More on the 15cm drop

Terry Jones made a lot of good suggestions, so I have rewritten most of the
article on how to go off of a 15cm drop, so here it is again for your
viewing pleasure.


Hints for the 15cm drop

You can practice this by riding off curbs. When starting make sure the curb is
regular, with a flat surface all the way to the edge and then a straight drop.
The street should be fairly level at the base of the curb. You can work on
trickier curbs later.

Steps to riding off of a 15cm drop:

  1. To ride off the curb, approach it at a relaxed but even pace.

  2. Hold onto the seat on your way down so that it will be easier to settle back
    down on the seat after you land.

  3. You will want to land with your weight on the pedals, which reduces pain and
    lets your legs act as shock absorbers.

  4. When you land, you pause for a quarter to a half of a second before pedalling
    again to get your bearings.

Notes and Hints:

If you don’t like the idea of curbs, when off the uni, position the wheel where
it would drop off the curb, and place the pedals in horizontal position. Then
back up the wheel carefully, mount the uni, and go down the curb. This method
ensures that the pedals are horizontal for landing, which is the easiest way to
do it. After confidence and skill builds, it won’t matter where the pedals are
when going down curbs.

Some people prefer to jump off of the curb, rather than dropping off. The
advantage is that you will land with the pedals in a good position and you can
control the jump. This will help you with uneven curbs (curb higher than
sidewalk, gutter lower than street, etc.) since you can just jump over the
whole thing.

Lower the seat an inch or two. You may find this makes things much more
comfortable and that you greatly reduce the probability of the seat-up-the-bum
trick. Once you can do the trick comfortably, you can raise it again.

Make sure you practice landing with either foot forward. This is very important
if you want to become good and able to go off curbs in all circumstances. This
is even more important if you like to jump off (rather than ride off and pedal
in the air), since being able to do it with either foot forward means you’ll be
able to get into position (pedal-wise) twice as frequently.

Practice making subtle adjustments to your approach angle so as to reach the
edge with the pedals almost exactly horizontal. I (Terry) don’t have any good
tips on how to do this, it’s just something I conciously practiced. Eventually I
became so good at doing it (with right foot forward) that I found I couldn’t
ride off any other way! After a bit of un-learning I got passably good at going
off with left foot forward, and eventually it didn’t make too much difference.

If you don’t want to think a whole lot, just go try it and see what happens. It
may be easier than you expect.

Beirne Konarski Constance Cotter Mark
Sands Terry Jones

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