Skills

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS: JARED RANDO PHO­TOS: NICK WAYGOOD

Road gaps and step downs are a sur­pris­ingly com­mon fea­ture on moun­tain bike trails. Not only as a fea­ture, but also as a way to dou­ble up fea­tures which line up just right when head­ing down a trail. For big jumps, road gaps are prob­a­bly the eas­i­est build op­tion as most of the work is al­ready done - smooth out a land­ing, build a kicker, clear a run in and next thing you know its Rampage time at the lo­cal trails. They are com­mon, but also can be pretty bloody dan­ger­ous if you come up short or go too far. The fact that you pick up speed as you drop makes it all that lit­tle bit shadier. Big road gaps are an ad­vanced fea­ture. Work your way up, con­quer small to medium sized dou­bles and learn how to con­trol your bike's land­ing an­gle be­fore you even think about at­tempt­ing a size­able gap. Here are some tips on how to get it done safely

SPOT YOUR LAND­ING 1Keep­ing an eye on your land­ing is cru­cially im­por­tant as you ap­proach the lip. Most step down or road gap lips will be rel­a­tively mel­low so the em­pha­sis is def­i­nitely on spot­ting the land­ing so you know how much (or how lit­tle) you need to pull up to make the lip. I al­ways vi­su­alise putting my back tyre just past the knuckle of the land­ing and my front wheel well over.

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