Upping your game, getting more air, harder trails, more jumps ?

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  • Upping your game, getting more air, harder trails, more jumps ?
  • Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I was wondering how people have ‘progressed’ from being an XC kind of rider, to more jumps, more air, gaps etc.

    I guess this is more specifically for people who are 40 or so, not youngsters and their brains of invincibility.

    A few of my mates are taking on things a bit harder/faster/higher etc. No I’ve done a bit of Morzine, the usual Llandegla, Afan, Cwmcarn etc. But i’m more of a wheels on the ground kind of rider, but there’s the odd jump thrown in here, the odd bit of air there and the odd bit of crashing too I guess. But still… anything that looks ‘dubious’ then i’m likely to be rolling it rather than unleashing myself off.

    There’s going to be the obvious reply of going to see Jedi, but that’s easier said than done both on timescales and finance.

    Did you just decide to suck it up and get on with it and send yourself down the hill faster ?

    In this context is it more ‘about the bike’ than other disciplines ? When we were in Morzine I found things easier than my mates, mostly because I was on a Bionicon with 170mm, they were on a Zesty with 140 and a Stumpy with 120.. So the extra travel really helped me. But of course, the bike is only part of the answer.

    JCL
    Member

    Id be interested in this too. Im very much an XC rider but with the inevitable trail centre visits and these tending to lean towards trail riding than XC it would be good to be able to hit stuff and get some enjoyment out of the effort that went in.

    FWIW I did a Jedi visit, found it very informative and my riding came on a lot, but jumping I still feel out of my depth. He works in a very controlled environment and maybe the biggest issue Ive had is getting speed right for jumps. I hit his double no problem with the building up method he used, but on the trails when faced with one Ive no idea if Im going to come up short (most likely), overshoot (maybe) or get it spot on (very unlikely)

    that’s easier said than done both on timescales

    That’s your answer really. If you want to get any good, then you have to spend quite alot of time practicing. Obviously that’s alot harder if you’ve got a family and a job.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    That’s your answer really. If you want to get any good, then you have to spend quite alot of time practicing. Obviously that’s alot harder if you’ve got a family and a job.

    I get to do a bit of it in a jump gully by my place, I take my 5 year old over and he does ‘jumpies’ too, but it’s only a single jump and i’m not really sure how to get better on it, it’s both wheels 12″-24″ air under them, but do I just hit it harder/faster and see if I can go higher/further ?

    Like the guy above, repetition is all well and good, but i’m not likely to find that exact jump on a trail anytime soon…. which is when it gets a bit more complex.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I have progressed a lot over the last 3 years, without ever (so far) getting good at jumping. I’m reasonably confident these days in very rough stuff, with masses of exposure, on very steep trails, doing tight switchbacks, over small drops etc. I have simply never got any good at jumping. I don’t like running at jumps, I’m unreasonably convinced something bad is going to happen etc. As a result, air-time is minimal, but (unless there’s an unavoidable large jump) I’m not exactly mincing.

    Most of that progress has been achieved by mixing up who I ride with, doing some guided holidays and (rather crucially) a bike with spot-on geometry, a shortish stem and good brakes.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I don’t exactly know tbh. It’s never felt like there’s really different sorts of riding to me, oldschool XC led to trail centres led to downhill very naturally, we started riding the innerleithen dh trails just because they were there. I had mates lift me up very fast at first, but then I think I was mostly just doing it myself without really thinking about it. Just riding by riding.

    Still not a good jumper mind, I need to really be able to predict the whole jump and see how it’ll go, and I can’t always do that on bigger ones. I think as a more fragile/less brave that’s how I do everything, if I can’t visualise how it’ll work, I just don’t do it.

    cbmotorsport
    Member

    Practice I suppose. I am no expert though. It is difficult to practice too, time is precious, and stopping to session a drop/jump etc makes your rides very disjointed and pisses everyone else off as they fly down the trail pulling massive air and a tail whip off that tiny bump you’ve been eyeing up.

    I too went to Jedi, and it was useful. I have no doubt that if I went back I would be able to fly the jumps that he gets you to do in your first session. Like you say, it’s a controlled environment. Out on the trail is a different matter.

    Sounds like yo’re on the right lines. Practice on your single gully jump. Keep doing it over and over, couple of times per week or more (if you can manage).

    It’s really all about learning the proper technique, once you have that you can apply it to any jump you encounter. Try getting a jump bike aswell, will make it easier.

    I get to do a bit of it in a jump gully by my place, I take my 5 year old over and he does ‘jumpies’ too, but it’s only a single jump and i’m not really sure how to get better on it, it’s both wheels 12″-24″ air under them, but do I just hit it harder/faster and see if I can go higher/further ?

    Head to the jump gulley at Swinely once it dries out again in the spring (no point riding it in the mud, it just trashes it and likely to end in tears).

    Get used to riding it at a normal pace, then work on seeing just how slow you can go and still make the landings smooth, that’ll teach you to really pump the take off for height and move the bike arround in the air (IME).

    Then see how fast you can do them, that’ll teach you to squash them to avoid overshooting the landings.

    Once that’s sorted bigger stuff is easier (it’s the technique of doing jumps slowly, but done with more speed!).

    I’m still crap mind you! I seem to be able to learn one jump at a time, actualy applying that to a new one seems impossible in my head! Which means I never get the ones on deerstalker smooth, as a lap takes too long to make it worth repeating.

    paul123
    Member

    Not quite 40 but heading that way.

    Be committed to wanting to improve which means a little bit of MTFU and a bit of peer pressure but the big thing for me was a session with Jedi which changed my approach to riding and more importantly my attitude towards trying new things.

    After the coaching it was making sure I set myself little targets like doing a certain jump or drop.

    I’m hardly Brandon Semenuk but much less Tim Gould than I used to be, and most importantly loving my riding again.

    ianv
    Member

    Find a local BMX track, they are top for this sort of thing.

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    get a jump bike and practise

    kudos100
    Member

    I was wondering how people have ‘progressed’ from being an XC kind of rider, to more jumps, more air, gaps etc.

    There is no secret to it, the more you ride a certain type of terrain, the better you get (typically)

    When I got back into riding, I was pretty useless at riding jumps. Now I am reasonable at jumping and understand what I am doing when I hit a transition, due to practice.

    maxtorque
    Member

    I made the mistake of thinking that speed was good on jumps….

    A session with jedi showed that i needed technique first and speed second, but unfortunately, a complete lack of anywhere to practice and build up that technique as really left me going nowhere. As an ex XCer, i’d always absorb any jump and stay as close to wheels on the floor as possible, and as such this is my “natural” reflex now, which is making deliberately “popping off and up” things very difficult with limited practice.

    Being “comfortable” in the air is a stage i haven’t got to yet, and frankly it shows. Annoyingly, i’m always the first to the bottom of any given trail, as i have (i think) good technique for other things like manuals, bunnyhops, etc. Somehow, i just have to apply that to jumps. Back to that Practice word i think………..

    Euro
    Member

    It’s really all about learning the proper technique, once you have that you can apply it to any jump you encounter.

    That, followed by this

    Head to the jump gulley at Swinely once it dries…Get used to riding it at a normal pace, then work on seeing just how slow you can go and still make the landings smooth, that’ll teach you to really pump the take off.

    The secret of jumping is pumping, knowing when to and how much to for a given situation, and that only comes with lots practice. It is possible to make it over some jumps in a safe and controlled manner without being able to pump masterfully, which is what i’d recommend for someone 40 tree rings old. Skills courses will teach this technique, and again you’ll need to practice it – to the point it becomes instinct. Once it’s second nature and a jump gives no more concern than a root or boulder then that should free up brain space to work on going bigger and higher out on the trails.

    My progression is in the other direction. I was always a jumper but am attempting to put more effort in the xc side of things. I really wouldn’t fancy having to learn to jump properly now i’m in my 40s ๐Ÿ˜‰

    andyrm
    Member

    I’d say the biggest thing for me has been hitting some sketchy home trails right after a trip away that leaves you “deconditioned” – build up confidence on familiar yet scary local stuff you know.

    Straight after the EWS final I made a point of attacking some local off piste things that weren’t even trails, more like animal tracks, but essentially no worse than what I saw in Finale. That helped me grow more confident and be able to practice more on stuff that previously I’d seen and said “no way”.

    Hope that helps!

    Sancho
    Member

    well Im 44 and got a DH bike earlier this year, then spent the summer in the alps
    now I have the skills and confidence to ride pretty much anything in the UK.
    still not that fast, but loving DH and entered a few races, but in the DH races Im clearing the gaps, and drops etc so feel in myself that its paid off, that now translates to a better riding style on the trails on the xc machine.

    not perfect Im sure I’ll get critiqued but a big improvement on my old riding techniques.

    lucien
    Member

    Take you local / favourite jump, and according to what’s around build it up slowly, snd keep practicing. Tables are doubles with the middle still in.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Ride with some peeps who do the sort of thing you’re aiming for, ask for tips.

    Some good points above. This topic a few weeks ago covered it aswell http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/drops-and-jumps

    Fabdad
    Member

    Hey Weeksy get yourself booked on a few uplifts . I regularly ride with a bunch of guys and gals most whom have raced DH and stuff like the Mega etc and since I’ve been been doing uplifts with them on a fairly regular basis I’d say my riding and confidence on drops,roots etc has come on loads . It was really noticeable when I got to spend 10 days in Les Arcs this summer,still minced down a few bits but by the end I was getting down stuff I never imagined I would . Go on you know you want to:-)

    Premier Icon cr500dom
    Subscriber

    I was in a similar situation, just not confident on jumps despite having the basic skills required to do them.
    I`m the same on a Motor bike, with Wheelies over crests etc, I don’t like hitting stuff I cant see all the way through.

    What I needed was a “How to put it all together, and in what order at what time”
    I went to see Jedi and did his public Jumps and Drops course, the single best spend on Any bike related “Upgrade” I have ever made…

    Went from effectively “Barely controlled not crashing” to clearing a 12′ Gap jump off the log booter in about 3 hours ๐Ÿ˜€

    I still don’t hit everything on the trail, still wont hit dirt jumps, as I`ve not kept practicing on it, but the technique is there, I just need the practice.

    But I would quite happily go and do the same course again as I found it really helped

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’ve emailed Jedi and will get on the next available course he’s got.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I’ve emailed Jedi and will get on the next available course he’s got.

    Thats the best money you’ll spend on your bike.

    In addition find some small places you can practice(as above there are a few spots at Swinley), maybe build a few small jumps somewhere. Find a pump/jump track. Go on a Nirvana ride from Westcott, Wednesday noon Old blokes or Freeride practice one (Sat or Sun I cannot remember). Obviously this is not coaching/training but they will show you where stuff is and you can watch how it’s ridden. There is usually a bit of jumping on Wednesday ride.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Westcott ? That seems to be about 70-80 miles away.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
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    @weeksey – we’ve exchanged a few emails fyi – Sorry, I thought you where more local to the Surrey Hills. I live in the centre of Guildford and there are a few jumpy trails 20 mins ride from house. Many more in/around main area SH area.

    To answer your question – I went to Jedi, go on a few Nirvana rides, practice on local trials (caveat: I am rubbish !)

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I guess part of the issue could be the longer term thing of my local riding being quite time, it’s West Berks forests, ridgeway, trails and tracks usually, with the odd trip to Swinley and the RARE trip to Afan/Lllandegla that I get in these days. But I honestly fancy a bit more over at Aston as it’s no further away than Swinley, but in all honestly it’s likely to be quite rare, not every weekend. But that said.. i’d like to have the skills and not use them, rather than not have them at all.

    xiphon
    Member

    Not sure really, as I’ve been riding for so long – and through different disciplines. I guess skills from one discipline got transferred over to another – ‘pumping’ terrain and ‘popping’ off features in front of me seem ‘natural’ from riding a BMX around town, searching for things to grind/jump/etc.

    Only difference now is the ‘natural’ ground is a bit softer…

    My gnaaaaarrrrr skillset has reduced over the years (no more flips / tailwhips / flairs), but I can still bust out the 360s on the BMX (much to the amazement of the local kids)

    Gaps don’t bother me to much, as it’s more about momentum than “skill”.

    Superficial
    Member

    The problem in the UK is that you might come across one or two jumps on a normal afternoon XC ride. They don’t really feature that highly in the riding that a lot of us do. The way to get good at jumps is to ride them, lots. Do them over and over until you’re not really thinking about them, and you’re certainly not hesitant.

    My advice would be to go to Whistler and do some A-Line laps. I don’t know how many jumps there are in that, probably 30-40. You can do 10+ laps a day – You do the maths. It’s just repeated exposure and you can’t help but get into a rhythm where you feel more comfortable. If you can’t jump after a couple of days of that, then give up. Of course, if you can’t find the time / money to go on a Jedi trip, this is probably not the most sensible answer.

    I’ve not found anywhere in the UK that comes close to that sort of thing, but Bike Park Wales maybe? I’ve never been but it looks as though it might be what you need.

    Premier Icon MadBillMcMad
    Subscriber

    as a 50+ (who is too slowly getting braver), my suggestions would be:

    jedi/GreatRock – which you have sorted
    flat pedals & flatty shoes
    upydowny seatpost.

    Lee Quarry is a good place to practise these sorts of things as you can just session one short section of jumps/berms/drop offs/pump – what ever takes your fancy.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I was debating the Uppy downy Reverb at On-one currently, but need to find a decent solution on the spearfish for the cable.

    I have flats and 5 10’s.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    My advice would be to go to Whistler and do some A-Line laps. I don’t know how many jumps there are in that, probably 30-40. You can do 10+ laps a day – You do the maths

    LOL unless they move Whistler to Berkshire that’s unlikely to happen. In the middle of buying a house, if I had more money spare i’d be doing Morzine for Passportes du Soleil, but I can’t see it happening this year.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Get to Aston when it’s dry. Lots of do-able jumps and drops there now.

    Reverb comes with clips to attach it to a brake line, so you don’t need frame guides.

    If you’re just practicing jumps then you don’t need to spend money on a reverb seatpost. Just put yours down, as far as it’ll go.

    trevron73
    Member

    Consider this – Weeksy is as hard as they come, i have witnessed Weeksy tackle southdowns off road at night, he can ride ! FACT . he looks as though he can handle a rumble outside a scouse boozer! FACT , he would and has ridden me to shame ,good luck weeksy as if you need it xx

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    trevron73 – Member

    Consider this – Weeksy is as hard as they come, i have witnessed Weeksy tackle southdowns off road at night, he can ride ! FACT . he looks as though he can handle a rumble outside a scouse boozer! FACT , he would and has ridden me to shame ,good luck weeksy as if you need it xx

    That’s very nice of you to say fella… However, when it comes to getting air time, i’m so girly it’s unreal. Unless I can see that leading edge, see the back edge, know there’s nothing in the middle and the way out is clear then i’m keeping both wheels on the ground.

    Being able to pedal for hours and hours isn’t the same as jumping a gap ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sancho
    Member

    Er

    Trevron putting kisses on the end of your statement might suggest you are lovers as opposed to roughty toughty bikers.
    FACT
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    LOL I’ve only met him once too.. I never made that much of an impression on the wife !

    trevron73
    Member

    Weeksy sorry ,i have put my man crush all over the web ,im washing the soap suds off as i type GRRRR

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