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log rolls n drop offs

nix85's picture

By nix85 - Posted on 10 June 2010

anyone know of a good area to practice things like log rolls, and drop offs....somewhere where the landings are smooth (preferrably somewhere if i land badly its nto going to end in broken bones Smiling )

Hop fiend's picture

AMB's new DVD has me itching to try some of them things which they made look easy

craked's picture

try menai for practising skills, has all sorts of roll overs and drops of varying degrees of danger, best you go with someone who knows the area and can take you to the good spots for practising.definatly have a look at AMB's new how to DVD Smiling

Sinkes's picture

Try your local park where there is plentry of open space and soft grass to land on.
i found that a great place to start. You be surprise what you find there to practise on. Good Luck!

Brian's picture

A few of the guys did a day of it a while ago ( so I assume this park is a good place.

hawkeye's picture

I find there are all sorts of little bits and pieces places that are good for practising skills:

* Up and off gutters in the street (to get started)
* Down steep grassy banks at the local park as slowly as possible (brake control, getting your bum back and down off the seat)
* Down short sets of steps at different speeds (more advanced brake control and 'shape' on the bike), gradually upping the step count
* Up and down the pipleline easement at the back of the Aquatic Centre for practicing loose climbs and descents

Always check out the line on any challenging new obstacle before riding it. If necessary, roll through the obstacle while you walk beside your bike to make sure you won't bash your chainring on any ledge lips.

If you can't see a makeable line, stop - don't ride it. If you hesitate twice you're not ready to ride the obstacle that day. There's no shame in walking - it's better than hurting yourself.

Elbow/forearm guards are worth having.

loki's picture

+1 for the rocks at Hews Pde Belrose mentioned by Brian.
I've been there for practice with my son and can confirm there is a nice soft grassy landing (which I needed on a couple of attempts Smiling )
Plenty of different size drops to choose from too. Just avoid Saturdays at the moment as the place will be full of kids playing soccer.

If you want something a bit more technical then nearby you have the technical downhill bit at Cascades.

Technical Downhill

Unofficial name - when you are heading down the short single track there is one fork after couple hundred metres, left takes you to this downhill. It is overgrown in places and has big roll offs and rocks to contend with before ending up in the valley on the Heath Track. Note that close to the bottom of this trail is a 'T' junction. Very close to the right is a power pylon and it is in this direction riders should head back to the heath track for more cruising along the valley (turn left at the firetrail) or back to the top (turn right).


Antsonline's picture

My girlf learnt in Centennial park. There is loads and loads of stuff up there, mostly with nice grassy surrounds.
Its a perfect place - up at the top - near the main gate, off to the left.

Good luck - remember, it doesnt come immediately, and some days you have the skills, others you dont.

There is no shame in being scared - even the worlds best riders get freaked out.

Rob's picture

@ants... Good point. Even pros crash. In fact, if they didn't we'd say they weren't riding hard enough Eye-wink

Speaking of which - did anyone see the UCI coverage on the weekend? Poor Ms Batty taco'd her wheel near the bottom of what the commentators said was a 3 metre roll down. She discarded the wheel and ran 1km to the 'tech zone' for a new one. Given that Trek are making a series about their teams racing this year, the next episode should be interesting Eye-wink

Brian's picture

@Rob. Your not hijacking this thread are you Eye-wink

@Nix85. AMBC do good courses as well that cover this. I did one at Manly Dam which was good.

FLY's picture

Where would I find this video?

hawkeye's picture

If the tech DH at Cascades is the bit i'm thinking of, be aware that parts of it are in NPWS controlled lands and are therefore illegal for mtbs to ride.

There was a wire-suspended camera at the T-intersection at the very bottom, but that was in - shall we say - a state of human induced disrepair last time I rode the fire trail. From the footage jacojoco has shown me of him going OTB I wouldn't try it as a newby - best to build your skills base a bit first.

Brian's picture

I believe if you turn off at the first tower you are legal as it is outside the boundary.

craked's picture

fly buy the june issue of Australian MTB it comes with it, not sure if it is in news agents yet

Rob's picture

I can imagine after all the recent rain that tech. at Cascades will be incredibly tricky.

When you get to the junction at the bottom, if you turn right (towards the pylon) and pop out on the firetrail it's all good. As Brian said, this part is outside of NPWS boundary.

Wayno's picture

This is the best DVD I have seen for teaching the technical aspects of riding including drops and jumps. Simon Lawton really understands the physics of riding mountain bikes and goes into great detail of how to correctly perform a host of skills ranging from braking right through to scrubbing jumps. In my DVD collection I have "The Fundamentals", the first AMB instructional DVD, Tricks & Stunts, Dirtschool and Trictionary and none of them can explain it better than Simon Lawton. In fact he makes the others look like amateurs when it comes to producing an instructional DVD on mountain biking.
Learn the basics and you may save yourself alot of hurt.
Some months ago I saw the DVD on sale for $30 at Bike Addiction.

muvro's picture

One other thing I'd do if you're learning small drops etc. Drop your seat. It will help you while you're learning. If your seat is at the height it should be for normal riding and you go off a drop and you haven't gotten back far enough, the bike can feel like it wants to buck you off. So drop the seat height right down to at least practice getting your weight back far enough and get comfortable doing it. Once you've mastered that, you can start practicing getting your legs around the seat at normal height.

As said, working gutters is a good place to start for drops, as the same technique can be used for larger drops. For instance, I use pretty much the same technique for dropping off a gutter, as I do when I drop off 6ft to flat ground. Basicly the only thing that changes is the speed. Concentrating on getting your weight back and getting the bike to land on both it's wheels at the same time I consider to be quite important. Also, finding smallish drops with a little bit of a slope where you land is a good thing. Having a 'lander' makes the drop a lot smoother on you and the bike.

If you've got clip-in pedals, it might be an idea to lose them for a while until you feel comfortable with the techy stuff. It'll save the hands, elbows and knees. Throw a set of flats on and go for it, it'll also help you to learn the techniques properly. It'll also aid in those quick 'foot-down' moments. I'd also back up, what's been said. Throw on some elbow and knee pads. You might feel like it's over the top, but when you've taken some bark off, you'll be wishing you had some on. Lizardskin make some cheap and very comfortable gear, I have Lizardskin knee/shin and elbow forearm pads. I don't wear the elbows anymore, but the gouges in them are evidence that they've saved me many a sore moments when I was learning to do drops and stuff.

Large rock or log roll overs I consider to be more difficult that drops sometimes. Sometimes they can just stop you dead in your tracks if you let your concentration drop for a split second. That's when flat pedals are a bonus. Eye-wink Doing it with someone that knows how to do it, and watching those videos is a massive help!

What sort of bike are you using?

chica's picture

my partner has also taken me down to CP to practice roll overs and launching. there is a good mix of heights and angles. You can join a number of the areas up so you get to put roll overs and launching together in one run. the area around the rocks is grass, sand or leaf litter so a soft landing if you do happen to come off.

nix85's picture

thanks guys, ill check out the suggestions, yeah ive seen the new amb video its good, n am doing gutters, tho have days when it all seems to flow and others where just cant pull it together.... i kno the technique its just pulling it off mainly trying to get the back wheel up. n its just been hard to get on the trails to practice with all this rain..

hawkeye's picture

Today was one for me. Getting back onto my normal bike after riding one with a short top tube, I found lofting the front wheel wasn't working very well. Sad

Think of it as a stock market chart - there'll be ups and downs, but so long as the trend is in the right direction, it's good.

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