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Out there
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[Edit -- scroll down for pix & ride report!]

Okay, I built a teeter totter today (to go with a bunch of other features and jumps I built in our back yard). Only it's big. WAY bigger than I had initially imagined.

Basically it's 16 feet long, two feet wide, and the high end is about 5' from the ground. It's VERY heavy so it doesn't move that fast. I've walked it but haven't ridden it yet (has to be moved into position with a tractor, it's so heavy, and thunderstorms cut our session short today).

My nine-year old and I are very happy riding the smaller teeter totter we built last year, which is 12' long, 14" wide and only rises to about 3.5 feet. It's much lighter so it 'snaps' down as soon as you cross the fulcrum. This one is easier, since it's two feet wide, but much more intimidating and much slower to 'operate'. Even in the middle you feel pretty high up. Consequence, it has.

So, any tips? It's pretty steep so I think hitting it with some speed will be necessary not to stall out, but I'm a bit concerned that if I go too fast it will turn into a 5' drop to flat. My son is an expert at the West Coast bail but I'm in clips so it's a little more exciting.

PS Will post pix tomorrow - sorry - thunderstorms and it's dark now.

PPS I was pretty pleased with how it turned out... will also post some construction details.
 

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Big Gulps, Alright!
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You're right, you need to hit it with the right amount of speed. Not too fast, not too slow. You'll have to figure exactly how fast for yourself. Too slow and you either wont tip it or you'll need to balance while it falls and you're stationary. Too fast and you hit a 5' drop. You want enough speed to get far out enough where it will fall quick enough that you don't have to balance and wait for it. Keep in mind that if you do this, it will fall fast and you'll want to shift your weight back so you don't endo. I can't guess the exact logistics of it, but it's probably about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way out.

Hope this helps.
 

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Killer b.
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Hit is fast...

and if you are looking like dropping to flat, hit the brakes hard right at the end and that should help push it down quicker. Hopefully you can trackstand for long enough for it to tip all the way.
Where I sometimes ride they have one called the "Diving board". It sticks out flat from a 5' bank and you have to get your front wheel right to the very end before it tips and you ride onto a kind of landing ramp. It is steep and pretty freaky at the best of times, but even worse if you hit it slow and are waiting for it to tip.

Best of luck to ya... and post up some photos of you and your boy nailing it.;)

b.

edit: Dammit. That was supposed to say "Hit it fast."
 

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I did my first teeter totter last fall at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City. It is a weird timing thing for sure. The first time I hit it, I rolled down the end too fast and the board bounced when it hit causing me to adjust way back on my bike and which caused me to loop out onto my butt. Of course there was a big crowd watching.

The next time I rode up to the fulcrum kinda fast but then hit the brakes and slowly rode down the "back side" controlling the fall of the teeter by my speed. Much better. I hit it about 20 more times over the next two days (I-bike demo days) and never had a problem again.
 

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lidless ascender
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We built a teeter of about the same dimensions a while ago and you needed quite a lot of speed to come up and over it.It was also very heavy and didn't start moving until you were on the last third of it.You had to brake a bit after it started coming down but it wasn't really all that difficult to do.As I said, the key was some decent speed.Better to go slightly too fast and brake than go too slow and break ;)
The only video I have of the thing is THIS (1:57 into the movie).Sorry for the crappy quality, but it's five years old and it seems to have aged a bit :D

Marko
 

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Loser
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Guaranteed one of your hotshot friends will come over and attempt a wheelie drop off the teeter. Seen it a dozen times. It _seems_ like a good idea once you get comfortable on the teeter totter, but when that teeter starts tottering while you're in a wheelie bad things happen. The surprised look on their face is priceless.

John
 

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Out there
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jisch said:
Guaranteed one of your hotshot friends will come over and attempt a wheelie drop off the teeter. Seen it a dozen times. It _seems_ like a good idea once you get comfortable on the teeter totter, but when that teeter starts tottering while you're in a wheelie bad things happen. The surprised look on their face is priceless.
My son discovered this on the small teeter and ended up flat on his back. He still talks about it.
 

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Out there
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, here are the photos and the results of trying to ride it!

This is what it looks like -- 16' long and about 5' high.



Closeup of the construction. I made it so it could be disassembled and relocated in a pickup truck if necessary. It would have been stronger if the stringers had been a single piece of 16' lumber but almost impossible to move. It's VERY solid...



Here's the approach...


Here's what it looks like from halfway across... feels like you are climbing Mt Everest...


So anyway, I swapped out the clips for flats, put on my pads and was all ready to ride it when my son Ted, 8, comes out too. We both have a few practice runs at it, then Ted says "Okay, I'm doing it". And he does.











He had the balls when I was still thinking about it. Amazing.

I tried it next and it's a spooky feeling. You ride all the way up to the top, let your speed die, track stand, and slowly it comes down, almost a plush feeling.

Not hard, but you REALLY have to commit! It feels like you are going to be up there for ever.

You can see a fun animated slideshow of Ted doing it a couple of times here:
https://flickr.com/photos/pinkheadedbug/sets/72157605648486038/show/

Here are some of the other features we built... a bit overgrown as it's rained every day for two weeks and mostly been too wet to ride...



 

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Currently in Exile
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Holy crap! Ted Rocks! Your back yard rocks! And you my friend have way too much time on your hands. Yes, it would take me a while to build up the courage ride that.
 

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Alright, if you've got that big of a back yard with those hills, the ability to build up those nice obstacles, and some heavy equipment, I say go all out and now create some really nice singletrack. You can have your own little short track course in addition to the jumps, bridges, and teeter/totter.

From the pictures I'm assuming you don't live anywhere near me. But if you ever want to move to Florida, I'll be glad to help you find some land as close to my house as possible.
:thumbsup:
 

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Out there
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did build some singletrack out back in the woods but the 'problem' is that we have two world class trail systems within about 15 minutes of here so they never got ridden... there is a pretty good dirt track joining up all the jumps and stuff though, although it's hidden by all the grass.

I generally mow some trails each summer and when I GPSd them there were about 5km but it is a hell of a lot of upkeep and it is really easier to go ride 3-Stage or Kolapore. Also, the kids prefer something really compact where they can hang out and watch each other ride.

(We are in Ontario near Blue Mountain).
 

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Purveyor of Trail Tales!
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Huck Em!

Jisch said:
Guaranteed one of your hotshot friends will come over and attempt a wheelie drop off the teeter. Seen it a dozen times. It _seems_ like a good idea once you get comfortable on the teeter totter, but when that teeter starts tottering while you're in a wheelie bad things happen. The surprised look on their face is priceless.

John
Hi John,

I can certainly see what you're describing given that you try a wheelie drop. However, when we were at Whistler for a week last August we got to play on two teeter-totters. They were both in the Intermediate Skills Center located right next to where Lower B-Line starts. One was on the flat and the other was from a flat to a downhill runout. We found we could charge both of them and just treat them as either a kicker or a drop off. The only downside is that the landing on the kicker was to flat. It was also interesting to have the kicker and the drop off get smaller as you transition off of it.:eekster: We found the best practice was to just ignore the movement. We also rode them in the normal manner but they were much more exciting to ride as I've decscribed. Given you report I'm glad we didn't think to wheelie drop them!:nono:

Take care,

Michael:thumbsup:
 
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