The Basic Biking Skills – Bunny-Hop


The bunny-hops and other jumping skills are extremely important for clearing various logs and obstacles and determine the riding performance on the trail. In fact, bunny-hopes are basic riding skills of mountain bikers.

You should choose large areas without any obstacles for learning the hopping skills. Slightly crouch on the bike and take the posture like a spring with extremely bent hips, knees and elbows. Keep the pedals parallel to the grounds and move at the slow speed.

Keep the pressure on the pedals and pull the handlebars upwards in a forward twisting motion [in reverse direction of motorcycle accelerator] with a harmonious straight upwards burst from the crouch. You will get the rear lifts only through a correct twisting handlebar motion.

You don’t have to bother about the positioning of your crank arm during the initial phases of your practice. Just focus on the natural moves. Once you learn the basic lifting and become comfortable, you can concentrate on the crank arm and handlebar twisting motion to learn the skills of slightly turning front wheels on the right or left directions. The turning of the front wheel during bunny-hops is important as it allows you to avoid the obstacle on any side of the trail, and you can keep the wheels along the best trail line.

Start perfecting your skills on a slope when six-inch obstacles on flat terrain create no problems, and you can perfectly pass through them on every attempt. Practice neat the bottom of a grassy gentle slope and traverse across the obstacles. Try hopping forward left and right while performing a series of upward and downward traverses. The slopes may create balancing problems, and you have to redistribute your weight towards the uphill side to remain balanced and avoid tumbling down the hill sideways.

Once your hopping skills on sloping terrains become perfect, you can proceed to master the standing bunny hops using the gravitational pull while traversing slightly downhill terrain. First, try to become comfortable in holding the bike still for a few seconds without stumbling down. Hit the brakes to get a quick momentary halt while rolling down the slope with uphill crankarm forward posture and practice to remain still for a few seconds.

When you can comfortably hold your bike still, use slightly crouched position to practice with small sideways hop towards downhill when the bike stops. Keep the front wheels towards the forwards direction or slightly downhill if you prefer. Obviously, release the brakes before making pulling jumps and twisting motions on the handlebars. When your landing/rolling exit attains perfection, start pedaling after the jump and try to remain on the track with straight handlebars.

Master your bunny hop skills by extending the duration of your standstill and eliminate  the momentum of your motion before jumping. Once you are comfortable, start practicing upslope jumping.

Make sure you fall uphill during your practicing routines. Most likely, you will fall a couple of times during your practice, and therefore, it becomes very important that you choose the trail with grasses on both sides to avoid any serious injury. You should always practice bunny hops on large fields or lawns.

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