Tag Archives: bunny hop

Video: how to get up and over the bridge rock at Lebanon Hills

DSC07821 DSC07822
I’ve been eyeing the big rock at the end of this bridge on the XX loop at Lebanon Hills every since I saw it for the first time back in the summer of 2011, shortly after I started mountain biking and took photos of all the technical features in the park at that time. I knew it would require speed to get over it but I didn’t have a grasp of the skill required.

DSC02382When the Lebanon Hills skills park opened a year later (Aug. 2012),  I got the hang of riding over the rock in the photo on the right using speed, a manual (non-pedaling wheelie), and a concluding modified bunny hop.

The approach to the rock is slightly downhill so it’s easy to get going fast and coast ever-so-briefly prior to starting the manual. The face of the rock has an angle to it that makes it less intimidating — you can’t just coast up it but it doesn’t require a perfectly accurate placement of the front wheel. As the rear wheel is about to hit the rock, you have to unweight (unload) with your legs so that it doesn’t bounce back.  It’s a bunny hop motion but you don’t really have to use the rear foot ‘scoop’ motion to lift the rear wheel.

Collin and Griff Wigley at Lebanon Hills bridge rock at Lebanon Hills
So Friday was the perfect time to try the bridge rock: I was riding with my eldest son Collin, visiting from New Jersey; and I had all my body armor on, including my full-face helmet.  Everything was pretty much the same as riding the skills park rock, only 1) more speed (you can see me furiously pedaling the first half of the bridge); 2) starting the manual further from the rock; and 3) placement of the front wheel high on the rock, as the face of the rock isn’t angled.

I rode it a second time, to prove it to myself that it wasn’t a fluke. Piece o’ cake!

Here’s the 13-second video clip of my first attempt. Below that is an 8-second slo-mo from the same video, but just the over-the-rock sequence.


Learning to bunny hop: lifting the rear wheel with a rear foot ‘scoop’ motion

Hans "No way" Rey at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival grand opening Hans "No way" Rey at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival grand opening
At the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival grand opening last June, I asked Hans “No way” Rey how he was able to leap his bike vertically from a dead stop to the top of a picnic table. He pointed to his calf muscles, explaining that he lifts the rear wheel off the ground with his rear foot pushing back and up against the rear pedal. I didn’t own a mountain bike at the time so this concept didn’t make sense to me.

Nor did it sink in when I blogged back in August about learning to manual and noticed in BikeRadar’s Learning the Manual – Part 4 that there is a sentence about the bunny hop in which the author wrote:

Pushing forward on the bars as you ‘scoop’ backwards against the pedal with your rear foot to lift the rear wheel off the ground will also help.

It wasn’t until I saw this new BikeRadar video on the bunny hop in which Sam Pilgrim isolates the rear wheel lift with the rear foot (Step One in the tutorial) that I ‘got it:’

After just a few minutes of practice today, I was able to use this motion with either foot to clear a curb with my rear wheel. No bunny hop (or is it one word, bunnyhop?) yet, but I’m confident I’ll get it. I’m young yet.