trying? I saw a lot
of people struggling with jumping. Let me know if this sequence (or another)
works for you.

David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA

Re: Learning to Jump

maxfieldd@aol.com (Maxfield D) writes:

> Is this how others have learned?

It’s similar to what I did.

I’d ride, stop, hop once, ride away. Repeat. Ride, stop, hop twice, ride
away. Etc.

Then I tried hopping sideways over cracks in the pavement. The cost of failure
is pretty low here. Then I moved up to hopping into and out of people’s
driveways. Still pretty flat.

Finding short curbs was tough, but once I found a few, I worked on that.
Eventually I could go up and down tall curbs. Down is easier.

Now I work on going up more and steeper steps, more smoothly and with less
preparation. I still work on the basic stationary hop though, trying to get
comfortable with either hand and either foot forward, in all combinations.

Being comfortable hopping with either foot forward is useful for muni. It
doubles your chances of being set up to hop when you need to.

I do all my hopping sideways though. I never really got the hang of hopping
forwards, though I haven’t practiced that as much. I imagine it would be pretty
handy for dealing with obstacles on the trail.