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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been pretty chicken about bigger drops and figured with the Durango DH race coming up, I want to be able to hit that big 10' drop. I've been feeling pretty good on smaller drops, getting the bike out in front of me, making sure my wheels land evenly and such, but I've never really done anything over 3-4'. So this morning we went out to the dirt jumps and I finally did a big one (for me anyway) - about 6-8'. The first time I went too slow, front wheel dropped and I almost pulled it out, but the compression at the bottom is loose sand - with too much weight on the front wheel, it dug in, collapsed and I wrecked spectacularly. I think "ODI" is now bruised into my gut where I fell on the end of my bars. Ouch. But I shook the sand out of my helmet and got back up and nailed it on my second try. Yay!

We should have taken pics... but I'll have to do it again a few times soon and we'll bring the camera.
 

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Wow! That's really impressive! Keep it up and it won't be long before you do hit that 10 footer!
Yeah, definitely bring the camera next time :) :cool: So, was your stomach in your throat when you went the first time. A puny little 2 ft drop is enough to give me a heart attack :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
kpicha said:
Wow! That's really impressive! Keep it up and it won't be long before you do hit that 10 footer!
Yeah, definitely bring the camera next time :) :cool: So, was your stomach in your throat when you went the first time. A puny little 2 ft drop is enough to give me a heart attack :)
It's weird - I have wrecks that seem like they were in slow motion - but this one was a blur. I remember almost being surprised at myself going for it on the first attempt, trying to hang onto it, being too far forward, and just ending up in a heap. But I was definitely incredibly nervous. Basically, I decided to do it last weekend when we were on the way home from Snowmass - promising out loud to do it helped... ;) And I tried visualizing it going well over and over again in my head through the week (amazing how hard it is to keep those negative thoughts out!). Definitely scary though! I kind of felt like I should go do it again once I got it, but I was a bruised, sandy mess and it was boiling hot with all my gear on, so I stuck with the success and we went up to Deer Valley and do some actual riding at higher elevation out of the blazing heat. I'm nervous to go do it again, but now I know I can do it, wrecking didn't hurt all that much anyway, and if I get it a couple more times it will cross over into the realm of fun/exhilarating and won't bother me at all. :)
 

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Wow!

That's amazing! I would LOVE to see pictures too!

I feel like such a dork - the first time I actually rode a small (and I mean SMALL - maybe 1 foot :D ) drop-off without falling, I was so excited that I fell over sideways as I was riding away! :rolleyes:

How did you learn to do those - did you try progressively higher drops? How did you overcome the nerves to try them?
 

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HappyHamster said:
That's amazing! I would LOVE to see pictures too!

I feel like such a dork - the first time I actually rode a small (and I mean SMALL - maybe 1 foot :D ) drop-off without falling, I was so excited that I fell over sideways as I was riding away! :rolleyes:
I didn't fall over, but yes that would be me. :D

I think having the right bike and the desire to do it help a lot.

formica
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HappyHamster said:
That's amazing! I would LOVE to see pictures too!

I feel like such a dork - the first time I actually rode a small (and I mean SMALL - maybe 1 foot :D ) drop-off without falling, I was so excited that I fell over sideways as I was riding away! :rolleyes:

How did you learn to do those - did you try progressively higher drops? How did you overcome the nerves to try them?
I've done that - I made it through a super nasty section and hit a drop that had freaked me out in the past and once I got through the tough section I forgot everything else and ran off the side of the trail...

Basically, to learn bigger drops, start with small ones and get your form right. It's fine to just roll things when they're small, but once they're bigger you need to keep the front end up so the wheels hit the ground at the same time. You can practice on curbs or water bars or whatever drops you feel comfortable with. It's not a matter of pulling up on the bars as much as going faster and pushing the bike out in front of you and using your center of gravity to get the bike where you want it- kindof like wheelie-ing (not that I can really do that...) Going fast definitely makes it easier - it's a lot harder to get it right if you're going slow. And having a DH or other long travel bike helps a lot too, but you can learn the right form for doing drops on a regular XC bike too.

As far as nerves go... I'm not sure I'm the best one to advise on how to get over your nerves - I tend to freak out over races and such, but when I do go for things... I basically make sure I know I'm supposed to do it, and like this little project, I try to take it a step at a time. And then wear all my armor. ;)

Letting my competitive side take over a bit helps too. It doesn't even have to be direct competition - a couple days ago I got a friend of mine to try a drop that was scaring her to death and she did it. So when I was tempted to chicken out, I remembered that she was able to conquer her fears so I should go for it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This pic is NOT of me (but it is a girl - mtnbikeck). I found it in the Pinkbike galleries - this is the drop at Durango I'm getting myself psyched up to do. It doesn't look as bad in the picture as I remember it standing at the bottom last year... hopefully that's a good thing and my perspective of what's huge and what's doable is getting better!
 

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Nice job!!! :D Would that happen to be the drop into the ravine up at I St? If so, did you try to hit the step-up jump up the opposite side? Or was it the ladder drop and not the ravine?

I actually just started hitting the ravine drop this year. The faster you go during the run-up the farther down the tranny you get and, thus, the greater the total vertical drop. However, I actually found that the most efficient way to do that drop - if you want to build enough momentum to hit the step-up - is to push the bike down after clearing the lip, and get your wheels on the ground as quickly as you can. I could never make the opposite-side jump on my DH bike, but then tried the drop on my hardtail, and almost looped-out on the step-up do to excessive speed! It's actually quite amazing how much energy can be lost to suspension. The squish IS nice for not-so-perfect landings, however.

Anyhow, progression is definitely the way to go when dealing with drops. I just got back from Whistler, where they actually have a progressive drop practice park! The drops start at about 1-2ft, and progress up to 8-10ft (in four increments), depending on how much heat you hit them with. It was a great confidence builder to hitting the A-Line, Dirt Merchant, Schleyer, GLC, etc drops elsewhere in the park. ...Especially the bigger GLC drop, which is right in front of the patio of the Garibaldi Lift Company pub. People sit outside and watch riders hit the drops. It's cool, though it does increase the pressure to not eat major sh*t in front of an audience. :)

Anyhow, great job, and good luck with the Durango race! Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SprungShoulders said:
Nice job!!! :D Would that happen to be the drop into the ravine up at I St? If so, did you try to hit the step-up jump up the opposite side? Or was it the ladder drop and not the ravine?
Thanks! And yes, that's the one! I just rolled to a stop going up the other side - I was a little too focused on the drop to worry about actually clearing the step-up this time. I haven't tried the ladder yet, but Craig's been doing it.

Man, that drop park at Whistler looks perfect! We need to head up there - we've been talking about it for ages but haven't made it yet. That pic makes me want to go even more...
 
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