Pecking Questions

I’ve just started learning to hop up hills (I found out that the official term for this is ‘Pecking’) and I’ve got a few questions.
What is the difference between hopping with seat out in front and regular hopping as you’re pecking up a hill? My personal experience seems to be that the hopping with seat out in front gives me more distance (and height), and actually more balance for stillstands between jumps; the benefit to jumping while seated seems to be greater stability where the ground is unstable (e.g. loose gravel, etc.) Anyone else agree/disagree?

Your assessment is similar to mine. I’m not much at hopping seat out front, but there is the obvious greater ability to compress the legs, which means bigger jumps. Seat in is more secure.

But pecking hasn’t seemed to catch on that much. I hear it used from time to time (and a lot more than chipping), but it’s definitely not a standard yet. I just thought it would pay good homage to George Peck, one of the sport’s pioneers.

Speaking of greater stability, here’s a section I’m trying to navigate. The big problem is that unless I land exclusively on the largest rocks (there’s only about 5 of them), all the smaller ones are loose, so I never know how the uni is going to respond. I do this section with the seat in.

streambed.jpg

Re: Pecking Questions

When going up a steep hill, tiny hops (pecking/chipping) don’t take a lot of energy. You can peck or chip your way up a steep surface taking your time. If you tried larger gap type hops you could burn your energy too quickly and get exhausted before you make it to the top. If your still stand ability is decent, you can probably peck your way further up a hill than you might be able to hop. At least it works that way for me.

I personally don’t see any big advantages to going uphill with seat out. Unless you are really good with seat out (and even then) you will most likely use more energy.

So while you may get more height and control with seat out in a gapping situation, I would think that it wouldn’t help much when going up hill. If you had to jump (gap) up a great height, then yes seat out will help, but I think of that as an upward gap, rather than a routine hill climb.

You can get extra height with seat out and you can absorb the impact on a big drop with seat out. Those are the two specific times I can think of that it makes sense to consider seat out.

Joe