After doing some mountain biking at the Clemson Downhill course, I was inspired to build my own little jump in the backyard. Nothing fancy (yet), just a 30 foot or so runway, and a 14 inch drop. Not terribly challenging, but my thought is that one can get used to riding off something like this repetitively at home, then apply those skills to the trail.
I‘d cleared some path out for a smaller “jump” before, so “building” this new one took less than an hour. A friend of mine let me have part of a tree trunk he’d chopped down, which made an excellent ending to the jump. Dirt could just be piled up next to it until a nice ramp was formed After dirt was sufficiently piled up, the dirt was compacted by beating it with the shovel and a bit more dirt was added.
After the build was complete, I rode off of it 5 times or so to make sure everything was OK. The ramp worked fine, but the short runway really causes you to have to attack the jump with little hesitation, a useful skill on the trail, and one that should be easier to develop in a repeatable situation.
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