Learning to shred in the flatland
Hi Lee, I go to school in a relatively flat area, Southern Illinois, which only has easy cross country trails around. I feel like I prefer Enduro riding style and want to ride more trails with drops and jumps. But in this area there are no places I can even practice jumping and I can’t ride jumps or drops well when I actually travel to some places occasionally. What do you think I can do to practice my jumping skill? I can’t afford buying another bike or something.
You’re not the only shredder to come from a flat land. When Life allows you a choice, you can move to a place like ColoRADo. Until then, you can fun where you are.
Assuming there are no pump tracks, BMX tracks or dirt jumps anywhere near you (which is not a safe assumption; people might be shredding in secret), here are some ideas:
Ride faster. Mellow trails get more interesting at speed. Also, as the sine waves get longer, you start to notice jumps everywhere.
Ride urban. Look around. Be creative. The urban landscape has lots of ledges to drop and ramps to jump.
Start slow and add speed until you’re sailing perfectly through the air.
Master the bunny hop. This is like jumping without help from a ramp. When you can drop safely off ledges then hop back up them, jumping will make a lot more sense.
Behold the great Zach Lewis, who’s a pro on both bike and snowboard. When you can hop like this, you can really jump. Zach can really jump.
Get some portable ramps. Is that furniture or a portable jump? It’s both! I use these a lot in my classes: LandWave ramps.
Junior terrain builders at my house.
Dial in all of your core skills. Most of them can be learned where you are. Deep mastery — the kind that lets you shred anywhere and everywhere — comes from dialing in the core skills.
“Kung fu means supreme skills from hard work.
A great poet has reached kung fu.
A painter, or a calligrapher, they can be said to have kung fu.
Even the cook, the one who sweeps steps, a masterful servant, can have kung fu.
Practice. Preparation. Endless repetition …
That is the way. The only way one acquires kung fu.”
– Hundred Eyes, the blind monk set with the task of training Marco Polo.
Notice he doesn’t mention the name of a dojo (or a jump trail).
You can start mastering MTB kung fu right now. Check out my Level 1 online skills class. You can work on your own or with professional help. By the time you get through this class, you’ll be a very solid rider — and you’ll be ready for the next level.
Dropping one foot, three feet or 10 … it’s all the same with the kung fu.
Have fun out there! Work hard so you can chose where you live.
LLB skills coach Kevin Stiffler can boost some huge jumps off some tiny bumps! His kung fu is good — and getting even better.
Know more. Have more fun!
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