Old Man Hopping!

I guess I’ve finally bit the bullet. I’ve ridden for years, but never learned to hop up onto stuff.

I have built myself a 4 1/2" high box, lowered my seat and practiced hopping onto and off the box tonight. I worked on it for about 30 minutes. It was very intimidating for me, but I did it never the less. Making this processs easier, I just built a covered back porch of 23 x 16 feet. A great new uni-skills practice area.

I had many sucessful hops and jumps. No injuries. Several off balance step-offs though. A close call was when I hopped up onto the box, then lost my balance BACKWARD. That was sort of weird.

After these mini-successes, I actually got up my nerve to try to spin in the air as I hopped off. I did a number of successful 180’s and would then ride off backward. That was cool.

Until tonight, I never could visualize forward hops in my mind. But tonight, I could feel myself leaning forward, then at just the right moment, hop forward and swing the uni forward under me.

Now I just have to learn to hop up my little 4 1/2" (approximatley 11 1/2 cm) box consistantly. Next comes the 30" box, right? :smiley:

Maybe soon I will be able to hop up 8 or 12 inches. That would really be something. Thanks for letting me brag on my little success. I’m gonna go practice some more right now. --chirokid–

It has to be a lot easier learning these skills with all the years of just regular riding under your belt. Your sense of balance has to be 100 times better than mine.

I am starting to get idling finally. I do a rolling forward hop onto a box that is about 4 inches high. I really have a hard time balancing well enough to do a side hop still. I can tell though I am getting better. Nice to have an indoor training area isn’t it?

I have backed off a little on the hopping practice lately though. My ankles are getting sore and popping a lot. I have never had any problems with my ankles, and I don’t really want to add that to my list off joint issues.

Congratulations on your progress.
-Gabe

Re: Old Man Hopping!

In a practical application, that would be about the same as hopping up (and down) a curb, wouldn’t it? There is hope for us “Old Men”.:slight_smile:

Very nice. Have you got any photos? I’d particularly like to see the box that you’ve made.

Thanks,
Andrew

Yeah, when I first started practicing hopping I did over do it and gave myself achilies tendonitis. 6 mos. later I still have to be very careful not to push it or my tendons will feel it. I gotta keep it to gradual increases. :roll_eyes:

Andy

Sorry Andrew. Being over 40 years old, posting photos to the internet is still way to high tech for me. One day I’ll bite that bullet too.

The box is made of wood 2x4’s (a real 2x4 is really 1 1/2 inches thick and 3 1/2 inches wide). I cut two of these 20 inches and two of them 25 inches, then screwed them together to make a frame. Next I cut the top out of 3/4 inch thick Advantech Plywood and screwed it on top. No picture, but there is my description of my little box.

I just added a 8 foot long rail to the mix. I made the rail out of two 2x6’s nailed together. Now, when I hop up on the box, I can practice lining myself up and riding down the rail. The rail is actually 5 1/2 inches wide.

You guys can now start calling me… --Trials Rider Chirokid-- :smiley:

Good tip. I’ll keep that in mind. --chirokid–

:slight_smile: Congrats., Chirokid! Pay attention to that tendonitis post by Bugman. If your older bod gives you those vibes, heed that warning. It tends to hang around for a very long time. When you’re feeling brave and strong you could tack on lifts, 1/2" at a time, until you reach your goal! :sunglasses:

Hey there Chirokid!

What cool news! You are exploring an entire new element of riding. You are so smooth and balanced in your riding that hopping will come very quickly. Speaking from my experience, and being 48, I’ll tell you: A) you don’t get up as quickly as you did when you were 13. Start slowly and work up to higher levels; B) listen to your body regarding tendonidis/aches/etc. Lewis (Animation) had to take time off from work because his wrist hurt so badly when he started learning to hop - and he’s a 30 year old kid!

I love hoping. It is like an entire sport in itself. I’ll never look at a flight of stairs the same way now that I can make little, baby hops. After about a year I’m up to 17" (three pallets) and I think that my old hips have hit the height limit. I can play all day (well, as long as my body can take it) just on my front porch. The best part about this is when I get tired or need a break I’m already at home.

Keep it up! The height will certainly come as you learn to relax and feel the dynamics of the hop. I think that relaxing is THE most important part of the entire learning curve. Have fun with it.

Tommy

Nice work Trials Rider Chirokid! It took me a while to figure out the right moment. I used to approach gutters and hop up them, and it was inconsistent at first because I didn’t know the right moment, and sometimes the pedals would line up and other times they wouldn’t. Once you understand that the right moment is when the pedals are near to being horizontal, you can approach objects in a way that ensures the right moment is when you get there. Sidehops are different because the right moment can be any time, since you can do pre-hops to get into position. I think it’s good when you learn the timing for front hops to add to your range of skills, it comes in handy quite often. Tony Melton is a front-hop expert, but I think he hasn’t quite got the natural timing thing sussed yet because he mostly rides up to objects, and rides backwards, then goes for it so that his pedals are in the right position. I prefer to be able to time it rather than measure it.

Thanks Tommy, we need to ride again. Can you make the April 24-25 Muni ride with BillHam and I in North-Eastern Kentucky?

Hummmm! --chirokid–

cOOL cHIRO kID! hEY THAT’S GREAT! i REMEMBER HAVING TROUBLE GETTING UP ON JUST 1 2 X 4. iT’S ALL IN THE TIMING WITH THE UNI.

okAY, SO GET THIS. i CAN GET UP TO ALMOST THE 1’ MARK ON A SIDE HOP, BUT i CAN HOP AND RIDE OFF A 20" WALL. tHE WIERD PART IS THAT COMING OFF THE HIGHER 20" SEEMS EASIER TO LAND AND THE BODY SEEMS TO WORK BETTER AT ABSORBING THE LANDING. i WILL DROP OFF A CURB RIGHT AFTER THE 20" DROP, AND THE CURB DROP FEELS CLUNKY AND AWKWARD, WHEREAS, THE HIGHER DROP SEEMS MORE FLUID. gO FIGURE,

tAKE IT EASY AND BREAK UP THE HOPPING WITH THE RAIL, BEFORE PAIN SETS IN. pRACTICE YOUR STILL STANDS, TOO. WHEN SETTING UP FOR A PRE-HOP, TRY TO AVOID THE RAPID HOPPING THAT A LOT OF RIDERS (INCLUDING MYSELF) FALL INTO. fIND YOUR BALANCE POINT, PUSH DOWN AND PULL UP. THE RAPID HOPPING SUCKS ENERGY AWAY.
aLSO, iF YOU PULL TOO HARD ON THE SEAT, YOU CAN SCREW UP YOUR WRIST AND ELBOW. tHERE’S A TENDANCY TO WANT TO BECOME kRIS hOLM IN 30 MINUTES.

lIKE TOMMY, i LIKE HOPPING TOO, IT’S JUST FUNNNNN!! AND IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE 3 OR 5 FEET TO HAVE FUN.

WEAR PROTECTION, AND IT DOESN’T HURT AS MUCH WHEN YOU LAND.

eNJOY!!:smiley:

Good to hear you’ve added a rail…rails are great.

Andrew

Chirokid

What great news! I’m looking forward to seeing all these skills put to use on the trails in Kentucky this spring. A reminder to all that you are welcome to join us. We’ll be posting again in the future as a reminder to anyone who wants to join us.

I’ve been working on hopping accuracy by hopping onto a 3.5" wide rail that I put 5 - 9 inches off the ground. My goal is to land on it and then ride the rail, but that has only happened on the 5" tall rail on 2 occasions. Most of the time I am glad to sit on the rail for a second and then hop back off.

I am giving my body a rest after injuring the front of my leg from either weight lifting (leg presses and toe raises for the calves) or from hopping too much during one evening of practice. Minor injury, but I need to give it time to heal or it will get worse.

The great thing about hopping is that you only need a small area to do it. I am usually practicing in my basement on low platforms and a rail. I work on side hops and forward hops by setting up 2 platforms (about 4" high each) and gap from one to the other.

This stuff is just too much fun!

As Roy Rogers would say, “Hoppy trails to you!”
(I figure there are enough old timers in this thread to appreciate this attempt at humor)

Bill

Bill, I got so excited about my early hopping that I added an 8" cinder block to the mix. Sad to say, I never made it up onto the block, in fact, my mind wouldn’t even let me attempt the hop. I guess the thought is what counts. I have ridden my rail a few times already, but mostly I am like you. Hop up, hop down. Hop up, hop down. But I’ll get better. My rail is just 3" off the floor. :frowning:

I agree.
And, “Hoppy trails to you” too! --chirokid–

Since this thread was started I’ve been thinking about how to articulate how to hop and coaching that might help - not that I’m accomplished but I’ve been trying a lot.

One thing is that when I get blisters or bruises that don’t involve falling that is the signal that I’ve doing something wrong. We had written about tendonitis earlier. I think, at least in my case, that this sort of stuff is caused from the death-grip that I was doing to the handle. Once I felt more comfortable I could relax my grip. Heck, even my toes were aching from trying to grip the soles of my shoes! That is why I say relax, relax, relax. Too, when you relax you can more readily respond and be fluid on the uni. At my current stage of learning, when I can’t make a move that I normally could make it is always because I didn’t relax.

OK, that’s another installment of my two-cents.

Tommy

I tend to tendonitis even hiking; the key for me is a thorough, smooth stretch beforehand, especially the Achilles tendons. If that, no problem. If not that, problem.

There is hope for old men hopping.

About 1 1/2 years ago I could barely hop five times, even though I had been a rider for over 15 years. Since I recovered from my broken foot last winter (02/03) I learned stairs, can consistently get 12+" and have landed, but not held, 17". Of course the big, bouncy trials tire helped.

I also found, much to my surprise, crank grabs to rubber on a 20" are do-able for the over 40 crowd.

Good Things Hoppen.

Tommy

I agree 100% with the need to relax. As I move toward harder tricks, I tend to tense up, especially when I perceive potential harm to my body will happen if I fail. Funny how you think about that more when you get older (and wiser!). Always need to remind myself to stay relaxed.

I used to rock climb and often had to work through a tense moment. When I was tense, I was more likely to fall, so I had to mentally work through staying relaxed, especially when I was closer to falling due to a tough move. By the way, I always climbed with a rope, none of that free climbing stuff for me! It was a real mental game at times. Same goes for uni and moving into new areas like a bigger hop, smaller landing area, bigger drops, more exposure to a bigger fall, etc. By the way, I always use my “rope” (helmet, wrist pro and leg pro) when doing aggressive uni riding. Working out the mental aspect is part of the fun for me. Interesting… a little fear adds to the enjoyment.

U Turn

I am a firm believer in stretching but still need constant reminders to stretch. Next time we ride together, remind me to stretch first! :slight_smile:

Old men of the uni world

Think high and relaxed thoughts. See the move… Be the move… Do it and enjoy! We will overcome!

Bill