Jump a Double on a Mountain Bike
While just about anyone can perform a basic bunny hop jump on a mountain bike, advanced jumps are more elusive. The double jump is one of the more difficult types of jumps you can do on a bike. It involves riding a bike up an obstacle, jumping off the top of it and landing on a second obstacle with a downward slope.
Master the basic bunny hop before you attempt to jump a double on a mountain bike. Learn to time your landings, control your wheels and, most importantly, learn to determine precisely where you will land. There is no substitute for experience.
Examine the double jump carefully. Get a good idea of how much speed you need to clear the gap. Make sure you have a smooth, on-camber landing slope; an off-camber landing is a recipe for disaster.
Ride up the ramp of the first part of the jump, but don't jump it yet. Stop your bike at the top. Feel the upward slope to more accurately determine what kind of speed you need to clear the gap.
Get ready to jump the double. Ride quickly to reach the right speed, then hit the jump. Don't grab the brake at this point; if you do, you will almost certainly end up in the gap between the obstacles or even in the face of the landing ramp.
Pull up in an epic bunny hop to get the height you need. With the right speed, jump angle and good bunny hop technique, you can achieve distances of 8 to 12 feet or more. Compress the bike and leap upwards, pulling the seat near your chest as your rear wheel leaves the ground.
Gauge your landing. If you are coming up slightly short, lean back a touch to raise the front of the bike or pull the bike upwards to your body. If you are going long, slightly press the front of the bike forward.
Keep your front wheel higher than the rear by maintaining a constant upward pressure on the handlebars. Only when you're ready to position the bike to match the angle of the landing do you straighten your arms.
Stay loose and get ready to land the double jump. Match the angle of the landing slope by straightening and bending your arms. Aim to land the front and rear wheels simultaneously, but if you can't, lightly land the front wheel first. Landing the rear wheel first may give you better control, but you could hit the lip of the slope, flipping you backwards.
Land softly and get control of the bike. Don't grab the brakes until you're stable. If you're upright at this point, you have just jumped a double, one of the most difficult bike jumps.
Tips & Warnings
Keep your hands wrapped firmly around the grips. Don't have a death grip. Stay relaxed and don't touch the brakes. Keep your chin up when you jump a double. It gives you more height and control.
A double jump is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted by experienced stunt cyclists. Wear safety gear and don't bite off more than you can chew. Be realistic about your abilities, or serious injury could be the result.
Article Written By S. Daniel Ackerman
S. Daniel Ackerman lives to ride his mountain bike and has spent the last decade mostly on it, sometimes on the ground near it, surviving to write about his experiences.
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