Posted Sept. 6, 2005
Bunny hops and back pain

Hey Lee,

I have a question for you about my back. Recently I've been trying to J-hop higher. Now this probably was not the wisest idea since I'm not exactly a body builder and only weigh around 127 Ibs and own a fairly heavy bike. The end result was that I hurt the left side of my back. Fortunately it seems to be muscular, but I was wondering if you could give me any pointers on how to reach my goal without hurting myself. I'm only seventeen so I'll probably get a little bigger so I can muscle my bike around a little better, but any tips would be greatly apreciated.



PS: I read your dirt jump section and will try that stuff out too once my back heals (I've always been terrible as well as a wimp when it comes to dirt jumps)

This series appears in Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Click for big.

Hey Drew.

The key to hopping and jumping higher is not pulling up harder -- it's pushing down harder. The harder you load the bike into the ground or the lip, the higher it will rebound. It's like jumping on a diving board or trampoline. Get a feel for your bike's timing, then really cram it into the ground. This is more about timing than power. If you hop like this you'll go higher and give your back muscles a rest.

Heal fast, and tell me how it goes.

-- Lee

PS: The book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills has a lot more detail.

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Mastering Mountain Bike Skills

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